Yet another sticky issue on the road to health care reform. According to the Washington Post, some Democrats are concerned about provisions in the bill that could lead to publicly-funded abortions.
The outcome of those talks could be crucial in deciding the fate of the health-care bill. Democrats need the vast majority of their caucus to back the bill, since nearly all congressional Republicans have said they will oppose the legislation.
"I will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed," Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Monday in a statement. He said last week that 40 Democrats could vote with him to oppose the legislation — enough to derail the bill.
This one is tricky, because it places being pro-choice and abortion into an already nuanced discussion. The Buzz has always felt that being pro-choice meant believing in a woman's right to make choices about her body without government interference. The ability to have an abortion without interference from the State is a part of being pro-choice.
But government-funded health insurance seems to complicate that.
How can they provide funds for a procedure that they've been told they should have nothing to do with? Right now, federal law generally bars funds for abortion except in the cases of incest, rape or to ensure the life of the mother. That appears to fall under the rubric of 'staying out of it except in extreme cases, which doesn't seem wholly unreasonable.
However, there's another angle to consider: if the government chooses to be hands-off regarding reproduction, why have a welfare system—a system which is pretty hands-on? On some level doesn't that say, "We're technically hands-off, but we'll do you a solid if you choose to do things a certain way?"
So The Buzz's question is this: While the issue of abortion hinges a great deal on moral perspectives, why should or shouldn't the government just stay out of it?*
*Yes; The Buzz is aware the government should stay out of a lot of things but doesn't.