11.08.2009

stupak, hyde, war, and typically useless democrats (updated)

The US House of Representatives manages to pass some type of health care reform bill, but women can go to hell. Please note that 64 Democrats think this is peachy.

The Stupak Amendment means that no funds coming out of the health care reform bill can be used for abortion.

Since 1976 - got that? 1976! - the Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. Look how many states still pick up the slack. Bring your magnifying glass.

Just two reasons why Roe is already meaningless. And yet another reason why the Democrats are meaningless, too. Glenn Greenwald explains:
Dianne Feinstein is a fairly typical Democratic Senator from a solidly blue state. In 2002, she voted to authorize the attack on Iraq. Throughout the Bush years, she repeatedly stood with the GOP to fund the war without the conditions and timetables sought by some of her fellow Democrats. Using her position on the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, she was the key Democrat who twice voted to legalize Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program -- first with the Protect America Act (which Obama opposed) and then with the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which also immunized lawbreaking telecoms. She led the Senate effort to confirm Gen. Michael Hayden as CIA Director even after he had been caught presiding over the illegal surveillance program (confirmation which Obama opposed), and she then joined with Chuck Schumer to single-handedly assure Michael Mukasey's confirmation as Attorney General even after he refused to answer basic questions about torture and indefinite detention of U.S. citizens (confirmation which Obama also opposed). In 2006, she proudly described herself as the "main Democratic sponsor" of a Constitutional amendment to criminalize flag burning. Just this past week, she used her position as Chair of the Intelligence Committee to gut virtually every proposed reform to the Patriot Act.

Feinstein isn't merely a typical (though particularly destructive) Democratic Senator, but also a very typical Washington insider, as her substantial personal wealth is tied directly to the very National Security State policies she relentlessly works in the Senate to expand.

What does one issue have to do with another? Everything. Allison Kilkenny:
Many of the Democrats who voted in favor of the Stupak amendment will surely boast they did so because they are the sentinels of human life. Of course, these Democrats are only concerned with protecting certain types of life.

In preparation for such pharisaic claims, I compared the list of 64 Democrats with the roll call for HJ Res 114, the bill that authorized the United States Armed Forces to invade Iraq.

19 of the Democrats who voted for the Stupak amendment also authorized the United States to invade Iraq (one representative, Ortiz, chose not to vote, which in a time of war, is just as bad as voting "aye.")

The so-called Democratic representatives that voted in favor of the Iraq invasion and for the Stupak amendment are: Robert Berry (AR), Mike Ross (AR), Sanford Bishop (GA), Baron Hill (IN), Stephen Lynch (MA), Collin Peterson (MN), Gene Taylor (MS), Ike Skelton (MO), Bob Etheridge (NC), Mike McIntyre (NC), Earl Pomeroy (ND), Paul Kanjorski (PA), John Murtha (PA), Tim Holden (PA), John Spratt (SC), John Tanner (TN), Jim Matheson (UT), Bart Gordon (TN) (voted "aye" on Stupak and "nay" on final bill,) and Solomon Ortiz (TX) (didn't vote in Iraq authorization roll call).

All of these representatives are male, and with the exception of Sanford Bishop and Solomon Ortiz, they're white, and ten are from southern states. None of them are poor. This is the kind of unrepresentative, elite club that gets to vote on sending our soldiers to possibly die after killing many innocent people in distance lands, and this Rich Boys' Club also occasionally votes to steal rights from poor women.

What's even sadder is that southern states have historically high rates of unplanned pregnancies, which makes the need for women's health alternatives, including contraception (also not terribly popular in religious areas of the south) and abortion, all the more great. The Stupak amendment only ensures that poor, desperate girls will have to resort to terrible measures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Meanwhile, the Iraq authorization has resulted in the deaths of anywhere between hundreds of thousands and a million Iraqi civilians in addition to 4,000 US troops without counting the deaths of US allies.

These 19 Democrats voted in favor of a horrific, pointless war based on a lie, and have now voted to suppress the rights of poor women. This means they would rather authorize the US military to bomb, maim, and murder innocent civilians than allow a woman to make a personal decision about her own body.

From Taylor Marsh at HuffPo:
The first female Speaker of the House makes history by passing a health care bill that not only doesn't have a robust public option, but also sells out women's civil rights. The Republicans acted reprehensibly today, heckling women lawmakers like the chamber was a frat house. Think Progress has that story. But in the end the Stupak amendment passed, 240 yeas, 194 nays, 1 present, with the names of Dems who voted for it totaling 64; the health care bill passing 220 yeas, 215 nays. Now it's up to the Senate and the conference, because if the Stupak amendment is in the final bill it will be a setback of monumental proportions for women.

But let's be honest. It was Pres. Obama who 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 in the House helping him do it. [Go here for links.]

A year ago, I tried to keep my cynicism to myself while my US friends were jubilant and hopeful. Now I am grateful that I had no hope, because today I'd be crushed.

Postscript. I didn't write this earlier, because it seemed too obvious to include, but one should never assume.

The opposition to and exclusion of coverage of contraceptives is a big - 72-point, blinking neon, honking horns big - clue to what the anti-choice movement is all about. Because obviously - honking big obviously - if protecting those wee cell-blobs from destruction was a major concern, then preventing the wee blobs from ever existing would be a major priority.

So if you're anti-abortion, why oppose contraceptive use? Because contraceptives give women the freedom to have sex without consequences. The same freedom that men have always enjoyed. Contraceptives give women control over our bodies. The same freedom... You get the point.

Access to reliable, affordable birth control, and safe, legal, affordable abortion, is the sine qua non of women's freedom.

And to those people, women's freedom is the root of all evil.

12 comments:

Shaun said...

brilliant analysis, right on.

Sarah Gates said...

because today I'd be crushed.

Yes.

L-girl said...

because today I'd be crushed.

I should add that instead I'm just angry and disgusted, as per usual.

M. Yass said...

Yeah, and let's talk for a moment about the bill that did pass the House:

-- Weak public option, forms a "purchasing cooperative" (read: You can pick whichever unaffordable insurance plan you want), BUT

-- Americans who don't buy said insurance will be fined, AND

-- Obama negotiated away the right to negotiate with Big Pharma for cheaper drug prices early on.

Yeah, change I can believe in.

Oh, and Obama voted yeah on retroactive telecom immunity while he was running for President. His Attorney General, Eric Holder, also authorized continuing the Bush administration's policies of using "national security privilege" to block any lawsuits challenging the illegal and unconstitutional warrantless surveillance programs.

M. Yass said...

And we're talking here about a bill the Republicans have said is "dead on arrival" in the Senate. I predict no public option, denial for preexisting conditions okay but fines for not buy insurance.

SoSock said...

I'm very disallusioned with what our supposedl "new direction" governmentis doing right now. I know that any serious refom has to start with small steps, but we're going backwards here. And that is distressing indeed. Not only this but the gay marriage front as well. If we can hold an election as monumental and groundbreaking as the last one, but still lose ground on basic civil rights issues.....have you got an extra room there?

MSEH said...

Although it's dated (1985), I'd more accurately refer to it as a classic. Folks who haven't read Kristin Luker's "Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood" might find it very interesting. E.g., "She argues that moral positions on abortion are intimately tied to views on sexual behavior, the care of children, family life, technology, and the importance of the individual." http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/1832.php

And, as always, thanks Laura for the great posts!

Joe Gravellese said...

:(

That's all I got.

:(

I don't know what's worse, all this bullshit or the fact that Obama and the Dems are making it out to be this 'historic, groundbreaking achievement.'

Yeah, sure. A multimillion dollar handout to Big Pharma is amaaaaaazing.

Mara Clarke said...

I guess the silver lining is that you and I both live in countries with actual social medicine, but that seems like such a hollow victory now.

I stopped reading the coverage of the healthcare plan as soon as the word "abortion" started appearing. I knew it was doomed from that moment.

L-girl said...

Wise move. I haven't followed any of it. I just can't.

Joe Gravellese said...

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/07/gop-gone-wild/

In case there was any mystery as to what GOP thinks of women

L-girl said...

Thanks Joe. I saw a link to that on HuffPo, but was afraid to click. Don't want a stroke.

But I will watch.