Faith Matters: Is abortion health care?

One of America's most heated issues is abortion -- even more so since Aug. 1.

Now the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often called "Obamacare," requires religious schools, colleges, hospitals and charitable service organizations to offer at no cost abortion-inducing drugs, contraception and sterilization for their employees through their health insurance, or face fines of up to $100 per employee per day.

Should you be glad or mad about that?

Is abortion health care? Some politicians and religious figures say "yes." Some say "no." Some hedge or say little.

Is abortion health care? Almost never.

Ask Joseph, Paul and Sarah. Ask people I know (or you know) who were adopted, instead of being aborted.

Is abortion health care?

Ask the mothers.

In Florida, which in 2010 (the last year with firm statistics) had just under three abortions for every five live births, about 98 percent of those seeking abortions labeled them as "elective" or for "social or economic reasons."

Is abortion health care?

Ask former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop: "Protection of the life of the mother as an excuse for an abortion is a smoke screen. In my 36 years of pediatric surgery, I have never known of one instance where the child had to be aborted to save the mother's life."

Is abortion health care?

Ask the British Journal of Psychiatry. In September 2011 they published the results of history's largest quantitative estimate of mental health risks associated with abortion.

The Journal analyzed 22 published studies from six countries. They looked at 36 abortion effects. They brought together data on 877,181 participants, 163,831 of whom had aborted.

Results: The increased risk for anxiety disorders was 34 percent; for depression it was 37 percent; for alcohol use/abuse it was 110 percent, for marijuana use/abuse it was 220 percent, and for suicide behaviors it was 155 percent.

Abortion is usually meant to relieve emotional and financial problems, but the Journal found that when compared to ladies who reported "unintended pregnancy delivered," "pregnancy aborted" women had a 55 percent larger risk of mental health problems.

Is abortion health care?

Ask God. In ancient Israel, God required the death penalty if a man accidentally killed an unborn child by striking the child's pregnant mother (Exodus 21:22). "Life for life," God said. The life inside and outside the womb are equal to God.

What if the killing of a little one is not accidental? "The Lord hates ... hands that shed innocent blood" (Proverbs 6:17).

God also loves rebels. Christians sing of it as "Amazing Grace." God longs to bring forgiveness and healing to all who have blood on their hands.

How? Ask anyone whom the Spirit has brought from death to life with God's Son, our risen Lord. "The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin" (1 John 1:7).

Daniel Witte, pastor of Risen Savior Lutheran Church, 14605 59th Ave. E. in Lakewood Ranch, can be reached at 941-747-5564 or visit the website at