Thursday, November 12, 2009

Straight Talk on the Health Care Bipartisanship...Sorta

Thursday, November 12, 2009
It’s good to see some bipartisanship on Capitol Hill during this health care debate. If we can work together during these difficult times, we can see a better future on the horizon.

You may be wondering what I’m referring to, especially since only one Republican – Congressman Joseph Cao – voted for the actual bill in the House of Representatives. Where Cao was the lone Republican to agree to the bill, he was among a larger group spanning across the political aisle that rallied for changes to the legislation before it passed. These adaptations made sure that elective abortions were not covered in any form of government-run health care.

And where Cao’s efforts as a staunch Catholic and former seminarian leading this effort were opposed by some, there is a growing bipartisan assembly of legislators and citizens that are reexamining the issue of abortion and its presence in the national discussion.

This is a development that comes not one minute too soon for the African-American community.

Statistics show that abortion impacts our communities at a rate that is daunting and disturbing. The invisible wounds for survivors of abortions – both men and women - keep the burden of depression and pain ongoing in a community that already incurs its share of death and urban decay between issues of Black male incarceration, Black families in disarray, and Black youth drop-out rates. Despite being 12% of the nation’s population, Black people account for 35% of the nation’s annual abortions.

From the suffering that we can measure to the pain that we cannot, this is a pattern that must be scaled back in the African-American community if we are going to heal as Americans. Whether we realize it or not, this bipartisan move between congressmen on Capitol Hill last Saturday – both Democrats and Republicans – helps Black America move in the right direction on the issue of abortion.

The funding of abortion by a universal health care option would levy a swathe of additional physical, emotional, and spiritual destruction in our communities, an encumbrance that may have put our people on a journey from challenged times towards genocide. We may have our disagreements on how to provide more health care coverage for more Americans, but it is clear that more Americans are certain about the government’s role on abortion – particularly government money towards abortion.

This may be small common ground in politics right now, but it will have big consequences for the Black community moving forward.

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