In the midst of an already uphill battle for health care reform, new obstacles are appearing in the form of senators like Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn. He recently filed an amendment that would establish an “Office of Unborn Children’s Health.”
There are millions of Americans — pregnant women and born children included — who lack adequate health care. Is this really the appropriate time to ask for funding for “unborn children” (which is a very relative term to begin with)?
Let’s be realistic about the abortion debate: our country will forever be divided on the issue. The debate revolves around differences in opinions and morals, which means there is no right or wrong answer. People can believe whatever they wish, but I draw the line when they try to impose their beliefs on others. Allowing opinions to infiltrate health care laws impedes the personal freedoms on which America was founded. It’s no different than the separation of church and state. The government cannot impose religious beliefs by restricting people to go to Temple or to Church. So how can it impose pro-life beliefs by restricting women from getting contraceptives or abortions, especially when their health and reproductive rights are compromised?
Again, I’m not saying pro-life activists are wrong in their convictions — I fully respect their beliefs. However, when pro-life policies enter the political arena, they inherently enforce a way of life on Americans who may disagree.
Why are pro-choice policies any different? By nature, pro-choice allows people to act in accordance with their beliefs– no matter what side of the debate they’re on. That’s the essence of being able to choose. This debate shouldn’t be about right or wrong unless we want to chase each other around in circles until the end of time.
About 12 anti-choice amendments were introduced within the category of women’s health along with Sen. Coburn’s. It seems to me that giving women the right to choose is almost like a default because everyone can do as they please. So why devote so much effort to overriding that default, only to impose opinions and/or restrictions on people who don’t agree? Because people like Sen. Coburn are selfishly determined to win the ideological fight against abortion.
But health care reform shouldn’t be about winning. It should be about providing the best possible health care to the people of our nation. Our government should be looking at the uninsured children and mothers without prenatal care. They should be looking at parents who can’t take care of their kids because they don’t have adequate health care for themselves. They should be looking at older people who are facing the prospect of retirement and no health care because physicians won’t treat Medicare patients. There are millions of living, breathing people who have devoted their lives to this country that do not have sufficient health care. And we are hung up on winning a never-ending ideological battle? Now that is what’s just plain WRONG.
It’s time to the put our personal convictions aside, and look at the bigger picture. Sign the petition to the U.S. Senate to ensure we keep anti-choice amendments out of health care reform and focus on the real issues.