Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taxpayers To Continue Making Decisions For Pregnant Women

If there's one thing we can be sure of in this country, it's that a woman's right to choose whether or not she's going to take a pregnancy to term is contingent on the whims of white guys in suits. Senators! As a country, we find it important from time to time to remind women that their privacy rights are given to them by men, and can be amended As We See Fit.

In this spirit, the New York Times is reporting today that dickhead lawmakers are trying to introduce provisions into the health care bill to ensure that tax-payer money (in the form of government subsidies) isn't used to pay for abortions. From the Times:

"Abortion opponents in both the House and the Senate are seeking to block the millions of middle- and lower-income people who might receive federal insurance subsidies to help them buy health coverage from using the money on plans that cover abortion. And the abortion opponents are getting enough support from moderate Democrats that both sides say the outcome is too close to call. Opponents of abortion cite as precedent a 30-year-old ban on the use of taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions."

I didn't know about that part at the end, that there's already a ban on "taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions." Hmmmm. Well, that's dumb and patriarchal. Let's get rid of that ban, and then the whole point is moot.

Abortion-rights activists (who should really be called something like "Privacy is privacy" activists) are worried that this anti-poor, anti-women provision could have disastrous effects on people--specifically on poor women. And also on women who already have insurance.

"Nancy Keenan, president of Naral Pro-Choice America, argued that if the bill blocked the use of subsidies for abortion coverage, private insurers would stop covering abortion because those plans would be excluded from the federally subsidized programs.

“Women who already have this coverage would lose it,” Ms. Keenan said."

Anyone with half a brain knows that what Keenan is describing here is exactly what the anti-choice crowd is going for. They will fight to curtain reproductive rights with every tool available to them, because it is their business to tell poor women what to do.

It's worth noting that we see this kind of cultural "remember who you are" smackdown on other marginalized classes as well. Gays have the Obama administration's disgraceful handling of DOMA and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Latinos had Joe Wilson--and the GOP at large--telling them that the idea of providing health care to an "illegal immigrant" was so hateful to them that they literally couldn't control their anger at the thought of it. And blacks, of course, have recently been reminded that an organization (ACORN) that helps register primarily black voters will have the fury of the Congress rained down upon it at the slightest show of misconduct.

Those are all examples taken from the last 9 months, with the "Liberal" party in power, so, you know, that's...not...good. Oh yeah, and American Muslims were reminded by the previous administration exactly how important their rights are too.


Unkie J said...

The health and well being of women in the US continues to be marginalized and trivialized. Women, whose gender is apparently a pre-existing condition, can look forward to being charged more for insurance and being paid less in the workplace, from the day they take their first breath. Not to mention the crippling footwear they're forced to wear in the office. John Kyl, brain dead Senator of Texas thinks that's just fine, in last week's Senate healthcare hearings he scoffed at the idea that he should pay higher premiums just because women have to pay more. Gender equity my ass, he scoffed, it's not his fault they're women, maybe they should have thought about that when they were gestating. In his pea brain, gender is a choice you make and the resulting costs are you're own damn fault. In the womb he chose to be a powerful morally bankrupt white male Texas Senator and his Mom? Well she was just a patsy.

John Knefel said...

Hot damn, that was well put!

Anonymous said...

My God, we are all fucked.

Not nearly as eloquent as your previous poster, but that's the first thing that came to mind after I read your post.

Sarah Mathews