Monday, January 25, 2010

Controversy of Abortion in 2010 Health Care Reform

On January 22, 2010 thousands of people marched down Constitutional Avenue, up Capital Hill, and to the Supreme Court building protesting the 37th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion. The annual March for Life event has mobilized to new levels as a result of the recent health care reform bills. Anti-abortion protesters are putting pressure on the government to create a health care bill that will prohibit the use of federal funding for abortions. Abortion was not the only issue that was being protested. Many people who attended the event were also rallying against the use of stem-cell research. Despite the overwhelming attendance of anti-abortionists, Obama gave a statement maintaining his original belief that a woman has the right to choose what she does with her body. He stated that he will “remain committed to working with people of goodwill to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and families, and strengthen the adoption system.”

The controversy of abortion and other medical research is heavily influenced by religious beliefs. The debates are a series of questions about what marks the beginning of life and if terminating a pregnancy is considered to be murder. The act of one pregnant single woman by the name of Roe forced the Supreme Court to answer these questions when she challenged the constitutionality of the Texas criminal abortion laws. The highly controversial issue is still prevalent almost four decades later but the decision continues to remain intact. As the health care system is on the brink of reform, a new set of questions arise in relation to the issue. Will the new health care programs take into account abortion or similar matters such as stem-cell researching and cloning? Will the bill challenge a Supreme Court ruling or will it make it stronger? Does abortion break the Sixth Commandment that one “shall not murder”?

The health care reform proposal of 2010 written by President Obama has five specific goals. They include instituting temporary provisions to make health care coverage more affordable for Americans who have lost their jobs, increasing health care coverage for children, computerizing America’s health records in five years, developing and disseminating information on effective medical interventions, and investing in prevention and wellness. Under the category of “developing and disseminating information on effective medical interventions”, President Obama will dedicate $1.1 billion dollars through the Recovery Act of 2009 to medical research with no specific requirements given for what type of research this amount of money will go to. It is likely that this portion of the health care reform bill will go to stem-cell research because President Obama took a special interest in the subject when he issued his Executive Order 13505 on March 9, 2009 which removed the barriers prohibiting the use of human stem cells for scientific research.

The health care reform campaign does in fact contain provisions about the issue of abortion. It would expand abortion through mandates and federal subsidies. However, the House of Representatives removed these mandates and subsidies before they sent the bill back to the Senate. As the debate continues, it is apparent that the end results will in fact affect the 1973 court ruling that legalized abortion in the United States but whether it will strengthen it or weaken it is still unknown.

During the March for Life many religious groups joined in the protest against abortion. The first amendment guarantees a person’s freedom of religion but the government was also founded upon the notion of a separation between church and state. The debate over abortion within governmental proceedings is not a question of religious beliefs but a question of humanity. Is abortion humane?

As technology evolves and advances science, the struggle against legalized abortion becomes more difficult. With the large amount of involvement apparent at the March this past Friday shows that the people are not backing down. What will our lives look like in ten years? In fifteen years? With technology and science rapidly evolving every day, it is impossible to predict the future but matters of the past continue to be prevalent in modern societal issues.


nedwards13 said...

Roe vs. Wade is described as a landmark case that as we can see continues to be debated now in the time in which we live. Traditional questions arise when speaking of this epic case and the decision that was made such as when does life begin, how is the "viability" of a fetus determined and where do the rights of the person carrying the child begin and the rights of the actual being in question end? Although with our current president in office and political issues that are surfacing presently these questions may be saved for an academic oriented debate that would be seen in a classroom setting. More significant and immanent questions such as will the health care reform that the United States government is at this very moment in time concocting in Washington cover the medical practice of an abortion if solicited by a patient holding coverage? If so who will be the one authentically paying for this procedure, the United States government or the taxpaying citizens of the country? I for one personally have no such interest in paying for women to have this procedure done. I see a significant amount of money deducted from my paychecks from my multiple jobs and the idea that my hard earned money (although in the long run shall be allotted for my personal use)in the immediate moment going towards and act that I do not condone makes me utterly and significantly sick. Although if the decision to use tax payer money for this medical practice is in fact the made by Congress I must admit that I am not surprised, nor should anyone who is familiar with the political realm of the United States. We have an elected government that openly accepts the ideals and labels of what can be called Pro-Roe in this case yet there is irony in that statement now. Roe is now a converted and dedicated Pro-Life, Catholic advocate that has more than once publically announced that she regrets her initial act of beginning this "legalization on abortion escapade." Has this in fact become and escapade that has no end. It seems that as the years progress we will always have opposition no matter if Roe vs. Wade continues to be upheld or if it one day manages to become overturned. President Barack H. Obama maintains his original stance that a woman has the right to do with her body as she pleases. In turn does that signify that as United States citizens one has the duty to monetarily sponsor that mentality? Different stances and their origins can be taken for this issue, but aside from the separation of church and state or lack thereof are greater questions in the horizon. Does government have a hidden agenda and with the passing of this healthcare reform authentically “thanking” the Pro-Roe voters in the process. It seems that this too conveniently is killing more than one bird with the same stone . . . no pun intended.

weinerjoy said...

The Health Care Reform effort being proposed to America is being portrayed as some kind of financial and moral suicide. Why would any one not want to contribute to an upgrade of American healthcare. You ask about 10 to 15 years ahead. Hopefully, America, as a whole, will be more progressive and practical about healthcare financing. The backlash is so weird to me. Americans already pay for uninsured citizens healthcare. In every state, there are community hospitals that provide free and discounted medical services, even abortions, to those in need. Those hospitals are funded through federal funding and private donor support. I wonder how some of these same people at The March For Life event, who revile abortion because of its murderous action, can turn a blind eye to the death penalty.