Healthcare reform represents a historic victory for millions of Americans previously denied access to quality and affordable medical care. Among the law’s many benefits for vulnerable families are funds just announced by the Obama administration that will help low-income pregnant women. This overlooked but significant achievement has established common ground between pro-life and pro-choice leaders who agree on a common goal: reducing the number of abortions by addressing its root causes. […]
More than 1 million abortions are performed in the United States every year. Canada, Germany, Japan and Britain all have lower abortion rates than the U.S., despite having less restrictive abortion laws. Why? In large part because those countries offer comprehensive healthcare that includes robust pre-natal and post-natal care. British Cardinal Basil Hume once told a reporter: “If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it’s needed she’s more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn’t it obvious?”
While I’m a strong supporter of health care reform, I fear that it will have little impact on abortion rates. The U.S. has a higher percentage of women in “high risk” demographics for crisis pregnancies (higher percentages of women living below the poverty line etc.) than the compared countries, and I believe this is the reason for the higher abortion rates. Health care reform, while it will impact women for the better, won’t bring about the dramatic changes necessary to move women outside of those demographics. I hope I’m wrong.