From Feministing, a video slamming the Hyde amendment (and by extension the Stupak-Pitts amendment to the current health care bill), which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortions:
An excerpt the transcript:
Jay Smooth: There are some members of Congress who are committed to stripping abortion from our health care, and the Hyde Amendment is how they do it. Everyone in America disagrees with where some of their tax money goes, but nobody else ever gets to pick and choose where their tax money goes. So we need to speak out on this right now.
[graphic] And you did.
IAmDrTiller: Some members of Congress don’t want tax dollars spent on abortion.
Jen: Well, I don’t want my tax dollars to fund the death penalty.
Omer: I don’t want more than a billion of my tax dollars going to fund the F-22 bomber, a plane the military doesn’t even want.
Am I missing something, or is this a pathetic, bizarre argument? “Anti-abortion activists have successfully passed legislation that blocks their tax dollars from going towards a practice that they disapprove of. However, all of us pro-choice taxpayers have done a horrible job of stopping our tax dollars from funding bunch of stupid, wasteful, immoral crap that we object to. Therefore, it’s wrong that funding for abortions is excluded from federally funded health care programs.”
But that’s just how democracy works! Groups of citizens lobby for the support of policies they prefer, and organize opposition for policies they oppose. The Hyde amendment is just an instance of successful democratic participation. So if you don’t want your tax dollars paying for death penalties or useless military equipment, then you should be organizing political campaigns and lobbying efforts aimed at ending those practices. Pro-life activists are very good at this. Maybe those of us who want to end the death penalty and reduce national defense spending could learn something from them.
I’m pro-choice, and I think that some tax payer money should go towards funding abortions for disadvantaged women. I also happen to agree with every “Well, I don’t want my tax dollars to fund x” statement from the video. But the point is that the Hyde and Stupak amendments aren’t wrong because they are an example of a certain group of citizens doing a better job than other groups of citizens at successfully pushing through policy that advances their values. The Stupak and Hyde amendments are wrong because they restrict federal funding for abortion, which is something that federal money should be spent on. For Christ’s sake, just argue for the policy on its merits.
No wonder public support for abortion has been slipping in recent years.