Emily and Meredith , you’ll be completely unsurprised to hear that I greeted the passage of the Stupak amendment with more of a cheer than a groan. However unfair it might be that well-off women have more access to abortion than low-income women, the solution should not be to compel those who are morally opposed to abortion to pay for them with their tax dollars. Just because the government recognizes a right to something does not mean that the government must also provide for it. If you can indulge me for a moment in a mildly absurd thought experiment (with emphasis on absurd and thought experiment) , how would you feel about a program that provided guns to those who cannot afford them?
When this topic came up in August, Meredith wrote an article for Slate proposing a private fund to cover the cost of abortion for poor women. Citing data from the Guttmacher Institute, she wrote that it would cost $311 million a year to pay for abortions for low-income women. Compared with the numbers that are getting tossed around in the House and the Senate in the health care debate, that’s not that much money. If those who support abortion rights are unwilling to pay to help poor women have better access, why should those who are opposed be forced to pony up?