published Saturday, August 10th, 2013

A Georgia attack on choice: New policy is penny and pound foolish

Georgia on Friday became the latest state to whittle away at family choice -- and this cut didn't even receive legislative votes.

Instead, the Georgia Department of Community Health made a new policy Thursday to ban coverage of abortions, except when the life of the mother is in danger, for those enrolled in the state employee health insurance plan. That's even more restrictive than federal guidelines for Medicaid, which include abortions for rape and incest.

The policy, which takes effect in January, completely bypasses state lawmakers, who didn't take action on similar legislation earlier this year. And Gov. Nathan Deal took credit for finding a way to accomplish the bypass for what he called a worthy goal.

"Today's vote by the Department of Community Health board shows our state's commitment to reducing the number of abortions in our state by ensuring that state taxpayers aren't paying for a procedure that many find morally objectionable," Deal said Friday.

Deal is electioneering, not saving money.

Of the 672,000 people in the Georgia state health plan, 366 sought abortions is fiscal 2011, a decline from 545 in 2009, according to data provided by the Department of Community Health. The net insurance payments for abortions declined to $213,000 in 2011 from $343,000 two years earlier.

But here are other numbers to consider.

About half of all pregnancies in the United States each year--more than 3 million--are unintended, and three in 10 women by age 45 will have had an abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights. Family planning services provided at publicly funded centers saved the federal and state governments an estimated $7.6 billion in 2010.

In other words, nationally, every dollar invested in helping women avoid pregnancies they did not want to have saved $5.68 in Medicaid expenditures that otherwise would have been needed, according to Guttmacher.

There's no reason to believe those same savings are not in state health plans if those plans and private insurers are not prohibited from providing ordinary family planning services -- including abortion.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
AndrewLohr said...

You call it "family choice." OK if I call it "murder of little babies"? Yeah, it won't save much money. So why not put it on GA's income tax form: If you want to give $1 to murder babies, add that to your payment or subtract it from your refund.

Preventing babies differs from murdering them. Add another line for those who want to give an extra dollar for prevention. (Abstinence works every time, except One.)

Pregnancies come from sex, and humans make lots of foolish sexual choices: sex outside marriage, ill-advised marriage, and ill-advised divorce may be the big three to repent of. Smaller minorities have special follies. What will tonight's fun do to the rest of your life, and to your resurrection and eternity? If your crotch is worth it, what about the rest of you?

August 10, 2013 at 12:27 a.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Family choice. Wow.

August 11, 2013 at 9:39 a.m.

"Family choice" is a euphemism for alley-cat coverage. Shame on feminists and their sycophants for endorsing such anti-woman, inhumane nonsense.

August 11, 2013 at 12:07 p.m.
yaffay said...

I can only assume that Gov. Deal is working on eliminating other procedures that some Georgia taxpayers may find morally objectionable, like blood transfusions or circumcisions.

August 11, 2013 at 5:48 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I'll have to assume you are male, WWWtW. Alley cat coverage, indeed. When all pregnancies are planned, abortion will disappear. As long as ANY women are subservient to men (and yes, even in our advanced country it is common) abortion must remain safe and legal. Some women are irresponsible, yes, but not all, and those that are trapped, exploited, abused or raped should not be punished because others find sex to be something women should be punished for.

And no, I don't think an unborn fetus is due the same rights as a human. And I don't believe the "life" as in a life with rights under the constitution, starts at fertilization. That will save you those two arguments.

August 11, 2013 at 6:02 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Make an exception for rape and saving the life of the mother and it still leaves 95 pct of the abortions in America.

August 11, 2013 at 7:39 p.m.
conservative said...

Did you ever notice that people who practice and intend to practice evil can always invent ways to justify their evil?

Everyone who practices sex knows that pregnancy can result and everyone knows that that pregnancy results in a human being not a monkey or a cat or a dog etc. being born.

There are consequences for practicing evil.

August 12, 2013 at 6:55 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Conservative, pregnancies end all the time. Most of those that do are never detected in the first place. Many end as a direct result of the activity of the woman, but many do not. If you believe that "life begins at conception" and "anything that disrupts pregnancy after conception is murder", then you need to be consistent: No abortion under any circumstance, ban most forms of birth control, and monitor women (probably daily) for pregnancy and then punish miscarriage. As a woman, that is not a world I would like living in. Of course, as a woman I want to see men monitored for any sexual activity that could result in a fertilization. Fair is fair.

This is the problem with insisting on absolutes. Life is not black and white, and these issues are far more complicated. You can't have it both ways.

August 12, 2013 at 7:35 a.m.
conservative said...

I don't chase rabbits. Try your sophistry on someone else.

August 12, 2013 at 7:44 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nice dodge. Not terribly confident in your convictions.

August 12, 2013 at 7:46 a.m.
conservative said...

You are an avowed Atheist and an avowed proud heathen. I won't bother with you.

August 12, 2013 at 8:37 a.m.

lkeithlu said: And no, I don't think an unborn fetus is due the same rights as a human.

You make a distinction between an unborn fetus and “a human.” If the one is accorded legal protection and the other is not, it would be important to be clear in defining the stage of development at which a fetus becomes “a human,” worthy of protection against those who would end their life development process. No respectable scientist or legal scholar would categorize developmental stages as you and other radical pro-abortionists do. They know what every expectant mother knows: the fetuses inside human mothers are in fact human fetuses. The fetuses of some endangered animal species are thus protected. Why not humans? Should fetal homicide laws be revoked?

No one is proposing the full course of legal rights for unborn babies. (They can’t yet speak or enter into contracts. Duh.) Yet the right to protection from those who would end their lives is fundamental to all other rights, in spite of what “you think” they are due. Your efforts have resulted in the proliferation of alley-cats, the manipulation of women, and the destruction of their defenseless children.

August 12, 2013 at 9:09 a.m.
crazzeto said...

Talk about penny wise dollar foolish, pro-abortion math is the very height of this thinking. Let's pretend to forget for a minute that you are reducing the value of human life to estimated medicare savings.

Consider this, your thinking COSTS our nation dearly in terms of a loosing demographics battle. I offer my adopted home city as an example, Detroit. Like your thinking, Detroit sought to increase entitlements and government benefits. Likewise due to error Detroit committed a war of attrition against its own demographics all. You do it with abortion, Detroit did it with open hostility towards business and theft.

The end result? For every two people receiving city entitlements there are two actually paying into the system. This penny wise dollar foolish abortion scheming of yours results in the same end.

August 12, 2013 at 9:54 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Nope, I don't put the rights of an unborn fetus the same as a post birth baby. Certainly not in the first 20 weeks. Viability may be a good measure, but in the end the mother is more important. I don't like abortion, but I like less the idea that an unplanned pregnancy must be brought to term regardless. I don't like the notion of full rights at conception, because to protect those rights means severe restriction of the rights of women, and pregnancies fail for lots of reasons. I am all for preventing unwanted pregnancy in every way we know how, at government expense if necessary, to prevent children being born to circumstances in which they are uncared for or damaged.

In a perfect world, all children will be born healthy, into stable homes with adequate resources to raise them. In a perfect world no one will be raped or sexually abused, women will not be imprisoned and controlled by the men that should love them, mothers will conceive without drugs or alcohol in their system, and men will have consensual sex with every intention of providing financial, emotional and parental support. In a perfect world all birth control will work 100% of the time, and no miscarriages will occur. In a perfect world mothers will be mature enough and have access to prenatal health so that babies are born full term rather than needing hundreds of thousands of dollars in neonatal intensive care units, without any guarantee that they will survive and grow up without serious mental, cognitive or physical damage.

In a perfect world women will not lose their jobs because they can't work, due to high risk pregnancy, fathers will be able to get paid paternity leave, and all children will have access to quality day care and pre school.

So you sit there on your moral high horse and refuse to see the reality of life in this country, and your black and white judgments. You aren't convincing me at all.

August 12, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Millions of young children, and for that matter, adults, are living in poverty or are unwanted somehow. Worldwide it's billions. Should we start rounding them up since they're "better off" just gone? And they're an inconvience too, right?

August 12, 2013 at 2:48 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

No, LB, people have rights. I am talking about fetuses. If you admit that millions are living in poverty, why would you want to add to that? Why not take care of the ones we already have? Instead of, say, building giant crosses to display our pious beliefs?

When one in four kids in the richest country in the world are on welfare, when we have children's homes full of children that no one will adopt, when we have the highest teen pregnancy rate in the western world, we have no business telling any woman she should carry a pregnancy to term if she does not want to. I have only met one person whose opinion on this I valued: a single woman who is an army physician, who adopted 4 special needs kids (older kids, not babies). She was doing her part; ironically there are places where people would oppose her adopting kids because of her single status.

August 12, 2013 at 3:09 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

What's the difference in whether they're on the inside, or the outside? Children can't make it on their own, either.

Just because many can't act responsible doesn't mean future children should be massacred.

August 12, 2013 at 3:32 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Inside and out does matter. If they can survive out, they are people. Hence my point on viability. At what point in gestation do they become citizens? Depends on what culture you ask. Some cultures don't count them as full human beings until well after birth. However, that brings me back to my original point: where is that line? If it is at fertilization, are you willing to act on it? Somehow I think when presented with the specifics of what is required to call every fertilized egg a human being with full rights, it gets pretty complicated. We don't value the people already born, as a culture. Why now the concern with fetuses? Abortion is not new-it has been going on since prehistoric times.

C'mon. Take a stand. Define the line, and then tell us how we enforce that line. Talk is cheap.

August 12, 2013 at 3:40 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Whether they're valued as much as they should be, and you're ignoring the aid children get from the government and from charity, there still should be no massacres due to inconvenience.

August 12, 2013 at 3:44 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Aid from the government might feed and house them. Maybe. But these children need far more than that. Again: Take a stand. Where is that line? How do you propose to enforce it?

To work towards the ideal, you must accept the shades of gray that any complicated situation presents. Abortion will NEVER end: legal, illegal, accessible to all or only the rich. To approach the ideal requires that you make it rare. Unnecessary. Not the only way out of a bad situation. Yes, an unplanned pregnancy is a bad situation, from the view of a woman who is victimized, mentally deficient, drug or alcohol addicted, STD positive, mentally ill, in a violent relationship, immature (teen), in extreme poverty or raped.

Of course, to eliminate ALL the possible "excuses" a woman might have to want to end a pregnancy, one must violate her privacy in the most deplorable way. This is why I am asking you to be specific. When is abortion "okay" and why? If the answer is NEVER, then you better be ready to enforce exactly that.

August 12, 2013 at 4:08 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Making it a criminal offense would be a good way to reduce it. Folks actually might start being a little more responsible, but we can't have that, can we?

August 12, 2013 at 4:18 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You are being vague. Be specific. Before what point, if any, is abortion acceptable? Where do you draw the line, and how do you enforce that line? Do you charge the woman, the doctor, or both with this crime? How about miscarriage? What if the woman's behavior or actions caused it? What is the crime? Murder? Manslaughter?

August 12, 2013 at 5 p.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

conservative said...

"Did you ever notice that people who practice and intend to practice evil can always invent ways to justify their evil?"

Yes I have. Around here that illiterate evil is called Christian fundamentalism, Bible-Thumping, and Creationism. And you're one of the high priests of that insanity.

August 12, 2013 at 10:42 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

LB, your silence is telling. Being an armchair "moralist" is easy. Dealing with reality is much harder, and involves the lives of real people.

August 13, 2013 at 8:15 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

You are all sick. You don't taken into account any specific medical situation, nor do you do anything towards determining medical viability. In every case in this country, to impose your religious beliefs on every one violated the principles of religious freedom.

August 13, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.

It is the height of arrogance to think that you (or ANY human, including the mother and father) can determine which real-life baby's potential for living a fulfilling life or for making a contribution to society makes her or him worthy of being allowed to be born. It's not a gender thing (except in cultures where being an unborn girl is the primary reason for the choice to abort). The choice of life or death for a real-life baby is unalterably black and white. Uncomfortable as it makes you, some choices are just like that.

August 15, 2013 at 10:41 p.m.

lkeithlu said... Where do you draw the line, and how do you enforce that line? Do you charge the woman, the doctor, or both with this crime? How about miscarriage? What if the woman's behavior or actions ca used it? What is the crime? Murder? Manslaughter?

Naturally-occurring miscarriages, of course, are not examples of criminal behavior. Most states, however, rightly categorize behavior that results in the death of a human fetus (aka unborn baby), whether deliberate, accidental, or by negligence, as homicide, manslaughter, or murder. A high profile example is Scott Peterson, who was convicted of fetal murder, in addition to the murder of his wife. Though state laws vary in the details, currently mothers are the only ones who can legally elect to end, if it’s an abortion, the life of their unborn babies. In these states, at least, no one has the legal right to injure or kill human persons at any stage of their development. There is a similar federal law regarding capital crimes under federal jurisdiction.

August 15, 2013 at 11:19 p.m.
LaughingBoy said...

Can't be on here 24/7 to respond. Some of the later responses answered for me.

August 18, 2013 at 4:58 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.