- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 5, 2010


President Obama has turned America into one of the most barbaric nations on earth: The country is committed to using tax dollars to kill unborn babies, both at home and abroad. Alarm bells were rung recently by pro-life groups that warned that states such as Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Mexico would be funding abortion as they established high-risk health care pools, despite Mr. Obama’s issuance of an executive order prohibiting abortion coverage. It appears his paltry gesture will do little to stop the unfolding Obamacare bureaucratic tangle that will funnel funds for elective abortions.

We have thus reversed centuries of Christian teaching and a delicate, tenuous modus vivendi achieved since 1976 to protect conscientious objectors from the use of federal funds for abortions. Since Mr. Obama has come to power, he has relentlessly expanded the power of government to provide financial assistance to pregnant women who want to abort their fetuses, rendering every American citizen complicit in these heinous acts.

During the Obamacare debate, pro-life Democrats - led by Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak - caved to the demands of their party, allowing the passage of health care reform. Following the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, which rendered abortion legal, pro-lifers worked to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions. In 1976, Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, an important amendment to appropriations bills to ensure that taxpayer dollars would not be used to fund abortions. Thus, America could to some extent remain divided between those who would not participate - in any way, shape or form - with the practice of abortion and those who chose to do so. This is no longer the case. Under Obamacare, billions of dollars will be given to community health centers, high-risk pools and health care co-ops that will not have abortion restrictions. In addition, lower-income Americans will be given tax credits for plans that may include abortion.

This is in line with Mr. Obama’s policies abroad. Among his startling first acts as president in January 2009 was to rescind the 1983 Mexico City Policy, which had prevented foreign nongovernmental agencies that receive federal funds from performing abortions. In addition, Mr. Obama’s Global Health Initiative commits $63 billion over six years to international programs that include abortion. Most recently, the Obama administration has spent more than $23 million promoting abortion in Kenya, where it is outlawed. Mr. Obama thus even has violated American law to promote abortion in Kenya. Abroad, America is the face of death for the unborn.

The Obama administration is actively encouraging abortions by providing greater funds and greater access - contrary to Mr. Obama’s campaign pledges to find common-sense solutions to limit abortions. This is not surprising because the centerpiece of the sexual rebellion-and the progressive “utopia” - is consequence-free sex. This, in the administration’s view, will fully liberate the individual by permitting maximum pleasure and minimum inconvenience. In this manner, liberals seek to remake nature itself: The procreative act can be used at will, devoid of its fundamental meaning. The weak and unborn can be dispensed with if they interfere with individual pleasure or wealth. In essence, for progressives, tiny human life is expendable.

We are therefore sliding backward toward the practices of the ancients. All around the world and in various civilizations - from Europe to Africa to Asia - infanticide was permitted and even was the rule rather than the exception, according to anthropologists. Children lawfully could be killed via suffocation, exposure to the elements, malnutrition, neglect or rituals. Children were killed as part of population control where land was scarce, religious rites to appease the gods or as a means of sex-selection in civilizations where men were valued more highly than women. In ancient Greece and Rome, newborns who appeared to be weak or deformed were abandoned routinely - a decision made by either the head of the household or the elders. Thus, in those civilizations, the collective determined who would live and who would die.

Though some ancient civilizations, such as the Egypt, for example, outlawed infanticide, it was mostly through the Judeo-Christian transformation that a higher standard was established toward babies and children in general. Jesus, for example, shocked the powers of his day and even his apostles by addressing children directly. “Let the children come to me,” he said in an era when they were largely ignored by adults. Jesus’ actions underscored the high value Christians place on human life, no matter how small, no matter how apparently socially insignificant.

The early Christians spoke out against abortion and infanticide, contributing to laws by the Emperor Constantine I and Valentinian I against infanticide of any kind. In A.D. 588, the Council of Constantinople declared infanticide to be homicide. Though newborns were still left to die during the Middle Ages, Europeans gradually opted to give their unwanted children to others rather than kill the babies. In other words, it took centuries to progress from the lawful killing of children to a recognition that this is an abomination to be avoided at all cost.

The Obama administration’s willingness to transgress the delicate social balance we have created is putting us on a perilous path toward the devaluation of human life. By permitting government funds to be used for abortion - either overtly or through the back door - Mr. Obama is establishing dangerous precedents: The state is becoming a killing machine, fueled by the labor and taxes of its citizens. Today, the state will pay for the killing of unborn babies; tomorrow it may pay for the killing of the inconvenient weak or deformed infant. In other words, we clearly are moving toward a state that permits infanticide.

America needs strong and immediate statutory protection against the use of federal funds for abortions to prevent the slippery slide toward ever-greater barbarism. We now all have the blood of unborn babies on our hands.

Grace Vuoto is the executive director of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal, a Washington think tank.

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