Activist Says a “Right” to Abortion is Not Enough: Americans Must be Forced to Pay for Them

Opinion   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 14, 2016   |   5:35PM   |   Washington, DC

When a Texas abortion advocate addressed University of Texas Law students this week, she told them to support abortion as more than just “a right.”

Amanda Williams, executive director of the Lilith Fund, which gives money to women to help them get abortions, spoke at a “reproductive justice” seminar at the law school on Tuesday, the Daily Texan reports.

“The issue is not just about abortion … The problem is that there is racism, there is classism, there are structural systematic problems that prevent people from having the basic need to care for a family,” Williams said.

Here’s more from the report:

Reproductive justice is about people’s freedom to make reproductive decisions, such as those about abortion and family planning. It exists when all people have the social, political and economic power and resources to make healthy decisions for ourselves and our communities, Williams said at Tuesday’s training. …

Williams later pointed out that the number of abortion care clinics is decreasing in Texas, and women of color are usually the most vulnerable group affected by this issue.

“We have to listen to people of color, we have to listen to poor people, people at the margin of this issue,” Williams said. “It’s far too long we haven’t.”

She told students that it is important for women to have the freedom to choose to have an abortion. Her words implied that low-income and minority women are at an unfair disadvantage because their situations make it harder for them to exercise their “freedom to choose.”

Many abortion advocates are using this talking point to push for direct taxpayer funded abortions through Medicaid. The Hyde Amendment, a widely supported measure, has prohibited tax dollars from funding abortions for four decades, but abortion activists are trying to repeal it.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised Planned Parenthood that she would work to end Hyde and force taxpayers to fund abortions; and the Democratic Party made it part of its new platform – despite opposition from prominent party members.

An estimated 1 million people have been saved from abortion because of the Hyde Amendment. If abortion activists succeed in repealing it, about 33,000 more babies could be aborted every year, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

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The Hyde Amendment prohibits direct taxpayer funding of most abortions through Medicaid and has done so since the late 1970s. Upheld by the Supreme Court, the amendment is now a target of abortion advocates who have moved from pro-choice to pro-abortion — forcing Americans not only to accept unlimited abortions before birth but also to pay for them.

While abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood do receive some taxpayer funding, they are not supposed to use the money for abortions. If Hyde is repealed, that would change, and abortion businesses could freely and openly receive tax dollars for abortions.

Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. A new Marist poll released Monday found that 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 45 percent who identify as pro-choice and 44 percent of Democrats.

Williams was right that abortion is not an isolated issue; there are other factors involved. Often social, economic and relationship problems play a huge part in an abortion decision. What Williams failed to see is that there are much better answers to these problems than killing unborn human beings.