Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Stinky stinky stinky

Melissa at Shakesville is one of many US feminist bloggers writing about the fish hooks for women in the Really Big Deal Healthcare Reform going on in Obamaland at the moment. She puts it like this:
Five years ago, progressive feminists were cast as hysterics for shouting that conceding ground on choice, that not requiring a strong pro-choice position among the party's elected ranks (no less the party's leadership), would eventually lead to compromises that even classic Democrats could not abide. And here we are.

And all I can do is watch in horror as the party tears itself in half because it prioritized winning over undiluted support for equality.
Depressing it certainly is. Because included in the package is what's being called the Stupak Amendment:
The amendment will prohibit federal funds for abortion services in the public option. It also prohibits individuals who receive affordability credits from purchasing a plan that provides elective abortions. However, it allows individuals, both who receive affordability credits and who do not, to separately purchase with their own funds plans that cover elective abortions. It also clarifies that private plans may still offer elective abortions.
Ann at Feministing points out that this fatally compromises the Great Victory of so-called comprehensive health care in the USA for the first time in history:
This isn't just about how the money is allocated or what workarounds exist. This has me so incredibly infuriated because it further segregates abortion as something different, off the menu of regular health care. It is a huge backward step in the battle to convey -- not just politically, but to women in their everyday lives -- that reproductive health care is normal and necessary, and must be there if (or, more accurately, when) you need it.
How can it be truly comprehensive health care if it so severely restricts women's choices about their own bodies? NOW sums up the impact succintly.

Feels like one step forward and two steps backwards tonight.

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