No public funding for a private act

There’s no better place to get a healthy dose of what I call “Lib-think” than an American college campus.

“Lib-think” is the reasoning — if it can be classified as such — that liberals use to justify some things they have no darned business trying to justify.

Take, for example, public funding of abortions for poor women. When liberals supported the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, they championed the “right to privacy” the Supreme Court supposedly upheld. So-called “pro-choice” advocates hadn’t thought up the term “a woman’s right to choose” just yet.

Then they found themselves in a quandary: Poor women couldn’t afford abortions. How then, could they exercise the “right to privacy” and have an abortion without the government interference they had championed in the Roe decision?

They came up with the notion that poor women had the right to use government funds — taxpayer dollars, public money — for the result of what was essentially the most private of acts.

So, of course, the phrase “a right to privacy” had to go. In came “a woman’s right to choose,” even if the choice was funded with somebody’s money other than her own.

For years, I’ve wondered how the pro-choice crowd justified public funding for abortions, how they squared supporting a Supreme Court decision that told government to stay out of a pregnant woman’s private life while, at the same time supporting a policy that put the government right back in it.

So, being the dickens I am, I put the question to students in my writing class at Johns Hopkins University. The topic: “Should Poor Women Be Able To Use Public Funds For Abortions?” I figured some of the more pro-choice students would give humdingers for answers. They didn’t disappoint.

The prevailing theme among the yeasayers — and that was most of them who tackled the subject, while the remaining half of the class chose the topic of the Hopkins samurai-sword wielder — was that it’s cheaper for the government to provide funding for poor women to have abortions.

After all, if the poor woman carried the child to term, it would cost the government a lot more to support mom and the kid until the offspring reached the age of 18.

Of course — and this is almost obligatory when dealing with the pro-choice crowd on the issue of abortion — there was the student who argued that an unborn child is not a person, just a clump of cells, so abortion isn’t really taking a human life.

But most went with the less contentious cost argument. Not one of them dared suggest that the government try to find the man who got the woman pregnant in the first place and have him foot the bill for the abortion.

Maybe I’m funny this way, but there’s something that bugs me about a guy having sex with a woman, having himself a good time and then, when pregnancy is the result, sticking us with the bill for the abortion. Darn it, we didn’t have sex with the woman. He did. What’s next? Government funding for guys too poor to afford hookers?

Having men who impregnate poor women pay for their abortions would smack too much of supporting personal responsibility and accountability, and that’s not where this society is headed these days (look at the support child molester Roman Polanski is getting).

Only one student brought up those matters in her essay. Perhaps not surprisingly, she’s the lone federalist in the class. This young lady proposed, in her essay on health care reform, that the matter be left to each state.

People in individual states, she argued, know their health care reform needs better than the federal government does, which would probably botch the job anyway. I don’t know about you, but I like her already.

In her abortion essay, the young lady suggested that if the pro-choice crowd is so hot to see poor women having abortions, then they should fund private charities to perform the deed, and not have the government do it.

That seems reasonable: Private charities funding abortions, which are the result of private acts. A pro-choice person who supports the “right to privacy” should support precisely that. The phrase “public funding” shouldn’t enter their vocabulary.

Examiner columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to Sudan.

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