Posts tagged NARAL

In which women’s access to abortion becomes public-optional

From GT 2009-08-20: Tonight, in News of the Obvious:

And in breaking news from NARAL Pro-Choice America, it turns out that government provision of healthcare means that women’s healthcare will be allocated through a political process, and when women’s reproductive healthcare is allocated through a political process, women’s reproductive healthcare ends up being subjected to the vicissitudes of political debate over abortion.

NARAL may not draw the conclusion from its report, but the editorial board here at News of the Obvious will: setting aside outright political prohibitions, which aren’t likely to pass in the near future, a broad expansion of political control over women’s healthcare is the single worst thing that could possibly happen towards undermining women’s access to abortion and reproductive medicine.

— GT 2009-08-20: Tonight, in News of the Obvious

The House of Representatives just recently passed an omnibus health insurance bill which includes extensive new government involvement in health insurance and a strong public option of broad-based government-provided health insurance. The explicit purpose of this bill is to expand political control and political funding in the health insurance industry — to expand government’s role and responsibility in directly paying for healthcare and medical procedures, and to shift more of the money coming in to for-profit health insurance companies away from private sources, and towards government funding sources.

So-called Progressive While so-called Progressive organizations on the male Left — groups like MoveOn and SEIU and the AFL-CIO — have been celebrating the passage of the House bill as a great big win. MoveOn.org calls it historic health care reform and headlines their front page Victory!; now they are staging Countdown to Change rallies to thank those representatives who stood with the American people (by this, they mean those that voted for expanding the scope of the American government). In an e-mail circulated to their mailing list, the AFL-CIO called it a truly historic movement and called on supporters to pressure their Senators to pass a similar bill in order to ensure final victory.

Well, wait.

Just one little problem about this Huge Step Forward: turns out that, if it passes the Senate too, it will strip millions of women of access to abortion, by using strings attached to the new government funding to stop both the public option health insurance plans and plans offered by existing insurance companies from covering abortion procedures.

Oops.

From the National Organization for Women:

The House of Representatives has dealt the worst blow to women’s fundamental right to self-determination in order to buy a few votes for reform of the profit-driven health insurance industry. We must protect the rights we fought for in Roe v. Wade. We cannot and will not support a health care bill that strips millions of women of their existing access to abortion.

Birth control and abortion are integral aspects of women’s health care needs. Health care reform should not be a vehicle to obliterate a woman’s fundamental right to choose.

The Stupak Amendment goes far beyond the abusive Hyde Amendment, which has denied federal funding of abortion since 1976. The Stupak Amendment, if incorporated into the final version of health insurance reform legislation, will:

  • Prevent women receiving tax subsidies from using their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion;
  • Prevent women participating in the public health insurance exchange, administered by private insurance companies, from using 100 percent of their own money to purchase private insurance that covers abortion;
  • Prevent low-income women from accessing abortion entirely, in many cases.

NOW calls on the Senate to pass a health care bill that respects women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion and calls on President Obama to refuse to sign any health care bill that restricts women’s access to affordable, quality reproductive health care.

Terry O’Neill, National Organization for Women (2009-11-08): NOW Opposes Health Care Bill That Strips Millions of Women of Abortion Access Says Bill Obliterates Women’s Fundamental Right to Choose

Once again, this should come as no surprise. Government health insurance means political allocation for women’s healthcare — for any and every one of the women who is moved over to public options and public-private partnerships on the public health insurance exchanges.

Political allocation of women’s healthcare means that women’s healthcare will be subjected to political debate and sacrificed in the name of political compromises — which, in this country, means being subjected and sacrificed to the Gentleman’s Agreement between anti-choice partisans, on the one hand, and, on the other, the doughface politicos, who just don’t give much of a damn about women’s lives or health or freedom, and are happy to treat them as optional as long as they’ve got a bill to pass or a Democrat to elect.

This healthcare bill, authored by Democrats, pushed by Democrats, and supposedly a key aspect of the male liberal’s agenda for Progressive social change, will almost certainly mean a massive government-sponsored assault on women’s access to abortion. Women’s bodies are not public property; women’s health should not be subject to public controversy or dependent on the approval of the public (which means, in fact, the loudest and most belligerent voices in politics). But as long as government is calling the shots on women’s healthcare, women’s healthcare is always going to be compromised and sacrificed in the name of political agendas. The only way to make sure that women’s healthcare will no longer be treated as public-optional is real radical healthcare reform — not by preserving the government-regimented corporatist status quo, but rather by getting government out of healthcare entirely — by cutting the government strings that always come attached to government money — by getting rid of government subsidy and government regimentation and replacing them with grassroots mutual aid, abortion funds, community-supported free clinics, and other forms of low-cost healthcare free of political control because they are supported by free association and community organizing, rather than taxation and political allocation. That is to say, by taking the funding for women’s healthcare out of the hands of politicians, and putting in the hands of women themselves.

Expanding government control of healthcare funding is anti-choice, anti-woman, and would represent the single biggest assault on women’s access to abortion in the last 30 years.

See also:

Tonight, in News of the Obvious

Las Vegas correspondent Walter E. Gunther writes in to the Las Vegas Sun, Politicians mostly put their own needs first.

And in breaking news from NARAL Pro-Choice America, it turns out that government provision of healthcare means that women’s healthcare will be allocated through a political process, and when women’s reproductive healthcare is allocated through a political process, women’s reproductive healthcare ends up being subjected to the vicissitudes of political debate over abortion.

NARAL may not draw the conclusion from its report, but the editorial board here at News of the Obvious will: setting aside outright political prohibitions, which aren’t likely to pass in the near future, a broad expansion of political control over women’s healthcare is the single worst thing that could possibly happen towards undermining women’s access to abortion and reproductive medicine.

The Real Truth About Obama

Yesterday I got a fund-raising pitch for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, courtesy of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Along the way they expressed outrage that:

The other take away is that our opponents are ready to play dirty. CNN recently reported that an anti-choice group calling themselves The Real Truth About Obama, Inc., is trying to Swift Boat Barack Obama by running false ads in key states during the electioneering communication blackout period 60 days before the general election.

They link to a story on CNN Political Ticker as their source. Here’s what the story has to say about this terrible ad:

The Real Truth About Obama wants to post ads on its Web site and on the Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity talk shows in key states during the electioneering communication blackout period 60 days before the general election. The ad features an Obama-like voice saying he would make taxpayers pay for all abortions, ensure minors’ abortions are concealed from their parents, appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices and legalize the late-term procedure that abortion opponents call partial-birth abortion.

Oh, please.

Let’s break this down and look at what, if CNN is reporting the contents correctly, the ad actually claims.

  1. Barack Obama would make taxpayers pay for all abortions. — Obama opposes the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal healthcare programs from funding abortions. NARAL also opposes the Hyde Amendment. Obama’s opposition to the Hyde Amendment is one of the reasons that NARAL supports Obama’s candidacy. All abortions is no doubt wrong — even if the Hyde Amendment were repealed, it would mainly affect women receiving Medicaid, women in federal prisons, women in the military, and a few other groups of women who receive their healthcare coverage from the federal government. But since Obama, like most progressives, believes in substantially expanding the scope of federally-funded healthcare programs, and believes in repealing the Hyde Amendment, he is also committed to believing that many if not most abortions should be paid for using federal tax dollars. I oppose federal funding of abortions because I oppose all federal funding of healthcare. But I see no reason to discriminate against abortion here as opposed to all other surgical procedures: if you believe strongly in making taxpayers pay for other people’s medical care, and you believe that abortion is a legitimate form of medical care, then why the hell wouldn’t you believe in making taxpayers pay for other people’s abortions?

  2. Barack Obama would oppose laws requiring parental notification when minors get an abortion. — Of course Obama would oppose laws requiring parental notification when minors get an abortion. NARAL also opposes laws requiring parental notification when minors get an abortion. As well they should: parental notification laws, which treat young women as if their reproductive organs were the property of their parents, are tyrannical, foolish, and destructive invasions of young women’s freedom, as well as extremely dangerous for young women in abusive or unstable family situations.

  3. Barack Obama would appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices. — Of course Obama would appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices. The fact that he would appoint more liberal Supreme Court justices is a large part of the reason that NARAL supports Obama’s candidacy. And for good reason: pro-choice Supreme Court justices are much less likely to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  4. Barack Obama would work to repeal the federal ban on so-called partial-birth abortion. Obama voted against so-called partial-birth abortion bans in the state legislature in Illinois and in the federal Senate. NARAL also opposes these bans, and the fact that Obama opposes them is one of the reason that NARAL supports Obama’s candiday. And for good reason: late-term abortion procedure bans are tyrannical, foolish, and destructive invasions of women’s rights to control their own bodies, and doctor’s rights to choose the safest available procedure for a late-term abortion. The bans endanger women’s health and criminalize doctors for practicing good medicine.

There’s no Swift Boating here, because the ad consists mainly of factual statements about Barack Obama’s positions — positions which Barack Obama is, in the main, right on, and which NARAL agrees he is right on. Of all the claims made in the ad, only one part of one of the claims actually attributes a position to Barack Obama which he does not hold. Only part of one of the claims attributes any claim to Obama that NARAL does not actually support. And only one of the claims attributes any claim to Obama which he is actually wrong to hold. The ad says a bunch of things about his view which are mostly true and which he is mostly right about. His views on these topics may be controversial, but they are only controversial among people who are already anti-abortion, or who are take-one-for-the-party doughfaces and useless hand-wringers without any consistent position. They are certainly not controversial within the pro-choice movement. And what the hell is the point of an outfit like NARAL if not to publicly support and agitate for controversial positions on behalf of the pro-choice movement, rather than pretending as if it were somehow bad to have those positions attributed to you?

A little courage of our convictions, please.