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Moral issues should prevail

Amidst all the debate surrounding MIT's insurance policy, it seems that many have lost sight of the real issue behind abortion coverage refunds. Abortion is not simply a "health care issue." It has profound moral implications that bitterly divide this country. We are not opposed to abortion because we oppose health care; rather, we are opposed because abortion takes the life of an unborn child.

The simple medical fact is that induced abortion kills an unborn human being. There's no question that the fetus is human -- any biology textbook will tell you that like begets like. Assuming the child has two human parents, she or he can only be human.

There is also no question that this child is alive -- he or she takes nourishment and grows. Prior to death, this human being has little fingers and toes, a beating heart, brain waves, and is just as real as any of us. People can argue until they are blue in the face as to whether or not the unborn child is a "person" in the "fullest sense of the word," but there is no way aroundthe simple truth that abortion kills a human being.

In light of these facts, it is not at all "audacious" (to use the words of Arnold N. Weinberg, medical director and head of the Medical Department) for us to object to abortion ["Abortion, insurance separate issues," Nov. 20]. It should not be surprising that many of us find it so repugnant. It is an offensive procedure which involves painfully dismembering a tiny bo or girl without even a humane dose of anesthesia.

That we should live in a society where abortion is promoted as "solution" for an unplanned pregnancy is troubling enough -- that we should have to pay for it is outrageous.

In our quest for fairness, many people have used the argument that other people may find other medical procedures objectionable -- if the insurance company grants our refund request, it will then have to give refunds to anyone who objects to any procedure.

But whenever a specific instance has been cited, the procedure in question has always been treatment for disease or injury. Pregnancy is not a disease. Treating it as such is offensive and demeaning to women. Abortion does not "cure" pregnancy. Pregnancy "cures" itself in roughly nine months.

Except in the rare instance of tubal pregnancy, abortion is an entirely optional procedure, and covered in full by MIT's student insurance. There is a $50 deductible if the abortion is performed so late into the pregnancy that the mother must be hospitalized.

What does MIT's Blue Cross/Blue Shield have to prove by forcing us to pay for this elective surgery? By brushing off our concerns they have made it clear that they do not respect the very real moral and religious values of many students.

Those who administer the insurance program do not pretend to be unbiased. A recent Association for Women Students newsletter described Medical Department Executive Director Linda L. Rounds and Weinberg as being "Very Pro-Choice."

If choice is the issue at hand, why not give us the choice as to whether or not we must contribute to these killings? If the procedure is optional, why not give us the option of not paying?

It seems clear that the administrators of the insurance program and much of the pro-abortion community are more concerned with promoting their own views than with resolving the ethical dilemmas posed by abortion coverage.

Margaret Keady '93->


Monnica Williams '91->

Vice President->

Jim Donahue '91->

Insurance Liaison->

MIT Pro-Life->