This is the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In order to commemorate this, NARAL has asked:
Given the anti-choice gains in the states and Congress, are you concerned about choice in 2011?
Yes, I am concerned, but not just because of the recent elections. Midterm elections tend to go against the party who holds the presidency. This one was no exception. But, what does have me concerned is the incessant drumbeat of anti-choice legislation. And now, HR 3 of this session in the House of Representatives is called No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. Even though directives voted in by the same legislative body on Thursday said they want to overhaul the health care reform proposal to “lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice” and “greater flexibility”, this competition, choice and flexibility does not include what the majority of private plans cover. It does not include the most common surgical procedure in the United States. It does not include what is the medical choice of 30% of the women in our country at some point in their reproductive lives.
It’s not just the Tea Partiers who were elected who are responsible for this. The Stupak-Pitts amendment already made abortion coverage illegal in the new law unless the mother is “in danger of death”, or the pregnancy was due to rape or incest. If private insurance plans covered abortion, the amendment made sure none of the subsidies could go toward this coverage. Private insurance companies were told they had to get a separate check from customers, or cut the coverage from their plans.
And, after this victory, the anti-choice lobby still thinks that HR 3 needs to address this?
Yup. I’m concerned. I am concerned that controlling woman’s bodies is such an important political football that it keeps stealing center stage. There is no interest in preventing unplanned pregnancies. New proposed spending cuts would hack hundreds of millions of dollars from Title X funding for contraception. There are also more anti-choice suggestions afoot – proposals that there needs to be insurances in the exchanges that don’t offer contraception (labelled as more “virtuous” choices – what??) and legislation pending that would keep organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide contraception and abortions from getting any government associated reimbursement for any non-abortion activity, like providing contraception.
This is not an effort to decrease abortion. I am concerned that such blatant anti-choice, anti-woman activities can be floated as reasonable, and that the pro-choice politicians seem to think this is a difficult political argument to win.