Pro-lifers slam congresswoman who compared abortion 'health care' to cancer coverage

An exam room at the Planned Parenthood South Austin Health Center is shown following the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas law imposing strict regulations on abortion doctors and facilities in Austin, Texas, U.S. June 27, 2016. |

Pro-life advocates are speaking out after a Democratic congresswoman compared the importance of abortion coverage in healthcare to cancer coverage while debating a proposed COVID-19 relief amendment in the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., objected to a bill proposed by Rep. Jacki Walorski, R-Ind., that would have restricted abortion funding for COBRA insurance for the unemployed.

"COBRA is supposed to provide employers with the same exact employer-sponsor plan as when they were employed,” Chu said in a video statement responding to the bill. “Abortion is health care, and excluding abortion from COBRA coverage makes as little sense as excluding cancer coverage.” 

Walorski presented an amendment that would have added Hyde protections in the budget reconciliation package and ensured taxpayer dollars are not used to subsidize abortion. But the Democratic-controlled House Ways and Means Committee failed to pass the amendment Thursday.

“I believe every human life is precious, and taxpayers should not be forced to pay for the destruction of life,” Walorski said during the committee hearing. “That’s why House Republicans have been united in our efforts to protect the unborn and prevent taxpayer funding for abortion. A majority of Americans — nearly 60 percent — agree that tax dollars should not be used to fund elective abortions.”

National Right to Life Committee president Carol Tobias said Chu’s claim that equates abortion coverage to cancer treatment is based on opinion. She argues that the two are not comparable.

“Comparing abortion to cancer treatment is just bizarre. If cancer is not treated, the patient most likely dies. If an abortion is not performed, a beautiful little baby lives. There’s just no way to compare them,” Tobias told The Christian Post Tuesday. 

Tobias said that even though Chu may see the pre-born children as a “cancer,” it does not change the fact that a pre-born child is not a disease.

“When an abortion is performed, one human being, the unborn child, is killed,” Tobias said. “Another human being, the mother, may be harmed physically, emotionally, psychologically. There is no way our taxpayer dollars should be paying for abortion at any time. Abortion is simply not health care.”

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser tweeted a response to Chu’s statement on Feb. 11.

“Real healthcare in the case of a difficult pregnancy looks like addressing the illness of the mother or unborn child; not eliminating the child,” she tweeted. “Real doctors heal; they don't harm. Two patients. Every time.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group of more than 465,000 members nationwide. |

Susan B. Anthony List, a leading national pro-life grassroots organization that spent millions in the 2020 election, also tweeted a link to Chu’s video statement and remarked that while “one procedure takes a life” the other “seeks to restore life.”

Chu tweeted in response to the SBA List that “Abortion is health care. Period.”

In January, Chu praised President Biden’s actions to expand abortion access when he rescinded President Donald Trump’s Mexico City Policy barring international groups that promote or provide abortions internationally from receiving federal family planning funds. 

Chu has served in Congress since 2009. 

“Rep. Judy Chu has doubled down on her claim that abortion is health care. Abortion is NOT health care, and never can be,” Dannenfelser told CP in an email. “Cancer treatment seeks to restore life, while the object of abortion is to destroy it. To compare the two is shameful.”

Dannenfelser said comparing abortion to health care is not uncommon in the pro-abortion movement, which “regards the unborn child as no more deserving of moral consideration than a tumor or appendix.”

“Doctors who work with expectant mothers and their unborn babies know well that they have two patients,” Dannenfelser wrote. “With modern technology, surgeons can even treat dozens of conditions right in the womb, and they routinely administer anesthesia because science shows unborn children can feel pain. Unborn human life is never a malignancy to be eliminated but deserves equal care and respect.”

Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, the nation’s largest youth pro-life organization, said, “pregnancy is not a disease cured by abortion.”

“To equate cancer and pregnancy is to ignore that one condition brings life into the world while the other needs treatment to prevent death,” Hawkins told CP in an email. “This is a sad comparison. The abortion lobby is so accustomed to talking points about abortion as healthcare they seem to forget that abortion ends life.”

Tobias said the pro-life movement must point out that unborn children deserve to be protected and have the right to live once conceived. She encourages pregnant women considering abortion to look into adoption and seek help, which is available.

“The pro-life movement is there to help her [the mother],” Tobias said. “… There is something precious here. Look at the overall situation and think of that baby.”

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