Healthcare amendment threatens to take away women’s rights

By
November 23, 2009

Unless you live in a dark basement cut off from all interaction with society or are drowning in the sewage of school work (they are comparable) you probably have some idea of what is going on with healthcare reform.

In case you have been in one of these situations, here’s my non-expert overview of what’s happening: healthcare costs are more ridiculous than Lady Gaga’s outfits, many people don’t have access to health insurance due to cost or preexisting health conditions that make them undesirable to insurance companies, people are dying or going bankrupt from inadequate insurance coverage and this is not something America can stand for.

The solution: lower costs, extend healthcare coverage, create a public option and make America a beacon of hope in the world again.

Problem: Republicans hate it and some Democrats are so scared of not being reelected they hate it too. But other Democrats love it. The public is confused and split on their opinions because of all the propaganda from both sides.

Throughout this whole mess came success when the House of Representatives recently voted in favor of the healthcare bill. I almost peed my pants when I found out. Healthcare reform is on the way!

After I used the bathroom, I turned on my grad school brain and looked into what stipulations in the bill actually passed.

Public option, check. Lower costs, we’ll see. Healthcare for all, I hope so.

Funding for abortion, really?

The main reason why the healthcare reform bill passed is because federal funding for abortion was pleasantly ripped out and burned by Republicans. Or at least that is how I imagine it happening.

In reality, such a stipulation is found in the Stupak-Pitts amendment, which basically extends the Hyde amendment into healthcare. Both reject federal funding for abortion coverage.

Frankly, I am not surprised, only outraged. Abortion is such a polarizing issue that it is no wonder the public option and government-subsidized private insurance will not offer a nickel toward abortions. Heaven forbid we fund a woman’s right to privacy.

The logic behind these amendments is that if women do not have access to abortion monetarily, they will not have them.

Not really. Upper class women who have private insurance through their employer will continue to have access to abortion. It is the lower class and working poor women, maybe even some middle class women, who will rely on the public option and thereby be denied access to affordable abortions. However, on top of the public option, women may purchase an additional supplemental insurance to exercise their right to an abortion if they choose, according to the Los Angeles Times.

If you can swallow and understand that, you might wonder why poor women are forced to pay more for a right to privacy. And you will realize that if you are poor, you are less likely to have money to purchase insurance.

Okay. So if we are not going to allow funding for abortions through government subsidized private insurance or the public option, we are going to fund comprehensive sex education right?

Fat chance. Another amendment to the healthcare bill will fund $50 million toward abstinence-only education.

Teaching abstinence is so 1990s and so doesn’t work. Almost 10 years into the new century and we are still afraid of teaching young adults, who are statistically likely to have sex anyway, how to protect themselves physically and mentally when it comes to sex. Adequate knowledge of condoms, birth control, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy options doesn’t just creep into the minds of horny teenagers.

Isn’t this a double negative? We don’t want women to have abortions, but we don’t want to teach them how to prevent getting to the point where abortion may be the only possible route of action available to them.

Did supporters of these amendments get anywhere near a logic and critical thinking class in college? Better yet, women’s studies?

In this direct attack on women’s rights, I’m wondering if vasectomies are federally funded? Of course it is. Let’s get really equal and make men’s choice to emit sperm more expensive and harder to access.

To be serious, I want to support healthcare reform but not when it restricts women’s rights. I can’t pee my pants over comprehensive reform if women get the short end of the stick. But it is up to the Senate now. And you better believe I’ve already started flooding my senator’s e-mail and voicemail box telling her to vote against these amendments.


Healthcare amendment threatens to take away women’s rights was published on November 23, 2009 in Opinions

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