Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Stupak-Pitts Amendment, Part II, or "...and by tonight, I mean tomorrow."

Too much abortion for just one post, obviously, so I'm breaking it up into two. To carry on where I left off, legally the decision to abort a child must be the prerogative of a woman and her doctor. The Stupak-Pitts amendment not only bans abortion coverage in the public option, but also bars women from using their own money to purchase abortion coverage. Language in the bill already provided that public contributions to private plans be segregated so as not to fund the abortion coverage. This was not enough, apparently, for proponents of the Stupak-Pitts bill. Under its restrictions, any plan purchased through the exchange would be forbidden to include abortion coverage, even when its premiums are entirely privately paid. This could cause people who already have abortion coverage to lose it.

I consider this in direct violation of the decision handed down by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. By restricting even private insurers' ability to cover abortions, Congress is effectively taking the option off the table for many women, especially lower-income women. How can the abortion question be truly "left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician", or indeed of the pregnant woman herself, if their decision is colored by government-mandated unavailability of coverage? The previous stipulations that public money not be used directly to fund abortions were, I concede, reasonable. This, however-- this strays way too far into the territory of legislating morality.

I found myself in the same Catch-22 in which pro-choice Democrats in Congress found themselves this weekend: I want a health-care reform bill to pass. We sorely need this legislation. But we do not need it like this. We do not need it at the expense of the rights of the people it's supposed to be protecting. I hoped, despite my support, that the bill wouldn't pass. But it did, with the Stupak-Pitts amendment in it.

Things like this scare me, just like the repeal of Maine's gay marriage law scares me, and the election of a Virginia governor who once wrote a thesis stating that working women and feminists are "detrimental" to the family scares me. How can a nation in which I'm expected to put so much faith have so little faith in me?

Posted by Silent Five @ 6:32 PM

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What scares me the most is that most people in congress have not lived "normal people" lives. Seriously, lawyers do not live like most of us. Just like how it drives me up a wall that people without advanced education degrees (or even teaching experience or a general understanding of child psychology and brain development for that matter) are making the laws about what and how we teach.

Posted by Blogger Katie @ 3:15 PM #
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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

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This is all in no way meant to incur copyright-infringement-related wrath. I'm harmless. I promise. Oh, and if you're offended by anything I may post herein, I guarantee I didn't mean to do so (unless, of course, you are a humorless prig. In which case, go right on and be offended, with my blessings.)