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This is getting ridiculous

November 11, 2009

pppicSo, we received some disturbing news this past weekend when we learned that the health care reform bill that Speaker Nancy Pelosi put forth was falling apart in the House of Representatives.  Namely, the Stupak-Pitts A   mendment which is eerily reminiscent of the global gag rule.  If included in the bill, it would deny women coverage of an abortion procedure, even if she decided to pay for it with her own money.  Under the health care system we have now, a little more than half of private plans offer coverage of abortion services. 

Did y’all get the memo that this was helped to pass largely because there were a gaggle of Bishops up there on Capitol Hill, lobbying??  That anti-choice groups obviously care more about not including abortion in the health care reform efforts than actually ensuring that coverage is extended to millions of Americans??  I know abortion is a sticking point, but the power wielded by the Church is borderline absurd.  That in and of itself is cause for great concern moving forward. 

To make us feel better, everyone keeps saying that this ridiculous amendment won’t pass muster in the Senate, and even President Obama feels icky about this distasteful effort to overstep bounds on what we can and can’t tell women to do with their bodies.  As horrible as some people think subsidizing abortion is, this went in the opposite extreme, so we’re really not any better off.  And if this won’t fly, there will HAVE to be a compromise.  But what will that compromise look like? 

I enjoyed this clip of Chris Matthews grilling Cecile Richards, the lovely, fearless prez of Planned Parenthood about that on Hardball.  Matthews calls abortion a “bugaboo,” or sticking point.  It’s like people aren’t really sure what to call it…it’s uncomfortable, it’s divisive, it’s…here to stay.  So now there’s a lot of pressure resting on our friends in the Senate to kill this thing, and the timeline for when they’ll push something else is looking grimmer and grimmer (Christmas?  after Christmas?)

For those of us who work on international issues, this is cause for concern because it’s a huge boon to anti-groups who work in a well-coordinated global way.  If the US won’t be the leader on standing up for the protection of rights, how can we push other governments to muster the political will to do so?  This is bad, really bad. 

Check out Planned Parenthood’s website  and Facebook page for ways to get involved in this.

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