Obama won’t protect repro rights in health reform

As you may have noticed, right now there’s some major political wrangling going on over health reform. Not only has the public option been jettisoned, but news broke today that anti-choice Democrats are really upset
at the prospect of low- and moderate-income women receiving federal subsidies to access insurance plans that cover abortion.

Rather than declare his support reproductive health coverage, Obama is basically telling congressional Democrats, “Hey, work it out amongst yourselves.”

Meanwhile,

Abortion-rights supporters say such a restriction would all but
eliminate from the marketplace private plans that cover the procedure,
pushing women who have such coverage to give it up. Nearly half of
those with employer-sponsored health plans now have policies that cover
abortion, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Needless to say, this would be a really bad scene.

NARAL and Planned Parenthood have action alerts to keep Congress from using health reform to decrease women’s reproductive health access.

For more on why abortion rights are important in health reform, read my colleague Dana Goldstein.

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61 Comments

  1. MarySophia
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Conservatives always use the “my tax dollars” line about everything from public arts funding to abortion coverage. But my tax dollars go to military funding and the “war on drugs” and arresting prostitutes and executing criminals and thousands of other things I don’t support. We live in a huge country that represents approximately 300 million different political viewpoints, and while actively protesting these things is our right and our responsibility, “our tax dollars” will always go to SOMETHING we don’t believe in, and it’s really time to retire that line.

  2. i_muse
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Is this how HOPE dies?

  3. Comrade Kevin
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Or, in other words, I want government the way I want it, funding the things I want it to fund, and no one else can tell me otherwise.

  4. Comrade Kevin
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Or, in other words, I want government the way I want it, funding the things I want it to fund, and no one else can tell me otherwise.

  5. Alex Catgirl
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I contributed to NARAL’s war chest. If the final bill curtails women’s reproductive health choices, kill the bill.

  6. Juli
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Just for clarification, will this affect under-privileged women’s access to birth control and yearly pap smears, or just abortion?
    This seriously breaks my heart. I had such high hopes for health care reform.

  7. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Or, in other words, I want government the way I want it, funding the things I want it to fund,
    That’s what politics is.
    and no one else can tell me otherwise.
    That’s what power is.

  8. Mollie
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Traitor.

  9. bobing_b
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN DELETED

  10. Alice
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Obviously then, the fewer tax dollars are spent, the better. Rather than trying to balance your opponent’s government wastefulness with more of your own, one should seek the reduction of both.

  11. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    How’s that move to Somalia working for you Alice? Or are you still leeching tax dollars through some government?

  12. Veronica
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    I recall the main reason I voted for Obama was so this shit wouldn’t happen.

  13. Alice
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Why should government forcing me to consume its “services” make me, the victim, be in the least bit obligated to change anything about myself? It might constitute a nobly self-sacrificing commitment to principle, but failure to do so hardly constitutes hypocrisy.
    Somalia has nothing to do with a free society. Free societies are not ruled by armed gangs. Making one of the gangs so much more powerful than the rest that it can enforce its will more thru threatened than actualized violence does not change the fundamental nature of the relationship. Somalia is, if anything, a prime example of a society torn apart by competing states, a situation found numerous times in history.
    Even if you do not accept that interpretation of modern Somalia, surely you can recognize that it could have used a lot less politics, particularly British politics, in its recent past.

  14. Lily A
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Even if it truly ends up being the only way to get enough votes in the House to pass universal health care, that would expand health care to women (even if it makes abortion coverage more difficult to get)?
    I’m not offering an answer… but I think we have to take seriously the idea that health care reform is not likely to pass without some severe restrictions on funding for plans that cover aboriton.

  15. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    So you’re going to continue spending my tax dollars, but you don’t see hypocrisy. You’re the victim. Got it.

  16. Brittany
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad to see feminists that’re against abortion.
    I’m a feminist like anyone else, but Murder =/= woman’s rights.

  17. Alice
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    I’m not spending a damn thing; the government spends money it has taken from people, including myself, and the money being spent “on me” is only making me and everyone else worse off. Even if it were making me better off, I still oppose it, but you’re apparently expecting a level of sacrifice on my part that would easily be seen as the victim-blaming that it is in any other context.

  18. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    In any other context it might make sense. America had a government for centuries before you were born. Americans like having a government. You reap the benefits of action by that government. There’s a country without a government. Go to libertarian paradise on earth, Somalia, or quit acting like anyone should believe you really don’t want government services. Victim-blaming. Honestly.

  19. Juli
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure if you weren’t trying to answer my question or misread my post, but what exactly are we talking about health care not covering, abortions or will it also not cover contraceptives?

  20. Alice
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    I still don’t understand where people get the idea that Somalia, a war-zone of competing states, is in any sense libertarian. By the same reasoning, Europe during either World War was libertarian because it had multiple competing violent interests, or the entire world has been libertarian thru it’s entire history because there has never been a supreme world government.

  21. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never known a libertarian who knew very much. Somalia does not have a government. Germany, France and England all had governments. America has a government. There is no conceivable scenario in the foreseeable future where America will cease to have a government. To Somalia you must go. FREEEEEEDOM! Or you could try parts of Afghanistan if you don’t need an entire liberated country. Bye!

  22. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Wow, trollzapoppin’
    1) Terminating a pregnancy is not murder, unless we can agree that a woman who dies giving birth to a fetus was in fact murdered by her baby and the infant should go directly into a correctional facility.
    2) Not respecting a woman’s bodily autonomy =/= feminism. Abortion may not be something you would prefer for yourself given ideal circumstances, but the ability to control reproduction is the cornerstone of the women’s movement. Reproductive freedom is the heart of women’s liberation. Not being a nasty morally superior scold, no matter what your youth pastor told you.

  23. ooperbooper
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m tempted to flame Brittany too Might Ponygirl but I don’t think she’s a troll. Her post on “The feminists are coming! The feminists are coming!” is quite revealing. Here’s a small segment:
    “I USED to be a conservative, and while I don’t agree with abortion still, I’ve changed my ways and I’m horrified to see that people still think like this and that -I- used to think like this.”
    I’ve spent plenty of time criticizing “newbies” here and on the community site and I’ve learned that there isn’t much good that can come of it.
    @Brittany: I really don’t like being referred to as a murderer. Yeah, I had an abortion and it was a difficult decision. I don’t appreciate your judgment.

  24. Alice
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Somalia lacks a government like America “lacked a government” during the Civil War. At least 3 of the factions fighting over there are prevented from assuming the full power of the state only by the continued existence of the other, similarly ambitions groups. The resulting violence, then, is due to ambition to political power, not a denouncement of it.

  25. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    America had two functioning governments during the Civil War, one of them continuously recognized. Somalia does not. I suppose it proves nothing to you that embracing libertarian fairy-tales requires such a complete ignorance of basic facts of history? You’re technically right that there is nothing approaching a libertarian state anywhere in the world, for obvious reasons, but Somalia is the closest you’re going to get.
    The resulting violence, then, is due to ambition to political power, not a denouncement of it.
    This is my favorite part, in case you’re wondering.

  26. davenj
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    This is what happens when ambition outstrips the capacity for action, and it’s why I wasn’t a fan of this health care push from the start. There’s no way, in the current economic and political environment, that a sufficient health care bill would pass.
    So instead of using patience we instead get the Hodge-Podge Health Bill that has no public option, actually hurts reproductive health measures, and essentially kills a future push for health reform.
    Ambition and hope can only take you so far. What we’re seeing here are the limits. So yes, we’ll get “health care reform”, but we won’t get health care reform, in the same way that we’ll “get out of Iraq and Afghanistan”, but we won’t get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    Obama tried to hold ‘em when he should have folded ‘em. He didn’t have the cards to orchestrate real health care reform, and now we’re seeing him positively hemorrhage political capital.

  27. allegra
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    So … where the fuck is Michelle Obama when we clearly need her to kick her husband in the ass?

  28. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s awesome that you know what Michelle Obama thinks about this.

  29. allegra
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Yeah. This is so fucked I can’t even properly express it without expletives.
    And it’s the kind of shit that makes me wonder why I vote for Dems.

  30. aleks
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Do the words Palin and Bush ring any bells?

  31. allegra
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Uh? She recently gave a speech on the importance of health reform to women. Though I’m not sure of the exact content, I never overheard that she said anything like, ” … Sorry, ladies, you might have to give up some of your reproductive rights to get it.” Did you?
    I can’t honestly fathom in my mind that she would think it acceptable for reform to eventually phase out even women’s private insurance abortion coverage.

  32. allegra
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    … No. I don’t really know what you’re getting at.
    In spite of Bush and Palin, I’m pretty tired of reducing my choice to the “lesser of two evils” when half of the frickin’ party you’re voting for is ALSO PART OF THE EVIL (e.g., anti-choice).

  33. allegra
    Posted September 29, 2009 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I will be flipping the fuck out if somebody tries to limit contraception benefits. But I don’t think the Hyde Amendment applies to contraception. (Does it? I hope not.) e.g., Planned Parenthood is partly publicly funded. I’m on a state Planned Parenthood program right now that’s giving me my pills for free (f*cking awesome, ’cause, actually, there’s no other way my insurance-deprived self would be able to afford them).

  34. aleks
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    I’ve never met anyone who was thrilled about voting for the lesser-but-still-considerable evil that is their party of choice. That’s living in a Republic for you. Our practical options are Obama or the Palin-Romney gang.

  35. aleks
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    No, I’ve never heard Michelle say anything like “… Sorry, ladies, you might have to give up some of your reproductive rights to get it.” I haven’t heard Obama, Reid or Pelosi say that either, have you?

  36. Brittany
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    I’m not going to reply to the flames on this page. It’s my choice to believe that something that is and will always be viewed as morally wrong is, in fact, wrong. I will not call anyone murderers or put them down either, but I ask that you respect my opinions. I don’t think badly of anyone if they’ve had an abortion, nor do I judge them. I was actually born because my mother had an abortion. I hate that abortion is viewed as going hand-in-hand with feminism, however, and that anyone with different views is attacked or flamed. This is supposed to be a place where you can OPENLY state your opinions without fierce judgement.

  37. Brittany
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    I will not reply to flames on this page.
    It’s MY right to have an opinion that something that is unarguably morally wrong IS, in fact, wrong. I will not, and have never judged anyone that has had an abortion, and respect the fact that they have the bravery to say that they had one. I was born because my mother had two abortions, and I will never think negatively of her nor my friends that have had them. Please respect my opinions, as this is supposed to be a place where you can OPENLY speak your ideas and opinions without fear of harsh criticism or judgement. I’m not a troll, nor am I here to fight with anyone, since I myself am a feminist. I don’t believe that feminism goes hand-in-hand with abortion, as I will always believe abortion is never a woman’s right. I love the women here, and this is the first place I come here to read the news from female perspective! I can’t say that I like that a person’s opinion is stifled if it’s not the opinion of the mainstream or politically correct.

  38. Brittany
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    I will not reply to future flames on this page.
    It’s MY right to have an opinion that something that is unarguably morally wrong IS, in fact, wrong. I will not, and have never judged anyone that has had an abortion, and respect the fact that they have the bravery to say that they had one. I was born because my mother had two abortions, and I will never think negatively of her nor my friends that have had them. Please respect my opinions, as this is supposed to be a place where you can OPENLY speak your ideas and opinions without fear of harsh criticism or judgement. I’m not a troll, nor am I here to fight with anyone, since I myself am a feminist. I don’t believe that feminism goes hand-in-hand with abortion, as I will always believe abortion is never a woman’s right. I love the women here, and this is the first place I come here to read the news from female perspective! I can’t say that I like that a person’s opinion is stifled if it’s not the opinion of the mainstream or politically correct. I don’t appreciate that you automatically assume I’m religious as well, judging by the “youth pastor” snarky comment. I happen to be agnostic, but thank you for that. I’m not a “newbie” either, but I signed up for an account to reply to someone. I’ve actually been coming here for quite awhile. I used to be a conservative, yes, but as I said, my opinions have drastically changed as I grew and matured. It can be said that my use of “murder” can upset some people, but this is a site that absolutely bashes conservatives, republicans, or anyone that is not pro-choice with the use “anti-choice”. Could it be said that pro-choice people are “anti-life” then? There needs to be respect for all types of people here, and I’m no less of a feminist or struggling woman for my views as any of you are, and by assuming that I’m not a woman’s rights advocate because of what I believe, you are putting all feminists in a box and giving them a stereotypical personality.

  39. LisaCharly
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Aleks, normally I like your flippant responses, but in several threads I’ve noticed you dogging Alice and twisting her words to try and debase her arguments. Is there a reason you’re targeting her specifically?
    I personally greatly enjoy Alice’s input, it’s a nice break from the homogenous (though not invalid!) economically liberal tone to the comments here.

  40. LisaCharly
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Aleks, normally I like your flippant responses, but in several threads I’ve noticed you dogging Alice and twisting her words to try and debase her arguments. Is there a reason you’re targeting her specifically?
    I personally greatly enjoy Alice’s input, it’s a nice break from the homogenous (though not invalid!) economically liberal tone to the comments here.

  41. ooperbooper
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I’ve actually noticed stuff like this going on with a couple of users. Alice and some others. There seem to be a few people who aleks targets specifically… I hope I’m not putting a bullseye on my back by saying that.

  42. Brittany
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Bah. The site was glitching and cutting off, so I kept retyping, so that’s why each one was different. The last one pretty much sums up my gathered thoughts though.

  43. cattrack2
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    The first step in scoring is to get on first base–and you can’t steal first base. So, this “Hodge Podge” bill as you call it is a necessary first step–do you think Social Security came into being as the full fledged program it is today??? It was originally meant for widows, now it includes widowers, their survivors, and the disabled…Heck, we just got a pharmaceutical benefit in Medicare a few years ago. This type of thinking would’ve kept us from doing either.
    Its a lot easier to improve a program that has funding & political backing than it is to create something from scratch. Hell, Clinton tried that 15 yrs ago & see what it got us. While the Hyde Amendment will remain, I do expect a final compromise the protects existing insurance coverage on abortion.

  44. aleks
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    I’m not targeting her. I’m responding to her statements. Similar statements lead to similar responses.

  45. Juli
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Oh, much to my chagrin I forget about PP. I was so wrapped up in what was happening with health care reform and repro rights that I spaced it’s availability. I hope that should the health reform go through it will assist women with wider birth control options, but if not I guess we still have PP.

  46. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, but you’re full of it.

    Murder =/= woman’s rights.

    followed by

    I will not call anyone murderers or put them down either, but I ask that you respect my opinions.

    You come in here calling women who have had abortions murderers (after all, if abortion = murder, what does that make someone who commits an abortion? Here’s a hint: it’s not a taxidermist), then you came in flaming. You can’t declare that Abortion Is Murder and then sit back and wave your hands that we must respect your opinion when you’re calling one in four American women a murderer.

  47. ShifterCat
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Brittany, you’ve mentioned that you were raised in a very conservative household. Consider that just as your upbringing taught you a lot of misinformation about feminism, it also taught you a lot of misinformation about abortion.
    First of all, a lifeform that doesn’t yet have a brain can’t be considered a person, so killing it can’t be considered murder.
    I’m sure you’re now wondering, “But what about late-term abortions?” Those are done in situations like this.
    Next, it’d be a good idea to do some reading on the sorts of things that were commonplace when abortion was illegal.
    Another informative piece: “Why I am an abortion doctor”

  48. ooperbooper
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Not to mention that her OP was in support of a user who was blocked because they were an Anonymous troll. That part is kinda funny to me…

  49. Logrus
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I won’t call anyone names, but anyone who believes that abortion is absolutely equivocal to murder or that such a concept it “unarguable” is a fucking moron.
    But I’m not calling anyone a fucking moron, even though they are.

  50. Mighty Ponygirl
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Americans have short memories. Illegal abortion wasn’t even that long ago — there are people alive today who would have remembered the bad old days when women were found in hotel rooms dead, prone, and bleeding out on a towel, and when girls “went away” and came back with serious depression issues. But God Damn if we aren’t committed to making the same mistakes over and over again.
    The Republican Party has prospered by making people think that the bad old days were the good old days and that the reason abortion is legal is because folks ain’t like they used to be… instead of women dying horrible deaths from botched back-alley abortions. People don’t. know. If you talk to teenagers, a lot of them don’t understand what the coathanger symbolizes. They’ve been brought up in a culture of anti-choice pablum and false morality.
    Part of me says let it burn. Let’s elect Palin. Let’s outlaw abortion, and contraception, and divorce. It took the fifties to give us the sixties. Let’s remind people why feminism mattered and why reproductive freedom is the cornerstone of womens’ liberation. Let’s see how all of these armchair moralists and anti-choice “feminists” like it when it’s their daughters having their boyfriends hit them in the stomach with baseball bats and getting taken to the emergency room for severe abdominal trauma while the doctors withhold treatment until she confesses she was trying to get an abortion illegally. Let’s see how all of these disapproving gasbags like it when their sisters have to go to unlicensed back-alley doctors to get abortions and part of the price of admission is that they get to be molested. Let’s see how they like it when it’s their mothers dying from complications of preeclampsia after their bodies just gave out after the sixth child.
    Of course, we’d just forget and go through the same thing all over again in forty years, because America is filled with a bunch of selfish fucking assholes who believe that they are the exception to the rule and can’t be bothered to think thoughts more complicated than whether or not Ellen will be a better judge than Paula.

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