Taxpayer-Funding of Abortions Now the New Roe v. Wade of the Abortion Debate

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 25, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Taxpayer-Funding of Abortions Now the New Roe v. Wade of the Abortion Debate

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 25
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Taxpayer funding of abortions is quickly become the new Roe v. Wade or touchstone of the abortion debate. The debate over requiring public funds to pay for abortions is so fundamental that it is part of a shift that could see it as the major battleground between pro-life and pro-abortion advocates.

In pro-abortion legal circles, abortion advocates have shifted their arguments for abortion from the privacy considerations that played out in Roe. v. Wade and its contraception-based predecessors.

Now, abortion advocates see the so-called right to abortion not as a matter of privacy but as a fundamental women’s right, and human right.

Their logic follows that, if abortion is a human right, then it should be a right that all women enjoy regardless of their economic situation. As such, forcing taxpayers to fund the abortions of poor women through government funding is merely a means of making that right available to all women, including those at the bottom of the economic ladder.

That debate is playing out in the health care discussion as pro-abortion forces do everything in their power to make sure abortion funding and coverage are included. And it is a controversy that could extend beyond the health care legislation in Congress and to the Supreme Court.

Ken Blackwell, the pro-life former Ohio Secretary of State and Ken Klukowski of the American Civil Rights Union write about this concept in a new essay published in the American Spectator.

"The liberal officials and activists comprising the Far Left make perfectly clear that their highest social priority is abortion. More than same-sex marriage or gun control, abortion is their defining social issue," they write.

"The reason they’re so militant on this issue is because the Far Left believes that taxpayer-funded abortions are a constitutional right," they say. "Everyone’s heard of Roe v. Wade. Fewer have heard of Harris v. McRae, where the Court held in 1980 that the right to an abortion does not include the right to force taxpayers to fund that abortion."

"Most people don’t appreciate how close the Supreme Court is to simply declaring a right to taxpayer-funded abortions. Harris v. McRae was a 5-4 decision; four liberal justices wrote that everyone has such a right," they explain.

"The current Supreme Court is likely only a single vote from overturning this decision, and declaring taxpayer funding to be commanded by the Constitution. Barack Obama may yet have the chance to change that balance on the Court," they added.

"So both legislatively and judicially, taxpayer-funded abortions teeters on a knife’s edge," they conclude. "Americans should rally to doctors’ sides to stop this outrageous aspect of Obamacare from becoming law."

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