National Right to Life is one of the backers of the push to repeal Obamacare. Things shouldn’t shock me anymore, but this does.
When National Right to Life and other anti-choice groups talk about their values — ones that many people find very appealing — they talk about “promoting respect for the worth and dignity of every individual human being.”
The state affiliate of NRTL, the Georgia Life Alliance, even states in their mission statement, “Our vision is to help create a world where a fetus, toddler, teenager, and elderly person are not viewed as a burden or a problem, but as a valuable and treasured life.”
Those are incredibly appealing values, ones that I practice in my own life. Supporting people living their lives with dignity, for me, means supporting safe, affordable, shame-free access to abortion care. It also means I believe in expanding access to healthcare, not taking it away.
Given that these anti-choice organizations intensely focus on pregnant people, I assumed they’d be fighting laws that will potentially allow insurers to define pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and deny coverage to people who have been pregnant. But I was wrong.
These “right to life” organizations are not fighting to expand access to healthcare. In fact they’ve supported the repeal of Obamacare since the first awful version of “replacement” legislation came out in March of this year.
In a state with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the nation, health insurance is critical to making sure that people are healthy before, during and after a pregnancy to reduce the likelihood that either the pregnant person or their baby (if they carry their pregnancy to term) suffer health consequences as a result of lack of access to care.
But these anti-choice organizations are not fighting to make more people healthier. They are not fighting to make sure that more pregnancies that are carried to term result in healthy outcomes. They are not fighting to expand access to contraception, which would reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies.
They are fighting to control the healthcare decisions that pregnant people can make. And controlling someone else’s health and wellness is NOT the same thing as “promoting respect for the worth and dignity of every individual human being.” Fighting to control someone’s else’s healthcare decisions is about believing you know what is best for someone else. Their support for Trumpcare says a lot about the values that these organizations actually practice.
In this case, it’s important to these anti-choice organizations that no one can access safe, affordable abortion care. It’s so important that they are willing to sacrifice the health and wellness of pregnant people who do carry their pregnancies to term in order to make this one form of healthcare that they disagree with harder to access.
In a letter from the National Right to Life Committee about their support for Trumpcare, they highlight four things that matter to them in supporting any version of the American Health Care Act:
- Prevents federal tax credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions
- Preserves non-taxed employer-provided health plans
- Postpones the so-called “Cadillac Tax”
- Eliminates roughly 89% of federal Planned Parenthood funding for the next year.
Where are the values that are named in anti-choice organizations’ mission statements? None of the priorities they list about health care reform are about “the worth and dignity of every individual human being.” None. Zero. Zip.
Three of their four priorities are about tax policy, and only one is even about abortion access (none of the funds Planned Parenthood receives from the federal government can cover the costs of receiving an abortion). None of these priorities are about the values these organizations ostensibly have. None of their priorities are about the healthcare that “a fetus, toddler, teenager, and elderly person” will receive.
Perhaps a better mission statement would be: “Our vision is to help create a world where access to abortion is denied to pregnant people at all costs, and the only healthcare decisions that anyone can make are the ones that we approve of.”