Bush Wants Medical Care for Unborn Children

Would Define Them as Persons

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WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 6, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Bush administration has drafted a policy that would allow states to define an unborn child as a person eligible for medical coverage under a government insurance program.

Federal officials said the change would increase insurance coverage for prenatal care and deliveries, improving medical care for pregnant women and infants alike.

Pro-abortion critics said the change was a way for the administration to advance its pro-life views and to establish another legal precedent for recognizing the unborn child as a person.

The administration´s plans are set forth in a draft letter to state health officials from Dennis Smith, who supervises the Children´s Health Insurance Program. "The purpose of this letter is to announce a new opportunity to provide health care coverage to low-income children," Smith writes.

The draft letter states that Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson wants to allow an unborn child to qualify as a "targeted low-income child" eligible for CHIP, as it´s known.

The letter does not say how old an unborn child would have to be to qualify. Some officials want to specify that an unborn child could qualify soon after conception.