Time to Stop the Politics of Abortion

Author: Judie Brown


I have been reading the news lately, and marveling over the many state governments that have chosen not to comply with the Clinton administration's order to pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest and threats to the life of the mother. There are those who argue that the federal directive takes precedence over the state laws in question and there are those who argue that every state has a right through its elected officials to regulate abortion as it sees fit, regardless of what any federal agency or the president of the United States has to say.

Okay, so they will battle that point out in court. We all know that. But I have to wonder why we have forgotten Christmas Eve 1993 and the preceding Congressional action on the Hyde Amendment. Or have we simply chosen to look past our mistakes as pro-life leaders?

What am I talking about? First of all, the new Hyde Amendment, as passed in 1993, expands payment for abortion for the first time in over 15 years. The new language, which Hyde offered, allows payment for the deaths of pre-born children conceived by alleged acts of rape or incest as well as those pre-born children who are deemed to threaten the life of the mother.

This new Hyde language does not speak to the criminal charges or investigations when a woman claims that she has become pregnant either because of rape or incest. Thus, the new language invited President Clinton to make his Christmas Eve 1993 announcement, which was that he would order all states to comply with the new Congressional language and pay, with our tax dollars, for abortion in alleged cases of rape, incest, or threats to the life of the mother. No criminal charges need to be filed against alleged rapists.

But wait. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee says that "the Clinton administration is relentlessly seeking to expand government funding of abortions..." and he says that the Clinton administration went back on its "promise" last December.

Pro-lifers got a promise from the Clinton administration that no sweeping directives would be issued if they worked with Hyde and others to expand Medicaid abortion payments. After all, Congress would no longer sustain only "life of the mother" language, and so, with the promise in hand, pro-life Congressmen approved more babies for death.

I am so sorry that the pro-life movement ever offered the first exception, or stood silently by when that first exception was even brought up in the mid-1970s, for now we are facing a rabidly pro-death president who actually deceived people like Johnson into believing something that came from the mouth of a member of the Clinton administration. Those individuals had made it perfectly clear months earlier that more dead babies were better than fewer.

I would feel even sorrier than I do if I could imagine any of us suffering the way one of those babies suffers just before he or she dies during the act of abortion.

I could say, "I told you so," but that would not save any lives either. We all helped bake this bitter bread and now we must simply throw it out and start over.

It is time, my dear friends, co-workers and our partners in politics, to stop calling abortion an issue, stop playing political football with the lives of the little ones, and stop accepting promises from those who have obviously aborted their own consciences.

Each and every one of us should accept responsibility for what the Clinton administration did on Christmas Eve, and then we should resolve that such a tragedy will never happen again as long as the Lord is gracious enough to retain us as His watchmen; that we might "hear the word... and tell it to others." (Ez 3:17)

To Johnson, Hyde and all those who are battling now against the evil which Satan has brought upon our nation, I say: in the peace of Christ, Son of the living Cod, let us focus on the child and remember the words of Professor Jerome LeJeune-"We have human rights laws. Now we need laws on the right to be human."

No exceptions, no compromise- total protection, please.

Brown is president of the American Life League, Stafford.

This article appeared in the July 21, 1994 issue of "The Arlington Herald," 200 N. Glebe Rd., Ste. 607, Arlington, VA 22203-3797, (703) 841-2565.