An interesting debate seems to be going on between the Pro-Life advocates and the Pro-Fetus advocates … and although they may share some common ground, there appears to be general concern that the “cradle-to-grave welfare state” that Paul Ryan (R-WI-02) says Democratic President Obama is promoting, is not what the Republicans want.
The Obama Administration released its budget proposal last week while the House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan fiscal 2013 budget plan will be unveiled in March. The Ryan budget plan will offer voters an alternative vision to the “cradle-to-grave welfare state” philosophy. The House Republican budget resolution will contain reforms to Medicare, the health care program for Americans 62 and over, such as providing subsidies to help recipients pay for private insurance, based on their wealth and medical needs. “We haven’t written it yet, but we’re not backing off on the kinds of reforms we’ve advocated.”
While budgets are being debated, there is another debate … where does Pro-Life end ?
The term pro-life originated historically in the struggle to end abortion on demand and expanded to the issues of euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research.
In some ways this definition seems to be driving the focus into the fetus.
For example, consider the efforts underway principally in Virginia and Texas to require women seeking first-trimester abortions to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, regardless of the wishes of the woman or recommendations of her physician or the medically evaluated health of the fetus.
The motivation may be a reaction to what potential President Rick Santorum and his assessment that President Obama’s healthcare reform program which provides free prenatal testing is designed to detect if children were disabled … thus, encouraging more abortions and saving money as the child moves from “cradle to grave”.
According to potential President Rick Santorum, “One of the things that you don’t know about ObamaCare in one of the mandates is they require free prenatal testing. Why? Because free prenatal testing ends up in more abortions and, therefore, less care that has to be done, because we cull the ranks of the disabled in our society. That too is part of ObamaCare — another hidden message as to what president Obama thinks of those who are less able than the elites who want to govern our country.”
OK, so there is clear desire to protect the fetus, but that “cradle to grave” thing must be questioned ? What about the health of the child after it is born … and there the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) has launched an education campaign claiming that “being pro-life means protecting the unborn from mercury pollution.”
That claim is being disputed by a number of influential voices that normally promote Pro-Life issues …. such as,
Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values
Rev. Richard Land, Ph.D., President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President for Government Affairs, Susan B Anthony List Penny
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
and many others.
Thier assessment is that mercury exposure due to power-plant emissions does not kill infants.
Knowing if someone is Pro-Life may be too broad of a term … politicians will need to tell us if they are simply Pro-Fetus and that the government’s duty ends at the cradle … when the Ryan Budget comes out, voters will see the Republican “alternative vision” … and one telling way to know is to see how Republicans voted previously on SCHIP. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) covers health care for poor children — usually involving a sliding-fee scale so that as your income goes up you pay a premium that’s income-based and everybody pays co-pays and deductibles like people do on private health insurance.
For example, when Congress debated this issue the last time a Republican was President, Republicans Michele Bachmann and John Kline casting the only dissenting votes against funding while Republican Representative Jim Ramstad, voted for funding, as did Democrats Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum, Jim Oberstar, Collin Peterson, and Tim Walz.
At that time, Catholics United Executive Director Chris Korzen said you can’t be opposed to abortion and not support taking care of children once they’re born.
As Republicans promise to repeal Obamacare, who will be the limited Pro-Fetus and who will be Pro-Life ?