Our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness
can only be secured by a state strictly separated from religion

24 July 2008

Feds Broaden Definition of Abortion

By Paul Hsieh

This story in the UK Reuters newsfeed discusses US federal attempts to broaden the definition of abortion:

Family planning groups object to abortion plan

Family planning groups and at least one member of Congress objected on Tuesday to a Bush administration memo that defines several widely used contraception methods as abortion...

The proposal circulated to media defines abortion broadly to include many types of contraception, including birth control pills and intrauterine devices...

A copy of a memo that appears to be an HHS draft provided to Reuters, carries a broad definition of abortion.

"The Department proposes to define abortion as 'any of the various procedures -- including the prescription and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action -- that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation,"' it said.

Conception occurs when egg and sperm unite in the fallopian tubes. It takes three to four days before the fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Several birth control methods interfere with this, including the birth control pill and IUDs.
As a separate point, I don't believe medical providers should be required by law to perform abortions or provide medical services that violate their personal religious convictions. But this is a reason to support a free market in health care.

In fact, a free market in health care services would be one of the best ways to protect against government imposition of religion values in medical services, just as a free market in education (where individuals can establish up private schools that are either secular or religious) is the best way to protect against imposition of religious dogma in a state-run education system. But that's a separate issue.

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