For the past few weeks, we have been hearing a lot about abortion and health care, some of it misleading and much of it false. Originally, both proponents and opponents of abortion had decided to try for a common ground to open the way for health care reform. This common ground was attempted with the July 30th Capps Amendment that allows each individual insurance company to decide whether to provide coverage for abortion and separates private funds from public tax dollars, neither mandating nor prohibiting abortion coverage. Though far from ideal, this compromise was intended to clear the way for further debate.
The compromise has not worked.
Anti-choice activists are still erroneously claiming that abortion is federally funded or mandated in health care reform. Increasingly radical amendments and demands continue to surface from Congress. Now, anti-choice Congress members want to ban all insurance plans that cover abortion, nearly 80%, from the newly created health care exchange. As columnist Ellen Goodman writes, this demand not only attempts to restrict abortion access but unfairly discriminates against women who are then forced to reconsider their health care coverage:
This isn’t supposed to happen. The pro-choice president said, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
It is becoming obvious that just having a female reproductive system is a pre-existing condition in the health care debate.
Conservative groups from all over have rallied around blocking reform of any kind, seizing the debate as an opportunity to advance their own anti-choice legislation. Women now have to face the possibility of re-evaluating their insurance plan and the insult of hearing our representatives debate whether women’s health care is worth the money or commitment.
I expect and dearly hope that our leaders and those who believe in women’s rights will stand up to these outrageous movements. It is clear now that anti-choice groups will not accept any compromise. Senators, Representatives and our President must adhere to the truth and cease to negotiate a women’s right to equally comprehensive health care. It is critical too, that we continue reiterating the facts and we make our honest voices just as bold and vivid as those of our opponents. Click here to contact Senators Murray and Cantwell.