OK, pro-choice people, get a grip.
Yes, the House passed a health-care bill that clearly excludes abortion from public funding. Yes, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “We think that providing health care is itself a pro-life thing, and we think that, by and large, providing better health coverage to women could reduce abortions. But we don’t make these decisions statistically, and to get to that good we cannot do something seriously evil.”
But really, why would Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, accuse the bishops of “interceding to put their own ideology in the national health care plan”? Isn’t that exactly what Planned Parenthood is trying to do? Isn’t that what everybody tries to do in a democratic republic?
The thing is, as most of us have noticed, America is seriously divided about abortion. The most recent statistics from Pew Research indicate that 46% of us are in favor of legal abortion in all or most cases, 44% are against. You’re more likely to get a hotly debated health bill through Congress if it doesn’t force people who are strongly opposed to something to pay for it. When the Democrats in Congress excluded abortion funding, most of them weren’t making an ideological statement. They were just trying to get the bill to pass.
This bill isn’t the end of civilization as pro-choice people know it. Roe v. Wade wasn’t attacked. If Congress eventually passes a health-reform bill that, like the House bill, excludes abortion payments, there’s no reason pro-choice people can’t fund abortion themselves. It actually wouldn’t cost them all that much.
Look at the statistics: there are approximately 1.21 million abortions a year in the United States at an average cost of less than $500 each. So let’s say that the total cost of providing abortions is $605 million a year.
- Current U.S. population estimate: 308 million
- U.S. population age 18 and over: 231 million
- Adults who favor abortion in all or most circumstances: 106 million
- Annual cost per pro-choice adult to cover all abortions: under $6. Ten cents a week.