Abortion funds withheld, women’s health endangered

One of the highest priorities for the newly Republican-controlled Congress is to impose its morals on the medical industry by attempting to prevent funding to abortion programs.

In 2002 a Republican government decided to act on their anti-abortion beliefs, and the administration withheld $34 million dollar’s worth of financial aid to the the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) because they believe the organization was responsible for assisting in coerced abortions in China.

The UNFPA is an organization dedicated to improving human well-being around the world by empowering women, providing population strategies and establishing reproductive rights.

In fact, the UNFPA uses the Program of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development to outline their objectives.

“In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning,” the document states.

What the administration failed to understand was that they had just demolished a significant part of UNFPA’s funding for maternal health care.

For many women in third world countries, the decimation of UNFPA funding meant that their local hospitals could no longer provide the necessary medical attention they required. Without that care, these women once again faced social isolation, severe physical damage and even death.

The government is once again targeting abortion, and it will once again pit Republican morals against the health of citizens.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” was introduced by New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, and it would ban the use of federal funding for abortions.

The act itself will likely discourage insurance agencies from offering to cover abortions by complicating the process by which individual payments and government subsidies could be used. Extreme measures would have to be taken for insurance companies to effectively get any money for abortions from the government.

Additional “fines” would be levied against any money used for abortions, including a tax on money taken from tax-preferred saving accounts for the purpose of paying for an abortion.

Another bill proposed by Rep. Mike Pence would stop all federal funding to Planned Parenthood.

By targeting the financial aspect of abortions, the administration is once again affecting the more impoverished side of society.

Although the act will likely not affect the coverage for non-abortion related maternal health issues, it is nevertheless targeting the less financially stable.

Some women may not be able to afford a safe abortion out of pocket. Here the government’s good intentions turn into blatantly ignoring the public’s needs. Cutting federal funding could simply turn people away from safe medical facilities to dangerous abortions performed by those willing to ignore the law.

Smith said, “When there’s no public subsidy for abortion, the number of abortions drop by about 25 percent.”

He failed to mention who those women are and why they choose not get an abortion.

It seems clear that the government is focusing solely on achieving their goals, and not on the needs of their citizens.

One of the most frightening things about the bill is that it originally defied the definition of rape in regards to abortion cases.

Statutory rape would have no longer fallen under the category of rape. A thirteen year old girl seduced by a man twice her age then would not be eligible for an abortion provided by federal funds.

The clause, however, came under heavy scrutiny and was removed. It nevertheless showed how far these politicians would go to impose their morals on the entire country.

Abortion is a deeply personal choice that should be based on situation and beliefs, and not affected by financial restrictions.