The ProJo today reported that Barth E. Bracy, executive director of the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee has retained Joseph S. Larisa Jr. to represent the group in “anticipation of challenging the creation of the so-called ‘health-benefits exchange.’” Since the recent session of the Rhode Island General assembly failed to pass any legislation that would have enabled individuals and small businesses to shop for health insurance (a key part of Obama’s health care reform package) many hope that Gov. Lincoln Chafee will Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniel’s lead and sign a health care exchange into existance via executive order.
Bracy’s statement is revealing:
It is tragic that a small group of determined pro-abortion officials is attempting an end-run around the General Assembly and around the Rhode Island Constitution in order to force Rhode Islanders to subsidize other people’s abortions under the guise of health-care reform.
This is a health care issue, but Bracy sees the issue as some sort of conspiracy. Bracy’s inane characterization of the process as a “small group of determined pro-abortion officials” operating “under the guise of health care reform” smacks of paranoia and delusion. The National Right to Life Committe promotes this paranoia on a national level, preventing any sort of rational debate on abortion. The movie they produced in 1984, The Silent Scream, has been criticized as being “riddled with scientific, medical, and legal inaccuracies as well as misleading statements and exaggerations,” which are really just nice words for “lies.”
The truth is that there is no compelling, secular reason to oppose a woman’s right to abortion. Groups such as RI Right to Life are rightwing religious fronts trying to force their views on the general public through misinformation and legal maneuvering. For instance, the entire thrust of their legal challenge revolves around “whether the governor has the authority to create the exchange… without the legislature’s approval” not around the fundamental question of a woman’s right to choose. They are willing to hold hostage any attempt to rework our healthcare system over the issue of abortion.
There is something out there known as the Establishment Clause, sometimes refered to as “separation of church and state.” This was put into the Constitution because religious beliefs and secualr government do not wok well together. The only case that can be made against safe, legal abortion is religious. Religion does not belong in government.
Abortion is a fundamental human right, and it needs to be protected.