Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Oh Politicians, How You Vex Me

Get your letter writing supplies out- I am ready!

A headline caught my eye on my Yahoo homepage: "A Policy Change on Abortion, But How Radical?" Of course, I was curious. Many of you read shine's blog about the current proposal to Utah state law regarding abortion, and I know it stirred up quite a bit of emotion on both sides. Personally I am so proud of her and what she wrote- she's got a lot of balls! I am prepared that this blog may do the same. Hence, get your letter writing campaign hat on.

The article talks about the President's new health care bill and how it relates to current law on abortion funding. I have to tell you, I felt a bit in the dark. Having never to need the service so far, my thoughts on payment were misguided at best. I didn't realize it was covered at all on insurance. I thought it was always out of pocket. I'm actually surprised to hear that "abortion coverage is now widely available through workplace health plans". Really? I don't remember seeing anything about it on ANY of the insurance documents I've filled out. Hell, many of them don't even cover basic gynecological/pregnancy care (don't get me started on that one). How much does it cost? Over the long term, is it cheaper than paying straight out only when you need the service? Would it benefit a person who has never needed the service but is scared to death that one day she might? Is this all in the fine print that we never read when signing up for employer based health care coverage? I'm a bit pleased to hear this is an option for some women, I just wish it were available to more.

The main focus of the article is how the proposed bill would differ from current law and what is getting both Republican and Democratic panties in a twist. A quick break down:
Current law states that federal funding can only be used towards abortion if the procedure is required due to rape, incest, or to protect the health of the mother (Hyde Amendment). The tricky part lies in the difference between the House and Senate bills. One requires the policy holder to purchase separate abortion coverage while the other simple requires them to write a separate check for the abortion coverage they receive. I have to tell you, these both sound about the same to me and the article doesn't do a good job at differentiating why one is better than the other. They're basing all of this (the bill) on the governments own plan for it's workers (which may not contain abortion coverage except where allowed by Hyde). So, is something stopping these employees from purchasing a separate policy? Do they get fired? Lose their coverage? I'm a bit confused.

To me, either one sounds nice. Coverage available if wanted and you can opt out if you don't. What's the big deal? Oh yea, women's bodies and the government's vain attempt to control what we do with them. I think this is why politics leads me to drinking. Why does anyone care what anyone else does? You don't like abortion? Don't get one! [side note: I am in no way implying that someone somewhere likes abortion. I simply wanted to separate the two sides in as simple a language as I could.] Then chose the insurance coverage that doesn't include abortion. Are you concerned you may need an abortion in the future? Get the coverage that covers it! Simple! Now, can we all go on about our lives?

I've been openly pro-choice since the 5th grade when we had a mock presidential debate. I played Bill Clinton. You can imagine how unpopular that made me in Texas (even with my adolescent peers!). This is a position in which I am unwavering, yet I respect the decision others make to be pro-life. It upsets me when they cannot do the same. The decision to have an abortion must be a painful and labored one. Just thinking about what I would do causes me strife and I'm thankful I've never been in that position. I know I can't have a baby now- I'm still a baby and can barely take care of myself. Plus, I would be a horrid mother. I'm very selfish and care for little but how everything effects me. I'm in my 20's and I make no apologies for it. Yes, I am happy for my friends who have kids. Most are married and have good jobs and family support. I only have one of those things.

So I guess what I'm saying is can't we all go back to a more selfish nature and time and worry about ourselves not our neighbor? (In this matter at least).


  1. What is really getting the socially conservative's panties in a bunch is the fact that poor people may have easier access to abortion. If you have health insurance, you probably have a decent job and are not on welfare/ disability/ blue collar. You were right to think that abortions are paid for out of pocket, because most women who seek them do so because of poverty and living in an unstable environment. If the government insures poor people, they may want to have abortions. Once again I think it is ironic that republicans constantly fight the legislation that will reduce their need to spout hate speech. This is just a tactic to slow down the process and prevent progress. We are the only developed country without a "public" option for health care coverage. We also spend more on welfare type programs than most other countries. Lets put our money where it counts the most and protect our citizen's right to health.

  2. That's why I love you Mere! I thought about the poverty angle as well, but those people would still need to pay for that portion of the plan out of pocket. Certainly, a public health plan would reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies if for no other reason than it would allow women to visit the doctor and get birth control. Heaven forbid we support any program that has the ability to reduce the number of people on welfare and illegal methods of health care and birth control.

  3. But please, let's continue to fully cover Viagra with insurance.

    The whole thing makes me puke.