Mikulski Amendment to Health Care Bill Will Lead to Elimination of Special-Needs Children

January 5, 2010 - 4:54 PM
In the coming weeks we will watch as the House and Senate health care bills are somehow reconciled into one piece of legislation—and abortion will be right in the middle of that debate.

Kristan Hawkins, executive director of Students for Life of America.

In the coming weeks we will watch as the House and Senate health care bills are somehow reconciled into one piece of legislation—and abortion will be right in the middle of that debate.  
 
The Senate passed their version of the health care bill with an amendment by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) that requires health insurance issuers to provide coverage for “preventative care” for women and bars the issuers from imposing cost-sharing requirement on such care. 
 
If the final bill includes the Mikulski amendment, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be able to define abortion as “preventative care” in either all or some cases.  
           
Though it may seem far-fetched that abortion could be considered preventative care, it isn’t the case. This year the National Abortion Federation stated in “Providing Abortion Care” that, “APCS [Advanced Practice Clinicians] are especially well positioned in the health care system to address women’s need for comprehensive primary preventative health care that includes abortion care.”
 
In addition, when the Senator offered her amendment, it was backed by the major players in the abortion industry: NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, etc.
            
How could abortion be used as preventative care in the first place?
 
As a mother of a son with cystic fibrosis, a genetic life-threatening disease, and pregnant with another son, who has a 25 percent chance of having the disease, I know the first “preventative” abortions will be performed on children diagnosed prenatally with incurable, expensive-to-treat genetic diseases.
 
Already, over 90 percent of babies prenatally diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted. That’s certainly a “preventative” service.
           
Already, my husband and I have experienced the “genetic talk” from a counselor advising us of our options to eliminate the risk of our next child being born with cystic fibrosis. And I have heard horror stories from families of not only finding out that their child had an incurable, life-threatening disease but also being told that abortion was the only viable option for them.
 
For those mothers that chose life, many were scolded by medical professionals, labeled as being selfish and not considering their child’s burden on society.
           
A quick Internet search will reveal dozens of medical journal articles both in the United States and abroad comparing the cost-benefit analysis of prenatal genetic testing and how it can be used to decrease society’s medical costs.
 
Sadly, there are many in the medical profession today who see the cure of many devastating diseases as simply the elimination of those pre-born with the diseases.
           
President Obama’s top health policy adviser, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, has said "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care.
 
He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96) and that doctors will have to change how they think about services given the costs of treatments and how it will affect others (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).
           
Senator Mikulski’s amendment is going to allow an already abortion-friendly Department of Health and Human Services, with leadership being appointed by President Obama, to deem abortions as “preventative” care and force all Americans to pay for abortions through their tax dollars and health care premiums regardless of their stance on the issue.
             
And those children who will be first to be “prevented” from existing will be those like my son, with incurable, expensive-to-treat, life-threatening diseases.

Kristan Hawkins is executive director of Students for Life of America and runs file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/kgrabosky.CRC4PR/Local%20Settings/... blocked::www.HealthcareForGunner.com" href="outbind://19-00000000E5D648B11E11D9468709291092B6579F070081FF06F2880B674189517CB4A28D9A7D00000002F70B00009268E074BFCCB841955CD97E89528C6400000459868C0000/kgrabosky.CRC4PR/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK329E/www.HealthcareForGunner.com">www.HealthcareForGunner.com, a Web site devoted to raising awareness of rationing for children with special needs in the healthcare legislation.