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Entitlement... plus

If you're a gun rights supporter, take heart: not only is the New York Times arguing that you should have the right to own guns, but it thinks that the government should force people to give you guns.

Okay, not quite, but that's the "logic" of Tuesday's silly editorial, Rolling Back Women's Rights. ("Women's rights," of course, is code for "abortion.") You see, the evil Republican Congress has mounted "a disgraceful sneak attack on women's health and freedom."

From such heated rhetoric, you might think that these evil GOPers had required all women to wear burkas and stay indoors without a male relative to chaperone them. But, no, we're not quite at Talibanesqe levels:

Tucked into the $388 billion budget measure just approved by the House and Senate is a sweeping provision that has nothing to do with the task Congress had at hand - providing money for the government. In essence, it tells health care companies, hospitals and insurance companies they are free to ignore Roe v. Wade and state and local laws and regulations currently on the books to make certain that women's access to reproductive health services includes access to abortion.
Oh, it "[t]ells health care companies.. they are free to ignore Roe v. Wade"? Now I see.

So it banned abortion? Well, not quite.

Well, at least it must have forbidden health care companies that receive federal funds from performing abortions, right? No, not that either.

What could it be? I don't want to keep you in suspense any longer, so I'll tell you:

It denies federal financing to government agencies that "discriminate" against health care providers who choose for any reason to disregard state mandates to offer abortion-related services.
That's a little convoluted, so I'll translate: if a state or local government agency chooses to force health care providers to perform abortions or offer "abortion related services" against their will, then that agency -- not the health care provider -- will lose federal funding.

Yep. That's it. A little underwhelming, isn't it? It doesn't mandate that anybody do anything "abortion-related." It doesn't forbid any "abortion-related service" from taking place. It doesn't penalize anybody that provides "abortion-related services." None of that. And yet the Times thinks that this allows "ignores Roe v. Wade"? So the Times must think that Roe mandates that health care providers perform abortions? Huh?

In essence, if government cannot forbid something -- the actual holding of Roe -- the Times thinks that private individuals are required to give it to you, and it is a violation of your rights if the government does not force them to do so. So, to sum up: the government has to force gun sellers to give you guns.

(Also, a printing press. I'll take the one from the Times' building, since they're misusing it, anyway.)


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Comments (5)


Withholding government funding is not the equivalent of "forcing" health care providers to mention that abortion exists (which actually is what is at issue here; a provider can opt not to do abortions itself, but to receive funding it should make referrals to people who do offer abortion). The idea is that government should not subsidize those who attempt to withhold information from women about their health care choices. Perhaps reasonable people may differ about whether women should know what their options are, but I don't think this an obviously idiotic stance for the Times.

I hadn't noticed gun sellers' getting government subsidies, though if they are I imagine the Brady folks will put a stop to it.

Denying federal funding to health care providers that do not fully inform patients strikes me as no more problematic a treatment of the private sector than denying federal funding to private schools that do not follow a mandated curriculum.

You're missing the point. The issue here is not whether it is "problematic" for the government to deny funding to health care providers that do not fully inform patients. That's a policy question, and it might indeed be good policy to deny such funding.

But the issue here is one level removed from that. The issue is that the Times thinks that it violates women's rights for the federal governmetn NOT to choose that policy.

The Times thinks that a health care provider that won't offer "abortion related services" is "ignoring" Roe. (Anyway, that's what the Times wrote; I should leave open the possibility that they're just very sloppy in their writing.)

I concede your initial point -- that withholding government funding isn't "forcing" health care providers to do anything. But that makes my point stronger and the Times' case weaker: all the federal government is doing here is withholding funding. So if that's not considered "forcing," what's the problem? If it's okay for a state agency to withhold funds from a hospital, how can it not be okay for the federal government to withhold funds from that state agency?

(When I say "it's okay," I don't mean from a policy perspective; rather, I mean from a constitutional perspective -- remember, the Times is arguing that this is a "rights" issue, not a policy one.)

The problem with the Times and other pro-abortion folks is that Roe v. Wade doesn't assert that abortion is GOOD, just that it is legal. It doesn't COMPEL women to get abortions, it only provides for the legality of the act under the specious guise of a right to privacy. The problem is that the same right to privacy offers health care providers (religiously affiliated ones, for example) the freedom and right to NOT pay for them. Abortion is not being banned here, it is only NOT being COMPELLED. I thought that lefties thought it was wrong to force your beliefs on others...


NOt really the right place but, happy happy birthday!

I'm kinda amazed how many folks seem to forget that roe v. wade is about a medical procedure. The morality of the procedure is, obviously, debateable. But...I'd agree with PG. Not fully informing women of their options, in light of Roe v. Wade, IS to ignore Roe v. Wade.

If a patient suffering from a glycogen storage disease goes to a general surgeon for a muscle biopsy...well...I doubt the general surgeon (or the pathologist) will be able to offer any treatment for the disease, but I'd certainly expect them to refer the patient to someone who can.

If I get into a cab in Chicago and ask the driver to take me to Water Tower Place via the Dan Ryan expressway, he'll probably tell me that the Dan Ryan doesn't take you to Water Tower Place. And rather than sitting in the cab, not moving, for six hours, I'd expect him to offer an alternative (acceptable, legal, and effective) route.

Abortion is a medical procedure. Perhaps there are some forgetful or uninformed medical offices who know nothing about the procedure. I'm sure those "professionals" should be excused, without penalty for ignoring health care options for their patients. For all the others...well...let's face it...their reasons for withholding the information are personal. Not medical.


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