The Ugly Cover-Up

"Lisa" seemed in many ways like a typical teenager. But there was something about her that was not so typical: She kept showing up at the abortion clinic. By the time she was 14 Lisa had had seven abortions. Seven abortions by age 14? Where were Lisa's parents while she was getting pregnant again and again? Her father, it turns out, was well aware of his daughter's pregnancies. In fact, he was responsible for them. Lisa was a victim of incest, and the abortions served only to cover up the horrible abuse. Thanks to the current administration, your tax dollars will now be financing cover-ups just like this. The director of the national Medicaid Bureau, Sally Richardson, recently instructed all states that the revised Hyde Amendment, which allows Medicaid payments for abortion in cases of rape or incest, is not optional?it is mandatory. In other words, states are henceforth required to pay for Medicaid abortions in cases of rape or incest. Currently most states restrict state funding for abortion. Even the states that do allow state funding in the case of rape or incest often require women to report the abuse to the police. That means cases like Lisa's had to be reported instead of ignored. But now, every one of those state laws has just been overturned by bureaucratic fiat. Ironically, all other helping professionals, like doctors and teachers, are required to report even the slightest hint of child abuse. But not abortionists. From now on girls like Lisa can be brought to the clinic over and over, by fathers, uncles, older brothers, and no one will be required to ask any questions or make any reports. What makes the new federal directive so astonishing is that when the Hyde Amendment was revised to allow states to fund rape or incest abortions, administration officials repeatedly denied that it would make funding mandatory. We only want flexibility, they said. We would never override a state's own laws or force them to use state funds for abortion. But now, with stunning arrogance, federal officials have made a complete about-face, brazenly insisting that the law means exactly the opposite of what they said less than a year ago. It's an outrageous sleight of hand. The good news is that the states are not taking all this lying down. Several governors argue that the new directive is an abuse of federal power, and they're ready to fight. Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey has openly challenged President Clinton, saying the new directive would require him to disregard his state's own statute. "This I cannot do," Casey wrote, "and I will not do." Three cheers for Governor Casey and other state officials who are standing their ground. But they can't fight this battle alone. Please contact your state officials and ask them to oppose the federal directive. This is one time we have to stand up to the federal bureaucrats. And just as important, we have to stand up for girls like Lisa. You and I should not have to pay for abortions that are cover-ups for sexual abuse.


Chuck Colson



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