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Published: November 30, 2013 8:05 pm to Opinion Column

Why I’ll pay the fine instead of buying ObamaCare

“Put your money where your mouth is.” Many people are familiar with that popular phrase. Basically, it’s a challenge to back up your words with actions.

As a writer and a talkative person, I’m full of words – words that embody my beliefs and guide my steps. Although I’m far from perfect, I seek to be an authentic person who lives by the principles I profess.

When it comes to my health care decisions, I vary between sharing my thoughts and holding them back. I’m not afraid to tell the world about LaVanila, the best natural aluminium-free deodorant I’ve ever used. If I like a dentist, I’ll give him or her a shout-out on social media. I’ve even written about my OB/GYN experience and the pressure put on me to take birth control. Yet when it comes to the subject everyone’s talking about, “ObamaCare,” I’ve been uncharacteristically quiet.

I’m one of the uninsured. I’ll admit it’s a struggle. I have two wonderful part-time jobs instead of a full-time, and neither job provides coverage. I could technically buy my own insurance. I’ve searched for plans. The ones I can afford don’t include the things I really need, like dental and vision. I’ve had major dental issues in the last few years to the tune of thousands. When it comes to my sight, I actually had an eye doctor tell me once, “Did you get dropped on the head as a child?” Realistically, I need more from a plan than I can afford to pay for. Some of the plans cost the same amount monthly as my rent.

When I realized that ObamaCare was actually going to pass, I had mixed emotions. I’m pro-life. I believe that the unborn have a right to be protected. I see the dignity of the fetus and value his or her worth as a unique person. Most Americans are familiar with President Obama’s support of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion-provider in our country. I know that ObamaCare makes it easier for women to terminate their children or prevent them from being born through access to contraceptives, birth control, and sterilization. I also know that the Affordable Care Act isn’t just about abortion and birth control. Yet, as a woman who was minutes away from being aborted, I will never overlook that component of it.

Aside from the abortion coverage, the idea of affordable health care is very appealing to me. I have international friends, and I’m amazed at the differences between our nations’ health care. I’d love to have a baby in Sweden – just saying.

But since I have no plans to leave America, I’m grateful for the rights and privileges we do have. When the ObamaCare site went live in my state, I curiously went on and read about the plans. I called and talked to a really nice worker. I researched, prayed, spoke with friends, and wrestled over what to do.

“Would my money really be supporting abortion?” Every pro-life leader I trusted said yes. “Shouldn’t I just abide by the law of the land?” “Does this count as ‘rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s, like Jesus said?” “Could I live with myself if I knew my money was in some way profiting the abortion industry?” “Can I even live without insurance?” “How much was that fine again?” “Doesn’t it increase every year?” “Isn’t this Affordable Act a good thing because it helps the poor?” “What if I get sick?”

The questions swirled inside my head and slowly began forming into solid conclusions. I didn’t have a dream, light from above, or hallelujah chorus. I just recognized I wanted to honor the convictions God developed in my heart. I’m pro-life. I don’t want my taxpayer dollars funding abortions. I don’t support any form of birth control that can even slightly be considered an abortifacient.

I’m not basing my opinions on feelings. I’m making this decision because of my principles. I’ve read the stories of regret from women and men who’ve aborted. I know the significant side-effects birth control devices like IUDs can bring. I tremble in my heart over the fact that our nation allows the morning-after pill to be sold over the counter without an age limit or prescription. I shudder to think of the emotional consequences this young generation will face in the years ahead. Leaders in our goverment and the medical field seem so concerned about teens avoiding pregnancy that they’re willing to overlook the physical and psychological effects some forms of birth control can have on them as they develop into womanhood.

I work at a non-profit that serves lower-income individuals. I meet women weekly who tell me they have nothing. I appreciate our president’s desire to make health care affordable to all. Abortion should be separated from that plan, because it’s not health care. The large majority of abortions are done for reasons of convenience. It’s never an answer to poverty or the cure to any of society’s ills. Killing thousands of babies doesn’t solve our problems.

This is why I’m abstaining from supporting this billion-dollar industry of death. I’ve looked into other options, and hopefully I’ll find one that fits my needs. I’ve heard great things about Medi-share and recommend them as an alternative.

Some people will think I’m being foolish, ignorant, or irresponsible. I won’t defend myself against those or any accusations. Maybe I am being foolish. Maybe the rational choice is to do what I’m told and take care of my basic needs. I’m not telling others to follow my example. I know that even those who oppose ObamaCare feel they are without options because of medical conditions or their family size. I can’t tell anyone else what he or she should do. All I can do is be true to my heart’s convictions. If you have the same convictions, I pray you’ll find a way to follow them.

I’m not declaring that being pro-life means not purchasing ObamaCare. People express their pro-life beliefs in a number of ways. What I am saying is that I couldn’t live with myself if I accepted a health care plan that glorifies free birth control and trivializes abortion. I’d rather pay a fine than live with regrets in my heart.

When I saw the ObamaCare ad with the cute girl holding her pills next to a guy and saying, “Let’s hope he’s as easy to get as this birth control. My health insurance covers the pill, which means all I have to worry about is getting him between the covers,” I felt I’d made the right decision. I better start saving $95 for my first year’s fine.

About Christina Martin

Christina Martin has been a pro-life voice for eight years. Her work began after her mother confessed she paid a doctor to abort her, but walked out before he could. Knowing she was saved from death, she wanted to fight for others. After graduating college in 2005, Christina spent 2 years at the Justice House of Prayer in D.C praying at the Supreme Court daily for the ending of abortion. Then 3 years with the Atlanta chapter of the international grassroots pro-life movement Bound4Life. Christina seeks to love Jesus in word and deed. She has a burden for the black community and longs to see them free from the genocide of abortion.
View all posts by Christina Martin

  • Eileen Benthal

    Christina, I deeply respect your principles and your decision to not purchase health insurance under Obamacare. Given your reasoning, and this decision, I am sure you understand that you cannot purchase insurance at all in the US unless you work for an elite group that meets Federal and State definition of “religious employers” who are excluded from providing abortion and contraceptive services (who really does if the Catholic church doesn’t?). It is a crazy situation, frightening even, that we find ourselves in. I am a pro-life Catholic, with a BA in Theology from Franciscan University; a freelance writer, wife and a mother of four beautiful children. I have given talks to medical students, doctors, men and women from all walks of life-testifying to God’s life in the midst of profound trials. My youngest child was born with a life threatening, neurological disease. She has had over 80 brain surgeries, the first one when she was just 3 months old. I have no choice but to purchase Obamacare, because it is now the law of this land; every insurance plan, private or government subsidized must pay for abortion and contraception. This coverage for services which I find morally reprehensible are now unavoidable for most Americans. I would gladly pay the fine, but not at the cost of my daughter’s life. So while you have a choice, I encourage you to fast and pray for the multitude of Americans who now have none. There are those of us who must protect the lives of our young and most fragile persons by submitting to a plan we hold in contempt. Continue your advocacy for all human life; from conception to natural death and discern your choices with great care and respect for all human life. May the Lord shield us in His Merciful Love. Prayerfully and respectfully yours, Eileen Benthal

    • Christina Martin

      Eileen,

      Thank you so much for reading the article and sharing your story with me. Words fail me in this moment. I read your comment and my heart just felt the weight of what you are going through. I can’t say that I even understand because I’m not in the situation as you are. But I can say that I do care. I do commend you for being an amazing mom. That comes first. You are a brave women and you’ve fought so hard to care for your daughter. God see’s that and He’s proud of you. I just know it. Thank you for the work you’ve done to stand for the values of life, truth, God’s grace through suffering. I am sorry you are being backed into a corner like this with Obamacare. It just makes me so sad that many of us are being put in a position where we have to go along with something that is against our deepest convictions. It’s simply just not right. Yet here we are. We must do what we can to make the best of all of this. That is what your doing. Thank you for being kind and not judging me. Thank you for saying you respected my decision. I was so afraid to write this article. Partly because I didn’t want people to think I was being zealous. I didn’t want people writing off what I’m doing as some radical thing for a cause I believe in. Because in my heart their is no hoop la over this decision. I also didn’t want to make anyone else feel like they had to do what I was doing or be less “pro-life”. I hate all of that. I live in that world. Often looking at other’s decisions and questioning my own in the light of them. But in the end I know I answer to God alone, as we all do. I eventually decided to share this article just because I wanted to let other’s know where my heart is and what I am doing. And to let anyone who feel’s the same way as I do, know their not alone and they have options, if their situation affords them. Thank you again for your thoughtful comment. I truly appreciate it. You have a powerful story. If you ever want to share any of it, please email me at cmartinatl13@gmail.com I’d love to tell any of it, lesson’s learned from your daughter, life as a pro-life mom, your thoughts towards Obamacare, if there’s anything you want to express let me know. God bless :)

  • Christal

    Christina, we belong to Samaritan Ministries, which is a medical sharing group like Medishare. Belonging to that group exempts you from Obamacare, so I don’t believe you will have to pay the fine. You should check into that.

  • MamaBear

    Fortunately, we still will have insurance through my husband’s work. But, while I respect your decision, and wish you the best, if my husband’s employer ever pushes us into Obamacare, we will have no choice. We have to have insurance.
    I have to have regular testing and scans. Not counting monthly blood tests, I have had 2 bone scans, 2 PET scans, and an MRI just this year. One anticancer drug (pills) would be several hundred a month. The other (injections) is two thousand a month. And then you add in all the stuff I take to counteract side effects. And this does include possible surgeries, radiation, or chemo (whichever torture – er – treatment) I might end up with if there is another recurrence. (Last recurrence meant radiation again.)
    Even without a recurrence, we would be broke in a year.
    I am pro-life, but even if I were not, I do not see how anyone can support forcing this one-size-fits-all nonsense. When my son was in grad school, he purchased a catastrophic policy. It was very low cost, but he rarely needed the doctor. But, it was protection against becoming bankrupt if something very serious were to happen. That $15,000 may take several years to pay off, but at least it wouldn’t be $100,000 or more. I understand young adults who are in school or jobs without insurance, like yourself, will no longer have this option. Small business owners are complaining that coverage they have had for years is unavailable. They are being forced into buying coverage they will never use – like maternity and birth control benefits when the wife is well past menopause. And they are not even objecting for religious reasons, just that they do not need it.
    I do not see why they could not have said, we have a certain number of people without insurance. Let’s set up a basic program for just them and not touch anybody else’s insurance.

  • Keith

    Be consistent. Don’t pay the fine either.

  • PrincessJasmine4

    and this is why I’d rather pay the fine than signing up for covered CA

    This video makes me want to run the other way… far far far away