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A response in the health-care and abortion debate

Here is a response by Professor Timothy Jost to my recent post on the treatment of abortion in the Senate health-care reform bill, provided out of fairness (though not agreement).

Michael Gerson contends that Ruth Marcus and I misrepresent the abortion provisions of the health-reform bill. He even accuses me of wanting to muddle important moral debates to get reform passed. He claims that the Catholic Bishops have disposed of the challenges that I raise.

Gerson fails to mention that I responded to the Bishops. That the Catholic Health Organization and 59,000 nuns concur with us proves that this is not a partisan attempt to muddle morals.

Although the Senate bill only requires one plan per exchange to not cover abortion, in fact all exchange plans will likely offer a non-abortion option. Most people will not want abortion coverage, including Gerson and me. Handling two checks will be a hassle for the insurers and for insureds, and most won’t do it. State regulators must ensure that no federal money goes to cover abortion and that the private abortion premiums are kept separate. Private insurance coverage for abortion coverage will be less common than now. The Senate bill also provides $250 million for young women to bear and keep their babies and will save thousands of lives by extending insurance coverage.

This is a pro-life bill.

By Michael Gerson  | March 19, 2010; 12:04 PM ET
Categories:  Gerson  | Tags:  Michael Gerson  
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Next: My personal health reform nightmare


Nice of Gerson to post a response. Currently parts of it are italicized, and parts are not, so it looks like he wrote part and this other guy wrote part. But from the text, it's clearly all one thing. I suggest going for all italics for the quoted response or no italics, not this mixture. It makes it hard to tell who is saying what.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | March 19, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Gerson, are you implying that the statement Prof. Jost released is inaccurate in it's content?

Posted by: Gracefulboomer | March 19, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Don't be ridiculous, Prof. Jost! Liberals are the driving force behind taxpayer funded abortions.

For 30 years Liberals have held a reprehensible dehumanizing view of human life whether that be with the termination of human life in abortion or assisted suicide.

Seniors are wary of this godless group as are those with physical impairments as Liberals are Darwinian ideologues who simply favor survival of the fittest. They try to make abortion a "religious" issue because Christians by nature believe in the intrinsic value of human life.

Posted by: 2009frank | March 19, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

59,000 nuns are not likely to agree on the time of day, the best feminine hygiene products to use, or Prof. Jost.

Posted by: muawiyah | March 19, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Gerson's whole take boils down to "Baby-Death-Panels," borrowing off the "Biggest Lie of 2009."

He's trying to confuse the issue as is Democratic Congressman Bart Stupor.

Why they both dismiss Catholic nuns and defer to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, or NAMBLA, is a mystery to me.

Posted by: secretaryofspite | March 20, 2010 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Rev. Mikey: Is abortion murder? If you won't answer yes or no, stop writing about it.

Posted by: misterjrthed | March 20, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Liberals do not try to make abortion a religious issue. We see it as a personal decision and a fundamental right of self-determination. We do not believe that government should tell us what must be done with our bodies. A government that tells you to carry a child to term even in the circumstance of rape, incest, or real risk of your own death is a dictatorship. The idea that someone tells you what you may do because they believe that a higher power wants it that way is illogical. That assumes that everyone has the exact same belief in matters of religion and that is obviously not the case. I do agree that those who have strong beliefs against abortion should not be forced to pay for them. But you could apply this same standard to financing war, capital punishment, yadda-yadda-yadda.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | March 20, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse

What everybody here seems to be ignoring is that better health care coverage is likely to DECREASE the rate of abortion. The New England Journal of Medicine reported that abortions decreased after Massachusetts expanded their health coverage (; the Washington Post reported that other industrialized nations that have universal health coverage have far fewer abortions than the United States (

So the people insisting that the health care reform bill be scuttled because they (wrongly, by almost all counts) claim that it will expand abortion coverage are actually working to ensure that the abortion rate remains high in this country -- as well as ensuring that 45,000 people will continue to die each year in this country because they lack health care. That's pro-life???

Posted by: wheres_the_press | March 20, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

"We do not believe that government should tell us what must be done with our bodies."

Although repeatedly heard, this is not a good argument since it assumes that only one "body" is in question. When an abortion is performed it is not done to "your" body, but to the body of an incipient human life. Your body comes out just fine, even somewhat slimmer.

Posted by: Roytex | March 20, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Charles Krauthammers birth name was Shecky Schlomo Krautheimer, he had it changed so it did not sound Jewish. Mike Gerson, and Bill Kristol, Bernie and Jonah Goldberg, Joe Lieberman, Ben Stein, David Frum, Paul Wolfowitz,David Broder, Bob Kagan and with a few Gentiles like Dick and Liz Cheney, John Bolton ,John Yoo thrown in, are all members of the Far Right Neo-Con group known as the American Enterprise Institute, Weekly Standard and Heritage Foundation. Bill Kristol aka -- Bloody Bill you will notice always promotes a War against Iran. The reason is that AIPAC and JDL, want Israel to expand. These people do not care about the United States per se, they all have dual citizenship with Israel and their main objective is a plan for the total destruction of Iran , just like they pushed for War against Iraq--- How did that go for you Krauthammer you stinking fu--ing bas--ads? Krautheimer, If you and you, Murdering Neo-Con War Zionists don't love America then move to your homeland Israel.

Posted by: orionexpress | March 20, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Did you here the one about the guy’s wife that killed all of his children because she wanted to make more room for the home invaders?

Oh what.

It wasn't his wife. It was his country.

Back in the 60’s the Federal Government came into the public schools and brainwashed us as little children with the message that the children we were about to have were unwanted because the population was rising so fast. They launched a program called, “Zero Population Growth”. They pushed Family Planning and birth control pills. Now they call the same programs, "Safe Sex" but the results are the same. I think you and I both know that you only have to trick people for their few child bearing years and there is no going back.

Many of us never had a say in the future of our unborn.

I am the result of two living cells. One from each of my parents. They are the result of two living cells, one from each of their parents. I wasn't just born. I am a continuation of life. I am a living thing that reaches back into time perhaps 400 million years and the result of billions of joining of pairs of cells. It is possible that if you were to follow my cells back to my parent’s cells and beyond that my family tree touches every living thing here on earth. That is if we limit ourselves to believing life was created here on earth. If it rained down from the immensity of the universe it could reach back into that immensity of time and space, and who knows what relationships and who knows what species.

My family line succeeded, at least until I came up against the Federal Government.

I have seen the Federal Government do little else to control the population.

The open borders, United States laws only apply to some, is a serious slap in the face. No. Not a slap in the face. It reaches well beyond that. Maybe back to the beginning of time and stretch to the bounds of the universe.

Posted by: Stokeybob | March 21, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

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