During the debate on the healthcare bill, the anti-abortion movement made a big deal out of the “fact” that if the bill became law, federal funds would be used to pay for abortions. There were cries of “your tax dollars will be paying for abortion on demand in this country” and other laughable remarks.
I recall in the early 1990’s, after the murder of several abortion doctors, the pro-choice groups lobbied for passage of a bill called FACE (“Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act”). The bill, which ultimately became law, was designed to protect physicians and clinic staff from harassment. The antis sent out hysterical messages to their members telling them that if the bill passed then protestors would not be able to “pray quietly at the abortion mill.” They predicted mass arrests by the “federal Gestapo.” They made these charges despite the fact that the pro-choice movement put language in the bill emphasizing their right to free speech. But why let facts get in the way?
Well, the bill has been law for over a decade and not one protestor has been arrested for praying on the streets. The irony is that I believe that when FACE became law, a lot of protestors were deterred from protesting because they had been hearing for so long that they would be arrested!
Sure, in some ways you have to hype things a little to get your followers off of their duffs. But there is another reason for the hype: it raises money.
Years ago, in another life, I worked for a time for a national pro-choice organization that, at the time, was raising millions of dollars to help defeat a constitutional amendment banning abortion. We ultimately were successful and I remember the next day, in a meeting with our direct mail people, how depressed they were that the money would no longer be flowing in.
That’s what the anti-abortion movement is doing now. They know that there will be no federal funding of abortions, even while they suggest that the new “community healthcare centers” that may be established will start doing abortions with tax dollars.
What a joke. If anything, even if these centers were thinking of using federal dollars for abortions, they couldn’t get any doctors because of the abortion doctor shortage.
No matter where you stand on an issue, beware of the hype.