Subsidizing Abortion in Connecticut

As the controversy over President Obama’s birth control mandate continues to rage at the national level, lawmakers in Connecticut are making news with their recent determination that elective abortion is an “essential health benefit” and must therefore be covered under all insurance plans developed according to the new guidelines established by Obamacare. According to Jennifer Gaff of the group Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Illness, “this issue is favorably resolved for all women now in Connecticut. . . .  Stripping women of elective abortions is not a tenable option.”

Setting aside for the time being the troubling fact that Ms. Gaff seems to view pregnancy through the lens of “chronic illness,” it extremely presumptuous to assert that “all women” in Connecticut are pleased with the outcome of these deliberations.  The underlying assumption, of course, is that pro-life women are betrayers of their sex – deluded, backwards holy rollers willing to sacrifice women’s rights on the altar of an outmoded, misogynistic worldview.  In reality, however, what Connecticut officials have decided to promote amounts to government subsidization of “murder in utero.”  Any way you slice it, abortion involves the killing of an unborn child – a child who is in every way unique and distinct from his or her mother.  Euphemisms like “essential health benefit” do not change the reality of what is being funded, nor justify the state’s willingness to enlist the taxpayers as unwitting abettors in this grisly scheme.

One would think that “open-minded” Connecticut liberals would appreciate and respect the personal beliefs of their fellow citizens when it comes to the highly controversial issue of abortion, but this is clearly not the case.  Individual conscience be damned, the people in power control the purse strings, and those people are ideologically guided by the abortion industry.  As a result, the weight of the state and its resources are being employed in service of a practice that fully 50% of Americans believe is morally wrong.  In deciding to declare elective abortion “an essential health benefit” carte blanche, the government of Connecticut is sending the message they they don’t really care what their citizens think.  They are the ones in charge and they know best, and that’s that.

So what’s next?  We need not look far to see what inevitably occurs when ideologically-driven bureaucrats are set up as the arbiters of life and death for the unborn.  In China, you are permitted one child, and if you violate this policy and get pregnant a second time, you are assessed a financial penalty.  Just this week the world saw what happened to Feng Jianmei when she and her husband were unable to pay the $6,300 fine to cover the “cost to society” of having a second child.  Unable to pay, Feng was forcibly escorted to a state hospital where her seven-month-old daughter was aborted.

Undoubtedly, drawing a parallel between what’s happening in Connecticut and what happens in nations like China will be dismissed as hyperbole, but in reality there is not that big of a leap between government deciding to subsidize a behavior and government deciding to enforce that behavior by law.  Just look at the direction we’re heading in the area of “green energy.”  As soon as government got in the business of funneling taxpayer dollars to “green” initiatives like LED lightbulbs, it was only a matter of time before they decided that old-fashioned, incandescent fluorescent bulbs needed to be phased out, and decided to realize this idea through the adoption of new “efficiency standards.”

The bottom line is, Connecticut’s decision to classify elective abortion as an “essential health benefit” shows that policy isn’t being crafted based on what’s right and wrong, but rather on the basis of the personal preferences of the people in power.  The public must stand up against such arbitrary exercises of power or they will find their freedoms rapidly dwindling, preserved only by the caprice of those in power.  This is increasingly true in areas governed by traditional notions of morality and conscience, and in these areas of life and culture men and women of conviction must be prepared to take a stand.

Ken Connor is an attorney and co-author of “Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty” and Chairman of the Center for a Just Society.  

Ken Connor


Ken Connor is the Chairman of the Center for a Just Society. An esteemed attorney, Connor is affiliated with the law firm of Marks, Balette, & Giessel, a firm nationally known for its successful representation of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

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  • Peter Nyikos

    In an otherwise excellent article, Connor considerably underestimates public opposition to abortion.  His 50% figure is based on polls that do not ask about the morality of abortion, but rather ask people whether they classify themselves as “pro-choice” or “pro-life”. 

    The hypocrisy of “personally opposed to abortion, but…” politicians notwithstanding, there is a sizable fraction of people in this country who are morally opposed to abortion but sincerely believe that it must remain legal because of the tragedies that they think will occur if abortion is once more banned.  And “pro-choice” to most of them simply means allowing abortion to remain legal.

    Even that is qualified when polls go into detail about which kinds of abortions should remain legal.  In particular, considerably more than 50% of people feel abortion should be banned after the first trimester except for the so-called “hard cases”: rape, incest, life of the mother.  And it is a rare poll that goes into such detail in its questions.  The usual custom is to ask separate questions about trimesters and about “hard cases.” 

    All this goes to show the outrageousness of  the propaganda of the pro-abortion [NOT just pro-choice]  zealots who favor the Connecticut law.

    The pro-life movement would do well to stop watering down the word “pro-abortion” to where they use it on every promoter of abortion rights beyond the “hard cases”.  [We need not use the term “pro-choice” with all its positive connotations.] Taxpayer funding of abortion is not a matter of supporting rights, but of supporting morally repugnant privileges.  Every legislator who voted for the law has earned the label, “pro-abortion”.

  • Ahh, Connecticut.  The state that attempted, a couple of years ago, to remove all statute of limitations on sex abuse allegations- except for those brought against state employees.  
    The state that attempted to legislate how church finances would be run.
    The state that, in Guttmacher’s own words, “does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states”

    Nothing Connecticut does surprises me.
    Except its glaring lack of motorcycle helmet laws.  That one’s a head scratcher.

  • Karen

    It’s getting scary how a few people are determining the fate of all people!  Even you pro-abortion people need to be afaid.  One day, these “people” may decide you are not of any value and do away with you!

  • Pargontwin

    This is exactly why the bishops established the Fortnight for Freedom.   From now until the Fourth of July, pray daily for the preservation of our freedoms, especially the freedom of religion.

  • Burrisfam1

    I haven’t read this article but I’m really, really offended by the picture you guys have plastered on the front page.  Obviously most of us are pro-life, this site is set as my home page but I’m changing it if this picture doesn’t come off SOON!  Do we really need to go this far?  Maybe I’m more sensitive as I’m pregnant with twins and I just find this extrememly offensive.  PLEASE removed the picture.

  • Irishjane62

     I agree. Too sensational for CatholicExchange. Can you please remove this picture?

  • Sabrina45

    I disagree. Pictures like these serve to remind us that abortion is no less than murder of innocent little ones. 

  • catholicexchange


    I thought those of you who found the cover image for this article to be inappropriate deserved a reply, so here it is.

    Abortion is, in fact, offensive. It is unequivocally evil–and it is at catastrophic levels. Babies are literally being murdered in the womb by the millions, and their mothers suffer horribly, as well, physically, spiritually, and psychologically. And it is sadly true that our society not only permits but encourages it, often pressuring women into abortions against their wishes–much as if someone were holding a loaded gun to their wombs. The image is in every way relevant and appropriate to the subject of the article. If it makes you uncomfortable–it should. This is not a comfortable topic. Sometimes I think too many Catholics have become lukewarm in their convictions about abortion, and the right image paired with a well-written article (which you really should read, by the way) can help with that.

    For all of these reasons, the image will remain. I respect the fact that there are those who disagree with the choice, but Catholic Exchange, using all the tools of new media that we have available, must continually strive to proclaim the teachings of the Catholic Church–and, these days, there are few of her teachings that have come as sharply into focus and which need as much insistent repeating as her unwavering condemnation of abortion.

    Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I do hope you all continue visiting Catholic Exchange. God bless. 

  • Irishjane62

    My concern is the unintended consequences of a such a graphic image. What sort of thoughts and subsequent actions could result from the propagation of pictures like this?

  • Briana

    Please remove the picture.  We have our computer in our living room, and I have several small children.  They were very frightened by the picture, and have been asking me all day if the mean man is going to shoot ‘s babies.  It is not about a picture making me uncomfortable.  Believe it or not, some of us have other reasons the picture disturbs us.  We are in charge of shepherding our children’s hearts, and some of them are too young to undersand your “strategy” in placing such an image before their eyes.  It’s very in your face, and does not take into consideration those of us with small children.  I think the response you gave about was very self-centered.  I personally will no longer be visiting Catholic Exchange after reading here for several years.  The repeated and consistently immodest dress of the models, the anti-Dave Ramsey articles of late, and just a very obvious and general decline in quality and management over the last year have totally turned me off to you guys.  I’m really quite disgusted and this was the last straw.

  • PattyS

    I agree!  Catholic Exchange is set as my home page, and I just sat down with my 8 and 6 yr old sons, we went to look up something and bam there it was and they said, “mommy, what is THAT!!!”   Now, I am forced to come up with something.  At their age, I don’t want them to understand what abortion is!!

  • Burrisfam1

    Sorry, I would agree if this was being read by those who are pro-abortion.  But it isn’t, the vast majority of those who read this already believe.  Why do we have to stoop to the liberal media tactics?

  • CathyRose

    That’s ridiculous. On any given day you can see images of poor aborted babies and other graphic images on any number of reputable Catholic websites. You have failed in your duty as mothers for not better moderating your children’s Internet exposure. This is a site clearly geared toward mature adults. I’m very disappointed by the uncharity that is being displayed in this combox.

  • Major7

    I agree also!  I felt the same way when it “jumped” at me on opening my home page.  I am a mother and grandmother and I, too, find this offensive.  It does bring home the cold fact of what abortion really is, but in a very crude way.
    Not a very good choice for a Catholic Exchange home page!

  • Karen

    Abortion is ugly.  No doubt about it.  The cover picture illustrates just what it is.  Fr. Frank Pavone from Priests for Life has said America won’t reject abortion unless it sees abortion.  We don’t want to think about it, much less see it, but we can’t pretend it isn’t happening.

  • Briana

    Excuse me?  I have not failed in my duty as a mother.  You’ve certainly got a lot of nerve to talk about uncharity!  You have NO IDEA how I parent my children, so how dare you?  You don’t know me. My children DO exist in my living room, and I like to get up in the morning first thing and do the saint of the day reading.  We have our computer in the living room because that is the best way for my husband and I to keep each other accountable for its use.  Until recently, there has NEVER been a concern about the images being viewed on this site being family friendly.  I do not visit many other reputable Catholic sites, and  guess what?  While there may be some websites where these images may be viewed (I can think of only one I’ve been to), but never on the homepage of the website!  This is not the same thing.  To force people to view these images without any sort of warning is completely counter-productive, especially for small children.  Even Priests for Life does not do this.  If you read Abby Johnson’s book, she explains that this is completely counter-productive.  For your information, I take my children (who are homeschooled) out and about quite often, including to pray in front of the biggest Planned Parenthood in the country, and they have never had to view a gun being pointed at a pregnant belly.  For that image to come from a “Catholic” source, is just a sad state of affairs.  God bless.

  • Briana

     I meant I *do* visit many other Catholic sites.

  • julie b

    The picture is terribly offensive and you should remove it. I have a child in the house. It is not something I would want him to see. And that – on a Catholic page! Take it down!

  • ahs

     What would you know about these ladies’ mothering duties?  Your remark was uncharitable and presumptuous.  If you think it’s fine to post a gun-to-belly photo on the front page of a website…you are certainly entitled to your opinion.  But you are in no position to judge what type of parent a person is on the basis that their children witnessed the image.  It’s a Catholic website which many families frequent and use a a hub for all their Catholic needs (like the daily readings as one mother has explained).  Shame on you for this judgmental tone of yours.  Your comment is in direct violation of the respect for human dignity and truth and justice (see Catechism of the Catholic Church 2475-2479 ) and you owe these mothers an apology (CCC 2487).  According to the Church, since you decided to commit rash judgment publicly against these mothers, the apology you owe should also be public.

    In Christ,

  • ahs

     I have no doubt that you are a wonderful mother and I applaud you for setting a good example to your children by maintaining accountability in the home regarding computer use.  I hope you are able to a more family-friendly site in the future where you and your children can read about our blessed Saints.

    In Christ,

  • Karen

    I think it’s sad that the whole meaning of this article has been lost to an argument about a symbolic picture.

  • BillinJax

    When those who wish to change our values they first must change our
    language and the liberal progressive leaders who have been writing our laws and
    regulations for the past decade are master at it.

    Who would have ever thought that under healthcare we’d come to believe
    pregnancy was to be considered a “disease” from which women must be protected,
    or if “contracted” can be viewed as “punishment”. Other tricks in vocabulary
    are more subtle. When debating an issue if you disagree with their agenda or
    arguments you are “divisive” or “confrontational” and to them “compromise” is
    when you are willing to capitulate to their wishes. This is the language the
    left and our own president are using today.

    The facts are today a new human life in the womb is no longer recognized as
    a gift from heaven or the procreated fruit of true love. Our president has even
    described its presence as a “punishment” for making a poor choice. Life in the
    womb is not treasured by society as its most valuable asset and our hope for
    the future.

    So if it has become a war of words we need to, as the president has said, “Level
    the playing field”. This society has decided womb life is no life and deserves “little
    consideration” and no “protection” under the law. Some, like our president have
    “personally” voted (three times) and “legislatively” determined that even when taken
    out of its “home” in the womb and “discarded” on an abortionist operating table
    having survived an attempt to be “destroyed” it must be “ignored” and left to
    die since it was “unwanted”.  Unlike the
    unwanted and homeless on our streets these precious little souls currently have
    no tin cup or “neighborhood shelter” or government “assistance” program to turn
    to for help. When they “arrive” on the scene or sonogram they aren’t received
    like illegal aliens and given the “benefits of citizenship” like the thousands
    crossing our borders daily. In short, the most helpless of all “new life” in
    our country are not only the “least served” by us they are being deliberately
    challenged by a totalitarian regime as a “social problem” unless (pray God) they
    are actually desired by the “patient”…formerly known as mothers.

    We should add, lest you think otherwise, the next “target” for the “tyrants
    of translation” will be to “convince” us their wonderful healthcare system can
    no longer carry and somehow needs to eliminate or be “relieved” of the
    tremendous “burden” of the extremely expensive elderly “beneficiaries” of

  • BillinJax

    Obama and his devoted assistant ruling class minions in charge of running
    our lives have found another unique way to pay for the plan of reducing us to
    mind numbed secular robots.

    When you continue this kind of socialistic logic to its conclusions it is
    not hard to figure what is in store for us just down liberal lane. In fact it
    is already here.

    Since college girls are assumed to be entitled to have all the sex they can
    cram into four years of study and the cost of personally choosing to prevent their
    bodies from functioning normally to this heightened involvement with the sheer
    pleasure associated with nature it is now considered to be the obligatory
    responsibility of taxpayers to pay for their choice of personal physical
    fantasy and casual sexual pleasure one way or another until they are out on
    their own looking for work in a jobless market, what is next?

    Well then some other liberal government run system of healthcare like
    Planned Parenthood can take over the job and gladly kill off any inadvertent
    normal consequences (Obama calls them punishments) that happen in the anti-natural
    process. Rest assured by the two fisted combination of government run media and
    liberal theocracy their choices will be protected from any religious or moral

    After that the plan currently on the medical horizon now is that should
    they decide to attempt to retrain their bodies to function normally and
    hopefully produce offspring they will be allowed to review the net results (about
    to be defined as a Non-person by liberal lingo) and if they are not satisfied with
    the appearance, sex, or health of the IT they, with rights of ownership, can
    request that IT be disposed of BEFORE or (the latest argument) AFTER BIRTH should
    the owner not be satisfied with her product up to a year or so without penalty,
    would you believe?

    Socialism touts pleasure without pain or penalty, in practice it is
    convenience without conscience.



  • Rob

    Dear Mr.Connor

    I am an American living in Sweden for the last 15 years.   I see the influence of Sweden in Connecticut too.  Sweden is a socialist (they say Social Democratic) country.  Many Americans confuse Sweden with Switzerland.  Sweden is s small country in the north of Europe with only about 9 million people but they have a King/Queen and the country locally/internationally is called the “Kingdom of Sweden”.   Swedes are business people but also very liberal since they are not Roman Catholic (since the deformation …Oh..I mean reformation).  Wherever there is business they are involved….capitalist in business and socialist in governing the people.   If you break down the family and woman are working and children are in daycare the business thrives because woman are multitasking where as men typically do one thing at time well.  Swedes are business smart for promoting womens equality and women in the work place.  But this is not good for families/family life. You will build the economy but the family will not be strong because women play such an central and important role for the family!   Sweden is changing though because of the EU / Globalization and the country is more “open” now than in the past.  Let us pray that this openness allows Jesus Christ and His Holy Church to come-in to peoples hearts steer their lives.  Come Holy Spirit!

    Sweden’s influence is more than you think.  (Quebec) modeled many of their socialized medicine programs after Sweden and I know that the Clintons, Gores, and Obamas family are also friends with the Swedes.   France now has a socialist government and they “like” the Swedish model!  Spain has voted in a socialist government too.  Abortion  is all too familiar to me living in Sweden.  There is NO MORAL or ETHICAL compass here and we Roman Catholics are less than 2% of the population. Abortions is a central part of the “socialized medicine” and it is performed not in clinics in the neighborhood where you can protest but in all hospitals, all with TAXPAYER money..!!   There is no protest, it is the silent scream and yes many women are forced into abortion by their husbands, by the intense pressure to “work” for the state/business (the State is the biggest employer in Stockholm).  Family takes a back seat to government.  Government decides before the parents.   People follow government programs, policies and initiatives.  As an Americans I grew-up hearing at every election “NO TAX”, “LESS TAX”.   I never understood why until I had lived here a number of years!!   When the government gets your money they steer you and control you and ultimate decide over you!!   When they build a daycare they want your children in it so they can educate and form your child!!   Daycare is a given and most children go into daycare at 1.5 or 2 years.  The parents lose their influence because they are working TAX PAYERS!!   One thing we can do to counter this is to seek Holiness and to do Gods will in everything.  Titus 2 speaks about how a Christian man and woman should be and how they should teach younger men and women!!  This is a model for family life and we teach this within inter-generational relations.   We need to be doers of Gods Holy Word and stay close to Jesus in the Sacraments!!   Pray for more Saints…that is why our previous Pope John Paul II canonized more Saints than any other Pope in history because he knew the challenges that were coming and wanted us to chose holiness and to follow in the lives of the Saints.   Let us pray for God to intervene!!   

    I thought the article was good (as I learned about the government in Connecticut) but I also DO NOT LIKE THAT picture!   I think you should listen to your readers.   It would be better to have a picture of a real abortion than that…for instance the instruments chasing the baby in the womb!    That picture is horrible.   I spoke to a priest recently about receiving Holy Communion if you have committed a mortal sin.  We have priests who say that you can receive if you truly repent to Jesus right away are going to confession directly after the Holy Mass or at the next possible chance …maybe you have an appointment with your priest.   But a very sensitive and holy Polish priest gave me some very “sound advice” he said…first and foremost that if we feel we should not receive then DON’T.  He said to listen to your conscience and also that if we receive in the state of mortal sin then we lose that “sensitivity” in our soul/spirit.   Maybe we can receive once and then our appointment with the priest is cancelled and we receive Jesus twice and then maybe fall into that sin again and good deeper into darkness!?   Anyway confession keeps the sensitivity in our souls/spirits alive to GOD.  This picture DISTURBS the sensitivity in our soul/spirit and as many readers comment if can affect the sensitivity and purity of their children soul/spirit!!!   Please listen to your readers!! 

    God Bless You all abundantly!!   Please pray for us here in Sweden and in Europe and I will pray for you!!   Keep up the good fight for what is pure, lovely, 
    Philippians 4:8
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.