Democrats for Life of America Panel
Tuesday, September 4
The current GOP presidential ticket is a good reminder for pro-life voters why they should support DEMOCRATS for Life of America. Why pro-life voters, despite our continuing opposition to abortion on demand in America, should support the Democratic Party and President Obama’s re-election - -
The most powerful abortifacient in America is poverty. [REPEAT]
The abortion rate is 300% higher below the poverty line. More than 3 out of 4 women who choose abortions cite economic reasons for their decision. Examples from other countries around the globe have demonstrated that effective social programs and health care for the poor correlate with much lower incidence of abortion.
The Dutch and Germans have abortion rates of less than 1/3 of America’s in part because they have such programs that include comprehensive health care, special pre natal, natal, and post natal programs for all, and generous programs to encourage adoption.
In the US, when states have adopted such programs, the abortion rate has fallen dramatically, as for example in Massachusetts where its mandated health care programs have reduced the rate of abortions among teens by 21%.
As the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) begins to roll out, all the evidence is that we will see similar reductions nationwide. The ACA extends Medicaid upwards to cover millions more of America’s working class. Within its provisions is the Pregnancy Assistance Fund that allocates $250 million to help at-risk women have their babies. It triples the level of America’s adoption credit and proposes to make that credit permanent. Through community health centers it directly offers the kind of pre natal, natal, and post natal programs that poor women desperately need.
That’s pro-life policy… These are the kinds of policies that make a difference in rates of infant mortality and abortion.
The contrast with the extreme proposals of Romney-Ryan is frightening. Romney and Ryan want to rescind the ACA. So, no more Pregnancy Assistance Fund. No more tripled adoption incentive. No more special pre natal, natal, and post natal care. They even want to cut the Child Tax Credit.
Far from extending Medicaid to a greater percentage of America’s working poor, Romney and Ryan’s dangerous plan is to actually to cut Medicaid. Devastate it really. According to analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities at a minimum they are proposing cutting Medicaid by 29% by 2016 and by 40% by 2022. That’s right: 40%. Other analysts have pegged the proposed Romney cuts to Medicaid at a shocking 59%.
Let me put that 40% slashing in perspective.
Medicaid now pays for more than 1/3 of all births in America. Pregnancies are expensive. The medical costs of newborns are expensive. An abortion by contrast costs hardly anything at all.
So what will gutting Medicaid by 40% mean for abortion? I’m convinced that the number of abortions in America would skyrocket if those cuts are made. The rate of abortions will likely skyrocket if Romney and Ryan are elected and have their way with Medicaid.
As an aside: nearly 2/3 of the elderly in nursing homes pay for their care with Medicaid. Pro-lifers should think hard about what Romney and Ryan’s anti-life policies will mean for end of life issues too – like elder abuse and euthanasia.
Nor does the shocking plan of Romney and Ryan end there. Food stamps would be slashed, public housing funds would be gutted, early childhood education programs would be chopped, WIC would be devastated, HHS and HUD grants to critical relief organizations like Catholic Charities would be cut. Catholic Charities gets large portions of its budget from such grants, as do many similar religious organizations. I fear that the combination of the Romney-Ryan cuts is a perfect storm for rising abortion rates and related pro-life concerns.
Pro-life voters should think long and hard about this election. Can you vote for Romney if it means that infant morality rises by four percentage points? If it means large numbers of America’s elderly can no longer receive nursing home care? If means more hunger for America’s poor? Can one vote for Romney if it means a 6 or 7 or, God forbid, 8 percent increase in the number of abortions in America? If it means ANY increase in the abortion rate? If it means thousands of new deaths among the unborn?
I’m 100% pro life and would overturn Roe if I could. I’m a faithful Catholic who believes in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death. We Democrats for Life understand the challenges facing pro-life voters in this election. But the Romney-Ryan ticket offers no pro-life guarantees and raises profound moral questions that pro-life voters can neither shirk nor ignore.