Friday, November 13, 2009

Legal health procedure? No funding for you!

The current, heated debate over the Stupak Amendment is more than a little mind boggling. The amendment, voted into the health reform bill last week by the House and now sitting in the Senate awaiting its fate, would place extremely tight restrictions on abortions that could be offered through any government-run health care plans. It would also "restrict any private plan in the insurance exchange from offering abortion coverage."

In short: It's crap.

I know that abortion rights are a contentious issue in this country. But the fact remains, thankfully and despite the best efforts of hardliners, that the procedure remains perfectly legal. Private insurance plans offer coverage for it, too, which helps keep women from bankrupting or hurting themselves when abortion becomes a necessity.

But now a handful of anti-abortion Democrats and pretty much all of the Republicans in the Senate are up in arms over the idea that the much-needed and loooong overdue health reforms headed for a final vote might include funding for the procedures. They argue that we shouldn't be asking tax payers who disagree with abortion to help pay for it.

That might seem somewhat reasonable until you consider the fact that we're already asking, say, Quakers to pay taxes that go toward funding our various war adventures. In fact, we ask all sorts of people to contribute taxes toward things they don't necessarily agree with and/or use. That's how this works. So why do the anti-abortion folks think they're so damn special?

Not to mention the fact that the RNC's insurance plan for employees covered abortions up until the fact was pointed out by Politico and suddenly they needed to save face so they got rid of it. Now that's compassionate conservatism!


apc said...

One of the best representations I've seen lately of this phenomenon is an editorial cartoon I saw on one of my favorite blogs. You may have to scroll down to get to it; I'm kind of a technoramus, and couldn't figure out a way to capture just the cartoon.

Emily said...

Hah, yeah that about sums it up.

saint_stephen401 said...

i agree with most of your post but not sure on the bankrupting part. How much do you think an abortion costs? Why do you assume only women pay for them?

Emily said...

Fair question, and I honestly don't have hard numbers on the costs. I imagine it depends on the type of procedure and the individual involved. But I do know that most medical procedures tend to cost an arm and a leg when they're not at all covered by insurance, and I do have personal experience with health related bankruptcies.

I also don't assume that women are the only ones paying for abortions, but I think it's fair to say that the greater burden is, more often than not, on them. That certainly doesn't discount (or at least, I didn't mean for it to sound like it did) the responsibilities of the men involved.

The Lost Albatross