Gov­ern­ment’s abor­tion man­date

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

So much for Sen. Ben Nel­son’s “line in the sand” against gov­ern­ment fund­ing for abor­tion. “I don’t or­di­nar­ily draw a line in the sand, but I have drawn a line in the sand,” the Ne­braska Demo­crat said on Dec. 4, promis­ing he wouldn’t vote for gov­ern­ment health care if it paid for abor­tion. Mr. Nel­son’s prin­ci­ples barely lasted two weeks. By Dec. 19, he an­nounced that he would pro­vide the 60th vote needed to pass gov­ern­ment care. The man’s word is mean­ing­less.

Mr. Nel­son’s ca­pit­u­la­tion was not over whether to ban abor­tion out­right. The se­na­tor sold his soul to give gov­ern­ment the power to force mil­lions of tax­pay­ers to pay for a pro­ce­dure they view to be mur­der. Ac­tivists in fa­vor of abor­tion “choice” don’t re­spect that those who op­pose abor­tion want to be free to choose what their money should be used to sup­port — es­pe­cially when ma­jor moral is­sues about life and death are in­volved.

The cur­rent pro­hi­bi­tion on gov­ern­ment fund­ing for abor­tion made ex­cep­tions for when a woman’s life pur­port­edly was in dan­ger or when the preg­nancy pur­port­edly was a re­sult of rape or in­cest. If passed, the new law will charge an “abor­tion pre­mium” tax on all Amer­i­cans that forces every­one to fund abor­tions. The only es­cape will be if in­di­vid­ual states pass opt-out provi- sions to the pro­gram, which will be dif­fi­cult to im­ple­ment.

On Page 41 (lines 5-8) of Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Harry Reid’s man­ager amend­ment, the pro­posed rules man­date that every­one buy­ing in­sur­ance through new ex­changes or through the new gov­ern­ment-run plan must pay a monthly abor­tion pre­mium to be used for elec­tive abor­tion ser­vices. This fee ap­plies “without re­gard to the en­rollee’s age, sex or fam­ily sta­tus.” That means that peo­ple who have no pos­si­bil­ity of want­ing an abor­tion them­selves will pay for oth­ers to have them. On Page 43 (lines 1-7), in­sur­ance com­pa­nies will be re­quired to as­sess the cost of elec­tive abor­tion cov­er­age, and on Page 43 (lines 20-22) they are man­dated to charge a min­i­mum of at least $1 per en­rollee per month to cover abor­tion.

Rep. Bart Stu­pak, the Michi­gan Demo­crat who led a House re­volt against abor­tion fund­ing, calls the Se­nate lan­guage “a dra­matic shift in fed­eral pol­icy.” The type of amend­ment ap­proved by Mr. Nel­son was voted down in the House.

Many Amer­i­cans wanted to be­lieve Mr. Nel­son was a de­cent man of his word, but the se­na­tor caved in when his vote could have made a dif­fer­ence for the lives of the un­born. A politi­cian can’t get any more de­spi­ca­ble than that.

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