A year after the landmark decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson case that upended Roe v. Wade, the mantra “abortion is health care” is still echoed by pro-abortion advocates. However, this slogan fails to capture the essence of what true health care is meant to be.
When medical practitioners pledge their Hippocratic oath, vowing to “do no harm,” it’s clear that human life is intrinsically valued. To terminate an innocent life—regardless of the reasons—doesn’t align with the essence of health care. In fact, a study published by the Family Research Council contends that abortion doesn’t fit the American Medical Association’s criteria for “the type of health care for which physicians should advocate.”
It is perplexing that health insurance companies cover a procedure that places at least two lives in potential jeopardy. Any counterargument might lead to viewing pregnancy as an ailment and the unborn child as the root of this “illness.” Ironically, most women who find themselves with this so-called “illness” joyously embrace the cause of their condition. Yet, insurance companies continue to cover unnecessary and inadvisable procedures that risk the well-being of healthy individuals.
This stance seems to find encouragement at both state and federal government levels. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, for example, labels access to abortion as “reproductive health care,” despite its goal being the exact opposite.
So, how can pro-life Americans sidestep this health insurance conundrum?
Health care sharing ministries provide a wonderful alternative for faith-based families unwilling to contribute towards facilitating abortions. Unlike regular insurance policyholders who have no control over how their premiums are allocated, these sharing ministries provide a welcome reprieve. If your insurance is through a state-run exchange, there’s a chance you might be indirectly funding abortions, depending on your state’s laws. Some states even require private health insurance policies to cover abortions.
However, as per the Healthcare Sharing Accreditation Board, healthcare-sharing ministries differ from health insurance. They are nonprofit entities that “assist their members in managing health financing needs” independently of insurance. Healthcare burdens are shared among fellow members. But, importantly, those burdens exclude life-threatening procedures like abortion.
Despite this, support for such procedures seems to be gaining momentum among Americans. A recent Gallup poll showed a record 69% of respondents endorsing the legality of abortion “in the first three months of pregnancy,” a rise from 67% in May 2022. Additionally, increasing support for access to abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol is alarming, despite the risks linked to these self-managed, chemical abortion methods.
Even in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision, it’s clear that the pro-life cause remains crucial. Numerous states have enacted drastic abortion laws, endangering unborn lives up until birth in some cases. And, even in states with highly restrictive abortion laws or bans, there are still young mothers in difficult situations who need support from individuals and churches.
The real question that needs addressing isn’t whether abortion is indeed health care, but how to provide genuine care to the mothers, fathers, and innocent babies caught in the crossfire. Many church communities nationwide have stepped up to provide holistic, compassionate care for women and babies in need, with Care Net reporting 1,200 affiliated women’s care facilities in the U.S.
The issue of abortion persists, calling Christians to deeper prayer and self-sacrifice to support mothers and babies in need. Fortunately, members of health care sharing ministries can take comfort in knowing that their contributions won’t contribute to the termination of innocent lives.