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Recently, the New York Times published a satirical cartoon entitled “A Modern Bible” in which Jesus asks the lepers – and I’m paraphrasing here – if Jesus was around today, would he deny treatment to the lepers because of “prior conditions” or because they lacked the economic means to get proper treatment?

With the health care bills in both the House and the Senate, we have seen a concentrated effort from Republicans to discredit and undermine reform.

Health care is not a partisan issue; it’s a moral issue. Moreover, it’s a human right.

It is interesting that many of these Republican representatives consider themselves to be “pro-life.” How can someone be “pro-life” and at the same time be against universal health coverage?

The answer: they can’t.

It’s contradictory to support the rights of unborn children, while at the same time turning one’s back on health care reform legislation that serves to widen coverage that could benefit hundreds of thousands or even millions of these same children once they are born.

In the U.S., we have the single highest number of teen pregnancies in the industrialized world. Research has shown that teen pregnancy is detrimental to the child long after he or she is born. Teen mothers are more likely to be poor and reliant on social services. Implicit here are the mother’s and child’s needs for affordable or government-subsidized health insurance.

It is only reasonable to conclude that these same “pro-life” representatives only care about the wellbeing of unborn children and not the long-term wellbeing of children once they enter the world.

Pro-life is limited to abortion; it doesn’t extend to the lives of already born U.S. children.

In Jesus’ time, he preached from the mount, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth” (Matthew 5:5). Lets take Jesus at his word and not deprive the meek, the poor and the downtrodden of their basic human right – the right to life.

Aaron Smith is a member of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.

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