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One More Time, As Choice Circles The Drain

graphic: stormbear via Flickr

Natasha Chart gives a heartfelt personal account of being 21 and on the receiving end of reproductive coercion. “Progressive” men have decreed that women are being “purists” to oppose a health care bill that would deal the worst blow to reproductive rights in 35 years, but as Natasha says, they’re not the ones who will have to pay the price:

Women, who earn less, who are commonly responsible for the most time-consuming parts of the parenting saga, who are discriminated against by their employers for being parents, who are more likely to be abused, who bear all the health risks of pregnancy and childbirth, can never be fully equal in a society that doesn’t prioritize and normalize our access to all forms of reproductive health care. When our health care is stigmatized, we are stigmatized. When it seems normal that men we don’t know get to decide if we’ll be forced into a two decade commitment, it’s only natural that men we do know might think they have the right to decide that for us, too.

If you still want to pass this health insurance reform bill, and I understand why so many people do, understand the cost. Somewhere, right now, he’s taking her lunch money, and this bill will let him force her into motherhood, too.

Planned Parenthood was bought off with the Bernie Sanders carve-out that will offer loan forgiveness to their employees and money to their clinics, just as the unions (who were going to rise up and “defend our sisters” against Bart Stupak) were bought off with $6 billion in co-op money and language for qualification that points straight at them.  And NARAL — well, they just suck.

Diana DeGette won’t release her letter with 41 signatures so we’ll never know who made this promise and broke it:

We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women’s right to choose any further than current law.

There’s a grand charade that somehow the Nelson language in the Senate is okay because Bart Stupak’s is worse.  There’s hardly any difference between the two, and the ultimate impact is the same.  Two weeks ago, Planned Parenthood called the Nelson language on choice “unacceptable.”  Now….crickets.

Let’s just recall that in addition to codifying the Hyde Amendment, the Senate bill:

  • Allows states to opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the insurance exchanges, a clear violation of Roe v. Wade. Since some state medicaid programs cover abortion as long as it is paid for with state money, the Hyde amendment (current law) obviously does allow insurance to cover abortion as long as it is paid through a separate non-federal funds.
  • It prohibits insurance companies by law from taking into account cost savings when estimating the costs of abortion care, which raises premiums, thus limiting access
  • It includes “conscience clause” language that protects both individuals and entities that refuse to provide, pay for, provide coverage for, or refer for abortion.

And a George Washington University School of Public Health study says that the “spillover effect” the Nelson language will have on abortion coverage will mean it has the same effect as Stupak.

Anyone who is whipping for this bill is whipping against choice.  The end.  They own it…and also its impact on the most vulnerable women in our society, who shouldn’t have to sell their reproductive rights off in exchange for health care.

CommunityFDL Action

One More Time, As Choice Circles the Drain

Natasha Chart gives a heartfelt personal account of being 21 and on the receiving end of reproductive coercion. “Progressive” men have decreed that women are being “purists” to oppose a health care bill that would deal the worst blow to reproductive rights in 35 years, but as Natasha says, they’re not the ones who will have to pay the price:

Women, who earn less, who are commonly responsible for the most time-consuming parts of the parenting saga, who are discriminated against by their employers for being parents, who are more likely to be abused, who bear all the health risks of pregnancy and childbirth, can never be fully equal in a society that doesn’t prioritize and normalize our access to all forms of reproductive health care. When our health care is stigmatized, we are stigmatized. When it seems normal that men we don’t know get to decide if we’ll be forced into a two decade commitment, it’s only natural that men we do know might think they have the right to decide that for us, too.

If you still want to pass this health insurance reform bill, and I understand why so many people do, understand the cost. Somewhere, right now, he’s taking her lunch money, and this bill will let him force her into motherhood, too.

Planned Parenthood was bought off with the Bernie Sanders carve-out that will offer loan forgiveness to their employees and money to their clinics, just as the unions (who were going to rise up and “defend our sisters” against Bart Stupak) were bought off with $6 billion in co-op money and language for qualification that points straight at them.  And NARAL — well, they just suck.

Diana DeGette won’t release her letter with 41 signatures so we’ll never know who made this promise and broke it:

We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women’s right to choose any further than current law.

There’s a grand charade that somehow the Nelson language in the Senate is okay because Bart Stupak’s is worse.  There’s hardly any difference between the two, and the ultimate impact is the same.  Two weeks ago, Planned Parenthood called the Nelson language on choice “unacceptable.”  Now….crickets.

Let’s just recall that in addition to codifying the Hyde Amendment, the Senate bill:

  • Allows states to opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the insurance exchanges, a clear violation of Roe v. Wade. Since some state medicaid programs cover abortion as long as it is paid for with state money, the Hyde amendment (current law) obviously does allow insurance to cover abortion as long as it is paid through a separate non-federal funds.
  • It prohibits insurance companies by law from taking into account cost savings when estimating the costs of abortion care, which raises premiums, thus limiting access
  • It includes “conscience clause” language that protects both individuals and entities that refuse to provide, pay for, provide coverage for, or refer for abortion.

And a George Washington University School of Public Health study says that the “spillover effect” the Nelson language will have on abortion coverage will mean it has the same effect as Stupak.

Anyone who is whipping for this bill is whipping against choice.  The end.  They own it…and also its impact on the most vulnerable women in our society, who shouldn’t have to sell their reproductive rights off in exchange for health care.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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