What will it take to get abortion providers out of the budget?

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What will it take to get abortion providers out of the budget?

Four years ago today, a jury was delib­er­at­ing the fate of Ker­mit Gos­nell. That trial ended with Gos­nell serv­ing life in prison for mur­der and manslaughter.

Today, a GOP-​majority Con­gress, with a GOP pres­i­dent look­ing on, can’t agree on when or how to pre­vent tax­payer funds from going to abor­tion providers.

What does the spine-​snipping abor­tion­ist have to do with abor­tion fund­ing? Only this: a mem­ber of Con­gress who remem­bers Gosnell’s crimes with dis­gust is unlikely to sup­port send­ing tax dol­lars to an abor­tion indus­try that fights reg­u­la­tion. Con­versely, a mem­ber of Con­gress who sup­ports tax fund­ing of abor­tion providers, or who is indif­fer­ent to that fund­ing, is some­one who has for­got­ten or ignored the crimes of Ker­mit Gos­nell and his many enablers.

While the Gos­nell trial was going on in Penn­syl­va­nia, abortion-​related leg­is­la­tion was being con­sid­ered in my own state. I remem­ber a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of NARAL dis­miss­ing Gos­nell as an “out­lier.” There was no need to tighten up abor­tion reg­u­la­tion, said the lob­by­ist, since there were no Gos­nells in our fair state (she said). Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of local abor­tion providers echoed the “out­lier” line.

To this day, my state has no limit on when abor­tions may be per­formed or who may per­form them. There’s no law requir­ing treat­ment of infants who sur­vive attempted abor­tion. There’s no require­ment for abor­tion facil­i­ties to meet the same stan­dards as ambu­la­tory sur­gi­cal facil­i­ties. There’s no col­lec­tion of abor­tion sta­tis­tics, includ­ing sta­tis­tics on mater­nal mor­bid­ity and mor­tal­ity, and there­fore no way to spot an abor­tion provider who injures women the way Gos­nell did.

Every attempt to pass laws to pre­vent future Gos­nells has been resisted by lob­by­ists for the abor­tion indus­try. And still, there are elected offi­cials belong­ing to a nom­i­nally pro-​life party who can’t quite fig­ure out how to keep that indus­try from pick­ing my pocket. I don’t let state offi­cials off the hook, either; they’re the ones who award state con­tracts to abor­tion providers.

I hear the ner­vous whis­pers from office­hold­ers who buy the 3% lie: but these agen­cies do so much good…

Spare me. An agency that lob­bies against laws to pro­tect women’s health and safe­guard chil­dren who sur­vive attempted abor­tion is not “doing good.”

I under­stand the nature of bud­gets and the need for con­sen­sus and pru­dence. This anniver­sary, though, this reminder of Gos­nell, ren­ders me impa­tient to see an end to pub­lic fund­ing of abor­tion providers.

(While I’m men­tion­ing Gos­nell, allow me to rec­om­mend the recent book Gos­nell: the Untold Story of America’s Most Pro­lific Ser­ial Killer by Ann McEl­hin­ney & Phe­lim McAleer. It’s not just about Ker­mit Gos­nell. The authors make sure that the peo­ple who helped bring him to jus­tice get their due.)

Ellen Kolb writes at EllenKolb​.com and blogs about life issues in New Hamp­shire at Leaven for the Loaf.
Sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism by hit­ting Da Tip Jar for Da Tech Guy Blog.

Four years ago today, a jury was deliberating the fate of Kermit Gosnell. That trial ended with Gosnell serving life in prison for murder and manslaughter.

Today, a GOP-majority Congress, with a GOP president looking on, can’t agree on when or how to prevent taxpayer funds from going to abortion providers.

What does the spine-snipping abortionist have to do with abortion funding? Only this: a member of Congress who remembers Gosnell’s crimes with disgust is unlikely to support sending tax dollars to an abortion industry that fights regulation.  Conversely, a member of Congress who supports tax funding of abortion providers, or who is indifferent to that funding, is someone who has forgotten or ignored the crimes of Kermit Gosnell and his many enablers.

While the Gosnell trial was going on in Pennsylvania, abortion-related legislation was being considered in my own state. I remember a representative of NARAL dismissing Gosnell as an “outlier.” There was no need to tighten up  abortion regulation, said the lobbyist, since there were no Gosnells in our fair state (she said). Representatives of local abortion providers echoed the “outlier” line.

To this day, my state has no limit on when abortions may be performed or who may perform them. There’s no law requiring treatment of infants who survive attempted abortion. There’s no requirement for abortion facilities to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical facilities. There’s no collection of abortion statistics, including statistics on maternal morbidity and mortality, and therefore no way to spot an abortion provider who injures women the way Gosnell did.

Every attempt to pass laws to prevent future Gosnells has been resisted by lobbyists for the abortion industry. And still, there are elected officials belonging to a nominally pro-life party who can’t quite figure out how to keep that industry from picking my pocket. I don’t let state officials off the hook, either; they’re the ones who award state contracts to abortion providers.

I hear the nervous whispers from officeholders who buy the 3% lie: but these agencies do so much good…

Spare me. An agency that lobbies against laws to protect women’s health and safeguard children who survive attempted abortion is not “doing good.”

I understand the nature of budgets and the need for consensus and prudence. This anniversary, though, this reminder of Gosnell, renders me impatient to see an end to public funding of abortion providers.

(While I’m mentioning Gosnell, allow me to recommend the recent book Gosnell: the Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney & Phelim McAleer. It’s not just about Kermit Gosnell. The authors make sure that the people who helped bring him to justice get their due.)

Ellen Kolb writes at EllenKolb.com and blogs about life issues in New Hampshire at Leaven for the Loaf.
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