The House passed the health care bill last night, by a vote of 220-215. The amendment that bans the use of federal funds to cover abortions for anyone covered under a proposed government-run health care plan also passed. If this amendment sticks with the plan all the way until it becomes law, it means that anyone who is enrolled in the public option plan will not have abortion covered, even though it is a legal medical procedure. In case you're not sure why this is a big deal, Ann at Feministing explains:
On some level, I don't care about the nitty-gritty details of this amendment. 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.
This also sets apart women's rights from the Democratic/progressive/whatever agenda. As something expendable. But fundamental rights for women are not peripheral. They are core. And not just because of so-called "progressive" values. In a political sense, too: Seeing as how the Democratic party relies on women voters to win elections, you would think they would have come around to this no-brainer by now.