Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, December 21, 2009 2:14 pm

Abortion and health-care reform

Filed under: We're so screwed — Lex @ 2:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

If I understand correctly — and I might not, or I might have at one point but then the bill changed — the version of the health-care bill now pending in the Senate says that you can’t use public money to pay for abortion. So if you’re getting any kind of federal subsidy on private health insurance, you have to set up a segregated account, paid for with your own money, for coverage of any abortion you or your dependent(s) might need.

This strikes me as legally/constitutionally problematic. I think it might be both a violation of the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment and a back-door way of circumventing Roe v. Wade. (I also think it creates a paper trail for the government on who has had, or thinks she might need to have, an abortion, which, from a legal standpoint, ought to be none of the government’s damn business where private insurance is concerned.) Which means it may become, intentionally or not, a vehicle for another Supreme Court challenge to Roe.

And with the current makeup of SCOTUS, I have no doubt that, all the rhetoric about “judicial restraint” notwithstanding, the conservative majority is even more eager to overturn Roe than they are to overturn the ban on corporate political contributions.

And since they basically ordered lawyers at gunpoint to bring them a vehicle for overturning that ban, I’m guessing that given the opportunity, they’d vote to overturn Roe without even hearing oral arguments if one of their number suggested that approach out loud. (I’ll bet at least three of them already have written their opinions.) It’s not like anyone could, or even would, do anything but yell.

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