Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Through The Back Door

I'm gobsmacked. Abortion rights opponents are using health care reform to end insurance coverage for elective abortions. That's bad enough, but those abortion rights opponents also claim to be Democrats.

From the NY 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.

Abortion-rights supporters say such a restriction would all but eliminate from the marketplace private plans that cover the procedure, pushing women who have such coverage to give it up. Nearly half of those with employer-sponsored health plans now have policies that cover abortion, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

What, is all of this an attempt to force President Obama to show he wasn't lying when he said federal money wouldn't be used to cover abortions? That's probably part of it. After all, the president did say that in his Health Care speech to Congress. His position is that while he believes abortion is a woman's right, there are those who in good faith hold the opposite position, so he feels obligated to reach out to those people in the hopes of finding a "middle ground." I wonder if he would also say that while he finds limiting voting rights to those who own property to be odious, there are those who in good faith hold the opposite belief, so he feels obligated to reach out to those people in the hope of finding a "middle ground."

That's bad enough (and it is devastating to women's rights, make no mistake), but leading the charge through the back door are Democrats!

Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, a leading Democratic abortion opponent, said he had commitments from 40 Democrats to block the health care bill unless they have a chance to include the restrictions. ...

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote this week on a proposed amendment from Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, to restrict the use of federal subsidies.

Advocates on both sides said that if the committee does not adopt the amendment they expect a very close contest over the issue when the bill reaches the floor. Two Democratic abortion-rights opponents, Senator Bob Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania and Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, are pushing the issue.
[Emphasis added]

It's not just that such proposals discriminate against those not wealthy enough to afford the new mandated insurance programs who therefore have to use federal subsidies to get any kind of insurance policy. Private insurers will be able to remove that procedure from all of their policies, first so that there is no chance that federal funds will be spent illegally, and second to save money all the way around. That's not a step forward in women's rights, it's two giant steps back.

From a woman's right to choose, to no choice at all.


Not exactly the kind we were promised.

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