Separation of abortion funding and state


The federal government, which you and I fund, is paying Planned Parenthood to enroll people in Obamacare. Covered California, the state’s Obamacare exchange, pays “certified enrollment counselors,” which includes staff at 38 Planned Parenthood locations, $58 per enrollee, $58 per dependent, and $25 for each annual renewal.

Although the Hyde Amendment bars the use of federal funds for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life, who believes Planned Parenthood strictly adheres to the prohibition? The country’s largest abortion provider received more than $500 million in taxpayer funds in 2012, and I suspect the organization finds ways to get around this federal restriction.

Some Americans oppose government funds going to religious causes, but funding the death of unborn children is practically a right. And Christian business owners have to file suit to avoid paying for their employees’ abortion drugs. “We the people” didn’t choose abortion. Seven of nine U.S. Supreme Court justices dug up an apparently deeply buried “right of privacy” in the U.S. Constitution for women to kill their unborn babies. Just because the atrocious act became permissible by judicial activism—and is now the law of the land—does it follow that the government should fund it?

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Unlike abortion, freedom of religion is enumerated in the Constitution. We are free to worship without government interference, and the government is barred from establishing a state religion. The so-called “wall” separating state and church doesn’t exist in the Constitution. The concept comes from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut. The association was concerned about tyranny, and Jefferson reiterated that it was protected from government interference. The metaphorical wall protects the church from the government, not the other way around.

Why don’t we create a strict line separating abortion funding and state the way it has been done with church and state? If no government entanglement with religious events and causes, then no government entanglement with abortion or any entity performing abortions. I made a similar argument with gun control laws. Like religion, the right to bear arms is enumerated in the Constitution. For every gun control law, there should be a corresponding abortion control law.

The Bible exhorts us to be subject to government authorities, which are appointed by God. But if we believe a law is unjust or immoral we may petition our government for change. Women wanted the freedom to terminate pregnancies. They got it. Unbelievers wanted the government free from religious entanglements. They got it. Now it’s our turn: a strict separation between abortion funding and state.

God gives the government authority over the people for His purposes. In our country, we are the government. It’s high time we remember that.

La Shawn Barber
La Shawn Barber

La Shawn writes about culture, faith, and politics. Her work has appeared in the Christian Research Journal, Christianity Today, the Washington Examiner, and other publications


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