I guess I hadn't thought much about it before, but this poll in the Sun-Sentinel really drove it home for me. Here's the question and options:
Should a public health care option cover abortions?The bolding is in the original, which basically makes the poll have two questions instead of one. If you base your answer on the bolded part, then you really get two options--anti-choice or pro-choice, since the middle option still keeps abortion legal and available (and lets people act a little self-righteous, but that's another story).
* Abortion is wrong and as a taxpayer I shouldn't be forced to support it.
* I am personally against abortion, but I would be ok with a plan that included coverage of Plan B.
* Women have a right to choose. Without the money to pay for an abortion, a woman's right is meaningless.
But it's the rationales that I find more interesting, especially the first--the notion that your personal feelings about an issue should have an effect on whether tax dollars should be used to fund it only seems to find mainstream resonance on the subject of abortion, which is odd since the most famous tax protester in US history is probably Henry David Thoreau, who spent a night in jail for refusing to pay his taxes because he opposed the Mexican War (a worthy war to oppose, quite frankly). But while there are modern equivalents--and I'm not talking about the shysters who argue the income tax is unconstitutional--they don't get the public support that anti-abortion folks do.
One thing that's particularly aggravating about the current debate is that the whole argument is irrelevant. Federal money can't be spent on abortion, even if we go to Medicare-for-all (HR 676) because of the Hyde Amendment, and there's no plan even being breathed of repealing that, so when people toss that objection at you, it shows either a) they're ignorant (which isn't surprising considering how much the anti-abortion lobby treats their followers like mushrooms--in the dark and fed with shit) or b) they're dishonest.
I read a science fiction story back when I was a teenager (which means there's no chance in hell I remember the title) that was based on the idea that there was a change in the tax code which allowed taxpayers to allot their dollars to projects they deemed worthy. You still had to pay the same amount, but you got to decide where it went, and in this writer's world, that meant that things like education got tons of money and the military got a lot less. It wasn't a very realistic story, I know, even though I would be one of those who would personally zero out military spending (figuring others would put most of their dollars in) and would fund things like Medicaid and the arts, K-12 and higher education and programs for the homeless, those sorts of things.
But I don't get those choices, and neither should anti-abortion types, I think. I don't want my tax dollars going to fund the Iraq War, but they do. If I have to put up with that, then I don't think it's too much to ask for anti-choice people to have to fund family planning programs for poor people. That's a fair trade, as far as I'm concerned.