Thanks for nothing, Congress. Is it election time yet?

On Saturday, I  attended a dinner put on by the Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington DC. You know when you read about some city council plastering the walls with the 10 Commandments, or a church that has gotten involved in an election (think Prop 8, think Question 1), and  you know how you scratch your head and say to yourself, “They can’t do that, can they?”  Well the good folks at A.U. are the ones who stand up for our rights and say, “No, they can’t.”

The importance of their work — and the importance of all of us standing up for this basic principle, which just happens to be in the First Amendment — was reinforced Saturday night. Less than a mile from where we sat eating our lovely “pecan-encrusted chicken” (just as aptly described by Dr Zaius’ as “chicken covered in nuts” ED: Here’s Dr. Z’s excellent write-up of the evening, complete with pictures!), Congress approved restrictions on a woman’s right to choose abortion that has not been seen in this country in decades. According to FireDogLake:

The Stupak amendment would effectively ban insurance companies from selling insurance plans that cover elective abortion on the individual and small group market. It would be one of the most far reaching national restriction placed on abortion in decades. It could also potential be used by insurance companies to allow them to legally discriminate against low income Americans.

pro_choice_design

You are certainly entitled to your personal opinions about abortion. (That’s also guaranteed by the First Amendment.) But the fact is, abortion is legal in this country and it is not up to the federal government to decide who gets to access this legal right. It is not the business of any religious group to lobby for or against providing access:

[The Stupak Amendment] emerged as the leading alternative, with the strong backing of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It is simply outrageous that our Democratic majority Congress has passed such an amendment. It is a disgrace. Allison Kilkenny points out that 19 Democrats who voted for the Stupak Amendment (essentially voting “No” on women’s rights) also voted “Yes” on authorizing the U.S. to invade Iraq. She lists the 19 Congressmen (why yes, as a matter of fact, they are all men), and further notes:

All of these representatives are male, and with the exception of Sanford Bishop and Solomon Ortiz, they’re white, and ten are from southern states. None of them are poor. This is the kind of unrepresentative, elite club that gets to vote on sending our soldiers to possibly die after killing many innocent people in distance lands, and this Rich Boys’ Club also occasionally votes to steal rights from poor women.

What’s even sadder is that southern states have historically high rates of unplanned pregnancies, which makes the need for women’s health alternatives, including contraception (also not terribly popular in religious areas of the south) and abortion, all the more great. The Stupak amendment only ensures that poor, desperate girls will have to resort to terrible measures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.)  has vowed to keep the Stupak Amendment out of any final bill:

Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) said she has collected more than 40 signatures from House Democrats vowing to oppose any final bill that includes the amendment — enough to block passage.

“There’s going to be a firestorm here,” DeGette said. “Women are going to realize that a Democratic-controlled House has passed legislation that would prohibit women paying for abortions with their own funds. . . . We’re not going to let this into law.”

Call your Representative. Congress must be reminded to preserve a woman’s right to choose.

image from RadicalRags.com

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8 comments

  1. It was great to see you the Americans United for Separation of Church and State Annual Blogger Meet-Up! The chicken was awesome, but I especially liked the dessert. ;o)

  2. “But the fact is, abortion is legal in this country and it is not up to the federal government to decide who gets to access this legal right. It is not the business of any religious group to lobby for or against providing access”

    But it is up to the federal government to decide who pays for abortions? I don’t think so. I am very strongly opposed to taking an innocent human lives, and would never pay taxes to support this massacre.

    11 million were tragically killed during the Holocaust.

    Over 35 million have been killed due to abortion, but thanks to the wonderful people of Congress, especially those democrats who voted in favor of the Stupak-Pitts Ammendment, that number will not grow exponentially since government funded abortions have been taken out of H.R. 3962.

    As well, this is not about discrimination. “It could also potential be used by insurance companies to allow them to legally discriminate against low income Americans.”

    It is simply a fact that the majority of Americans do not support abortion.

  3. “I am very strongly opposed to taking an innocent human lives, and would never pay taxes to support this massacre.”

    Yet you have no problem with your taxes going to kill innocent human lives in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    I am personally opposed to the death penalty, yet I have no say in whether my tax dollars go toward this government-sanctioned execution.

    We pay our taxes for the government to uphold the law. We do not get to decide which laws our taxes fund.

    But thank you for taking the time to comment.

    1. If you were referring to me, I do not support the current war nor do I support the death penalty.

      And how is a fetus not a life? How can you say that something developing in a mother’s womb is not alive? If it is being supplied nutrients via the umbilical cord and is growing from those nutrients, then how does that not define life.

      As well, there are so many other options than abortion. Look into them with an open heart and you’ll realize how much better the choice is.

      The average pro-life person is pro war and pro death penalty? Please show me where you found this statistic because the majority of anti-abortion people I know are not pro war nor pro death penalty. I say anti-abortion because I think in order to be truly pro-life, one cannot support the destruction of a life in any way whether it be a dying person, a crimnal, an innocent person or a unborn baby at any stage of development.

  4. When will these anti-choice people get that a fetus is not yet a life? If women who have miscarriages don’t need death certificates or funerals for the fetus, then how do they figure “over 35 million are killed by abortion”?
    I think all these anti-choice people should offer to support any unaborted birth through college, and if they aren’t willing to put their money where their mouths are, they ought to take a long, hard look at shutting up.
    You ask the average anti-choice person and they are usually pro war and pro death penalty.
    They don’t seem to care about human life but they are totally gaga for fetuses.

  5. If you remove a fetus in the first or even second trimester, it cannot survive on its own so it’s not a live human being.
    Using your logic, then a tumor is also alive unless you remove it from the host body, then it’s not.
    Perhaps anti-abortionists should also protest benign tumor removal. I mean, it’s killing an innocent thing isn’t it?
    Kidding aside, if you don’t like abortion, don’t get one. And don’t forget to sign that pledge to support an unaborted kid through college, m’kay?

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