So last night history was made when the House of Representatives passed a Health Care Reform bill, 220-215.
Not to get all über-feminist on you, but it is truly HIStory. In this health care bill, women get the shaft. Pun intended. Let's all bend over, ladies.
I'd be elated that we are on the way to health care reform in this country if it weren't for a little thing called the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which will make it illegal for even private insurers to cover abortion costs. Planned Parenthood has a great explanation:
The Stupak/Pitts amendment violates the spirit of health care reform, which is meant to guarantee quality, affordable health care coverage for all. In fact, this amendment would create a two-tiered system that would punish women, particularly those with low and middle incomes, the very people this bill is intended to assist. The majority of private health insurance plans currently offer abortion coverage, and the Stupak/Pitts amendment would result in the elimination of private abortion coverage in the ‘exchange,’ the new insurance market created under health care reform, as well as in the public option, if one is created.
I'm angry, because although I'm lucky enough to be able to afford birth control (and an abortion, if I ever needed one), this amendment means that so many other women will not have access to such care.
Abortion is a legal procedure that has helped millions of women stay on course with the lives they want to lead. Nobody wants to have an abortion. But sometimes the condom breaks. Your antibiotic interferes with your Pill. Or, worse, you're the victim of rape and you get pregnant.
It's unconscionable that health care coverage for a legal procedure is being tampered with, especially on the private level. (There's been no public funding for abortions, except in certain cases, since 1977.)
This post is not meant to spark a moral debate on abortion. I am firmly pro-choice; I always have been and I always will be. If you think abortion is wrong, that's your prerogative. But as it's a legal (yes, I said it again. LEGAL.) medical procedure in this country, the debate needs to lie with whether the government has any right to legislate the private insurers' coverage of it.
I know, how ironic. I'm rooting for the private insurers on this one, but only because I'm rooting for women and their rights. And the Stupak-Pitt amendment relegates us to second-class citizen status.