What We Missed

Breaking news: more than three dozen House Dems have signed a letter to Nancy Pelosi firmly pledging to vote against the bill if it contains an anti-abortion amendment.
Fifty women who called themselves the Lioness group became the first female graduates of Iraq’s police officer training academy.
MIT economists find yet another way to argue that environment, not innate ability, determines how well girls do in math class.
The much-celebrated microfinance site Kiva’s one-on-one matching practices are called into question.
“You couldn’t stop Stupak. But you can stop Pitts.”
Fiorina’s campaign stoops to new lows in fight against Boxer. Ugh.

Join the Conversation

  • Brittany

    I know this might get me flames, but I don’t like the fact that people want to put abortion rights into the bill.
    I don’t want my tax money to go to another woman’s abortion when my religion AND personal views go strongly against it.
    A woman can pay for her own abortion or put the baby up for adoption.

  • Brittany

    And I’d also like to add that there’s places that’ll help pay for your abortions as well. I just don’t want to pay for that kind of thing, and I shouldn’t be forced to.

  • 73666673

    While I am ‘pro-choice’, I agree with this. It’s not my concern if some girls are inconvenienced by having to give birth instead of being able to have an abortion paid for by tax payers.

  • Kathleen6674

    I’m going to get flamed to high hell for this, but if the health care bill tanks because of those signatures, I will NOT be happy. The Republicans put it in the bill for precisely this reason: they weren’t going to, and didn’t, vote for the health care bill even with the Stupak Amendment. They were hoping to get enough Democrats to say no to the bill that it won’t pass. They want to stop ALL national health insurance, period. It looks like it’s working.
    I wish I had the economic privilege to be in favor of a perfect bill that guaranteed abortion coverage, but I doubt I’ll live to see the day the whole country agrees on the abortion issue. And that sucks shit. I’d want to get an abortion if I got knocked up, and I’d have a really hard time scrounging around for the money to pay for it. It is possible I’d have to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. I’m fully aware of how fucked up it is. It would be shitty beyond belief, especially since three of the medications I take have warnings about dangers to a fetus. I am not someone who takes abortion rights likely, and I don’t feel like I’m talking out my ass when I say that I’d be in dire need of one should I get pregnant.
    HOWEVER, and it is a VERY big however, it also looks like I’ll never see the day I’ll get any kind of government health insurance at all. I cannot ever get private insurance on the open market. I posted ad infinitum about my financial and health care situation in the cluelessly titled, “Whose victory?” comment thread. To wit: bankrupt at 27 due to $29K in medical bills, prescriptions currently cost $13K a year, can’t get my ass off disability because I’ll have to wait a full two years for my Medicare to be reinstated if I relapse and have to reapply for SSDI again. I have three different chronic, incurable ‘pre-existing’ medical conditions that preclude my ever getting private insurance if I lose my government insurance and can’t get a full-time job at a company that offers insurance. I’m screwed in a way that goes way, way beyond having to scrounge for the funds for one, or two, or three, or even ten abortions in my life. I imagine my lifetime medical costs exceed the cost of raising a child.
    Do people seriously think a health care bill guaranteeing abortion coverage is going to pass at this particular moment in time, when there is far from universal agreement that the idea of national health care is a good one? Do you really think it’s better to have no health insurance at all? Really? The health care billed passed by FIVE VOTES, people! Three dozen people refusing to sign it again mean the whole thing sinks.
    So thanks, middle-class and rich people! I’m touched by the concern of those who already have health insurance and get to pick and choose what kind of coverage they get. I appreciate it. Really. Now I still can’t afford any kind of private insurance for any kind of medical procedure whatsoever. For all the ‘concern’ about poor women not being able to afford abortions, I’d think somenone would be concerned about my inability to afford any other kind of medical procedure, either.
    I guaranteed if this bill tanks, I’ll be moved to tears, and not for the same reason you will.

  • ScottRock

    I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about when you refer to people who want to put abortion rights into the bill. Who? And where?
    The only place where abortion was even mentioned in HR 3962 prior to the Stupak amendment were two sections, 258 and 259, which (1) stated the bill would have no effect on preexisting abortion laws, and (2) restated the government’s commitment to nondiscrimination against medical providers based on whether or not they give abortions.
    The bill preserves the status quo. The Stupak amendment is regressive; it would take rights away from women.

  • FTWomen

    Actually, the Republicans didn’t add this amendment. The Democrats did. This, in many ways, makes it worse. It sucks that “our” (meaning pro-choice) party betrayed us like that. But let’s be clear about the motive – it wasn’t at attempt by the GOP to derail the bill. It was an attempt by conservative Democrats who are worried about 2010 to pander to their districts.
    The healthcare bill, minus the Stupak/Pitts amendment, does not “guarantee” abortion coverage by any stretch of the imagination. It makes abortion coverage as available as it currently is now, which of course varies state to state. The amendment goes above and beyond the Hyde Amendment and further restrict’s women’s access to reproductive care.
    I have mixed feelings about what I want to happen should the final Senate bill have Stupak-esque language attached. I definitely try to see the positive aspects of the healthcare bill, and I agree that it’s much easier for the privileged (like…congresspeople) to grandstand about wedge issues within it. The thing is, the Stupak/Pitts amendment hurts lower to middle class women the most. And for once, it would nice to not have a “woman’s issue” thrown under the bus with the hopes of reaching the “big picture.” My life is part of the big picture too.
    So all I can say is that I’m REAL glad that pro-choice Congresspeople are posing a threat. Whether they’d actually vote against healthcare in the end is questionable (and I kind of doubt it), I fully support the threat to derail the bill, if that’s what it takes.

  • Brittany

    I worded it wrong.
    Abortion rights meaning it’ll now be paid for.

  • FTWomen

    In no way, shape, or form would the original healthcare bill have used taxpayer money to fund abortions. Zero. Also curious to hear about these mystery-charity places who throw money around for these poor, “inconvenienced” girls.
    And maybe this is just me, but what makes taxpayer money used for a nearly decade-long war (costing billions to trillions, killing thousands…) so much more attractive than using it to protect women’s bodily autonomy?

  • Gretchen

    “I’m going to get flamed to high hell for this, but if the health care bill tanks because of those signatures, I will NOT be happy. The Republicans put it in the bill for precisely this reason: they weren’t going to, and didn’t, vote for the health care bill even with the Stupak Amendment. They were hoping to get enough Democrats to say no to the bill that it won’t pass. They want to stop ALL national health insurance, period. It looks like it’s working.”
    Ugh, this. Republicans keep setting these obstructionist traps, and Dems keep falling into them…

  • hardlycore

    Regardless of your personal views, abortion is currently a legal medical procedure. As such, there’s no logical reason it should be excluded from a health care bill.
    I’m opposed to the war in Iraq, abstinence-only education, and the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, but my tax dollars pay for all of these things. If everyone got the chance to opt out of paying for government programs they didn’t like, nothing would ever get funded.

  • Gretchen

    “I’m going to get flamed to high hell for this, but if the health care bill tanks because of those signatures, I will NOT be happy. The Republicans put it in the bill for precisely this reason: they weren’t going to, and didn’t, vote for the health care bill even with the Stupak Amendment. They were hoping to get enough Democrats to say no to the bill that it won’t pass. They want to stop ALL national health insurance, period. It looks like it’s working.”
    Ugh, this. Republicans keep setting these obstructionist traps, and Dems keep falling into them…
    (Although the Republicans didn’t technically put in Stupak, as he’s a Dem – but still.)

  • Gretchen

    “It’s not my concern if some girls are inconvenienced by having to give birth instead of being able to have an abortion paid for by tax payers.”
    So it’s not “your concern” if women are essentially forced to have a child due to their inability to pay for an abortion? Wow. Just…wow.

  • Hypatia

    yay MIT! I wish more teachers would realize that the Y chromosome does not code for a “math gene”.

  • jellyleelips

    Good for fucking you. I don’t want my tax dollars to go to fighting foreign wars. Abortion, foreign wars. One out of two of those things are necessary for women to be equal to men in this society. Guess which one!

  • Brittany

    This comment has been deleted because it violates our comment policy.

  • Brittany

    This comment has been deleted because it violates our comment policy.

  • Gretchen

    Three words: Legal. Medical. Procedure.
    Whether you like it or not.

  • Brittany

    Yes? Doesn’t mean it should be funded forcibly by people who abhor it and consider it inhuman.

  • Comrade Kevin

    As for Barbara Boxer, I’m not out to shame her or to demean her, but I saw that soundbyte when it happened and it did seem rather undiplomatic and tactless on her part to respond as she did. It’s a petty and juvenile tactic, however, for her opponent to use said statement against her by deliberately painting the statement as somehow anti-military and anti-American.
    “Ma’am”, at least where I’m from, is a term of respect granted for every woman over the age of two and a half that is so common it is almost reflexive. I actually felt sorry for the military officer who, in my honest opinion, meant no disrespect. Senator Boxer has every right to be called “Senator” but the way she went about it seemed really curt to me. Again, this is an example of another instance of where it’s not about WHAT you say as HOW you say it.

  • Lily A

    It’s already against the law for the federal government to pay for abortion in most circumstances (it’s called the Hyde Amendment — look it up).
    The abortion bill was never going to have the public option or subsidize abortion care through private insurance.
    All of that is the status quo. The bill wasn’t going to change it.
    The question is whether the bill will ALSO essentially eliminate abortion coverage from most private insurance plans, which is what the House bill basically would do if it becomes law as it now stands (you can read more about how that happens elsewhere on this site, or here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/10/opinion/10tue1.html?_r=1&hpw).
    Please educate yourself. Your tax dollars aren’t going to fund abortion either way.

  • Jen

    Because all the other surgeries a woman might need don’t primarily benefit her?
    By the way, I have to point out that cosmetic surgery probably isn’t the best procedure to compare to pregnancy and birth. If I don’t get a tummy tuck, the only thing that might suffer is my emotional health. If I have to bear an unwanted child, that will impact both my mental AND my physical health, and may even kill me. Kind of an insulting comparison, honestly.

  • Gopher

    But were not a theocracy and women need abortions in the case of health problems.

  • Lily A

    Woah, replace that second paragraph with:
    The health care bill was never going to have the public option pay for abortion, or subsidize abortion through private insurance (except in protected cases like to save the life of the mother).

  • Gopher

    I know! Giving birth costs way more + the struggles that come with being pregnant, if she cant afford an abortion, how in the world would she afford to give birth (+ the fact that its against her will)?

  • Gopher

    She’s gone all anti-choice crazy on us!!! HOpe she’s not near nay fire arms/bombs!

  • Brittany

    I’d say the anti-life one is the one we need to worry about with firearms, since they’re already prone to killing.

  • SaraLaffs

    My tax money goes to plenty of things that run counter to my religious and moral views: elective wars, for one thing. Funding prehistoric superhighways. Corporate farm subsidies.
    But the bottom line is that health care which disproportionally affects women has been separated off for too long, and I’m sick of it. It’s already prohibit for federal money to fund abortions through any HHS program, including Medicare. The House bill goes beyond that, including any private insurance company that gets federal subsidies for low-income patients, which will be pretty much all of them if all Americans are mandated to buy coverage. It’s an unfair intrusion into my right to obtain the medical procedures that my doctor deems necessary (ironically, exactly what the Glenn Becks of the world have been afraid of). Health care should be health care should be health care.
    And I’m sorry, but your “put the baby up for adoption” argument is so privilege-blind that I don’t even know where to begin. I suppose you could start with every other discussion of abortion and reproductive health that’s ever taken place on this blog ever.

  • JesiDangerously

    “And, might I add, while it “benefits” the mother of the baby, it certainly doesn’t benefit the baby.”
    Well, that’d be true, if there was a baby. But there isn’t. There’s a fetus. A non-sentient lump of cells that cannot even feel pain until it’s 20 weeks old (whereas 90% of abortions are performed before 12 weeks). It doesn’t know it exists, it’ll never know that it had a chance to exist. So who cares if it is benefited or not? I am a person, I exist, I know it, and I have rights. The lump of cells that could one day wind up in my uterus does not take precedent over me.
    “Feels a little like funding genocide to me.
    That is a slap in the face of everyone who has been a victim or genocide. What a disgustingly, insensitive thing to say.
    “I’m a pro-life feminist, and a little sick of the fact that people think that being pro-life = not being feminist. I’m also sick of the flaming and aggression towards anyone that disagrees with abortion.”
    I haven’t seen anyone in this thread question your feministyness, but I have little doubt that your allegience has been called into question over this issue. A lot of feminists today forget that many of the founding mothers of feminism were anti-choice. This is more than likely due to the fact that at the time, what an abortion entailed was not common knowledge. Regardless, it doesn’t make you less of a feminist.
    But you’re going to have to prepare to defend your position vehemently, because the majority of feminists now DO know what an abortion entails, why it is a medical necessity, and why a fetus does not deserve to have more rights than a full-grown woman. So stand your ground if you can, because complaining about people wanting you to defend an unpopular opinion isn’t going to make anyone go softer one you.

  • JesiDangerously

    “And, might I add, while it “benefits” the mother of the baby, it certainly doesn’t benefit the baby.”
    Well, that’d be true, if there was a baby. But there isn’t. There’s a fetus. A non-sentient lump of cells that cannot even feel pain until it’s 20 weeks old (whereas 90% of abortions are performed before 12 weeks). It doesn’t know it exists, it’ll never know that it had a chance to exist. So who cares if it is benefited or not? I am a person, I exist, I know it, and I have rights. The lump of cells that could one day wind up in my uterus does not take precedent over me.
    “Feels a little like funding genocide to me.
    That is a slap in the face of everyone who has been a victim or genocide. What a disgustingly, insensitive thing to say.
    “I’m a pro-life feminist, and a little sick of the fact that people think that being pro-life = not being feminist. I’m also sick of the flaming and aggression towards anyone that disagrees with abortion.”
    I haven’t seen anyone in this thread question your feministyness, but I have little doubt that your allegience has been called into question over this issue. A lot of feminists today forget that many of the founding mothers of feminism were anti-choice. This is more than likely due to the fact that at the time, what an abortion entailed was not common knowledge. Regardless, it doesn’t make you less of a feminist.
    But you’re going to have to prepare to defend your position vehemently, because the majority of feminists now DO know what an abortion entails, why it is a medical necessity, and why a fetus does not deserve to have more rights than a full-grown woman. So stand your ground if you can, because complaining about people wanting you to defend an unpopular opinion isn’t going to make anyone go softer one you.

  • JesiDangerously

    People don’t always get to fund things they like. I wish that my tax dollars could go more towards education than the military. But I don’t get a say in how the money is divvied up. Why should you?

  • 73666673

    Being forced to have a child because they can’t pay for an abortion is not some kind of abomination. Sex isn’t a one way street, girls should be held accountable for their actions, and society shouldn’t have to bail them out.
    Now, having said that, I would definitely not be against publicly funded abortions for rape victims.

  • 73666673

    If it’s not coming from taxpayer money, where would it come from?
    As far as war goes, I am against the war in Iraq but not Afghanistan, which was a breeding ground for terrorists arrayed against the U.S. It’s completely justifiable to occupy Afghanistan on those grounds after the occurrence of 9/11. Iraq is another matter altogether, like I said I’m against the war there.
    As to your point about protecting female bodily autonomy, I’ll just quote myself from another post I just made:
    “Being forced to have a child because they can’t pay for an abortion is not some kind of abomination. Sex isn’t a one way street, girls should be held accountable for their actions, and society shouldn’t have to bail them out.
    Now, having said that, I would definitely not be against publicly funded abortions for rape victims.”

  • Jen

    Ah, another page from the “babies are not blessings, they are dire consequences of having teh secks” playbook.
    Also dig the repeated use of “girls.” Are you insinuating all folks needing abortions are under 18, or are you being purposefully condescending?

  • SaraLaffs

    I survived a rape. And I really don’t understand how this “abortion’s okay for rape victims” thing would work. So, in your preference, in the first months after this traumatic crime, I not only have to prove my case to law enforcement (almost never successful), but also to whoever’s going to perform my abortion and the health insurance bureacracy that’s going to pay for it? Or else, get the abortion and face some sort of criminal penalty if/when I can’t prove my rape? What if I’m the victim of marital rape? Have you *remotely* thought through this?

  • aleks

    That’s why the National Right to Life organization and abortion protesters are the ones who get bombed and shot at, right Brittany?

  • fsu

    How did Dr. Tiller die then?

  • fsu

    How did Dr. Tiller die then?

  • tooimpurenangel

    Yes, it is an abomination. Nobody should be forced to carry a child they don’t want. No child deserves to be born unwanted.

  • aleks

    That’s why the National Right to Life organization and abortion protesters are the ones who get bombed and shot at, right Brittany?

  • aleks

    In no way, shape, or form would the original healthcare bill have used taxpayer money to fund abortions. Zero.
    Wouldn’t it have helped women buy insurance plans that covered abortion?

  • Lilith Luffles

    Not to mention how confusing it is that life created out of rape is worthy of death when a life created by a woman choosing to have sex deserves to live.

  • 73666673

    Lol, that’s not really what I am saying. Babies of course can be blessings, but the opposite can also be true. I’m just saying that people need to be accountable for their actions, for better or for worse.
    I am not being purposefully condescending or insinuating that the people who need abortions are under 18. I had no express intent in using ‘girls’ instead of ‘women’ or ‘female’, it’s just the result of writing a comment on an internet blog where I don’t obsess over word choice.

  • Jen

    You mean like take responsibility for the situation they’re in? I think getting an abortion is one way of doing that.
    Also, we crazy feminists may be obsessive about this stuff, but your choice of words (“girls”) is very telling.

  • tooimpurenangel

    That argument has always confused me.

  • 73666673

    I know it means little to nothing coming from a stranger on the internet (with numbers as his name to boot), but I am sorry to hear that you were raped. Also, I’m not trying to be sarcastic either, nor am I ‘pitying’ you. With so much room for misinterpretation online I probably shouldn’t say anything at all, but against my better judgement I will anyways.
    You make some very good points, and no, I have not considered marital rape. I wish I had definitive answers to the problems you raise but I don’t.
    Perhaps public support groups that encourage women to be more open about rape and that could assist women with the legal difficulties surrounding the abortion and whatnot might work.
    If some sort of “Public funding for Abortions in the case of rape” law was passed, perhaps language could be added to it that would prevent criminal punishment for someone who gets an abortion and is later found by the courts to not be a victim of rape.

  • 73666673

    I agree, getting an abortion is one way of dealing with it. The only issue I have is when tax payer money becomes involved. It isn’t like being pregnant is akin to having a disease that can be cured. With that in mind, I don’t think it should be automatic that in a universal health care system this type of operations should be automatically payed for.
    I agree that word choice can be very telling, however this is not one of those cases. It is ‘telling’ that, as I stated in my previous post, I do not always heavily concentrate on word choice for comments on the internet.
    In a sense, it is also ‘telling’ in that it somewhat points to my age. Without going into a drawn out biography that you are most definitely not interested in, I am in college, and not light years removed from a time when the females I associated with were in fact girls, under the age of 18, including my one time long term girlfriend.
    So, in short, I am not being condescending, consciously or sub consciously.

  • 73666673

    This comment has been deleted because it violates our comment policy.

  • Jen

    Of course, the question remains: if a woman needs taxpayer assistance to fund an abortion, doesn’t it follow that she might need taxpayer assistance to bring a pregnancy to term (not to mention raise the unwanted child if adoptive parents are not available)? I’m not an expert on the subject, but I think the latter costs quite a bit more.
    Also, you could say the “not a disease that can be cured” bit about a lot of things. I don’t consider baldness a disease, but plenty of insurance policies will cover Rogaine. Some insurance plans will cover hormone therapy, too, although menopause isn’t a disease either.
    In saying that, you’re *also* ignoring those of us for whom being pregnant *could* cause significant health problems, or aggravate problems we already have. Pregnancy may be a natural state, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t (often negatively) impact one’s health. (Another reason I hate hearing pregnancy referred to as an “inconvenience,” but that’s another story.)

  • tooimpurenangel

    Last time I checked, it takes a man and a woman to conceive, I see you absolving men of all responsibility.
    Why?
    Women may be the ones with the physical obligation, BUT men need to take responsibility, as well.

  • Gretchen

    “they can always be put up for adoption, where they have a fairly good chance of finding loving parents that do in fact want them.”
    Do you have any idea what kind of state our nation’s adoption system is in? Because I have to tell you, it sure as hell isn’t pretty. And I have to echo SaraLaffs in one of her comments in reply to Brittany – your (and other anti-choicers) rather flippant attitude about “oh, you can just put it up for adoption, no big deal!” is just incredibly privilege-blind.