Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said she believes abortions should be covered under any and all healthcare programs—including by the federal government if Medicare for All ever becomes the law of the land, CNN reported.
In response to pro-life laws passed in Alabama, Georgia, and Missouri, among others, Warren has stepped into a controversial topic: whether the federal government should fund abortion, directly or indirectly.
Warren’s proposal would have the federal government guarantee patient access to reproductive health care by undoing the Hyde amendment, a rule preventing federal money from going to abortion services, and by passing a law prohibiting insurers from restricting abortion.
Notably, Warren said “all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage.”
Warren’s comments make it clear Democrats are feeling pressure as a result of recent pro-life victories in conservative states.
“These extremist Republican lawmakers know what the law is—but they don’t care,” Warren wrote in her proposal. “They want to turn back the clock, outlaw abortion and deny women access to reproductive health care. And they are hoping the Supreme Court will back their radical play. I’ll be blunt: It just might work.”
Of course, Warren’s proposal and the explicit connection of abortion to Medicare for All relies heavily on a perception of abortion as “health care” a characterization which obscures the reality that abortion is not just a procedure that pregnant women undergo; it is the ending of an unborn life.
That’s why the language in recently-passed pro-life laws focuses on attributing personhood, and the rights thereof, to unborn babies, something that portends to be one of the central aspects of the legal disputes in the months and years to come.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air writes that Warren has made a political mistake by introducing abortion into the Medicare for All debate:
Tying Medicare for All to free abortions is a mistake an order of magnitude larger. The abortion issue has gone largely unnoticed in the single-payer debate, but Warren’s proposal will put it front and center now. It makes M4A look like a back door to using taxpayer money to fund abortions, which … it is. It might not be the largest or most systemic issue with Medicare for All, but it is emblematic of how a government monopoly on health care will get used to manipulate politics even against the clear will of the electorate. There may not be much crossover between M4A advocates and the pro-life community, but until now there wasn’t much reason for overt hostility, either.