On November 11 — Veteran’s Day — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders announced his plan to help veterans in honor of the holiday. Sanders says there is a “moral obligation” to provide quality care to veterans, but according to him, that quality care must include abortion.
While Sanders’ plan does aim to modernize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and fill the 50,000 positions for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals at veteran hospitals, it also includes ensuring that female veterans have access to abortion. Under the headline of “Ensure that all veterans are treated with dignity and respect,” Sanders’ health care plan states:
“Ensure that women veterans will no longer be forced outside the VA system for basic women’s health services, including fertility treatment, abortion care, or specialized cancer treatment and prevention services.”
According to Sanders, abortion is just “basic” care for women who deserve to be “treated with dignity and respect.” But killing a preborn human being is not basic. It’s an injustice against human rights. It’s also not health care, and certainly doesn’t treat the preborn individual with dignity or respect. First-trimester abortions either kill the baby by cutting off nutrients, or suctioning their fragile bodies to pieces. Second-trimester abortions are commonly carried out through dismemberment. Their broken bodies are discarded as medical waste.
As for the mothers, abortion doesn’t provide them with respect or dignity, either. Legal abortion sends the message that women aren’t strong enough or smart enough to be mothers because of the circumstances of their lives. Many of them lose respect for themselves, as well as their feeling of dignity once the abortion is carried out. Each of them is at an increased risk of depression, drug and alcohol use, and suicidal thoughts because of abortion.
Ending a pregnancy is sometimes necessary in order to protect the health of the mother, in cases such as ectopic pregnancy or dangerously high blood pressure. But ending a pregnancy in this manner is not an abortion, for one very specific reason. It is not a deliberate killing of the developing human being, which is never necessary. The preborn child — no matter the stage of development — can be delivered alive and, if old enough (21 weeks is birth age of the current youngest surviving preemie), can be given support to help improve his chances of survival.
Every abortion is the intentional taking of a human life — not health care. Health care would include using technological advancements available to help save both mother and child. Sanders should consider the horrific effects abortion has on women, and focus his efforts on helping VA facilities provide female veterans with higher levels of care that allow them to choose life for their preborn children, instead of feeling as though abortion is their only choice.
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