Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but Life is not Guaranteed

The Hyde Amendment, in effect with bipartisan support since 1976, prohibits payments for abortions from federal funds, specifically, from Medicaid.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants it repealed, if she is elected.

The 2016 Democratic Platform states in part, on page 37:

We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured.  … We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment…

 The goal of conservative Republicans on the other hand is to pass an amendment to the Constitution confirming that life begins at conception.

The 2016 Republican Platform states in part, on page 17:

… We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth. We oppose the use of public funds to perform or promote abortion or to fund organizations, like Planned Parenthood, so long as they provide or refer for elective abortions or sell fetal body parts rather than provide healthcare.

 Supreme Court Justice Henry Blackmun wrote in the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision that the court was not speculating to resolve the question of when life begins; however, if the “personhood” of a fetus were established, then protection of its right to life under the 14th Amendment would be guaranteed.

Missouri Republicans recently proposed a personhood bill that was widely opposed by Democrats. The bill, HJR 98, has little hope of passage, at least in the near-term.

However, Governor Nixon did sign the “Strengthening Missouri Families Act” in 2015 that allocates $4.3 million for alternatives to abortion, including grants to crisis pregnancy centers in the state, religious organizations and adoption agencies. This amount was an increase over the previous $2 million.

“Abortion” and “fetus” are terms widely used. Inserting their origins and definitions into the narrative can give another perspective beyond clinical terms that diminish the reality of the life and death issues involved.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s “simple definition” of “abort” is: “to end a pregnancy deliberately by causing the death of the fetus.”

The Online Etymology Dictionary [of origins and meanings] defines the Latin term “fetus” as: “the young while in the womb or egg …, the bearing or hatching of young, a bringing forth.”  Curiously, the common understanding of the word ‘fetus as advanced by the pro-choice lobby is as “a simple glob of cells” – something more akin to a tumor, and it follows that “abortion” is often glibly understood simply to mean the removal of an unwanted growth.

Defining the terms used in the Democratic Party platform quoted above would clarify them, if written as follows:

We believe unequivocally that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal [means] to cause the death of the young in the womb or egg… We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to [means] to cause the death of the young in the womb or egg, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment…

 Guttmacher Institute (GI) that lobbies for expanded abortion rights, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the U.S. Census Bureau (USCB) are sources of the statistics reported herein.

The Hyde Amendment, according to Guttmacher, prevents access to insurance coverage for abortions to seven million women between the ages of 15-44 enrolled in Medicaid as of 2014. Among them, 52 percent are black or Hispanic, the other 48 percent White.

Pro-life proponents interpret the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution on securing “the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” where “posterity” refers to future generations of offspring, to offer protection to the unborn.

But pro-abortion proponents like the Guttmacher Institute and the Democratic Party, declare that: “For too long, politicians have been allowed to deny a woman’s abortion coverage just because she is poor…We are standing up to say ‘enough,’” GI asserted.

Statistically, according to GI, 75 percent of abortion patients are women who are either low income or poor. The average cost of an abortion at 10 weeks is $451 (as of 2009), they say, unaffordable for these women. The average hospital cost of a vaginal delivery is around $9,000; of a Cesarean delivery around $12,000.

What pro-abortion lobbyists like Guttmacher Institute do not mention is that Medicaid pays for nearly one-half of all births in the U.S. For low risk pregnancies, birthing centers where midwives perform the deliveries are a lower cost option for pregnant women, also paid for by Medicaid under provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Missouri Medicaid, for instance, offers a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for pregnant women, and pays up to $9,048 for vaginal deliveries and up to $12,739 for C-sections.

Women with incomes up to 196 percent of the federal poverty level ($11,880) are eligible, as are infants under one year of age. Children from 1-18 years of age are eligible with incomes up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Poverty level maximums increase by $4,140 for each of up to an additional six family members, and by $4,160 for an eighth family member.

Approximately 5,862 abortions were performed in Missouri in 2011, only 0.5 percent of all abortions, but a number greater than the populations of 652 cities in the state; in fact, greater than the entire population of Charleston, Mo, with 5,815 people, and 130 times the population of Cave, Mo. with 5 people.

Guttmacher Institute reports approximately 1,058,000 abortions in 2011; and from the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision to 2011, nearly 53 million abortions nationwide. Half the women who had abortions in 2011 had had previous abortions. Since then and as of 2015, according to the National Pro Life Alliance, 8 million more babies – 61 million total – have been aborted in the U.S.

United States population according to the 2010 census was 308,745,538, and estimated to be 311,718,857 by 2011.  CDC reports the U.S. birth rate in 2011 was the lowest since 1920, at 1.90 per woman. reported on July 9, 2012 the number of infant adoptions in 2008 was 55,000 while the number of abortions that year was 1,212,400. Although 36 more couples are waiting to adopt an infant each year for every infant available for adoption, comments from some women in unplanned, unwanted pregnancies indicate they would rather abort than carry a child to term so that it might be adopted.


Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.
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