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Posts Tagged ‘Stupak’

Choosing to amend

In Church and State on November 12, 2009 at 10:51 am

Once again, as the details of the health care bill are amended, abortion comes into the spotlight. I want to go on record as supporting Representative Bart Stupak’s amendment that no public funds pay for abortions. This is not a stance that will be popular with my liberal camp, but I want to explain why, with the proviso that I am pro-choice.

I have a great deal of internal wrestling even addressing this topic, as I feel it is ultimately, personal and not public. I would rather never talk about it, that is how private such a choice is.  That is why I oppose funds of any sort from a public plan going towards a personal decision. I struggle that I’m sending the wrong message to make public something I believe to be so deeply personal, but I also feel what I want to say has value.

There is a group on Facebook I joined called “I Hate Cancer”. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that statement. On the same token, I don’t believe anyone likes abortions, including pro-choice folks. Choosing to have an abortion is one of the most difficult decisions a woman has to make.

It bothers me how often the argument that there are people who want their own children but cannot have them is waved like a flag to oppose abortion. The argument is akin to telling children to eat their peas because there are starving children in Africa.

Earlier this spring, a young mother and her son made headlines for refusing chemotherapy treatment. Their religious convictions made their choice easier for them. I don’t understand why they refused the treatment, but my religion doesn’t tell me to reject medicine. Theirs does. I’m not sure the law should have interfered with their religious choice.

There is a the flip side. Abortion is legal. It is a difficult option that is offered to women who don’t want to be pregnant. Some people’s religious convictions tell them it’s wrong and they want to change the law. I disagree with changing the law, but I also don’t feel the law should pay for it.

Abortion choice is a choice between a woman, her conscience, and her God. It has zero place in government, zero place in any sort of public insurance. It can be privately funded by those who believe in choice as adoptions can be privately funded by those who are strongly opposed.

In a nation that accepts religious diversity, I do not understand why personal beliefs are mingled with government policy. We are supposed to separate church and state. One of the greatest things about being human is that we have free will. Some of us believe it is a gift from God, others believe it’s part of what it is to be human. Whatever our belief structure is, we have the ability to make choices and with those choices comes personal responsibility.

I pray that our nation stop fighting on rhetoric and realize that we should not allow personal choices to publicly divide us.