From SMC's Debate Team: should abortions be publicly funded?


Elijah Senn


Sean Ogino

 By refusing public funding for abortion, we are in essence forcing women to carry children they do not want to term unless they can pay for an abortion themselves. Considering the physical and psychological toll that birthing a child takes, it is unconscionable that anyone could find this mandate in any way acceptable. We are condemning thousands of women into what amounts to long-term torture for the state's moral comfort.

This is abhorrent and indefensible, and thus it is only reasonable and fair that funding for abor-tion should be included in any further public health care initiatives.

There are those who would argue that it would be in turn unfair for them to be forced to give their tax dollars to something they find morally reprehensible. However, one must wonder: if we allow the citizenry to pick and choose where their tax dollars go, how many would de-fund the Iraq and Afghanistan wars? How many would end the War on Drugs? Or how many would choose to eliminate the IRS completely and clear up the whole mess in the first place?

There are dozens of places in the national budget where repugnant things take place that serve no greater purpose, but funding for abortion is not one of them.

Abortion, while by no means pleasant, is a necessary tool for a foundational freedom of women: the ability to choose when, where and how to have children. There can be no life, liberty and pursuit of happiness if you must always be concerned that you might take a wrong step down your life's path and encounter an unexpected land mine. By allowing abortion, an essential med-ical procedure, to remain "priced out" of most women's reach, we are restricting the most basic of freedoms to those well-heeled enough to afford it. This is inherently undemocratic.

The purpose of an organized, democratic government is to act in the highest and best interests of its people, and there can be no higher interest than the care of the health of those people without regard to income, gender, race, age, or any other factor. America is now belatedly moving to-ward expanding access to needed healthcare, but we are unfortunately allowing one very impor-tant procedure to be left behind in the twentieth century: abortion.

It's not a pleasant thing to see, experience or have described to you, but no surgery is; we cannot allow a general sense of unease with a particular operation prevent us from providing it to wom-en who need it. We cannot allow our citizenry to be forced into what is essentially slavery because we find abortion morally troubling. We absolutely must fund abortion fully under the honest and accurate imprimatur of public health.

For all intents and purposes abortions are selective surgeries and are not a form of contraception. Except in cases of rape, incest, or that the fetus presents a danger to the mother's life, abortions can be prevented by just engaging in other safe sex practices such as wearing a condom, using spermicide, using a diaphragm, using the birth control pill, or even being abstinent or any com-bination thereof.

These forms of contraception I just listed prevent conception – obviously. But most people fail to realize this important distinction. Abortions destroy what has already been created and they can be prevented by just engaging in safe sex practices.

This is why it is important that we deny public funding against abortions. Preventing easy access to abortions reinforces ideas about responsibility, which is unfortunately a dying character trait in this country. If you decide to engage in big boy/big girl activities like sex, then you're on the hook for all of the ups and downs that come with it.

Abortion abrogates a person's responsibility and, in the process, kills an eventual life. Selective abortions are essentially cosmetic. The mother or parents don't want the social stigma of having a child out of wedlock, or at a young age, or both, so they select abortion as the only means of sav-ing face.

Instead of handling their irresponsibility responsibly, such as putting the newborn up for adop-tion, they go for the quick and easy solution that destroys a forming life. Other forms of contra-ception remove the potential for life and so remove the harm of ever conceiving. Furthermore, putting children up for adoption enables couples who can't have children the opportunity to have a family.

There are also long-term issues to consider. The U.S. is below its replacement rate. What this means is that American couples are having less than two children and this in turn means a larger tax burden on later generations of Americans.

An extreme example of Japan shows the detrimental effects an aging population will have on younger generations. According to Reuters News Agency, Japan's elderly population is expected to increase to 40 percent by 2055. This means 60 percent of Japanese must care for and fund the health care for an elderly population. Having more children alleviates this overall burden; it's just good long-term economic and social policy.

By not publicly funding abortions, which would otherwise be selective and abhorrent to a large group of tax payers, we are keeping health care as fair as possible. It also takes an unnecessary financial burden off the system. Instead of funding abortions, the government can fund safe-sex campaigns and provide more health care to the poor, which is an overall better use of public funding.