Those wild and crazy Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee can’t make up their minds about big government! They like big government subsidies if they are from states with lots of farmers (alive, dead, whose counting?), but they don’t like big government subsidies for poor women seeking, say, contraceptive supplies, breast and cervical cancer treatment, or testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (bad, bad, bad!).
They like big government if they are from western states where the feds subsidize cattle ranchers, water supplies, mining and all those manly things, but they don’t like big government subsidizing health care for the poor….you know those actually living people who are trading food for medicine because they can’t afford both at one time.
They like big government health care programs that subsidize viagra (after all, impotency does have a psychological effect on men and could lead to higher therapy bills). They like big government to tell you not to have sex even though THEY are taking viagra (I am really confused by this one). And they LOVE big government when we’re talking zygotes, fertilized eggs or fetuses.
But once those teeth come in, watch out because we don’t like big government for children who need dental care, people who might lose their jobs, and certainly, absolutely, without question NOT for those irresponsible women who might find themselves pregnant, are unable to become a parent for the first time or have another child, and want to access that legal medical practice called abortion. No….instead, the GOP (and let’s face it…too many Dems) would rather fund big government crisis pregnancy centers (which are receiving $200 million per year from the government and private "philanthropists") to give you medically inaccurate and misleading information on your own body.
These are the only conclusions I can draw from the ongoing attempts by the GOP (and some Dems) to hold up health care reform by a) continuous attempts to deny women abortion coverage under their own private insurance policies; b) efforts to reinstate funding for abstinence-only programs; and c) ongoing misinformation campaigns by the far right.
Yesterday, for example, the Senate Finance Committee voted down a measure to require
women to buy additional insurance for abortion services.
As noted by USA Today, opponents said
such a requirement would discriminate against women and raise privacy
The amendment, offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, failed on a
10-13 vote. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, sided with the Democratic
majority, while Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., voted with the Republicans.
Hatch said he wanted to be sure that the emerging health care
legislation reflects laws that ban using federal funding for abortions.
"All I’m asking — my gosh — is for specific language in the bill
that prohibits federal dollars from being used to fund abortions,"
Committee Chairman Max Baucus said forcing additional insurance is
"discriminating against women," while Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.,
described Hatch’s amendment as "insulting" to women.
But as Cathy Lynn Grossman notes in her column Faith and Reason, it’s health reform for you, and you, but….not for you, gals.
I’ll just reprint it here cause she says it best:
As the Senate Finance Committee continues its epic battle to pass
health care reform legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch slipped in an
amendment that affects teens and young adults — women in particular:
$50-million to cover abstinence-only education — and not a penny for any other form of reproductive health ed.
one of the first public shots in an underlying issue in health care
reform– linking contraception with abortion. Eliminating abortion from
any options in tax-subsidized purchases of health insurance could very
well add up to dictating abstinence-only for people, even for married
couples, who need insurance to pay for birth control or emergency
treatment after a rape.
Signs of this effort include, according to the Iowa Independent, the American Life League’s campaign to define
emergency contraception, birth control pills and some other
contraceptives as equivalent to abortion, leaving little room for
compromise. Any health care reform bill that pays for coverage of
virtually any women’s reproductive health services, regardless of their
legality and widespread acceptance, will be morally unacceptable to
And there’s the Personhood movement in Florida, which the Orlando Sentinel says would:
outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest. Also
criminalized: the morning-after pill and oral contraceptives taken by
women, known as the pill.
Does this square with the views of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who says on his web site
that Americans want "more choice" from health reform and they don’t
want to let "a new federal bureaucrat make health care decisions that
should be left to patients and their doctors."
DO YOU THINK…
he means all health care decisions? Or are reproductive choices not
included? Should Congress stand between a woman and her doctor on
whether she has a baby?
And in other news…..
American Spectator: Senate Committee Holds Fast for Abortion
Tulsa World: New abortion bill challenged
Deseret News: Hatch undeterred by anti-abortion defeat
National Post: Adoption agencies to face stiffer monitoring
NYTimes: Abortion and Health Care Reform
Jackson County Chronicle: LETTER: Read bills to be informed about abortion
Catholic Online: How Natural Family Planning Changed My Life
NYTimes: Young, Single, Uncertain Mom-to-Be
U.S. News & World Report: Democrats Score an Abortion Rights Victory in Healthcare Bill
Houston Chronicle: Hutchison criticizes abortion-funding vote
Daily Campus: Obama in tight spot over abortion coverage
Chicago Sun-Times: Proposal would protect those seeking abortions
Feminists for Choice: Recession-Proofing Your Birth Control
Center for American Progress: Abortion Funding Fundamentals
World Magazine: The pro-choice argument against healthcare reform
NPR: The National Review: Pelosi & Co. Talk Abortion
Young Feminist Task Force: Bring It to Anti-Choice, Anti-Birth Control Bob McDonnell!