On Monday, the New York Times ran an article detailing how abortion is affecting the debate over health-care reform. This is noteworthy because it demonstrates the influence of the pro-life movement. As I have argued previously, the pro-life movement is in a unique position to help defeat Obamacare. President Obama is poltically weak on sanctity-of-life issues and the coverage of abortion in health-care reforms is a wedge issue that is dividing moderates from President Obama’s liberal base.
Interestingly, the New York Times article inadvertantly does pro-lifers and Obama-care opponents a favor. The article details the “compromise” provision offered by Congressman Rosa DeLauro and many Democrats which would require that federal funds be segregated from any private funds which would pay for abortions. Many pro-lifers rightfully argue that, since money is fungible, public funds going to insurance plans that cover abortion effectively results in federal funding of abortion.
The Times article quotes supporters of the “segregated money model” as saying that the “17 state Medicaid programs that cover elective abortions use a similar system.” However, groups supporting legal abortion, including the Guttmacher Institute, say that these 17 states “use state funds to provide all or most medically necesssary abortions.” As such, this statement nicely confirms the suspicions of pro-lifers. The DeLauro comprise is not a compromise at all, but in actuality a backdoor way to allow the federal government to subsidize abortions. The pro-life movement, as always, should continue to be vigilant.
— Michael J. New is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Alabama and a visiting fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.