Monday, October 5, 2009


This posting is in reply to the following column in the Springfield News-Leader:  Yes, 'reproductive health care' means abortions

Read what others are saying about Charlie's article on health care by clicking here

Read/Post Comments (2)

       We hope that Mr. Hernando (News-Leader October 3, 2009) is correct and that the proposed changes to the medical industry being debated in congress will include coverage for women’s reproductive health care—which under law should include abortions! Radical anti-abortionists are not opposed to abortion just in principle but radically in particular. They do what they can to circumvent current law permitting abortion under certain limited conditions and aim by all means to get between a woman and her doctor by making it difficult or impossible to secure legal abortions. This kind of strategy works primarily against the very poor, minimum wage earners, and the out-of-work, who have neither medical coverage nor the available financial resources to secure legal abortions.

       Mr. Hernando hopes to limit a woman’s freedom under law to secure a legal abortion. He and other one-issue activists set themselves up as moral watchdogs seeking to prohibit abortions—including those permitted by law. Such activity prompts the reasonable question: why shouldn’t legal abortions be covered by medical plans? Anti-abortionists, however, will accept no compromises—not even that reached in the current law. We can only hope that the single-issue moralists in congress will not be successful in circumventing the law, and more rational minds in congress will produce a balanced compassionate plan providing coverage for all Americans.

       The Obama administration is urging that we need a public option in health care to make it possible for every American to be covered by a medical plan—including the very poor, minimum wage earners, and the out-of-work who simply cannot afford the high premiums charged by private medical insurance companies. The theory is that the public option will eventually result in a reduction in medical costs for everyone—it is a logical conclusion. If congress can agree on a public option then everyone benefits. Mr. Obama’s plan is not seeking to do away with private health care as Mr. Hernando’s essay suggests. He implies that the Obama plan aims to convert the nation to “socialized medicine,” by his comparison to countries that have such plans. That is simply not the case.

       The medical industry as currently configured “rations” health care. People must wait weeks—if not months, to see a specialist, for example. Under certain conditions the insurance companies limit what they will pay on a claim, particularly if the physician or dentist is not approved by the insurance company. What that means is that people cannot go to the physicians or dentists of their choice unless they are willing to accept less money than their policies allow. In other words the insurance pays less if you go to a non-participating physician or dentist. And sometimes the amount is considerable.

       It is high time that the strident voices subside, calm rational discourse begin, and we begin thinking about the needs of the less fortunate—good Christian principles wouldn’t you agree Mr. Hernando?

Charles W. Hedrick
Professor Emeritus
Missouri State University

Posted by Charles Hedrick at 2:06pm


I fully support your comments. As a retired Public Health Nurse who specialized in perinatal, women's health issues are very close to my heart. And, you are so right, that it is the under served who become even more marginalized when certain health issues are carved out of the policy.

I also prefer the terms pro-choice vs anti-choice. Could the word abortion just be left out of the discussion? It's such a strong buzz word, when to me, the matter really has to do with a women having a choice as to what to do with her own body and pregnancy. Personally, I'm not sure I could ever have an abortion. And, as a professional, I would never persuade a woman as to what she should do. We professionals in this field are obligated to give a woman all of her options (usually only 3), and leave it up to her. Her right to make that choice, in my mind, should be the policy.

Thanks, Charlie, for being a loud voice on this issue.
Evelyn Smith
Posted by Evelyn Smith on 10/30/2009 at 7:53pm

The Springfield News-Leader declined to publish Mr. Hernando’s response to Charlie’s letter. Mr. Hernando's original correspondence has been shortened to accommodate available space.

Mr. Hedrick,

You made my point exactly. The Obama healthcare bill intends abortion coverage, a fact that many Democrats deny--in spite of the fact that 70% of Americans do not want their tax dollars funding abortion. These folk are not all radical anti-abortionists, as you suggest, but people who think that deliberate destruction of human life in the womb is wrong. How you know that we are all “one-issue activists” or “single issue moralists” is unclear to me.

Everyone exercises moral judgment and every law crafted expresses moral value of some sort, expressing what is (supposedly) both legal and “right.” The secularist, however, derives morals from reason with no guide outside the human intellect. Reason is capable of both wrong judgment and horrendous evil. As a Christian who believes God is the ultimate ground of morality, I turn to see what He has revealed in His inspired Word, and there I learn human life is created in the image of God and has intrinsic value. God looks unfavorably on the shedding of innocent blood. I am guilty as charged for opposing all abortions--for one reason because I do care about the poor and women with unwanted pregnancies. Women Exploited By Abortion works to restore the lives of the 16 million women who have acknowledged medical complications and the emotional and spiritual trauma caused by abortions. These women have been lured by the abortion industry to seek an easy way out of “unwanted pregnancies.” Laws do not make something moral, and some laws perpetuate immorality, as the Missouri law (1838) permitting the killing of Mormans, or the law permitting the owning of slaves and making it illegal to aid their escape. Thank God for Christian abolitionists who sought a higher source for their public morality.

James D. Hernando
Posted by James Hernando on 10/30/2009 at 12:59pm