Friday, January 22, 2010

Yes, the President's position on abortion does matter

It is certainly an incovenient truth for many that the President's position on abortion has a significant impact on the practice of abortion in the United States.

In an excellent article at First Thoughts Joe Carter writes,
What if I told you the only significant influence the President has on the economy is in selecting the Chairman of the Federal Reserve?

While the role of the president in managing the economy is often overstated, most serious voters would rightly dismiss such a narrow claim as absurd. Yet how often do we hear the similarly daft assertion that the only significant role the president plays in advancing the pro-life agenda is nominating Supreme Court justices?

The fact is that the president has a limited but substantial and broad-based role in protecting life and defending the most vulnerable in society. Since this week is both the first anniversary of the Obama presidency and the thirty-seventh anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it’s a prime time to provide a remember five of the reasons why it matters that we elect pro-life presidents:

1. Preserving the Pro-Life Riders — Each year pro-life provisions or “riders” are attached to the annual appropriations bills, preventing public funds from supporting abortions, abortion providers, or abortion promoters. The pro-life riders are attached to funding legislation and typically come up in the appropriations process or Department of Defense reauthorizations. As AdvanceUSA notes, under President Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush, federal regulations were clearly written to prevent recipients of Title X funds from referring for abortions or combining family planning services with abortion services (i.e., working at the same location).

Examples of pro-life riders include:

•The Dickey-Wicker provision which prohibits federal funding for research that harms or destroys human embryos.
•The Kemp-Kasten Amendment which prevents funding from going to those who support or participate in a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.
•The Hyde-Weldon provision which offers conscience protections for health care entities that refuse to provide or encourage abortions. It requires federal funds to be withheld from any state that discriminates against a hospital, insurance provider, or individual doctors and nurses for refusing to participate in abortion.
•The Mexico City Policy, first enacted by Ronald Reagan and later reinstated by George W. Bush, which prohibits USAID (foreign aid) money from going to any organizations that promote or perform abortions. Obama was in office three days before overturning the policy.
•Other provisions that are more specific include bans on funding for: abortions for federal prisoners, abortion in the District of Columbia, abortions through the Federal Employee Health Benefits program, abortions through Peace Corp, and abortion through the international HIV/AIDS bill.

A pro-life president can threaten to use the veto—as George W. Bush often did—to prevent the removal of such riders. Obama, however, would almost certainly veto any legislation that included these pro-life provisions.
Read the entire article HERE.

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