Whose health care victory?

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that, last night, the House passed a health-care reform bill. I got this lovely email from Barack Obama telling me what a victory this is:

This evening, at 11:15 p.m., the House of Representatives voted to pass their health insurance reform bill. Despite countless attempts over nearly a century, no chamber of Congress has ever before passed comprehensive health reform. This is history.
But you and millions of your fellow Organizing for America supporters didn’t just witness history tonight — you helped make it. … You stood up. You spoke up. And you were heard.

Actually, I wasn’t heard. Because I think I made pretty damn clear (as did Obama, in several speeches during the campaign) that reproductive health care is essential health care.
So what the FUCK is this Stupak amendment doing attached to the health-reform bill? You know, that amendment that takes away women’s access to health care? It reads:

The amendment will prohibit federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. However, it allows individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions.

THIS IS FUCKED. [Update: A few more details at LGM.] NARAL for has more, as does Amanda.
As Sarah Jaffe put it, “Bart Stupak thinks he knows what I can do with my body. And Congress is voting to let him make that choice.” A full 64 Democrats voted to take away your right to medical care. Shocker of shockers, they’re all the vast majority are dudes. A couple of them are even men who have claimed to be pro-choice.
Writes Pilgrim Soul,

Charmingly I expect that in the next few days all your liberal dude friends will be trying to explain to you that this is really no big deal, look, they had to get the Republicans/”Democrats” onboard SOMEHOW, this is just a battle but we won the war, etc etc.

Actually, they’ll be explaining that it’s not a big deal because the Stupak amendment can be stripped out by the conference committee (which I very much hope it will, but am not holding my breath) and because there are potential loopholes (though I have yet to hear a convincing one).
On some level, I don’t care about the nitty-gritty details of this amendment. This isn’t just about how the money is allocated or what workarounds exist. This has me so incredibly infuriated because it further segregates abortion as something different, off the menu of regular health care. It is a huge backward step in the battle to convey — not just politically, but to women in their everyday lives — that reproductive health care is normal and necessary, and must be there if (or, more accurately, when) you need it.
This also sets apart women’s rights from the Democratic/progressive/whatever agenda. As something expendable. But fundamental rights for women are not peripheral. They are core. And not just because of so-called “progressive” values. In a political sense, too: Seeing as how the Democratic party relies on women voters to win elections, you would think they would have come around to this no-brainer by now.
It’s pretty fucking cramped underneath this bus, what with 50% of Americans down here.
And now, lest we get too depressed, a few next steps:

Other suggestions?
UPDATE: Go read Shark-Fu.
UPDATE II: The Washington Post reports,

But abortion-rights supporters are vowing to strip the amendment out, as the focus turns to the Senate and the conference committee that would resolve differences between the two bills.
Although House liberals voted for the bill with the amendment to keep the process moving forward, Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) said she has collected more than 40 signatures from House Democrats vowing to oppose any final bill that includes the amendment — enough to block passage.
“There’s going to be a firestorm here,” DeGette said. “Women are going to realize that a Democratic-controlled House has passed legislation that would prohibit women paying for abortions with their own funds. . . . We’re not going to let this into law.”

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119 Comments

  1. Posted November 8, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Great post, Ann! I agree with every word. I’m tired of seeing how women’s rights keep getting sacrificed in favor of “more important” concerns. I don’t understand how some people can claim to be liberals and still support this atrocity. This is so wrong and so frustrating.

  2. JoanOfArc
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everything you have written. Women’s reproductive health is so often segregated from so-called ‘regular’ health care. Look at the way clinics that provide birth control and abortions are set apart. Abortions are usually performed in clinics, not in hospitals. This of course makes those clinics easier targets for nutjobs who want to attack providers. This bill is just another example of how reproductive care for women is considered less important and something that lawmakers can negotiate away. I agree that it is time to elect more pro-choice women, overturn the Hyde amendment and support groups that work for reproductive care to be treated as every other type of medical care is treated.

  3. prettyinpink
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    To be fair, why should the public plans cover elective procedures? I don’t want to pay for someone’s boob job or facelift, either. Sure, women also have the right to get a boob job if they so choose, but I shouldn’t have to pay for it if I don’t want to. I know of plenty of places who offer ‘grants’ or special payment plans for abortions for women who can’t afford them. Perhaps this will give people incentive to donate to those kind of programs. Less beaurocracy involved there too, less red tape to deal with.

  4. LN80
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The National Network of Abortion Funds has led a campaign against the Hyde Amendment for the last several years. You can find out more here: http://www.hyde30years.nnaf.org/

  5. borrow_tunnel
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I could be wrong, but I have yet to see anyone comment on how health care reform will effect the deficit. I know there are tons of women on here who are financially savvy, so can I hear from some of you? I mean, sure, health reform sounds beautiful, but there must be some economic downside.

  6. LN80
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Really? You know “plenty of places?” Please tell! I worked on national, pro-choice hotline for several years raising money for women who cannot afford the full cost of an abortion, and a friend and I founded an abortion to assist women in our region. We NEVER had enough money and frequently had to turn women away. Those women probably had to carry pregnancies to term that they didn’t want for the simple fact that they couldn’t afford an abortion. Like a facelift or a boob job? Beyond insulting.

  7. JoanOfArc
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    There is a MAJOR difference between a ‘boob job’ and abortion. Do you also support not covering pre-natal care and childbirth? Or lung cancer treatment? After all, pregnancy and smoking are choices. If we cover the results of those choices, then why in hell would we not cover abortion? Oh, I know, abortion offends some people. So I guess womun’s rights are expendable and we can just equate an unwanted pregnancy with a ‘boob job’ /sarcasm.
    Joan

  8. Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, contact the Dems who betrayed women and let them know how much they suck. I plan on calling my rep tomorrow and letting him know that I’m going to do everything in my power to get the word out and see that he’s defeated come next election.
    I posted the contact info for all 64 Dems here.
    (Also, it wasn’t all men. There were 1 or 2 women in the bunch. Finding that out filled me with rage.)

  9. oddrid
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    How is this any different from the Hyde amendment? Has anything really changed?

  10. Wednesday
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes women and girls who are unable to get safe, legal abortions either (a) commit suicide, or (b) have an unsafe, illegal abortion.
    So, yes, abortion is totally elective, if you believe that the health and lives of women and girls is optional.

  11. prettyinpink
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    If removing a fetus is no different than removing a spleen or an appendix, then it is no different than enhancing one’s breasts or removing excess fat through liposuction. Let’s be consistent.
    Lung cancer and others are life threatening so they are needed health care. Not having pre-natal care can be life-threatening to newborns. Childbirth can become a life-threatening situation. Similarly, abortions that are needed to preserve health and life should be covered.
    People have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, but anything that doesn’t directly threaten their health is still an optional procedure. People can get covered through private plans if that is what they value in a plan and are willing to pay for. But my tax dollars should not have to go towards optional procedures. I, and a lot of other americans, can choose to donate to those organizations that help fund abortions with that money instead.

  12. jrhampt
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    You don’t think that perhaps deciding whether or not to get a boob job is not as life-changing as deciding whether or not to have a child? And then figuring out how to care for that child, work, get an education, etc.?

  13. Liz
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I agree with everything here, but I just wanted to point out that not every dem who voted on the amendment was a man, because my rep, Marcy Kaptur, also voted for it. she’s been known to be anti-choice, though I wasn’t actually aware of that until yesterday, and now I like her a whole lot less than I used to.

  14. OklahomaExile
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    In regards to borrow_tunnel’s comment, I believe the figure I saw was that this plan should reduce the deficit by $109 billion over ten years, but I could be off on that.
    As for the screw-job that abortion coverage got… I’m pissed, but I am happy that the bill passed. They absolutely should not have sidelined reproductive rights, I totally agree, but this is definitely a case where it’s easier to fix a problematic aspect of the program once it passes than to get it right from the start. The overall benefits to millions of Americans, male and female, are huge if this thing passes the Senate. They CAN strip the amendment in committee, although I agree that I’m not certain they will, but they can also go back and fiddle with the legislative language once its in place.
    Is that a comforting answer? Absolutely not. But there is a larger issue. Digging in our heels on the abortion issue could have sunk the whole thing, which would have been very, very bad. I totally wish it didn’t have to be that way, that we didn’t have to make that choice, and I do think that turning up the heat on pro-choice issues is a good thing – let’s everyone know that while we’re happy about healthcare, we’re not happy about what we had to do to get it off the ground.
    Still, I think that the people who voted for the bill can’t be blamed TOO much. I’m sure plenty of them didn’t like this change, either, but they knew that we HAD to get this bill passed… for the sake of all the GOOD stuff that’s in it.
    Let’s not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  15. prettyinpink
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    National Network of Abortion Funds
    National Abortion Federation
    Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project
    Hersey Abortion Assistance Fund
    Most clinics around here offer payment plans if women can’t pay upfront.

  16. JoanOfArc
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but you are wrong. Abortion is about a woman’s health and life always. Carrying a fetus to term and giving birth is quite risky to the health and life of the pregnant woman. The expense and risk of a pregnancy are something women have the right to opt out of because they threaten women’s lives. If someone wants a child, they can choose to assume those risks. But women who do not want children should not have to assume those risks and the state should not force women to assume risks by not covering a simple, safe medical procedure.
    Joan

  17. prettyinpink
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Some women might feel that a boob job is going to be essential to their career. I’m sure that feels life-changing to them.
    Regardless, yes abortion can be a hard decision. But it still doesn’t change the fact that it is (usually) an optional procedure.

  18. jrhampt
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    By your logic, lots of things that are optional procedures are covered by insurance – knee surgery, hip replacements, for example. So, why should these things be covered, then, but not abortions?

  19. Athenia
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Trans women would argue that their boob jobs, vaginas and/or hormones are not *elective* surgeries, but essential for their mental health.

  20. prettyinpink
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Often times replacement surgeries take place to preserve further decay of a condition or prevent loss of limbs, in which I consider it a serious life/health issue. I must say though that I would hope that PT or other surgical alternatives be explored before $50,000 procedures like total replacements. I think that’s how they roll in Canada’s health system I think.

  21. Athenia
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    So, now it’s clear to me now that the real rule of law in this country is that abortion isn’t legal unless you’re raped.
    Why….why….do people constantly see children as “punishment” for women who choose to have sex? Why do deny or affirm an emybro’s personhood based on how that emybro was conceived?
    I used to feel that pro-life people didn’t have to “foot the bill” for abortions, but at the end of the day, if rape is where the line is drawn, pro-life people have to pay for all abortions.
    Emybros don’t magically become human if a women wasn’t raped.

  22. maryspassions
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    So this is what I don’t get, these are the same people opposed to government run health care right? They don’t want the government telling them what they can do with their bodies, right? But here they have no problem not only telling women what to do with their bodies but also our money!!
    It’s just another way of showing how they don’t trust women. If they can keep us pregnant they keep us under control and where they want us. So hypocritical it just makes me so mad.

  23. jrhampt
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I see…so as long as you consider it a “serious” issue, it should be covered. What if I think it’s not so serious, so what, they can just use crutches, as long as it’s not life-threatening? There are numerous surgeries and prescription drugs covered by insurance which are also quality of life related and could all be considered elective. Cosmetic surgery is not usually covered for obvious reasons, but these things all are, as is abortion. I’m still not clear on why you’re comparing cosmetic elective surgery to non-cosmetic elective surgery.

  24. JoanOfArc
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Pregnancy can be life threatening. Also, if abortions aren’t covered, the pregnant woman is going to give birth and someone has got to pay for that. Plus, caring for a child is not cheap- for the individual and the state. If reducing expense is really what you want, one abortion is a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for prenatal care + childbirth + the child’s health care and schooling.
    Joan

  25. Jen
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Just out of curiosity… does this legislation still cover Viagra and Cialis?

  26. aleks
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi also agreed to let the amendment be voted on, then pushed the bill after.

  27. maryspassions
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    women can still buy private insurance to cover their face-lift or breast augmentation, but this amendment makes it ILLEGAL for women to purchase private insurance for abortions. Besides women don’t get plastic surgery because they were rapped, or might die in child-birth, or can’t afford a child, or they simply made a mistake there is BIG BIG difference.

  28. davenj
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    There’s the opposite side to the coin here, though. The Stupak Amendment sets a precedent, just like the Hyde Amendment did.
    Could it be stripped in committee? Yeah, but I wouldn’t count on it. This bill passed by five votes.
    And there’s a problem here that nobody’s addressing: the goal of a public option is to create plans to compete with insurance companies. If the public option fails to provide abortion coverage it gives insurance companies strong impetus to either cut abortion coverage from their plans or to raise the price of the coverage as an added bonus.
    The public option is meant to change the way we look at coverage. If it doesn’t provide coverage for abortions it changes the expectations for plans industry-wide.
    This could be the beginning of a major step backwards in regard to providing abortion. Could this be remedied? Yes, but I don’t think it will be. Current support for abortion is waning, and if the government doesn’t endorse it or help provide it we could start to see the Stupak Amendment as a more gradual shift away from providing abortion services.
    And this ignores the economic stratification aspect, i.e. rich women being able to purchase abortions due to their coverage and poor women not having sufficient funds.

  29. prettyinpink
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    You are asking about my logic, and I’m telling you. You have the right to disagree with me. We’re just exchanging opinions here. So yes, that’s what I think :)
    But why not cover cosmetic surgery? If it does come down to mental health, there is a substantial amount of the population that would argue that cosmetic surgery is a quality of life procedure as well. What are those obvious reason? Just curious.

  30. LN80
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Yes, they exist. And I assume you work with them often enough to know how many women they have to turn away? And when they’re “up” and when they’re “down?” Never mind – your post indicates that you’re a charitable giver, not an activist.

  31. ekpe
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    im not sure its sensible to reduce women’s health care to access to abortions. in this instance, access to federal dollars for abortions you mean to tell me nothing else ails women? or has the abortion debate warped folks sense to the point that its abortion or nothing?

  32. Rubbersoul4163
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    to those that view abortions as “elective”: I too, have first hand knowledge of so-called “elective” medical procedures. I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in Feb. of this past year. Luckily for me, my treatment was laid out for me, step by step; I knew exactly what was necessary to overcome the bastard disease However, in my journey to recovery, I met many people that had the “option” of getting bone marrow transplants or going through chemo only. For many of them, bone marrow transplants were recommended, but not NECESSARY. By the elective logic, if people with leukemia opt for an unnecessary bone marrow transplant, that should not be covered, because it was not totally necessary. When it comes down to it, most medical issues are the patients choice, not absolute necessities. We, as a society, should not be dictating to people what is necessary and what is not. An abortion is necessary, if the woman needing it deems it as such.

  33. Rubbersoul4163
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    to those that view abortions as “elective”: I too, have first hand knowledge of so-called “elective” medical procedures. I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in Feb. of this past year. Luckily for me, my treatment was laid out for me, step by step; I knew exactly what was necessary to overcome the bastard disease However, in my journey to recovery, I met many people that had the “option” of getting bone marrow transplants or going through chemo only. For many of them, bone marrow transplants were recommended, but not NECESSARY. By the elective logic, if people with leukemia opt for an unnecessary bone marrow transplant, that should not be covered, because it was not totally necessary. When it comes down to it, most medical issues are the patients choice, not absolute necessities. We, as a society, should not be dictating to people what is necessary and what is not. An abortion is necessary, if the woman needing it deems it as such.

  34. Rubbersoul4163
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    to those that view abortions as “elective”: I too, have first hand knowledge of so-called “elective” medical procedures. I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia in Feb. of this past year. Luckily for me, my treatment was laid out for me, step by step; I knew exactly what was necessary to overcome the bastard disease However, in my journey to recovery, I met many people that had the “option” of getting bone marrow transplants or going through chemo only. For many of them, bone marrow transplants were recommended, but not NECESSARY. By the elective logic, if people with leukemia opt for an unnecessary bone marrow transplant, that should not be covered, because it was not totally necessary. When it comes down to it, most medical issues are the patients choice, not absolute necessities. We, as a society, should not be dictating to people what is necessary and what is not. An abortion is necessary, if the woman needing it deems it as such.

  35. aleks
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Do poor women have insurance that covers abortion now?

  36. hellotwin
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    It better not, because I’m offended by old men getting it up and getting it on…

  37. Ryan
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    On some level, I don’t care about the nitty-gritty details of this amendment. This isn’t just about how the money is allocated or what workarounds exist. This has me so incredibly infuriated because it further segregates abortion as something different, off the menu of regular health care.
    I can’t understand how pro-choice advocates think they’re going to convince people that abortion is nothing but another routine medical procedure, akin to appendectomy. If polls are any indication, a majority of Americans do believe that abortion is an issue with moral weight. By steadfastly denying this, I suspect you may end up alienating more people than you win over.

  38. Catskill Julie
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Contrary to MoveOn.org’s premature claim, the amended House bill is no victory for women. This WAS INTENTIONAL. Months ago right wingers floated the “abortion coverage” balloon as a way to KILL HEALTH REFORM. (This was promoted by Chris Matthews on MsNBC several times.)
    The Bart Stupak coat hanger amendment must be called what it is: Government mandated insurance discrimination against women of reproductive age that will COST WOMEN’S LIVES. With this amendment included the House “health reform” bill passed last night is NO VICTORY for women, and in fact may be unconstitutional.
    Women’s health is not a “special interest.” Women’s legal rights are not a “single issue” to be sacrificed for some “greater good.” Women are the majority gender in the country and in the Democratic Party. They are supposed to PROTECT our right to equal treatment under law.
    * Women pay more for health insurance coverage now, and will under this law if STUPAK remains, although they were promised relief from gender discrimination in health insurance.
    * Women have less access to large employer-funded insurance over their lifetimes, and are more likely to have to resort to PUBLIC insurance plans, plans that will perforce officially discriminate against them.
    * ONLY women are thus singled out: forced to buy special insurance IN ADVANCE, for coverage of legal medical services that NO ONE can anticipate and ONLY women need!
    * Less-affluent younger women will simply be WITHOUT coverage for these medical needs.
    There is no way to square the Stupak coat hanger amendment with “eliminating insurance discrimination by gender.”
    This now is simply a LIE.
    Inclusion of the Stupak coat hanger amendment is as UNCONSCIONABLE as it was UNNECESSARY. I am disgusted with the Democratic leadership for allowing Bart Stupak and the Catholic Bishops to roll them. And I am disgusted with the 64 Democrats (and pro-choice Republicans) who voted to codify discrimination against women of reproductive age into law. What is the point of electing Democrats like this?
    Prediction: If STUPAK is in a final health “reform” bill, and it passes, we will see poor women of reproductive age returning to back alley abortions while, ironically, subsidizing old men’s ED treatment with their taxes and insurance dollars.
    If the STUPAK COAT HANGER AMENDMENT remains in the final bill how could Democrats vote for it? How could Obama SIGN IT?

  39. aleks
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    It’s a victory for every woman, child and man without health insurance. It’s a victory for everyone with a pre-existing condition. It’s a victory for everyone who might lose their insurance before they hit 65.

  40. Liz777
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Actually, for many women who get abortions, it is not an “optional” procedure. Choice doesn’t come into the picture at all, because other avenues of preventing or dealing with a pregnancy simply aren’t available to a lot of women. If you happen to be someone from a white, middle-class background who has the resources and support to make abortion a complete personal “choice”, then yes, it is an optional procedure. But that’s not the case for a huge segment of the population. Many women are all but forced to get an abortion because of their family/relationship/socio-economic situation. That’s why thinking of abortion solely in terms of choice can actually be harmful to the “pro” side of the argument. We need to stop thinking of abortion in these terms and start thinking of it, and debating it, in terms of a necessary procedure that absolutely NEEDS to be legally and readily available to any woman who wants, or, more commonly, NEEDS one.

  41. Tracey T
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    “Digging in our heels on the abortion issue could have sunk the whole thing, which would have been very, very bad.”
    One problem with that line of thought is that the same thing was said about a public option, even by the President himself. But people with principle stuck to their guns and it wasn’t left by the wayside despite the fact so many people were talking about how a public option would sink the bill, weigh it down, etc. People came together and decided a public option was something not to be left out and that they were willing to not support this bill if it was. Those people were told they should be supporting the bill and that a “public option could be added later” and that they were “splitting the party.”I think one of the biggest problems with “liberals” is that even with the success of reviving a public option they still will be too hesitant and willing to throw things that should be core values over the sides in the name of “bipartisanship” or “progressive change”. Does access to abortion need to be a fundamental right? If so, blatantly denying it for some women in this bill is a violation of a core principle, and if need be, just like the public option, there needed to be a real stance taken against it, even one that meant delaying the vote or sinking the bill.
    I’m glad there were people who were so committed to a public option they were willing to “sink the bill” and saddened there wasn’t a strong enough coalition willing to do the same thing for abortion coverage.

  42. Jill Filipovic
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    “People have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, but anything that doesn’t directly threaten their health is still an optional procedure. People can get covered through private plans if that is what they value in a plan and are willing to pay for. But my tax dollars should not have to go towards optional procedures.”
    I was going to preface this comment with “I don’t mean to be bitchy, but…” and then I realized, yes, I do mean to be bitchy. Because this is idiotic.
    You do understand that health care covers a whole lot of things that don’t directly threaten our health, right? That’s part of the point of PREVENTATIVE care. Also, pregnancy does compromise your health — that’s the reality. It’s a compromise that can be mitigated with pre-natal care, but pregnancy and birth are physically trying and extremely painful. They often require medical intervention. Under no other circumstances would a procedure to avoid a physical condition that results in extreme pain, limitations on your movement, and physical illness be considered purely optional, akin to getting a boob job.
    Yes, abortion is an elective procedure. So is a double mastectomy when you only have cancer in one breast — do you not want your tax dollars to cover that either?
    And all that aside, your tax dollars DON’T cover abortion under U.S. law, which is part of the reason why this comment was so clueless and offensive. Google “the Hyde Amendment” if you’re curious — it’s been around for a lot of years. Your tax dollars wouldn’t have paid for abortions under the health care bill without the Stupak amendment — google “the Capps Amendment.”
    What the Stupak amendment does is disallows PRIVATE insurance companies from offering abortion coverage to anyone who is part of the federal insurance exchange. Even where private premiums paid for abortion coverage are kept separate. Even where women pay out of pocket for private insurance. The Stupak amendment tells private insurers “You cannot offer abortion coverage.”
    You will look significantly less foolish if you do two minutes of homework — or even read the post — before you comment.

  43. Jill Filipovic
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and prescription drugs are also often technically “optional” and “elective” when they’re to relieve pain or discomfort or to enable you to live your life rather than just to save your life. Are we cutting off access to painkillers now too? Or birth control? Or ADD medication? Or anti-anxiety meds?

  44. tinfoil hattie
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Aleks, it’s not a victory for any woman or girl without health insurance unless you believe that not guaranteeing pelvic exams, well visits, birth control, and abortion is a “victory.”
    It’s not a “victory” unless you believe that forbidding women to even PURCHASE, with private funds, an insurance policy that includes abortion services is a “victory.”
    The Senate is not going to strip this bill of the Stupak amendment, and women are going to be even more restricted around the care of our own bodies than we have been to date. This “landmark bill” sets back women’s health by 30 years, if not more.
    Come back here when YOU can’t get insurance to cover your abortion, or when YOU can’t get routine pelvice exams paid for, or when YOU can’t get birth control pills (but men still get ED medications!) and tell me how much better off you are.

  45. aleks
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Those girls and women who currently lack coverage for everything including abortion are now going to have coverage for everything but abortion. You can afford to be smug and snide because you’ve chosen to ignore the fact that women and girls also get asthma, diabetes, injured in accidents, injured by violence, and a thousand medical needs besides abortion.

  46. sophia b
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m curious: about how much would an abortion cost? (I’m guessing somewhere between 500-1000 and that sure would have been hard/impossible to come up with at points in my life)
    If this makes it through (grrrr) since a medical abortion is probably cheaper than a surgical one whether we’ll see a trend more towards those..
    It’s weird, the country i live in has it illegal to pay for abortions other than through government money. The anti-abortion people brought that one in to close down one provider. Heh, i’m quite pleased..

  47. aleks
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    In-Clinic Abortion Procedures at a Glance
    * Medical procedures that end pregnancy
    * Safe and effective
    * Available from many Planned Parenthood health centers
    * Costs about $350–$900 in the first trimester
    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/abortion/in-clinic-abortion-procedures-4359.htm

  48. Gretchen
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    As much as the Stupak amendment pisses me off, it’ll most likely get killed in conference. It’s incredibly disappointing that shit like this amendment is proposed and supported at all, but it isn’t final.
    Now is the time for anger, sure, but we have to fight it and get the health care reform this country needs that doesn’t penalize women.

  49. Gretchen
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    And by “fight it,” I mean the amendment, not our anger. XD

  50. aleks
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    The house is generally considered more liberal than the senate now, because Pelosi is a stronger leader than Reid and because of the filibuster. I’m not saying the Stupak amendment will be part of the final bill, but it seems very likely.

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