Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is anyone else sick?

Created by: Jillian

The NY Times published an article detailing the debate over abortion in health care reform at the United States Capitol and I am just sick. I find it outrageous that individual lawmakers, both Republican and moderate Democrat, think that their time is well spent arguing over subsidies that would help people afford health insurance that includes abortion.

You know what else that health insurance would cover...preventative reproductive health care and maternal health care to women who are currently uninsured!

But once again, abortion, as some abstract concept, is being used to divide the health care debate. Even the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops who has apparently been lobbying for universal health care for decades, was quoted as saying, "We have said to the White House and various Senate offices that we could be the best friends to this bill if our concerns are met,” “But the concerns are kind of intractable.”

Really? This group who pledges to care so much about universal health care would give up on it that easy...because the federal government is going to provide plans that both offer abortion coverage and those that do not? That is ridiculous and extremely shortsighted.

For those of us who care about women's reproductive health care, which includes the right to access abortion, health care reform is so much bigger than debating one medical procedure. First of all, preventing access to abortion doesn't prevent abortion, it only puts women in danger by delaying abortion or by having them seek illegal care. And secondly, abortion should be and is a decision made by a woman not a politician.

The opponents of abortion refuse to discuss the underlying reasons why women seek abortion and the fact that proactive preventative reproductive health care could have a positive impact on the health care system as a whole. They would rather put their feet in the sand and demand abortion care be removed. The truth is, that if the religious right has their way, the health care reform package that passes will actually cause women who already have access to abortion care to lose it.

It's all about winning the "abortion debate" not about women's reproductive health care. Abortion Rights/Reproductive rights advocates have nothing to "win" in the health care debate. Even with the package that is favored by reproductive rights advocates, low income women will still not have access to abortion care unless their state provides medicaid funds.

Pro-Choice advocates see this as an injustice and believe that all women deserve access to all of their reproductive healthcare options, but none the less, we are supportive of healthcare reform because we understand that providing people with something is better than nothing.

I am sick and tired of anti-choicers who paint their position as "right" and moral, when in reality it's a sneaky attempt to push an anti-choice agenda on the American people. Stop focusing on winning and start thinking about people's health.

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