Bills to make people complicit in killing

Published 8:28 am Monday, August 10, 2009

People shout when they feel they are not being heard. It is no small wonder that people are shouting at town hall meetings across the country when it comes to proposed health care reform bills.

According to polls, 71 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. Yet, despite that indisputably clear majority, elected officials have composed their bills in such a way that, in fact, abortions would be funded by taxpayer money. When asked to clarify their intent, they have dodged. When asked to pass amendments prohibiting use of taxpayer money to pay for abortions, they have defeated them.

Those of us with deeply held religious beliefs at the core of our opposition to abortion are horrified. If these bills pass, paying taxes would make us complicit in the killing of the unborn. This presents a deep, deep moral dilemma that many elected officials refuse to acknowledge, choosing instead to caricature opposition to their bills as obstructionist and unpatriotic. To be dismissed in such a patronizing way is infuriating. No less galling is the deceptiveness and deceitfulness with which they have gone about imposing their will in this matter, knowing they do not have public support for it.

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So, what else can people do but shout — unless it is to pull out their own hair? I am reminded of Ezra, a deeply religious scribe who, in a time of deep national distress, tore his coat, pulled out his hair and sat appalled, silently appealing to the God of heaven (Ezra 9:3). I do not ask that others in the 71 percent majority who share my convictions pull out their hair. I do ask that they earnestly appeal to God about this matter. For, perhaps He will hear and intervene. (For excellent coverage of this dimension of the health care debate see

Nancy Overgaard


Presbyterian Church (USA)

Albert Lea