Monday, November 16, 2009

If you don't like abortions then don't get one

Now that the massive Health Reform bill is shaping up to be something everyone can hate, the anti-choicers are clearly overdue for a smackdown. Unfortunately due to that magical mix of cowardice and inaction that have become the Democrats' rallying call, it's looking like women's reproductive rights are about to get backhanded into last century.

While an LA Times OP-ED downplays the notion that the Stupak Amendment is a total victory for the anti-choice forces, it still points out that "it's undeniable that the amendment threatens the availability of insurance coverage for elective abortions for the working poor and lower middle class." By accepting this amendment into the final bill, Congress will be stripping those strata of society the ability to receive an abortion, while keeping it within reach of the wealthy.

People across the nation should be outraged by this, even if they are afflicted with a crippling mental defect that prohibits logic and reason from taking root (religious belief), by its very class oriented approach at limiting medical services. Supposing various other groups decided to take this approach to the health care reform bill, there are a whole range of other medical procedures and services that could be whittled out.

Those that eat healthy and exercise regularly might not see any good reason for plans receiving federal money to be providing care for heart surgeries, diabetes, or other ailments related to an unhealthy lifestyle. Similarly, the argument could be made that smokers should have to pay for any lung cancer treatments out of pocket as well. Perhaps lobbyists for women's issues should request that funding for prostate cancer come directly from the patients as well. Equally absurd as the "abortion rider" being proposed would be "drug rehab rider", or a "mental health supplemental" because they are all things that one doesn't plan for.

What's even more troubling to those of us who actually want real reform that produces an environment of universal access to health care (not insurance) is that these provisions are being placed in the bill under the auspices of winning over votes from across the aisle. But like previous attempts to reach out the opposition, this isn't going to succeed in getting more than a handful of Republican votes, some of whom would have voted for the reform without the amendment. It's time for the Democrats to start acting like, as former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones put it, "assholes" so that they can get shit done. It is a disheartening slap to the face that President Bush with 51 seats in the Senate was able to get so much regressive legislation passed but President Obama with 59-60 "fellow" Democrats can't get the most basic of progressive initiatives passed.

The fact remains that the only reason to put these restrictions into the bill isn't because Stupak and his friends are terrified that some of their income tax dollars are somehow going to end up paying for someone's abortion, but because they want to see abortions outlawed/banned/discontinued altogether. They are exercising their cunning right now in how they go about that, and they realize that by removing the funding for it there will likely be a drop in women's ability to have an abortion.

My answer to them remains the same. If you don't like pot, don't smoke it. If you don't like alcohol, don't drink it. If you don't want an abortion, then don't get one. By giving women the option to have a safe, affordable abortion, it is in no way forcing one on those that do not want them. Organizations like NARAL aren't planning to kidnap Mrs. Stupak and force her to have an abortion so it would be really nice if Mr. Stupak could get over himself and his beliefs that were conceived in an age when people thought that the universe revolved around the Earth and those that were able to swim were witches.

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