As California Goes, So Goes the Nation

At the time this edition of Lifeline went to print, the Omnibus Appropriations Act was on its way to Obama’s desk for signature and both Houses of Congress had passed “Affordable Healthcare” Acts, including, in the Senate version, funding for abortion.

When enacted, the Omnibus Appropriations Act will overturn a decades-long policy preventing taxpayer funded abortion in Washington D.C. (1). The enactment of the Senate version of the healthcare bill would mean immediate federal funding of abortion nationwide rather than only the District of Columbia. However, the enactment of either bill seems inevitable since all along President Obama has been pushing the government takeover of healthcare and, ultimately, health care that funds abortion.

It appears as if the federal government is following the blueprint of California’s Legislature, which is beholden to the abortion lobby. We now have in our nation’s capital what we have had in California for years, a Democrat-controlled legislature that, with the blessing of a long line of state chief executives, has never found a liberal cause not worthy of being funded on the taxpayer’s dime. State funding of abortion in California was originally mandated by the state supreme court, which held:

“There is no greater power than the power of the purse. If the government can use it to nullify constitutional rights, by conditioning benefits only upon the sacrifice of such rights, the Bill of Rights could eventually become a yellowing scrap of paper. Once the state furnishes medical care to poor women in general, it cannot withdraw part of that care solely because a woman exercises her constitutional right to choose to have an abortion.” [Committee To Defend Reproductive Rights v. Myers, (1981) 29 Cal.3d 252, 284-285.]

The Myers court assumed that abortion is a constitutional right under California’s state constitution, following a line of cases that expanded the so-called right to privacy to include the right to abortion. It declined to follow a 1977 U.S. Supreme Court precedent holding that there was no constitutional right to a taxpayer funded abortion. However, over thirty years later, how certain can we be that the U.S. Supreme Court itself would follow that precedent, should the issue come up in the context of a national healthcare plan controlling access to medical care for every American?

In the debate surrounding the government takeover of healthcare, opponents of abortion funding have taken the position that parallels the comments of Senator Jim DeMint, who in a speech to his colleagues prior to the vote on the Omnibus Appropriations Act stated that a vote for the Act means a vote to fund abortion; not only to fund it but to promote it.

Unfortunately, the valiant efforts of Bart Stupak notwithstanding, any success at preventing abortion funding will most likely be short-lived. The position of representatives who oppose abortion funding without strongly opposing national healthcare merely validates the viewpoint that government should be involved in funding healthcare and demonstrates the sense of entitlement that our representatives have developed with respect to tax dollars. Moreover, it reveals their shortsightedness—even naïveté—in thinking that future congresses will hold the line on abortion funding.

Should the government take over healthcare, abortion should not be funded. Taxpayers who have moral objections to abortion should not be forced to fund it directly with their tax dollars or indirectly through mandated enrollment in plans that cover abortion. However, it is time to get back to the first principles of our republican form of government but how we do so is not easily discernible.

The consensus among voters indicates growing opposition to government-run healthcare, which opposition is only sharpened by the inclusion of abortion coverage. The party of Ronald Reagan wouldn’t even consider a government takeover of healthcare because its leadership understood that the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were written to limit the power of government, not to increase it. These documents were written to ensure life and liberty for all United States citizens. Life and liberty at their very core cannot exist when the government may fund abortion, which ends life at its inception, while at the other end of the spectrum it may deny necessary health care for the disabled, chronically ill, and elderly.

As we consider America’s mounting frustration over the national debt, the government’s insatiable appetite for more tax dollars and now adding the expense of national healthcare to the mix, in all likelihood ultimately funding abortion, the following excerpt from a fictional book, The Law of Nines, (2) aptly applies:

“There are always people like Radell Cain (3) who are ready to take advantage of public resentment. He played on people’s emotions by blaming everything on those who were still productive and prosperous, saying that they were uncaring and insensitive. People swooned at Cain’s simplistic, populist notions. He made what was really nothing more than simple greed sound somehow morally righteous. He made taking what others had worked hard to earn sound like justice. People ate it up.

In the middle of unrest and difficult times, Cain won people over with promises of change—a new vision, a new direction. He made change sound like a miracle solution to all our problems. People mindlessly embraced the notion of change.” While admittedly the excerpt applies to a set of circumstances in a fictional story, substitute “Obama” for “Cain” and recall the rhetoric from the presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, the “nanny state” keeps getting bigger and the population keeps getting older. And how will the children who inherit the national debt take care of the elderly population who outnumber them because their brothers and sisters were eliminated by abortion? Will they look to their own resources or to the (vanishing) taxpayer? Children learn from their parents so you can be quite sure that once government takes over health care, hastened death will eventually become a treatment option.Tea party, anyone? 1 The Act would overturn the “Dornan Amendment,” that to date has prevented the federal government from paying for abortions in the District of Columbia, whose budget is overseen by Congress. 2 Law of Nines, Terry Goodkind, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009, page 173. 3 Radell Cain is a fictional character in Law of Nines.