Analysis

Abortionist George Tiller fan’s demand for tax-funded abortions full of holes

“Yes, taxpayer dollars should fund abortions.” Right out of the gate, the title of Steph Herold’s Monday op-ed in The Hill places her squarely in the extreme minority of American public opinion. But as we’ll see, that only scratches the surface of the incorrigible pro-abortion fanaticism we have for you today.

You see, while the bio at the end of her piece merely describes Herold as an “award-winning activist and social scientist with a background in abortion care, abortion funds, and reproductive health advocacy,” it omits the act that she’s also the founder of IAmDrTiller.com, a website created to “celebrate the legacy” of the late Kansas late-term abortionist George Tiller.

So as you read the author wail about the cruelty of refusing to force people to pay for abortions under penalty of law, keep in mind that her alleged compassion doesn’t apply to the healthy, viable, third-trimester babies Tiller gruesomely executed, or to the women he pressured into choosing abortion and endangered with reckless and substandard medical care.

Our Tiller groupie begins (my remarks added in brackets):

This bill [President Donald Trump recently signed] overturns an Obama-era regulation that prevented states from discriminating against healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood that provide pregnancy care [what pregnancy care?], breast and cervical cancer screenings [an incredibly tiny share of its business, including zero mammograms], and contraception in addition to providing abortion care.

Now, because of President Trump’s cowardly actions, states can deny essential Title X funding to clinics that also provide abortions, even though this state funding doesn’t go to abortion services [yet somehow enables PP to perform more abortions year after year]. But here’s the thing to remember, especially today, Tax day: taxpayer and state funding should go to abortion services.

If you’re thinking this factually-challenged introduction bodes ill for the rigor of the case to come, give yourself a gold star. Oh, Herold has plenty of statistics, but as you’ll see, she skips one crucial step necessary for audiences to draw her desired conclusion from them…

She claims that the Hyde Amendment, which bars Medicaid funds from directly financing abortion, was created “with the explicit goal of denying poor people access to abortion,” and has consequently made abortion “inaccessible to all except the most financially privileged people.” In truth, about 1 in 9 people born through the Medicaid program are living their lives today because of the Hyde Amendment.

It’s not clear what Herold’s referring to in the 58-page Center for Reproductive Rights report she links as a source for the first claim, but the report does quote Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) as explicitly expressing the exact opposite: “I would certainly like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle class woman, or a poor woman. Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the [Medicaid] bill” (emphasis added).

She then says that not taxing people to fund abortions is, er, “a tax on people struggling to make ends meet. Our government should not be in the business of pushing healthcare further out of reach for anyone, especially people who already face so many barriers to healthcare.”

The first contention is pure gibberish, but I actually agree with the second one—in fact, that’s precisely why Herold and her ilk should stop letting Planned Parenthood hog money that could go much further in the hands of real health providers that offer higher-quality, easier-to-find, and more-comprehensive care.

She goes on to state that around “75 percent of people seeking abortion services are poor or low-income,” which carries increased likelihood of “unemployment, separation from a partner, falling behind on rent, and being forced to move multiple times”; that costs associated with traveling to get an abortion “can add up to more than one-third of a woman’s monthly income”; that minorities are more likely to rely on Medicaid; and that being “forced” to “carry unwanted pregnancies to term” increases one’s odds of a whole litany of personal and economic hardships (as usual, no mention that adoption and safe havens can prevent those hardships too, or that nobody except rape victims is ever “forced” into pregnancy in the first place). Secular Pro-Life had a not-so-pleasant reaction to Herold’s apparent push to make sure low-income, minority women get their abortions for free:

But Herold skipped the most important step of all. From these facts, “therefore, taxpayer dollars should fund abortions” only follows if one has already accepted the premise that anyone should be able to access abortions. But if that premise remains unproven, then one must prove it before we can truly know whether to subsidize abortions. And if the premise is disproven—if pro-lifers are correct that abortion is the killing of innocent children and ultimately harmful to women—then the difficulty of accessing abortion without government assistance is actually evidence for upholding and expanding the restriction, not for ending it.

And of course, while declaring it “un-American” for taxes not to fund abortions, Herold says not a word about the fact that she wants to take this money from the pockets of other people, under penalty of law, with no regard whatsoever for their consciences, their own economic situations, or, y’know, the fact that it’s their money and not hers.

Of course, it should come as no surprise that Steph Herold has so little regard for children or taxpayers, when her idolization of George Tiller, despite his nightmarish treatment of his own patients, shows that not even the women she’s claiming to fight for really matter to her. In the mind of any fanatic, it’s only a matter of time before abortion ceases to be a means to an end and morphs into the end itself.

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