The Health Care Debate: Abortion as the Last Arrow:
So during the endless discussion over what was going to be part of the health care reform bill coming out of the House of Representatives, some Blue Dog Democrats voiced their fear that hard-earned cash money from them or their constituents might be used to pay for eeeevil abortions in any public health insurance exchange. So Representative Lois Capps, Democrat from California, proposed an amendment in committee. That amendment said, in so many words, "Okay, fuckers, you're so worried about a totally legal medical procedure? How about this: the only way the public health insurance option can pay for an abortion with federal funds is under the ways allowed by the backwards-ass Hyde Amendment from way back when. That means the usual trio: rape, incest, mother's life in danger. And, just to make sure your precious tax dollars, which you have no problem being used for killing civilians in wars, don't in any way, shape, or form go for abortions, we'll set it up so that the public option and the private insurance companies in the big-ass exchange can't use any federal money for abortions, only the premiums paid in by individual members. So, in other words, not a single federal dollar will pay for an un-Hyde abortion. Good?"
The amendment passed the Energy and Commerce Committee and was included in the final bill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced yesterday. And it does, indeed, explicitly ban federal funds from being used for abortions, except as the Hyde Amendment allows.
So, of course, the pro-lifers all over the political map have declared that the bill is "mandating abortion services."
See, the way that these anti-choice conservatives see it, even if no federal tax dollars are ever used for abortion, the simple fact that any of the plans in the exchange cover abortion means that federal funds would be used for, say, colds and cancer and paper clips, thus evilly freeing up other money to be used for abortions. Or, as an amendment pro-life Democrats, led by Michigan's Bart Stupak, are demanding be voted on in the House says, no federal funds may be used "to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion" except in cases of the trio mentioned above. And that goes even if one plan out of, say, a dozen in the exchange covers abortion.
You got that? Even though tax money can't be used for abortions, the right is gonna say it's being used indirectly for abortions, thus it's being used for abortions. It's like saying that if you and your buddy go to a strip club and he decides to get a lap dance, his girlfriend says it's your fault he came home with sticky pants.
In the next week, this is where the battle is gonna be. Sure, a lot is gonna be made about the price tag, but that'll fade, as will the stupidity over the actual, physical size of the bill. But, you know, we're an idiotic nation that has a juvenile discomfort with women's bodies and the rights that we can't seem to understand are settled law.