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Feminist Peace Network

The Nighmare Of Coat Hangers Revisited

Wouldn't you know it- while we silly feminists have been agonizing about the impact of the Stupak Amendment after Nancy and the Cardinals did the C Street Shuffle at the Saturday Night Congressional Jerk I mean Dance Off it turns out that if we really want to keep our reproductive rights, all we need to do is get a job at the RNC or the anti-choice group Focus on the Family cuz their health plans cover, wait for it, ABORTION.  Really.stop_coat-hanger_abortion.jpg

I don't even know why this surprises me.  The entire health care debate without end has been one long-winded exercise in stupid.  From the get go the sad thing is that what passes as discourse has suffered from the same malady as the abortion issue-a deeply flawed frame.  In the case of abortion, the minute the word ‘choice' and the phrase ‘pro-life' became the descriptors, the discussion we should have been having about women's reproductive rights was gone.

In the case of health care we have had all manner of false flag buzzwords-public option, triggers, yada yada everything centered around the cost of premiums totally losing sight of the fact that health care is a human right, not a commodity that needs to be delivered in a way that keeps pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies afloat  so they will keep funding our elected representatives.  Our health care system is ill, it is a disgrace and it is an affront to human decency.  Ditto our Congress who, with very few exceptions have apparently had frontal lobotomies and seem to be suffering from some painful form of spinal disintegration.  What part of just fix it could possibly not be clear?  The answer of course is apparently the whole damned thing and until we insist that Congress get their little patooties (I leave it to you to decide what part of the anatomy you feel that should describe) pointed in the right direction and back on topic, our health care is going to remain in critical condition.

One of the most galling aspects of the Stupak Amendment is that after months of dithering, pontificating, waffling and other forms of ass covering that pass for political debate these days, Stupak happened in the 11th hour before a Saturday vote leaving reproductive justice advocates doing a lot of WTF-ing.  I am still deeply shocked that the Democratic leadership that has been so unable to use its majority position to act decisively could all of a sudden simply decide that women's reproductive rights could just cavalierly be thrown to the Blue Dogs for the sake of the last 3 votes.  It is just breathtaking even though it has come to light in recent months that our current system has been shafting women on many health care fronts for quite some time-higher premiums, maternity care, etc.  As I  noted last week, even high risk state insurance pools have been discrimination against women.

But what is the deal with Pelosi making a last minute concession of this magnitude to the Catholic Church? Wendy Norris sheds some light on why this isn't just a matter of the Catholic Church playing the abortion card on a moral basis, it is also has a  huge stake in the financial ramifications of the health care legislation,

The justifiable anger at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for lobbying on the Stupak-Pitts amendment overshadows what is possibly the bigger motive for the Vatican: the billions of dollars at stake for the church's hospitals.

The scale of the church's involvement in the rapidly growing $2.5 trillion dollar American health care industry is staggering.

Abortion may be safe, it may be legal.  But if it isn't affordable, it is de facto not available and that is detrimental to women's health and an unacceptable compromise.  For additional commentary on this  issue, please also read,

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Lucinda Marshall

Lucinda Marshall is and artist, activist and writer. She is the Founder and Director of the Feminist Peace Network and the author of Reclaiming Medusa.

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