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October 12 2009

IWF in the News: Pro-Life Sen. Jon Kyl Unfairly Painted as Anti-Woman by Abortion Backers

Carrie L. Lukas

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Abortion advocates are attempting to use a quote from pro-life Sen Jon Kyl of Arizona to paint him as anti-woman. During a recent exchange as a Senate committee considered a pro-abortion health care bill, Kyl made a point about driving up health care costs by requiring certain coverage. "I don't need maternity care," Kyl said about requirements that would make some pay for maternity coverage. "And so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don't need and will make the policy more expensive."

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, a pro-abortion Michigan lawmaker, responded: "I think your mom probably did."

Kyl shot back, "Yeah, over 60 years ago my mom did."

Abortion advocates have seized on the comment in an effort to make it appear Kyl, a top pro-life advocate in the Senate, has a problem with women or helping pregnant women.

Carrie Lukas writes in National Review Online today that nothing could be further from the truth.

"Democrats have been trying to justify their grand health-care plans by pushing the 'women's angle,'" she writes. "As I've written before, it's a tactic they often employ, and for good reason: It effectively plays on sympathies and can make the opposition look like a bunch of jerks."

"Senator Kyl sounds terribly insensitive, no?" she says, responding to the exchange.

"And of course, everyone at least once has an interest in maternity care given we're all born once. Most people do recognize there's something different about the role of a pregnant woman in society; after all, it isn't just her welfare at stake, but that of her innocent unborn baby," she continues.

"Yet Mr. Kyl makes a reasonable point," Lukas notes.

"When government dictates what insurance policies must contain - whether that is general maternity care or more specific mandates like a two-night stay in hospital for any birth - the cost of insurance goes up," she writes.

But Lukas says that concern about health care costs doesn't equal insensitivity to the need to help pregnant women.

"We can all agree that it's a problem when pregnant women can't afford health care without flocking to support the kind of massive government intervention in the health-insurance market that the Democrats are advancing," she says. "There are far better ways to reform health care to make it better for women."

Lukas suggests that reforming the litigious nature of health care would better help women than promoting a pro-abortion government-run health care system.

"But given the focus on maternity care, it's worth recalling that tort reform is probably the best prescription," she surmises.

"The specter of medical malpractice has been brutal on those practicing obstetrics, which is why many doctors stop (or never enter) the field," she writes. "This has led to shortages of OBGYNs in some parts of the country."

Lukas concludes: "If you want to make maternity care more affordable and readily available, why not start by limiting the damaging effects of jackpot malpractice awards, instead of embracing a trillion-dollar experiment with the health-care system?"

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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