(VIDEO) Bart Stupak and His Merry Band Of Eleven Anti-Choicers Want to Run Your Life


Like a petulant child, Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) is all over radio and television stomping his feet on health care reform.

He now says that unless he and his supporters in Congress “get their way,” they will refuse to vote for passage of the Senate bill in the House.

I think Bart Stupak needs a time out.

According to the Huffington Post, Stupak is ready to jettison health reform “to stand up for his principles.”  (Or those of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, as Stupak and the USCCB are playing in the same pen).

“We’re not going to vote for this bill with that kind of language,” Stupak said on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” a reference to language included in the Senate health bill that Stupak and 11 other Democrats say is not tough enough when it comes to limiting federal funding for abortions. 

That kind of language” here referring to the extremely troubling Nelson provision in the Senate health care bill which is so onerous in itself it will  have basically the same effects as Stupak’s own language.  But maybe he needs his own name tied to the effort to restrict women’s rights or the USCCB won’t give him the biggest gold star?

“I want to see health care pass,” Stupak said. “We must have health care but, boy, there are some principles and beliefs that some of us are not going to pass.

“We’re prepared to take the responsibility. I mean, I’ve been catching it ever since last fall. Let’s face it, I want to see health care. But we’re not going to bypass some principles and beliefs that we feel strongly about.”

Boy, you know, there are some principles and beliefs held by the majority of Americans regarding the right to privacy, the freedom to decide on whether and when to have children, and freedom of religion that we just don’t think Mr. Stupak is allowed to abrogate.  

And there are some types of health insurance coverage that the majority of women covered by private insurance currently have and would like to keep. But Bart Stupak wants to eliminate your coverage in the private market too. You’ve got the good congressman and a group of men in collars peeking into your bedroom, your uterus, your insurance….where does it stop?

I, like millions of others I am sure, would like to move on from this tired attempt at tyranny from the religious right and start to fix the health care system. But Stupak keeps inserting himself and his religious beliefs and his civilian representation of the Catholic Bishops into the process.

Unfortunately, the only reason we have to deal with Stupak is that the Democratic Party keeps catering to him and helping him run for office.  But that is another story.

The fact is, even Stupak’s own assessment of his support in the House keeps dwindling.

Today, he claims 11 other representatives will vote against reform if they don’t get their way on “that language.”  But on February 24th, he told The Hill he had “15 to 20.”  On February 26th, it was down to “10 to 12″ members declaring an official tantrum unless they can impose their will, yesterday it was 12, and today it is 11.

Either he didn’t get a passing grade in math, or he is bluffing.

Whichever it is, there are tens of millions of American women–and men–who still get the separation of (Catholic) Church and state.  Let’s send Bart back to Michigan so he can retake politics and civics classes and get real health reform passed for all people, including women.

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  • anat-shenkerosorio

    Cogent and timely analysis, Jodi. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. It seems that notions of representative leadership are gone. 

    I’ve had my fingers crossed for health insurance reform (don’t get me started on health care) — but I’m starting to lose circulation.

    –Anat

  • joey-tranchina

    If 19th century Americans had any idea of the destructive role that the Roman Catholic Church would play in the future of American Politics, they would have sunk the ships in which my grandparents arrived at Ellis Island.

     

    The influence of the preposterous “moral authority” of the Roman Catholic Church poses a greater threat to the liberty of American citizens than any Islamic terrorist fanatic, living rough in a cave in Western Waziristan.  I see Bart Stupak and his deluded minions as a direct threat to my freedom and that of my children.

     

    If one studies history, it readily becomes clear, that the Roman Catholic Church has no moral authority and, as should be obvious to anyone who can read a newspaper, deserves no moral authority.  The fact, that he was elected with a 65% majority, gives Congressman Stupak no right to impose his religious fantasies on my family.  Bart Stupak is a disgrace to everything decent that remains of what America once stood for… he insults what little of liberty Americans retain that cowards and fools have not already given away.

     

     

  • john-styers

    What if we debated this without the discussion of religion? 

    What if a faction of the population simply believes that a pregnancy is life and not a temporary inconvenience?  Why cant we just agree that one side of the fence believes in the existence and rights of a life sooner than the other side?  Its a difference of beliefs….each thinking that their position is more correct than the other.

    Don’t we all have the right to vote according to our beliefs?

    No one wants to enter your bedroom or uterus….your decisions of what you do with your body are completely up to you.  But when it comes to spending my tax dollars on something I am fundamentally opposed, I should vote accordingly.

    Religious freedoms founded our country and Christianity was a fundamental part of every aspect of the drafting of the constitution and the lives of those who fathered this country, so let’s not pretend that it was not a key element to our countries development.  HOWEVER, with that being said, lets not blame religion on this subject.

    Debate your position with greater intelligence than the simple pot shot at the “moral authority”……let’s debate the interests of both sides of the issue!  That’s good politics….

    • prochoiceferret

      What if a faction of the population simply believes that a pregnancy is life and not a temporary inconvenience?

      Then when that faction finds itself with an unwanted pregnancy, they can exercise their freedom to not have an abortion. No one will force them to have an abortion against their will. After all, it’s a free country, you know.

      Why cant we just agree that one side of the fence believes in the existence and rights of a life sooner than the other side? Its a difference of beliefs….each thinking that their position is more correct than the other.

      Heck, you can believe that the moon is made of cheese for all we care. You have the right.

      But when it comes to spending my tax dollars on something I am fundamentally opposed, I should vote accordingly.

      Sure thing. I vote against war and capital punishment. Not that it’s had much of an effect, of course.

      Religious freedoms founded our country and Christianity was a fundamental part of every aspect of the drafting of the constitution and the lives of those who fathered this country, so let’s not pretend that it was not a key element to our countries development.

      But let’s pretend that you know what religious tradition the forefathers followed, and that this is somehow a reason to use biblical passages as a basis for law in a country that explicitly separates church and state.

      Debate your position with greater intelligence than the simple pot shot at the “moral authority”……let’s debate the interests of both sides of the issue! That’s good politics….

      Our side: The right of women to control their own bodies, their own fertility, and their own destiny as affected by reproduction.

       

      Their side: The right to be comfortable knowing that other (mostly unrelated) women are not terminating their pregnancies.

    • joey-tranchina

        John Styers wrote:  ”Religious freedoms founded our country and Christianity was a fundamental part of every aspect of the drafting of the constitution and the lives of those who fathered this country.”  Right off, I believe you are wrong.  I know they teach that at Liberty University, but it is substantially untrue.  Christian churches supported kings then immediately sought to get in bed with the crown.  The radical ideas that were the foundation of democratic freedom did not come from churches, especially Christian churches.  They came from men, more of whom were Deists (who used the term  ”Nature’s God” to make a clear and bold distinctions between themselves and Christians) and Freemasons than were Christians.  Read Jefferson, Madison, Franklin to say nothing of Thomas Paine who wrote explicitly against religion.  These men who are the founders of our country were only nominally Christians at most.  ”  When Jefferson wrote: ”I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”  He was talking, in great part, about the Christian sects who each seek power over all of the others.  No state religion means no religion able to impose its views on all others.  This is not a Christian Nation — not if it is a free nation.

       

      The Christian religion, unlike most others, if fixated on belief. Their question is one of thought control “Are you orthodox or are you a heratic.”  Christians have murdered each other over theology for 2000 years, when they weren’t slaughtering “heathens,” in the name of God. That is the history of Western Civilization.  The concept of having to kowtow to every crack-pot with some claim to a private deal with “Divine Authority” is the antithesis of democracy and since the Enlightenment, that unjust force has been restricted in successful democracy.

       

      As my fellow citizen, what you believe is none of my business.  In fact, it is my obligation, as a citizen, to defend your right to believe things, even things that I consider nonsense, with my life.  Fetal personhood, the concept of whether or not a fetus is a person is, essentially, a theological question; a matter of personal belief about which there is great disagreement — even among Christians; thus, in my view, it is an individuals decision — one which can never be resolved by the intrusion of the state.  That being said: There is nothing about abortion to debate.  Good citizens must agree to disagree.  Or to dispute endlessly but never for one citizen to to attempt to use the force of law to tyrannize another citizen’s conscience.  That is what James madison called: “The tyranny of the majority.”

       

      Unless you are a very learned historian, i would be willing to bet that I know more about he history of the Christian religion than you do. It is my considered opinion that the Catholic Church has earned no right to any claim of moral authority, when their behavior is viewed over time. While there are and have been many amazingly decent Christians, the decency of those individuals does not extend authority to any church.

       

      When we have this discussion without religion, we can agree to disagree and each go our own way to live freely according to our own lights.  I would not force you to have an abortion and you would not attempt to prevent me from freely deciding to have one or to preform one.  Religious fanatics refuse to let that be the end of it.  That is the problem we, as a society, have today.  That is why I use phrases like “preposterous nonsense” when I would prefer to say simply that I disagree.

       

      As to you being forced to pay for something that you morally oppose, I fundamentally oppose war; I also oppose the death penalty as an existential evil. I consider it one of the prices that I pay to live in a pluralistic democracy that I am forced to pay for things in which my most strongly held views are in in the minority. I don’t like it but I do accept the nature of democracy.

       

      In fact, i believe the over-extension of foreign adventurism is eroding our economy and stripping Americans of our future, but I do not have the right to make a separate deal with the IRS over my concerns.  The cost of abortions is small in comparison to the cost of war; in fact the birth of unwanted and/or unloved children turns out to be very expensive. The tax costs related to abortion are miniscule when compared to cost of unwise and unnecessary foreign war.  Refusing to pay for the military budget would reduce my tax burden by 41%, while the cost of all abortions is a fraction of 1%, but no one (except Thoreau) seriously thinks that individual citizens should be free to decide that.

       

      That is a long disputation to compose in a small box. I hope it somewhat coherently responds to your concerns.

       

      Joey Tranchina

       

    • eyeglasses

      anti-choice people gave it stopped trying to make their ideas THE LAW OF THE LAND?  I am FED UP TO THE TEETH with them trying to tell the rest of us how to live!

      There are many many things that I don’t want to see my tax money used for. I am fundamentally opposed to war, the military, mandating corporations have the same rights as people, etc. etc. Unfortunately, what I want to see happen seldom does happen. Tax money should be used for the good of every citizen – not just for religious citizens who believe that THEIR way is the ONLY way. I find this repulsive in the extreme and will NEVER allow any religion to dictate to me how I live my life.

      I don’t want the religious right dictating to me (or any other woman) what we can and cannot do with our own bodies. It it no one else’s business, and it certainly is NOT the business of the Catholic Church or any other religious institution.

      No one tells a religious person that they MUST get an abortion. They’d doubtless rightly raise hell if there were a law passed mandating abortions. A religious woman, who objects to abortion on religious grounds, can make that choice for herself and it is absolutely correct that she has the right to make this choice. So, if SHE has the right to make that choice, why don’t I or any other woman, have the same right to decide what we want to do with our own bodies?

      What’s wrong with this picture?

      It is no one’s business but the woman. Keep religion out of this.

       

  • jodi-jacobson

    requires not being naive and having your facts straight.

     

    1) there is NO federal funding of abortion care in either bill.  period.

     

    2) I’ll agree with you when the USCCB, Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, National Right to Life and the rest of the male creeps with their microscopes and binoculars aimed at the uteruses of women across the country completely fold their lobbying business.

     

    3) I pay taxes too, and there are lots of things, like subsidies to the USCCB and Family Research Council not to mention the banks adn Wall Street to which I don’t want my money to go for moral reasons.  I support federal funding for abortion.  This is NOT what these bills do and not what this debate is about and to think it is is to be naive.

     

  • saltyc

    What you are fundamentally opposed to is a woman controlling her health and her future, which is not for you to decide. Thousands of women each week are in a very desperate situation, they have to wait and get an abortion later in their pregnancy because they don’t have the money for an abortion. They can’t borrow from friends or family because their friends and family are like you, unwilling to help and unwilling to listen. Shut up an listen for a change, won’t you? I wish all my taxes went to abortion funding, I am upset that it goes to bombs instead.

  • crowepps

    To be fair, if a group is operating under the premise that the ‘immorality’ of OTHER people who just happen to live in the same town or state or country that they do may bring divine retribution down on their heads because they didn’t ‘fight sin’, if you are loony :) enough to believe that Gay Pride Day at Disneyland results in children dying during a hurricane long after all the gays have gone home, if you believe that some 10-year old in Chicago being ‘allowed’ to have an abortion after she was raped by her stepdad means God allows the Twin Towers in New York to be destroyed, then the fear of that violent God and His extremely poor aim is going to lead to trying to make sure all those other people don’t do anything that might irritate Him.

     

    It’s too bad people with this worldview can’t find a more authentically Christian, “Jesus Loves The Little Children of the World”, “God So Loved The World”, Beatitudes preaching church in their area, but unfortunately, those aren’t thick on the ground in the Christianist cult areas, which prefers the Rapture Ready, Hellfire and Damnation, Jesus Is Coming And He’s Going To Laugh While Torturing the Children of Gays’ brand.

     

    In my personal opinion, the Catholic Church is focusing on gays, abortion and feminists in order to distract everybody from the fact that its clerical staff has an astoundingly high number of perverts and the Church actively enabled them to abuse literally tens of thousands of people. If the lawyers continue their hard work, it’s possible that the Church as a world-wide institution may be dissolved in bankruptcy and its laity be absorbed into the branch now called Eastern Orthodox.