HomeNewsOPINION: Which is more important:  Life or money?

OPINION: Which is more important:  Life or money?

By Todd E. Brady

Union University

While people many times don’t show their cards.  Sometimes they do, and it’s as clear as bell. 

Michael Hugo just said it.  He didn’t beat around the bush.  There was no nuance of his value of economic finances over human life.  The citizens of his community saw his true colors, and those colors were dark and shady—even deadly.  It is obvious that this is a guy who is more concerned about the bottom line of his bank account than he is about the life in front of him.

The Framingham (MA) Democratic Committee Chairman is facing calls to resign after he recently complained about the cost of special education for children with disabilities who had not been aborted.  His analysis is that it costs less money to abort a child than to educate a child. 

Talk about being driven by the Almighty Dollar.

During a city council meeting where a proclamation about access to abortion and crises pregnancy centers was being discussed, Hugo stated that crisis pregnancy centers could misdiagnose a baby’s defect in the womb and that if they were born, they could become a strain on the school budget.  At the meeting, he said “Our fear is that if an unqualified sonographer misdiagnoses a heart defect, an organ defect, spina bifida or an encephalopathic defect that becomes a very local issue because our school budget will have to absorb the cost of a child in special education, supplying lots and lots of special services to children, who were born with the defect.”

There it is in black and white.  He said it.  In essence, he was saying that society should consider murdering a child in the womb if there is the potential of that child, later in life, requiring special services. 

First, let’s concede that an “unqualified sonographer” could misdiagnose a child.  Could that happen?  Sure, but just because this could happen doesn’t mean that it will happen.  Even if it does, a life is still a life.  A child is still a child.  You cannot and should not put a dollar amount on life.

This is an example of the opportunity that leadership has to focus on people rather than money.  Unfortunately, Michael Hugo does not seem to be that kind of leader.  Our need is for those who will do what is best for people—not for those who are driven only by budgetary concerns.

Sure, all leaders must give attention to fiscal matters.  That is a part of leadership.  Even though that is the case, we can’t value the worth of a human life in financial terms.  If the dollar is more important than the special needs child, the dollar will also be seen as more important than the retired man who no longer financially contributes to society or the elderly woman who has health issues requiring thousands of dollars in treatment.

The City Council in Framingham is committed to “promoting equitable reproductive rights to residents.”  Fellow Democratic Committee member, Cheryl Tully-Stoll led the public outcry to his comments when she said, “I am absolutely horrified about what I just heard our chairman say and relate the entire issue to special needs costs to our school.”  The only comfort in light of Hugo’s comments is that there was such an outcry from the citizens there.  Horrified, indeed.  Good for the people.

I’ve always heard that money talks.  Sometimes it talks through politicians and leaders.  This is an example that we need to listen closely and discern what it’s saying.

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