Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Abortion and Health Care Reform: What Would Solomon Do?

From my Huffington Post article yesterday:

In the Hebrew Scriptures, God grants King Solomon "a wise and discerning mind," so that he would have "discernment in dispensing justice." (1 Kings 3:16-28)

What follows from there is a complex story of two women, mothers of two similarly aged boy children, one of whom has died in the middle of the night. One of the women says her son is alive, and that the other has tricked her by placing the dead child in her arms. The other woman says, "No, the live one is my son, and the dead one is yours." They argue incessantly before the king.

Solomon steps forward and asks for a sword. To find the true mother, he exclaims, "Cut the live child in two, and give half to one and half to the other." The real mother, "overcome with compassion for her son," reveals herself by saying, "Give her the child; only don't kill it." The other, revealing her deception, says, "Cut it in two."

I fear that those of us who support health care reform and reproductive justice for women are being put in the position of the real mother. We know that millions of Americans will benefit from health care reform, but we are being asked by some to sacrifice our own rights in order for a reform bill to pass. Surely that is the position many House Democrats found themselves in last week......

To read the rest, go to www.huffingtonpost.com/rev_debra_haffner/


Bill Baar said...

There are ways to reform health care without bringing in the Government between Provider and Patient with all of these Expert Panels and Health Choices Czars.

If you support keeping the Government out of peoples lives, including keeping the Government out of a Women's choice over her body, then you need to support reforms that don't involve these massive Statist solutions.

Get a little Libertarian.

Otherwise you got what you asked for, and the next questions will be over financing Gender Reassignment; and then all of the future innovations technology holds for us that include complicated bio ethical questions.

Government Expert Panels will judge these things Politically; not Ethically or with Medical criteria.

That's the nature of democratic Government.

Joy said...

This was beautifully stated. And my response to Mr. Baar is gender re-assignment should aught to be covered. I am so thankful that I am happy with the body I was born into. I think everyone should be able to have that blessing. Along with the right to choose whether or not to carry a baby on any given day. I'm in a government program right now. It's not so terrible.

TC.aw said...

Well put Baar,
Both you and Haffner outline a valid concern for the compromise of women's rights. Your comment calls attention to the weight of this health care reform. Those who support it for it's good are indeed ignoring the harm. After reading material associated with the Stupak Amendment I was horrified to find that under this amendment millions of women would lose coverage, and that it's very intention went against President Obama's principle vision.
Here is where I disagree with Haffner, we do not become the real mother. We are indeed cutting the American people's best interest in two. Some will benefit but only because others will not. While i understand abortion to be a highly charged issue politically, it is a a reality and we must face the consequences of tampering with the very democratic principles we built our nation upon.

Amye.W said...

I applaud the statements made by Baar. I too find there too be too much political interest which seems to impair the vision of this reform. In reality there will be great changes that will NOT affect many Americans in a positive manner. Haffner writes a wonderful anecdote which causes us to be widely aware of the dangers of this bill, especially with the Stupak Amendment. However, I disagree that those who wish to do well but remain pro choice play the role of the ‘real mother’. Those who do not advocate against the reform support, as Baar puts it, “statist solutions”. The interesting point made about how we would then finance medical issues based on ethical reasoning is a valid one. We must consider the reality of how this health care initiative will play out in terms of modern medical and ethical situations. While abortion and other delicate medical subjects are controlled by a political force, we begin to see the decline of the age old debate and the reign of an un-democratic government, which does not celebrate freedom, but rather controls the choices we assume are strictly personal.