Pres. Obama opened the door to sell us out when he decided to put the Hyde Amendment in the budget, something Bill Clinton never did. But Mr. Obama didn’t stop there. During the stimulus fight, at the first sign of displeasure, our President personally asked that contraceptives be taken out. Now the President seems ready to finish the job, with Democrats poised to help him do it.
Anti-abortion Democrats will be allowed to offer an amendment during the House health care debate Saturday that would ban most abortion coverage from the public option and other insurance providers in the new so-called “exchange” the legislation would create, three Democratic sources told CNN. The prohibition would exclude cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger, known as “Hyde” language. … – Anti-abortion Democrats get chance to amend health care proposal
This means that any woman opting to join the exchanges would not have access to full women’s health care, including abortion. Without employer based health care, women are left wanting.
But let’s face it, Speaker Pelosi is under a lot of pressure.
As House Democratic leaders were assembling their health care bill last month, Speaker Nancy Pelosi left Washington on a political fund-raising tour.
Accompanying her on the US Airways flight to her first stop, Cleveland on Oct. 2, was a prominent health care lobbyist, Frederick H. Graefe, who represents hospitals, medical equipment companies, a few drug companies and others in the industry. …
Of course, this discussion on health care doesn’t impact wealthier women or women with access and means. Something I never forget.
… .. It was back in the late 1970s and I was living in Manassas, VA. for a short time with a road show, before I hit Broadway. My boyfriend and I were very careful about sex, never forgetting to use contraception. In fact, we both protected ourselves so we wouldn’t become one of the small minority where protection doesn’t work. It happened anyway. Panicked, there wasn’t a moment that I didn’t know what I had to do. The trouble was there were no doctors in the area we could find to help. I also had to orchestrate it so no one knew, as the stigma was unbelievable at the time, which meant on our day off of a grueling performance schedule, making sure I was back at work and ready to dance up a storm by Tuesday night. We had to travel across state lines to get the abortion performed, which ended up being an out-patient experience, back at home and in bed to rest up so I’d be ready to perform the Can-Can on Tuesday, high kicks and jumping full splits and all. Everyone asked where we were going on our day off, then why I wasn’t feeling well on Tuesday, with that lasting most of the week, including not being at a clean-up rehearsal, as I was lead performer and choreographer of the show. Stomach flu. I was queasy all week, but the show went on. No one questioned. What ensued afterward was a nightmare, complete with hemorrhaging as I walked through a mall, a rush phone call, meds, just horrific. But in the end we kept it quiet and it was worth it. There was absolutely no way I could have had a child, having decided from a very early age that being child free was the bottom line of a life I intended to spend changing the world however I could, through artistry and politics, whatever the cost. Of course, as in all decisions in life there were other factors, but those will remain mine alone.
To this day I think of poor women who don’t have the support or means to take care of themselves. What might have happened if my boyfriend hadn’t supported my decision, but also helped me pull it off. The desperation women must feel when they have so system on which they can rely, so they’re forced to endure a pregnancy and a child they cannot handle. I put myself in their place and I shudder at what might have been for me.
There is no health care bill worth supporting that sells out women’s rights. That it’s happening under Pres. Obama doesn’t surprise me, because I never expected him to champion our civil rights, but that Speaker Pelosi and Democrats in the House, but next, in the Senate, may likely go along is a bridge too far for me. It’s one reason I refused to get exercised about health care in the first place. I always believed it would come down to this, especially after Obama put Hyde in the budget, then the stimulus action, but also because Obama didn’t lift a finger to get health care passed by the August recess, which not even a dying Ted Kennedy could inspire. A man who had worked decades to see this dream manifest, just as he’d helped candidate Obama, deeming he was the man on which we could pin all of our future hopes.
Right now every woman who values her civil rights should understand how the gay community feels. Because the Democrats look poised to sell us out too.
If I was in the House I’d vote to kill the Stupak-Ellsworth amendment. But if it passes and it’s in the final legislation, I’d vote to kill the bill.
Civil rights begin with autonomy over our own body. If we don’t have that we have nothing.
But at least Mr. Obama and the Democrats will be closer to their “historic health care win.” That they did it on the backs of women’s civil rights will be a footnote, though some of us will never forget.