Earlier this week, online magazine The Nation published a story blissfully anticipating (on the basis of some highly questionable premises) a time when the District of Columbia would be allowed to fund abortions for low-income women.
The current ban on using federal funding for abortions in the District of Columbia saves actual human lives. Opponents of this want to blithely disregard that inconvenient fact with tired pro-abortion euphemisms.
According to the Associated Press, in the two years during which Congress allowed the District of Columbia, as a federal enclave, to spend money on elective abortions, the city spent $185,000 for 300 abortions. That’s 300 children who would otherwise be alive today.
But abortion proponents are still excited that this deadly prospect will become a reality once again in D.C. despite the many children whose lives are saved by the current ban. To make matters worse, they will argue for its necessity based on level of income.
The delegate to the United States House of Representatives representing the District of Columbia, Eleanor Holmes Norton, said of the period during which the District was could pay for abortions for low-income women: “We had a period in which we saw low-income women who had the same reproductive rights as other women in the district.”
Kimberly Inez-McGuire of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health said that if funds are made available for abortions “more women…would actually have real, meaningful choices, choices that are supported by health insurance coverage, rather than the situation now, which is incredibly coercive.”
The insistence that a cure for poverty includes more money for more abortions utterly devalues the lives of the poor.
These arguments are also racially tinged. I am reminded of an exchange on the Senate floor in 2009 between Illinois Senator Dick Durbin and Kansas Senator Sam Brownback:
Durbin: In terms of safe, legal and rare, to the Senator from Kansas, I will tell you two things. First, it is a fact that a disproportionately large number of African Americans seek abortion in America, not just in the District of Columbia, but all across the nation.
Brownback: 41 percent?
Durbin: No, but it’s also a fact that a disproportionately large number of African Americans live in the District of Columbia.
Brownback: 41 percent?
Durbin: I’m telling you, look at the numbers.
Brownback: I’m telling — I’m just asking you, aren’t there enough [abortions] here?
Durbin: Look at the numbers, and you will find this to be true.
Brownback: This — this is not high enough?
Remember also that abortion advocates are decrying the inability of the poor to kill their unborn children at a low price in a city where the current policy allows for legal abortion for any reason until the moment of birth.
I am glad that there are crisis pregnancy centers in D.C. that offer low-income women real options and the opportunity to keep their babies. I doubt Delegate Norton would praise their work as much as she does when money is available for the same women to abort.
The people who operate these centers bravely confront the realities of unintended pregnancy on a daily basis, and for that they are to be commended. Our local chapter in the District of Columbia, Beltway Right to Life, has been honored to provide support for their efforts whenever we can.