Question of the Day: Is US Support of Israel Support of Abortion?

Question of the Day: Is US Support of Israel Support of Abortion? March 20, 2010

Let’s think this through.

Israel has universal health care. Israel has within it, support for abortion (without certain stipulations). Israel’s health care is able to be done because of the huge funding it gets from outside sources, like the United States. Without such monetary aid, it couldn’t afford to have universal health care which also allows for abortion.

Does the monetary aid given to Israel count as material support for abortion, because it allows Israel to fund abortions in its health care system? If so, what do you think should be done, if anything? If not, why not?


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  • Cindy

    Henry,
    Doesnt the Mexico City Policy stop that? I mean this is a good question,but I thought that specific policy stopped that.

    • Cindy — the point is we give aid to Israel. If Israel didn’t have the aid, it couldn’t use its money as it now does for things like universal health care. So it might not be direct support for abortion, but remote support which comes because we give them the money. The point is not that we are directly funding abortion, but that, what we do for Israel allows for those abortions, and so is a consequence of our actions.

  • RedMaistre

    Ironic that our little buddy in the Middle East has universal health care while we go into a national epileptic fit if that idea is even suggested as a remote possibility.

    Off Topic, but to me, material aid for abortion is probably the last thing we should be worrying about in giving so much abundant domestic and military funding to the Jewish state. The very real discrimination,land robbery, harassment, torture, imprisonment, rape, and murder that has been practiced by Israel, from its foundation to this day, against the Arab/Muslim population inside and outside their official borders (not to mention what goes on within the always shifting unofficial border inside the “disputed territory”)

    • RedMaiste

      I’ve done several posts about the horrors in Israel — things which are far worse indeed. I fully agree. The point is that the people who generally respond to that as “Israel has got to do what it has got to do to survive” are also the ones who tend to say stop health care reform in the US over the issue of abortion (and their rather questionable reading of the legislation).

      • Red Maistre: in other words, I am just trying to show the kind of logic which is being used to label people pro-abortion if they are pro-health care, even if they read the bill differently and don’t see the support for abortion, and if there is any support (IF) it would be under remote material cooperation. And that would be the case when we support regimes which have universal health care with abortion! It is not direct, but it would be remote material cooperation. I already had to delete one troll’s response who was obviously upset how I applied their own questionable logic to Israel.

  • RedMaistre

    All that I mentioned above should be what we worry about.
    [Sorry forget to complete my sentence; how thoughtless of me).

  • phosphorious

    Doesnt the Mexico City Policy stop that? I mean this is a good question,but I thought that specific policy stopped that.

    No, and because of the fungibility issue, the only way to prevent taxpayer money from indirectly supporting abortion is to simply not spend taxpayer money.

    On anything.

    Which many Catholics seem quite prepared to do.

  • Cindy

    Henry,
    I agree with your logic, and I just read that Obama rescinded the Mexico City policy anyways. My bad. I didnt realize that. Also, this gets back to our own problems with back door funding of abortions going on anyways. Right now tax payers through our taxes pay for any federal employee’s benefits. If any federal employee has an insurnace policy that covers abortions, then the tax payer is already paying for abortions through the back door anyways. So we all are paying for abortions one way or another. Even up until a few months ago, the RNC had abortion coverage in their insuranace. So not just through taxes, but through donations to the RNC people were funding abortion and they didnt even reliaze it.
    I guess this is what you have been trying to imply all along. I’m really beginning to understand that now though.

    • Cindy

      Right, I am just trying to point out the situation is far more difficult. And it is a mess. And we must read the bill itself in the midst of that mess. When it allows us to say “I will only pay for insurance which doesn’t have abortion,” that is an incremental improvement, which is what I said counts as a just cause for support for the bill. It is sad people just want to read it with the “it isn’t perfect, here is what perfection should be” attitude but will read other bills which they support in relation to what already is (partial birth abortion).

  • RedMaistre

    Understood. Though I think opponents to the bill on “abortion” have in general a deeper issue to pick; that is, they find the idea of health care reform involving any kind of government involvement repugnant (even if its not single payer, even if does not include a public option), with or without funding for abortion in the bill. Charitable or not, abortion for these critics seems to be more of false cover for neo-liberal economics and libertarian philosophies of government than anything else.

    • RedMaistre

      Once again, agreed. It is cover. And I am trying to in part expose that cover by showing how they don’t treat other situations the same.

  • Cindy

    Well someone said last night on a talk show,”Don’t make perfect the enemy of good”… and I have to agree with that.
    Yes, this healthcare bill isnt perfect, but it gets our foot in the door to tackle other things later on down the road. It’s necessary. After this bill … See More gets passed, as Dennis Kucinich said, he will fight more for a public option. But this is a start and for those that oppose this bill, they are doing so because either of some ‘farce noble principle” (Abortions) or because of costs. And the costs that people are so against, are a direct results of the non regulation policies from the banking insudstry gaming the system with all of their loopholes and dirivitives schemes for all of those years. Zero regulation or oversight. I understand tax payers being royally mad at bailing them out. However, to stand in the way of healthcare reform is just evil.

    • Cindy

      Once again, agreed. The all or nothing mentality is really a way to make sure nothing happens. And there is a political reason why people are doing that — they want nothing to happen, they want things to be worse, so they can use it for political gain in the future.

  • Cindy

    Let me correct myself. I sholdnt have said ‘farce noble principle’. I’m sorry.

  • Cindy

    What I don’t get is people calling this healthcare reform Socialism. How is it socialzed when it’s run by private insurance companies, which is the same thing we have right now? As they are saying, people do not know what’s good for them, and after this passes, and if this passes, maybe down the road people will come to terms with it. This country is lobbied and run by coorporations. Insurance companies fit right into that as they are huge. Their goal is to steal the public wealth and keep us in debted to them. The insurance bill right now is going to get rid of the abilty for insurance companies to drop people with pre-existing conditions. However when you do that, it will expand the pool of insurance, and I guess that is where the government is going to subsidize them. (That I still have a hard time understanding– why insurance companies need to be subsidized in the first place)? Also, everyone is crying about people being forced to have coverage. Small businesses are being mislead by the lobbyists (insurance lobbyists and the RNC), because in this bill it is said that there will be no insurance mandates for employers with less than 51 employees. So that will not hurt small business as much as they would like to tell us it will. We do need to regulate WallStreet, because no one really knows where that tax payer money even went too. And we need to regulate insurance companies. These huge Coorporations that are all about greed and the rich getting richer while the poor become more marginalized.

    • Cindy

      It isn’t socialism. Again, basically, much of the talking points are indeed, wrong. If you look at the opposition, much of it comes from the talking points — they hardly have much understanding of socialism or what is in the bill. I think some really do believe this bill will make the government the provider and the government is planning on killing people with abortion through it — because of the rhetoric. It’s sad.

  • Cindy

    Henry,
    It is sad.

  • Cindy

    “The biggest kicker even yet is that many of those companies our dollars bailed out are interrelated with the insurance companies.

    This is somewhat complex (this relationship), so I’ll breeze over the key points.

    Aside from your produxt-driven corporations, you have “holdings companies” like AIG and Lehman Brothers. They are a necessary fraction of understanding Wall Street. Why? Because of what they “hold.”

    A holding company funds itself by investment, it “holds” stock and commodity shares. They intend of course to make capital gains from share appreciation.

    Insurance companies are by nature holdings companies. They take our premiums and invest them. And corporations take their money and invest in insurance companies, which are known for making the best profit per share of most any type of corporation.

    So the shareholders of product corps, service corps, and holdings corp are all the same rich 5 percent.

    Any cut in profits of insurance corps is a cut to all.

    And the real kicker? Find out how many shares insurance holdings corps hold in the pharmacuetical companies.”
    ——————–
    This is something that I didnt write. We have been having a similar conversation on facebook with someone that is a lawyer who works for the government,and is sharing this info. I think it all ties in.

  • RedMaistre

    You know what’s a very easy way to demonstrate it’s not Socialism ? Go to, or direct curious conservative friend, to the actual Socialists/Communists websites (such as Lenin’s Tomb, my personal favorite) and ask the bloggers and regular commenters on it whether they think Obama is socialist in ANY sense of the term. You will get a direct and easy answer: No

    • RedMaistre

      I’ve done that before. The response? A conspiracy theory!

  • The way you have framed this debate is amazing. Which is more pro-life: allowing people to purchase plans that include abortion w/ federal money (even if the person has to pay a $1 for abortion coverage and get a separate slip of paper) or not allowing them to do so? The first is intentionally designed to facilitate coverage for abortion (and make it more accessible), and therefore is material cooperation/facilitation of evil. The second is not. If you have a chance to vote, you should vote for the second.

    Whereas the US money to Israel is not designed to facilitate the evil of abortion (though perhaps designed for other evils), this bill is and many of proponents of the bill have stated so. I’m still amused at how desperate you & minion are fighting for the lesser good here.

    • Michael

      Right now, people purchase abortion with federal money. Indeed, Republicans have worked to make that happen. And the NRLC approved it. And now they are upset people will be able to remove such funding! Indeed, as YOU told me — YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR INSURANCE WHICH SUPPORTS ABORTION. In other words, you allow for yourself more than what you allow for the poor. Remember, it is the preferential option for the POOR. You have reversed it.

      And the fact that the funding for Israel allows Israel to fund abortions does show abortion is at play in support for Israel. It might not be a direct, formal cooperation, but neither is voting for a plan that will allow people to do more than they can do now. It’s absurd that people say “I should have the right to health insurance with abortion” AS YOU DO to say “but not the poor. “Sorry Michael, the one who is supporting abortion is you. You proclaimed the need. And with that declaration, you proved beyond a doubt that it is not abortion, it is not care for babies which rules you. Sorry, your selfishness is exposed.

      As is your duplicity. It’s ok to support Israel even with its evils. Yep. There are more evils than abortion involved with our funding of Israel. And it is paid for by the US. Not one peep from you. Sorry, again, exposed once again. Selfishness (you are fine for the rich buying abortion-supporting insurance) and no care about babies in Israel.

      You can say “well, it doesn’t apply. One can support Israel without agreeing with it does.” Perhaps. But then apply that properly. You don’t. Which goes to show you are not principled, and it is not on principle you object to evils because you are willing to support those same kinds of evils after denouncing them. Moral relativism at its finest. All for the sake of ideology.

      The ideology is strong with this one.

  • Right now, people purchase abortion with federal money. Indeed, Republicans have worked to make that happen. And the NRLC approved it. And now they are upset people will be able to remove such funding!

    Did I ever support the NLRC? So what if they’re hypocrites? Most sinners are. Doesn’t mean in this case they’re wrong.

    Indeed, as YOU told me — YOU ARE WILLING TO PAY FOR INSURANCE WHICH SUPPORTS ABORTION. In other words, you allow for yourself more than what you allow for the poor. Remember, it is the preferential option for the POOR. You have reversed it.

    Your derangement and inability to read what I wrote continues to astound me. I specifically said the OPPOSITE (maybe if I write in your preferred caps I can get through to you).

    And the fact that the funding for Israel allows Israel to fund abortions does show abortion is at play in support for Israel. It might not be a direct, formal cooperation,

    I don’t think there’s any “might” about it.

    but neither is voting for a plan that will allow people to do more than they can do now. It’s absurd that people say “I should have the right to health insurance with abortion” AS YOU DO to say “but not the poor.“

    You are now lying about what I said and its disgraceful. I believe the poor have a right to health care insurance without abortion and I believe that Stupak’s position allows that and the Democrats, if they really care about all the poor people and not Planned Parenthood should adopt Stupak’s position. I never said I had a “right” to healthcare insurance. In fact I made it pretty clear that no has that right but that those under the circumstances put in a bad choice are not sinning by getting health insurance. Those with means (i.e. not in that situation) do NOT have a right/allowance to purchase health care that covers abortion and are OBLIGATED to seek other insurance.

    Sorry Michael, the one who is supporting abortion is you. You proclaimed the need. And with that declaration, you proved beyond a doubt that it is not abortion, it is not care for babies which rules you. Sorry, your selfishness is exposed.

    I think I’ve said, unlike others, that if the abortion language is fixed I would gladly vote the reform. I LIKE YOUR BISHOPS believe protection for the unborn is paramount.

    As is your duplicity. It’s ok to support Israel even with its evils.

    Did I say that?

    Yep. There are more evils than abortion involved with our funding of Israel. And it is paid for by the US. Not one peep from you.

    Was the question whether or not we support Israel at all or whether or not such support was material cooperation with the evil of abortion?

    For the record, I said “though perhaps designed for other evils.” I would be very glad if the US stopped supporting Israel & its injustices and said so several times during the campaign on this site when pointing out that Obama’s foreign policy was not nearly as Catholic as some were making it out to be.

    But once again, you assume me to be evil.

    Sorry, again, exposed once again. Selfishness (you are fine for the rich buying abortion-supporting insurance) and no care about babies in Israel

    You can say “well, it doesn’t apply. One can support Israel without agreeing with it does.” Perhaps. But then apply that properly. You don’t. Which goes to show you are not principled, and it is not on principle you object to evils because you are willing to support those same kinds of evils after denouncing them. Moral relativism at its finest. All for the sake of ideology.

    What ideology? You clearly no nothing about me or my beliefs. It is amazing how quickly you assumed that I must be some kind of neo-con b/c I don’t think the Senate language is good enough.

    The ideology is strong with this one.

    I like Star Wars too. How about this one: “There is no try. There is only do, or do not.”

    So how about we stop trying for a pro-life healthcare and actually do it?

    • You did not say the opposite, Michael. You did not say the opposite at all. You said your wife is offered a policy through church, but you did not say if the company itself did or did not support abortion in other polices. And you said if your option was only abortion-supporting insurance, you would take it – because people need insurance. That has been the point which you miss, though, when it is the poor who can’t get it. And poor who would be able to get something better than what is offered by companies now who support abortion. Again, you make more restrictions on the poor and give a preferential option for the rich. The option for them to buy abortion-funding insurance. I will let your nonsense continue, but people see through it. If you want to write more irrational trash, go ahead. I won’t respond — again.

  • digbydolben

    There will be no significant health care reform in America. Here’s why:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/23764

    America is ruled by corporations, not by her citizenry.

  • Henry:

    I think I see why we are coming to an impasse.

    My exception is when the poor are “purchasing” the plan but in the healthcare reform the poor is not doing the purchasing, it’s the federal government. The government can very easily restrict its coverage from abortion and like all who have the means to do so ought to do so. I think your position depends on the idea that the poor are doing the purchasing under the health care reform, which isn’t the case in my view.

    I don’t think I’m wrong there, but if you find it to be wrong but more than “irrational trash” I would like to hear why you view it differently.

  • Kurt

    I believe the poor have a right to health care insurance without abortion

    Under the Democratic bill, the poor will remain in Medicaid (and 3 million more added). Medicaid does not use federal dollars for abortion. The Near poor and middle class will be able to purchase insurance through the exchange. In the exchange they will have the right to a health insurance policy without abortion — a right few with employer provided insurance have now. This is a substantial improvement in the status quo if, like me, you believe many Americans including even some not willing to make abortion illegal, want their own policies to be abortion free.

    Henry does not need to go as far as Israel to find examples. In the Stimulus bill and without a peep from USCCB and the NRTLC, the federal government is covering 65% of the insurance premiums of laid off workers who elect COBRA coverage. I really would like an explaination of the difference here.

    President George W. Bush made it possible for federal employees to have insurance that covers abortions through the federal government but without direct subsidies (FSA FEDS program). Again, no objection from NRTLC or USCCB.

    It simply cannot be honestly stated that the standard being applied now by the health care opponents is one they have applied on other legislation. You might argue that this does not prove them wrong in this instance, but at a minimum, their entire legal and public policy staffs should be fired.

  • David Nickol

    Michael,

    Isn’t it the case that (under the Senate bill, if unmodified) the government would be helping those who couldn’t afford insurance to buy it, and although the insurance might include abortion coverage, the government will not pay for the abortion coverage? So one side can say, “The government is subsidizing insurance policies that cover abortion,” and the other side can say, “No federal funds will be used to pay for abortions.” And they will both be right. It seems to me that the Senate language is consistent with the Hyde Amendment in much the same way that states who cover abortions through Medicaid are consistent with the Hyde Amendment. In both cases, federal tax dollars are used for insurance that covers abortion, but no federal dollars are used for abortion.

  • David O’Rourke

    This whole business of a remote support of abortion by sending aid to Israel is a red herring. It is an obvious attempt to justify voting for a bill which the bishops say is unsupportable.

    As for the observation that financial assisstance for abortion has alreadhy slipped through with items like the stimulus package, this may be true and perhaps the bishops slipped up there but that doesn’t justify voting for a bad bill.

    I’m a Canadian and as such I am all for government providing healthcare and preferably without the involvement of insurance companies. I despair of trying to figure out what is in the current two bills however I am lead to wonder why, since I think it is important to reformn the helathcare system down there, the Democrats don’t simply allow the Stupak ammendment. It wouldn’t hurt the substance of the bill and in a flash it would bring the bishops onside as well, I presume, as the dissenting Democrats. And those who are using abortion as a cover for their own tea party views would be exposed for the frauds they are.

    • David

      It is not a red herring; it is an examination of the logic which is being applied and pointing out the way it should apply to other situations.

  • David Nickol

    This whole business of a remote support of abortion by sending aid to Israel is a red herring. It is an obvious attempt to justify voting for a bill which the bishops say is unsupportable.

    David,

    The logic is the same as that of the Mexico City Policy, which is not now in force because Obama rescinded it. With and without the Mexico City Policy, no federal dollars given as aid to foreign nongovernmental organizations may be used to perform or advocate abortions. Under the Mexico City Policy, the restrictions are tighter: No federal dollars given as aid to foreign nongovernmental organizations may go to an organization that provides or advocates abortion, even if the money is specifically earmarked for some other purpose (for example, AIDS testing). USAID monitors very carefully how donated money is spent, so the issue is not that the recipient might spend funds provided for AIDS testing on abortions. The theory behind the Mexico City Policy is that if you give a foreign organization money for AIDS testing, that frees up other funds they have or receive to be used on abortion. Consequently, you are indirectly supporting abortion. The same argument can be made regarding aid to Israel. While the US does not contribute money to pay for abortions in Israel, any aid we send them frees up some of their own money to spend on abortion.

    Of course, if we had a domestic version of the Mexico City Policy, there would be no tax dollars given to Planned Parenthood, which gets something like $100 million a year in government money. That money cannot be, and is not, spent on abortions, but if you take the principle of the Mexico City Policy seriously, you have to admit that the Bush (43) administration massively (but indirectly) funded abortion in the United States while refusing to do so overseas.

  • RedMaistre

    To anyone who cares,Stupak has just caved, and he will vote yes to bill. And the Democrats have been certain since this mourning that the bill will pass the House with the requisite 216 votes. It looks like today, at least, will be a Democratic victory. The battle for November is about to begin…its not going to be pleasant.

  • Kurt

    Bart Stupak has not caved. Bart Stupak is one of the most honorable men in Congress, agree or disagree with his analysis or tactics on this bill.

    Without Congressman Stupak’s leadership, we would have never won the Senate language. With his additional efforts there will be an Executive Order giving us “a belt and suspenders” for the protections in the Senate language.

    His efforts have helped get us to where we are today — on the verge of passing a pro-life health care bill.

    Disagree with him on some matters or tactics if you will, but America is blessed to have Bart Stupak.

    • Kurt

      I think “caved” doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative word but could be used to indicate he has given in to what has been said and his objections have now been met. I don’t think it was meant to be used as a bad word as much as to indicate that whatever front he was putting against the bill seems to be gone. Perhaps a better word could have been chosen, but I understand what was meant.

  • David Nickol

    To anyone who cares,Stupak has just caved, and he will vote yes to bill.

    I don’t think it is fair to say “Stupak caved.” Although we don’t know the details, it appears that some deal has been worked out to provide guarantees outside the legislation itself (perhaps an executive order), that will guarantee that the bill cannot be used to do the things Stupak and other pro-lifers are concerned it might be able to do without extra safeguards. The fact that the safeguards are not in the bill itself does not mean that they are not valid safeguards.

  • David O’Rourke

    Nobody replied to my question of why the Democrats didn’t allow the Stupak amendment.

    The refusal to allow money to go to abortion should be in the bill itself so that it’s hard to change. An executive order can be changed with the stroke of a pen.

    From what I read above of the Mexico City policy it prevented money going to organisations e.g. health organizations, in a foreign country when that organisation assists in providing abortion. Such a policy avoids a direct complicity. It is different from providing general financial aid to a counry which happens to have liberal abortion laws e.g. Israel. You could push matters to absurdity by suggesting that the government should not provide money to build a rapid transit line if people might travel on the line to get to an abortion clinic en route.

    I repeat! The Israel argument is a red herring.

    • Nobody replied to my question of why the Democrats didn’t allow the Stupak amendment

      Maybe not in this thread, but it has been gone over many times. Again, it is quite simple: there is an issue of appearance. Even if there is no essential difference, the way Stupak has been dealt with, it would have made various politicians appear weak to give in to it. Now, I myself don’t like how politicians go for appearances, but it is how they stay elected. So it is better to have something which is the same and they can go along with it than not.

      Second, Israel is not a red herring. The same logic which is applied here with abortion funding is the same anywhere: abortion is being funded, and it is thanks to US money Israel can do what it does. And not just abortion. All kinds of evils. We supply them weapons for many of those evils, too. It is just saying: follow the logical conclusion of your arguments. It is not a red herring to tell people to do that.

  • Kurt

    David,

    The motion to add the language of the Stupak amendment to the reconciliton bill was opposed because it would make the bill subject to a point of order which the Republicans refused to support waiving.