Update, 11/13/09: It was too good to be true and so, of course, the female employees of the RNC no longer have the coverage they had yesterday. RNC Chairman Michael Steele rushed to remove abortion coverage from their health insurance plan to keep up appearances – yes, at the expense of women.
According to an article in Politico today,
The Republican National Committee’s
health insurance plan covers elective abortion – a procedure the
party’s own platform calls “a fundamental assault on innocent human
Well, sure their plan covers abortion. Because women at the RNC should be provided full health care coverage – and, as Jill Filipovic of Feministe says – women’s health care needs do not end at our waists, right?
Cecile Richards says it’s "no surprise" that the RNC insurance plan covers abortion care for its employees:
“It’s an employer that wants to provide standard health benefits for
its employees,” she said. “That’s why the Stupak amendment goes too far
in taking away benefits that women have today, and that’s why women
won’t allow the Stupak amendment to become law.”
Republicans, of course, said the policy "could and would be changed." Well, sure. It’s really bad for your message when you vote to take away the right of most American women to access abortion care, as you quietly take advantage of said right.
From EJ Dionne spouting ignorantly about the fact that abortion access really won’t be affected by the Stupak Amendment (is it really a hard choice to vote against an amendment that would take away my legal rights, Mr. Dionne? What are you giving up in health care reform? Just curious) to, as Katha Pollitt paraphrases today, Peter Beinart at The Daily Beast, proclaiming, ‘"there
is no alternative" than for Democrats to abandon "cultural" issues like
gender and racial equality’, it’s time for some truth here.
The truth is that it is not women’s health and rights advocates who shoved this wedge deep into health care reform. It’s the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, anti-choice Democrats and hypocritical Republicans, all yearning not just to pass health care reform measures – but to pass health care reform on the backs of women all over this country. It is not women’s health and rights advocates who inserted a vehemently pro-choice agenda into health care reform. It was the groups named above who inserted a misogynistic, anti-woman amendment and thought they could get away (with the help of commentators like EJ Dionne, Peter Beinart, Paul Benard at the Washington Post and other men who simply do not get it) with pulling the wool over Americans eyes by misleading, mis-construing and misinforming the public on abortion law.
It’s unfortunate that it takes this kind of calling out of facts: the RNC covers abortion for its employees, the Stupak Amendment does not simply re-state the Hyde Amendment by barring federal funds for abortion, most women would lose the abortion coverage they now have under the Stupak Amendment. But obviously it’s necessary.