The White House has now offered its own version of ObamaCare. It’s not a bill so much as it is an 11-page “talking points” memo, a description of elements the Obama administration would like to see in a final bill. It’s so vague that the Congressional Budget Office throws its hands up. CBO doesn’t have the time or the level of detail it would need even to venture a guess as to how much all this will cost American taxpayers.
One thing we know for sure: If it is passed, ObamaCare will greatly increase abortions in this country by making them free. For the first time in over thirty years, abortion-on-demand will be funded by American taxpayers. In poll after poll, strong majorities of Americans oppose this for moral and religious reasons.
But there are other reasons to oppose ObamaCare abortions. Abortion is unhealthy for women, it can have negative health outcomes for future pregnancies of aborting women, and for subsequent children born to these women. Elizabeth Ring-Cassidy and Ian Gentles of Toronto’s respected deVeber Institute studied abortion injuries and their effect on future pregnancies. In “Women’s Health after Abortion,” Ring-Cassidy and Gentles reported on uterine perforations during first-trimester abortions. Uterine scarring was found to be associated with higher rates of placenta previa. This prevents the embryonic child from implanting properly; the embryonic child attaches instead to the lower uterine region at or near the cervix. This fact poses health risks to mother and child during subsequent pregnancies.
Women undergoing abortions may have a doubled risk of future sterility. A peer-reviewed article in the American Journal of Public Health revealed a 50 percent higher likelihood of future ectopic or tubal pregnancies for aborting women. Women who undergo abortions may suffer decreased cervical resistance. This is attributable to the forced dilation of the cervix. This can result in future miscarriages because of cervical failure early in pregnancy.
Children born to women who have had earlier abortions are significantly more likely to be premature. Pre-maturity in infants is a leading cause of infant mortality and morbidity. Ten international studies confirm the linkage between elective abortion and pre-maturity.
This is a terrible tragedy for mothers, fathers, and their children. When we translate this personal tragedy into national policy, we see that ObamaCare abortions will dangerously increase health care costs for the entire country. Preterm births can also lead to physical and mental impairment. Parents whose health care costs are being borne by the taxpayers will come under extreme pressures to abort. Thus, federally-subsidized abortions can lead us into a fiscal and moral maelstrom—abortions leading to ever more abortions.
We have praised Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) for his heroic stand against federal funding of abortion. President Obama has repeatedly said he does not want to fund abortions. His statements are so clearly contradicted by his administration, by his supporters, by his entire record as a public man that they simply cannot be taken seriously. Worse, constantly asserting what everyone knows to be untrue risks opening up a yawning credibility gap for his young administration. If the American people cannot trust their President to level with them on something as straightforward as this, what can they trust him with? Mr. President: Do you or do you not want abortions paid for under ObamaCare?
Congressman Stupak’s amendment to the House version of the health care bill garnered 240 votes, including all Republicans and 64 Democrats. It’s fair to say that nothing about health care reform has such strong, bi-partisan support. The unwillingness of the Obama administration to embrace the Stupak Amendment makes a mockery of their talk about bi-partisanship. And President Obama’s stealth support for federally funded abortions makes a mockery of all his talk about health.
Ken Blackwell is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and a visiting professor at the Liberty University School of Law.