In addition to getting a sweetheart deal for his home state, Ben Nelson also got Harry Reid to offer more than the Casey abortion language in the manager’s amendment. In addition to providing stronger conscience protections for medical institutions and health workers opposed to abortion, and expanding adoption tax credits, the manager’s amendment segregates funds and gives states the option of excluding from their insurance exchanges any plans that cover abortion. In essence, that allows states to adopt the strict Stupak provisions without requiring that states do so.
I think there’s a bit of reverse psychology going on with respect to the issue of abortion. Let’s dispense with the term anti-abortion, shall we? Let’s call it what it really is: The movement to deny women the ability to decide for themselves whether to be parents as most persons endowed by their creators with unalienable rights have the right to do. With anti-abortion measures, women are not just subject to the state, they are forced to recognize a religious presence in their lives whether they have faith or not. Men do not need to recognize any faith. They are allowed complete freedom of conscience.
In fact, a crisis of conscience is only respected when women decide to end a pregnancy. If religious people decide to kill innocent civilians as the collateral damage in a proxy religious war halfway around the world, the rest of us still have to pay taxes for this endeavor regardless of our crisis of conscience. If fundamentalists insist on an eye for an eye with respect to convicted murderers, even if some of those people are victims of mistaken identity, those of us who oppose capital punishment of innocent people are not allowed to segregate our tax dollars from theirs when it comes time to purchase materials for a lethal injection. One would think that their god would have more consistency when it comes to life ending procedures but for some unfathomable reason, he only objects to women doing it when it affects their own personal lives. If that’s not the definition of inequality, I don’t know what is. In fact, if we’re going to continue to fight about Roe v.Wade for the duration of the Republic, let’s just get rid of it now and re-decide the case based on equality instead of privacy. Are women equal persons under the law? Do they have the unalienable right to decide for themselves if and when they will be parents? Bart Stupak, would you like to answer that question so the women of Michigan can know what they’re voting for in 2010?
This is at the bottom of Ben Nelson and Bart Stupak’s argument in favor of anti-abortion language in the proposed bills. They feel their priesthood status in their chosen Christian faith charges them with ordering everyone’s lives according to their worldview. Who appointed them their very narrow and specific, fundamentalist and authoritarian Judeo-Christian God’s authorities on earth? Apparently, the people of Nebraska and a district in Michigan did. I thought the Constitution guaranteed us no state religion but I guess the founders weren’t thinking about the extra specialness of Nebraska and a district in Michigan. Nebraska has a population density of 23 persons/square mile and decreasing. To put some perspective on that, New Jersey’s population density is 1,134 persons/square mile. Now, I know that we have a new Republican governor who could conceivably decide to impose his own conservative stamp on the health care reform act in NJ and take the Nebraska Compromise but if he does, he probably shouldn’t be surprised if women here send their friends around to break his knees. And then they’re going to be really angry at Congressional Democrats for making it possible for a handful of religious hardasses in Nebraska to control the equal and independent women living in the crowded suburbs of New Jersey.
Look ahead, Democrats. Do you really want to piss off more women in New Jersey? Remember what happened to Corzine.
It’s important that we separate abortion from health care reform if for no other reason than there are buggers inside Congress that are trying so damned hard to conflate the two. So, here’s the deal, guys. There is no deal. We don’t like this bill. You apologists for the Democratic party can rationalize it 6 ways to Sunday but there’s no denying that it doesn’t go far enough. It’s not the New Deal type legislation we desperately need and everyone knows it. It’s going to saddle a lot of people at the edge with another major expense they can’t afford to pay. It will rob Petra to pay Paula and even though Petra and Paula are friends, Petra gets relatively little out of this deal. We aren’t going to end up with a Canadian system, heck, we’re not even getting Germany or Switzerland. We’re getting a uniquely American system where the middle class and everyone under it is going to be forced to buy from virtual monopolies that will join the cable companies and telecomm giants and banks in screwing them out of every disposable dollar they have. It’s socialism for the insurance industry.
There were a multitude of permutations that would have succeeded in covering poor and sick people but the Democrats picked the one that is most likely to piss off their own constituents in the highest numbers. Congratulations, guys.
But this abortion thing? I gotta wonder why it wasn’t sufficient to stick the knife into health care reform without adding the agonizing poison. You should have never even entertained Stupak and Nelson no matter how much they howled and screamed. That’s going to come back to bite you. And no matter how much theater comes up on the floor of the Senate during debate in the next couple of days to try to remove the amendments and compromises, taking them out is not going to make this bill smell any sweeter. The jig is up. We see through the distraction.
Leave the Nebraska Compromise in and you’re massively screwed next year by all of those involuntary female converts to fundamentalist Christianity and Catholicism no matter where they live. An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.
Take it out and you’re still going to alienate all of the Democrats who now have your number. Either way, your failure to deliver a truly transformative health care reform bill is going to bite you in the ass.
Put the champagne flute down and sober up.
Update: The official talking points troll has arrived in the comments and has a message prepared in the best marketing, manipulative language the Democrats can buy. It’s obvious that it’s prepared because the commenter didn’t really bother to read the post. So, here is a summary for those of you too lazy to read the whole thing:
Here’s the bottom line:
If you don’t take the time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?
The answer is never. The Democrats are shooting their wad right now on an insufficient and fatally flawed bill because they are afraid they will lose their majorities in congress in 2010.
We want to decouple abortion from this bill, not because leaving in the restrictions are abominable but because it distracts from the badness of the bill.
And don’t tell me about how non-profits have to now take care of the abortion needs of women. American women are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for this country. They deserve to be treated like independent persons with dignity and respect, not like fucking second class citizens and beggars.
The equal rights issue is going to last waaaay past the resolution of this bill. Democrats should be a lot more careful about these things. They WILL pay for it.
Addendum: We need to dump Roe v. Wade. All it has ever done is empower the religious right and allows both parties to use it as a political football. It is time for the country to decide once and for all whether women are equal persons under the law entitled to equal pay, equal rights and the equal ability to decide if they are going to be parents. Dump the damn POS. Put the politicians of both parties on the hotseat and make them defend their primitive inequitable treatment of women. Repeat after me: “I will not support any politician who invokes Roe v. Wade in order to get my vote.”