Health care bill: would Stupak pass if we had more women?
This weekend, the House narrowly passed a health care reform bill after delivering a huge blow to women’s reproductive health in the Stupak amendment—thus demonstrating again how badly we need more women in power.
According to NARAL Pro-Choice America:
“The Stupak-Pitts amendment makes it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women. This would have the effect of denying women the right to use their own personal private funds to purchase an insurance plan with abortion coverage in the new health system — a radical departure from the status quo.”
As Feministing points out, we thought it was clear “that reproductive health care is essential health care.”
But apparently not, because the Stupak amendment passed 240-194. How many women voted for it? 19. (2 Dems, all Repubicans). Allow me to do a little math:
Out of 435 members, we currently have only 73 women in the House. We should have 217.5. (OK, round that up to 218 I suppose). So, that means we need 145 more women to make it equal.
What do you suppose would happen with the anti-choice, anti-woman Stupak amendment if we had gender equality in Congress for this vote?
I dare to say that not only would it be defeated—it wouldn’t have even a whisper of a wish of passing. (That is, if it was even introduced at all).
Like many women around the country today, I’m feeling very bittersweet about the health care bill passing. Of course we need health care reform, but it shouldn’t have to come at the cost of rolling back our reproductive choices.
Sure, the Stupak amendment could be stripped out by the conference committee, but how many women will be part of that decision-making process? Most likely, not nearly enough.
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