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The Reid Health Care Bill: More Abortions, More Heartache

Dr. Alveda King
Director, African American Outreach

The Americano
December 10, 2009

By now most of us know that abortion annually steals the future from 1.2 million unborn Americans, a disproportionate number of those being Latino and/or black.  If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have their way with health care reform, even more of our children, especially minority babies, will likely disappear.  And we will pay dearly – and literally – for their disappearance.

The numbers tell us that abortion is not color blind.  In fact, the abortion industry takes affirmative action to new and perverse extremes.  The babies of Hispanic women are three times as likely as those of white women to be aborted; those of black women, five times.

In any other setting, such discrepancies alone would be taken as strong evidence of institutional racism.  But there’s more.

Where do most abortion businesses locate their clinics?  In minority neighborhoods.  What group performs the most abortions in the U.S.?  Planned Parenthood.  And for what is Planned Parenthood most famous in the last year?  For its cheerful willingness to accept donations earmarked for the abortion of only black babies.

Planned Parenthood and the rest of our nation’s abortionists stand to gain tremendously if their political allies in Congress succeed in making abortion yet another federally subsidized industry.  Under the health care legislation currently pending in the Senate, our tax dollars would be used to pay for abortion on demand – for the first time since Congress put a stop to such funding with the Hyde amendment in 1977.Contrary to what some pro-abortion partisans claim, the Reid bill in the Senate would not maintain “the status quo” on abortion funding, not by any stretch of the imagination.  Senator Reid’s legislation would force you and I to help pay for the abortions of women who, up until now, have paid for such procedures through private insurance or, more often, with their own money.  It would give abortion coverage to millions of women who do not have it now.

Common sense tells us that if an abortion that once cost hundreds of dollars becomes free, you will have more abortions.  But if common sense isn’t enough, there’s a study that proves the point.

The Guttmacher Institute, a research organization named for a former president of Planned Parenthood, has found that the Hyde amendment’s abortion funding restrictions on the Medicaid program have caused one in four women who otherwise would have had abortions to carry their children to term.  One in four babies is saved when the government doesn’t pay for abortion.

If, then, Senator Reid and Congresswoman Pelosi were to get the bill they want, we would see more abortions and probably more abortion clinics.  With the windfall Planned Parenthood would receive as a “health care provider,” we would undoubtedly see more new abortion mega-mills in areas that “serve” minority populations.

What would this mean for Latinos and African Americans, and for that matter, for whites, Asians, and everybody else?  I know.  More lies, more heartache, and fewer babies born.

One of my babies was aborted by Planned Parenthood.  Planned Parenthood lied to me and told me that my child wasn’t really a baby.  And, all too conveniently, my health insurance paid for the abortion.  Never in my life have I regretted a decision more and now, never have I been more certain that providing women with subsidized abortions is horribly, horribly wrong.

It pains me that the two groups most hurt by abortion, blacks and Latinos, routinely support leaders and politicians who seek to make the termination of unborn children as easy as possible.  We, whom polls repeatedly show are among the most pro-life in our beliefs, elect people and support policies that result in more unseen deaths in our neighborhoods.  Apparently, too many of us think that other matters are more important than the life or death of our babies.

This has to change.  Now.

Whatever merits one may find in the health care legislation pending in Congress, there is no benefit that outweighs the wrongs of knowingly increasing the number of abortions and of making every one of us pay for them.

In plain fact, abortion is a matter of death and death – the death of a baby and the death of a bit of each woman who undergoes one.  Death is not a treatment; abortion is not health care.

There is only one way to keep funding for abortion on demand out of any health care bill – include the Stupak/Pitts amendment, which would stop taxpayer funding of abortion the way the Hyde amendment does now.  With the Stupak/Pitts amendment, lives will be saved.

You’ve probably heard and will continue to hear those who oppose Stupak/Pitts, like Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid, say that a bill as big as the mammoth health care legislation now before us should not be defeated because of one issue.  But that’s easy for them to say.  Abortion is only an “issue” if it’s not you who’s being aborted.

Dr. King is a Pastoral Associate and the Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.By Dr. Alveda King.

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