End Rape & Incest Exceptions to Stupak Abortion Ban

You know what the Stupak–Pitts Amendment does to the healthcare reform bill, right? It prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for:

* any abortion, or
* any part of the costs of any health plan that covers abortion,
* except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother’s life.

This amendment is designed to eliminate the possibility of abortion for millions of poor women.

But if you already have health insurance, this amendment will actually take something away from you.

Because insurance plans that cover abortion—even if a consumer never has an abortion—will be disqualified from any federal plan. If you were a reasonable insurance executive, how would you respond? By deleting your plan’s abortion coverage, of course. Once this health reform bill with its evil amendment is passed, insurance companies will rush like a herd of wildebeests to rewrite their policies. Overnight, abortion coverage for tens of millions of people will vanish.

But that’s not what I’m writing about today.

I write against the abortion-ban exception for rape, incest, and maternal injury. How can this exception be justified?

If you’re against reproductive choice for so-called “moral reasons” (as if anyone getting an abortion or supporting its legality isn’t “moral”), be consistent. If killing a fetus or even a fertilized egg wandering around a woman’s body is the same as killing a person (the position of every anti-choice activist), why should it matter how the fetus or fertilized egg got there? Why is a fetus’ right to live diminished because its father was a rapist or a sadist? After all, we don’t say the children of such men have fewer rights than other children.

And if some fetuses have fewer rights than others, what about fetuses whose fathers were drunk, or delusional, or suffering from major depression? What about fetuses whose fathers are incredibly stupid?

No, opposing other people’s rights to abortion for “moral” reasons demands that you make no exceptions.

But some of those “moral” anti-choice people are compassionate: They don’t want to require women to bear children forced upon them by ugly violence. But why privilege certain kinds of suffering over others? Where’s the morality there? What about pregnancies from men who batter their partners? What about poverty-stricken prostitutes impregnated while bribed to not use a condom? What about dependent women who are forced to have unprotected sex by husbands who say God condemns contraception?

If “compassion” is what generates abortion-ban exceptions, how about an exception for anyone under the age of 18?

Yes, compassion is a slippery slope. Because if you allow abortion for any woman who would suffer terribly with an unwanted child, you must allow all abortions. No one can say which category of suffering deserves more compassion than another. Besides, how can “compassion” compromise “morality”? How can “compassion” allow the murder of an “unborn child?”

It can’t.

The truth is, exceptions to abortion bans are hypocritical political expedience. They allow those who wish to control their fellow citizens to look more reasonable. They apply to a tiny fraction of the 1,000,000 women who need an abortion each year (yes, need—ask any of them). These clever, immoral exceptions allow a handful of “murders” in exchange for the political support of people who are willing to criminalize most abortions.

Anyone who believes that abortion is murder should say so in a meaningful way: by demanding that it be banned 100%, under all circumstances, like the profoundly anti-American American Life League. If you waffle on which “murders” are acceptable, if you say morality is conditional, then you’re just another citizen lobbying your government for the right to control other people’s sexuality.

In which case, quit insulting God by claiming divine direction, and mind your own damn business.

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