Illinois Senator’s Non Sequitur

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin

If you live in Illinois, you’re used to receiving generic form letters from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), which basically read, “Thanks for your opinion. I ‘value’ it, but I’m going to do exactly the opposite thing you requested. Thanks anyway.”

Durbin’s Non Sequitur Doesn’t Reassure Me

I got another one this week about the Roland Burris (D-IL) amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill which pro-life sources say would force military doctors to perform abortions. Not surprisingly, pro-abortion Durbin wholeheartedly supports the policy (but he does appreciate hearing from me).

The email he sent me, however, had this strange paragraph. See if you can spot the problem:

I understand your concerns about the conscience rights of providers and others who might be affected by an amendment such as the one proposed by Senator Burris. It is important to keep in mind that military abortions will not be paid for by taxpayers. Payment for abortion services must be provided privately, without the assistance of federal funds.

He “understands” my “concerns” about doctors being forced to perform abortions, but this should be allayed by the fact that all abortions must be paid for privately.

Logicians call this a non sequitur.

How does the fact that a woman must pay for an abortion herself solve the problem of a law forcing doctors caring for the military and their families to perform abortions—on demand—for any woman who wants to pay for them?

Military Doctors Could Be Forced to Perform Abortions

To be honest, I cannot find the text of this amendment. It’s not in the text at Thomas.gov or on Burris’ website (the link at the bottom of the page to his “women’s health amendment” isn’t working).

Some sources say doctors won’t be forced to provide abortions, but just that the option will now be open to women who want to have them. However, to make that option available, there will have to be doctors willing to do those abortions.

In the end, whose rights will matter more: the doctor who doesn’t want to do the abortion or the woman who wants one—and the Congress who says she has an absolute right to get one?

I think that’s the real problem we’re facing with this change. If the woman’s right to kill her unborn child is deemed to be more important than the doctor’s right to refuse, military doctors will be ordered to kill unborn babies.

Military Doctors Strongly Oppose Burris’ Policy change

The issue is important enough that 200 military physicians have signed a letter against the Burris Amendment.

Unfortunately for military doctors, this new amendment would have the force of an order from a superior which must be obeyed. According to Gene Rudd, senior vice president of the Christian Medical Association:

In addition to facilitating further destruction of unborn life, the provision will place military physicians with life-honoring convictions in the unenviable position of either disobeying orders, abandoning their conscience, or seeking objector status.

Furthermore, Rudd argues that this change will mean fewer doctors will enter the military, decreasing access members of the military have to real health care.

Urge Senators to Oppose Burris’ Amendment

It looks like Burris has only until the November election to make his mark on politics, so this might be his last hurrah—meaning he won’t give up on this amendment without a fight.

It is not too late to ask your senator to vote no on the Defense Authorization Bill unless Senator Roland Burris’ amendment (which, according to the Christian Post article, is contained in Section 1093(b) of Title 10 of the US Code) is removed.

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