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Congressman Randy Hultgren

Representing the 14th District of ILLINOIS

Americans should not have to pay for abortions through Obamacare

Jan 21, 2014
In The News

Red Alert Politics

Since the Supreme Court’s sweeping Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 overturned hundreds of laws in states across the country, more than 55 million unborn children have lost their lives to abortion — about one-third of the millennial generation.

But after that January decision, the pro-life movement was born.

As Americans United for Life puts it, the pro-life movement desires a nation in which “everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law.”

This week, hundreds of thousands of Americans will make the pilgrimage to the March for Life in Washington, D.C., to mark and protest the havoc of Roe v. Wade.

Since pro-life warrior Nellie Gray started the March, this annual event has rallied Americans and exposed the brutality of the procedure.

It’s disturbing that, for more than four decades, our nation has been complicit in this gross violation of human rights. With the advent of the ultrasound and improved prenatal care, science has shown in vivid detail the life inside of a mother. As a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, I’m excited as each new innovation confirms what everyone knows in their hearts about the unborn.

But abortion doesn’t claim only the unborn as its victim.

We cannot overlook the untold toll the horror of abortion has taken on women exploited by the big abortion industry — an industry propped up by taxpayer dollars. In graphic detail, we have heard how Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia exploited women and carried out gruesome abortions in disgusting conditions — killing one woman and forever wounding countless others.

But as Susan B. Anthony List has shown, Kermit Gosnell is not an outlier.

From Maryland and Delaware to Texas and Arizona, the violations against women are countless.

In Illinois in 2012, Tonya Reaves, a healthy 24-year-old, died of a hemorrhage following a botched abortion at a Planned Parenthood clinic. Reports indicate that the clinic ignored instructions by an emergency dispatcher to call 9-1-1. Planned Parenthood’s fear of bad press outweighed their concern for the woman it had harmed.

That same year, Planned Parenthood, which has more than $1 billion in assets, performed more than 327,000 abortion — one of every four carried out nationwide. And for every one adoption referral, Planned Parenthood performed 149 abortions.

For an organization that claims to provide healthcare and choice to women, it’s disturbing that most pregnant women who walk into a Planned Parenthood clinic walk out with an abortion. It seems referring a young mother to an adoption agency does not bring in a dime, while abortions account for nearly 40 percent of Planned Parenthood’s profits. At several hundred dollars apiece, abortion is the lucrative backbone of the industry.

Yet, each year the United States forks over more than half a billion dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider. No taxpayer should be forced to pay for abortions, or aid any organization that performs them.

The late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) agreed. His amendment barred the use of federal funds for abortions. Congress has reaffirmed this amendment repeatedly, but we must ensure this principle extends over all areas of the federal government.

That’s why we need to pass bills like H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill I have co-sponsored which would make the Hyde Amendment permanent and government-wide and would stop funding insurance coverage of abortion in the Affordable Care Act.

No one should be coerced into paying for a procedure that ends the lives of millions of children each year.

Those who disagree often say that there is no other way — that providing cheap, government-funded abortions is the only option to address unwanted, unloved and un-cared for children.

But there are alternatives to abortion, like adoption — the theme of this year’s March.

There are many organizations, like Care Net, Heartbeat International and Catholic Charities, willing to serve these women and help them give their baby a home — even if they can’t provide one themselves. For millions of women who have felt trapped and ashamed, compassionate counseling and meeting the material needs of these women have helped them reconsider, saving countless lives.

When we tell one another that abortion is okay, we reinforce the idea that human lives are disposable, that we can throw away anything or anyone that inconveniences us.

Neither women nor their unborn children are disposable.

Both lives are sacred.

Both deserve better than abortion.

Rep. Randy Hultgren is a Republican who represents Illinois' 14th congressional district.