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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Traditional moral values: our gift to the poor

One of the things I like most about the Glorious Conservative Christian Cultural Revolution is that it allows us to force the poor to live the kinds of lives we claim to live ourselves. That said, the system isn't perfect. Sometimes, the poor actually get to make the same choices as the rest of us. Thank God we have the Justice Department around to set things right when that happens. That's what they're doing in Jane Doe's case:

Jane Doe told Zilly her story on Aug. 6, 2002. She and her husband were overjoyed when they learned in April that she was pregnant.

"We told our families and friends. Because my husband is enlisted in the Navy, and I worked at the Naval Exchange, we didn't have a lot of income. So we decided to start buying diapers every time we went to the grocery store, so we would have a good supply when the baby was born. There's an extra room in our apartment, which we painted pale blue in anticipation that this would be the baby's room."

Unfortunately, Eighteen weeks into the pregnancy, Jane learned that her baby would be born without a forebrain, cerebellum, or cranium. It's a condition called Anencephaly and is 100 percent fatal, although the babies live a very fulfilling, albeit painful, life for a few minutes after their born.

Jane, 19 years old at the time, was crushed. Not knowing what to do, she made her first mistake and looked to health care professionals for guidance rather than her pastor. They led her down a path of sin:

"I talked to the medical staff and counselors, and then my husband and I discussed what we should do," Jane Doe told the court. "We talked about it with our families. Finally, we all agreed that it would be best for me to end the pregnancy now."

But providence intervened. The procedure would cost them $3000. That was much more than they could afford. Jane's husband was a seaman in the Navy. They don't make much money, because Our Leader wisely pays most of their salary in the currencies of platitudes and food stamps.

Jane and her husband turned to Tri-Care, the insurance company charged with seeing to the health of our fighting men and women. They denied the young couple's request, citing the Hyde amendment--named after it's author, a pious swinger from Illinois, it bars federal funding for abortions. It's one of the most successful tools we use to force the poor to live under our moral strictures.

Jane, too selfish to undergo the physical and emotional traumas that giving birth to a dying baby would entail, took Tri-Care to court. An activist judge heard her case and ordered the insurance company to pay for an abortion.

Almost three years have passed since Jane had the abortion, but fortunately, the case doesn't end there. The Department of Justice is determined that Jane pay a price for her act of defiance and is suing her for the cost of the procedure.

At first glance, one might think that Justice is only doing what the Hyde Amendment directs them to do, but it's more than that. Justice is not merely arguing the case on its technical merits. They are also making morality-based arguments:

Federal lawyers have aggressively appealed the Navy wife's case, often using moral arguments against abortion.


In 2003, the government lawyers also cited moral arguments for denying military medical coverage. Prohibiting federal funding of abortions "reflects and effectuates a moral judgment to value all human life, including the life of an anencephalic infant."

The government's refusal to fund abortion "furthers the government's interest in protecting human life in general and promoting respect for life," the lawyers said in their appeal.

Hopefully, the Justice Department, backed by the power of the mightiest nation on this earth, will prevail against this young, impoverished, traumatized woman. After all, somebody has to actually live their lives according to our moral values or all our work will be for naught. It might as well be the poor.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.