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Be aware of issue of abortion

Sunday, August 16, 2009

To the Editor:

Cory Richards (letter, Aug. 8) seems a little dismissive of his own Institute's research in discussing the impact of abortion coverage in a public health care plan, particularly when reducing abortion in America is a goal so many of us share.

If the proposed health care bill risks even a hint of an abortion increase, it should give us all pause.

Richards responds to a letter by Sharon Carey of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers of the Wabash Valley, who expressed legitimate concern about the impact of a public health plan that does not explicitly exclude abortion.

Carey's letter referred to research cited in an article published in Guttmacher Institute's Policy Review (Winter 2007, Vol. 10, No. 1).

The article cited studies which showed the potential increase in abortions among Medicaid recipients if public funding is available:

"Studies published over the course of two decades looking at a number of states concluded that 18-35 percent of women who would have had an abortion continued their pregnancies after Medicaid funding was cut off."

In addition, the same article states: "One of the nation's preeminent abortion researchers found that in North Carolina, when public funding for abortion was exhausted, the researchers concluded that about one-third of women who would have had an abortion if support were available carried their pregnancies to term when the abortion fund was unavailable."

So, indeed, there will likely be a significant increase in abortion among low-income women and a considerable increase in the nation overall, as cited by Richards, if public funding for abortion is expanded.

Abortion, with its silent, negative ripple effect on millions of women, men and families for generations, is not and will never be "health care," in any sense of the word.

If, as a nation, we truly want to see abortion reduced, abortion must be explicitly excluded in the health care plan.

In addition, we must recommit ourselves to supporting organizations like Carey's pregnancy center, which offers practical help, compassionate support, information and resources to empower women to carry their pregnancy to term.

Kristin Hansen,

Vice President of Communications,

Care Net