November 13, 2009 – Much has been said about the proposed universal health-care bill. Politicians from the left and right side of the aisle have expressed their constituents concerns towards views on various issues that would impact them once the bill passes. Perhaps the most troublesome part of the bill for legislators and administrative officials is determining how to reconcile differences in opinion and opposing social views on abortion funding, spending and the government’s role to satisfy the forthright majority, which adamantly opposes tax dollars being used for abortion services.
What would you think though if you heard that excluding abortion services or providing language to exclude abortion services is being considered unconstitutional and a violation of First Amendment freedoms? This is the claim that was presented in a recent article on the Examiner website written by Marc Rubin. Whether or not he is correct in his analysis of the abortion vs. universal health-care issues, he does make several valid points in his First Amendment argument for the case, something that people from all faiths and backgrounds should be discussing openly with one another. Mr. Rubin argues that,
1. “Thomas Jefferson specifically wrote in his letters that the First Amendment regarding religion was designed, in Jefferson’s words, “to build a wall between the government and the church”. The Founders wanted to make sure the church would never have any official influence or hand in the affairs of state.”
2. “The wall established by the Constitution was taken down by Nancy Pelosi and Barrack Obama when they caved in to political pressure by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who are credited with creating the anti- abortion language in the health care bill.”
3. “The bishops were acting no doubt out of a sense of morality based on their religious beliefs, but beliefs not shared or even accepted by tens of millions of people.”
4. “They [founding fathers] did not want legislation affecting tens of millions, or now hundreds of millions, written by politicians, that were influenced by the religious beliefs of any one particular religious entity.”
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (Letter to Congress)