Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:15 pm

Stupid Stupak

Filed under: Reality: It works — Lex @ 8:15 pm
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One good reason why the Stupak and Hyde amendments are junk laws that need to go:

I could see my baby’s amazing and perfect spine, a precise, pebbled curl of vertebrae. His little round skull. The curve of his nose. I could even see his small leg floating slowly through my uterus.

My doctor came in a moment later, slid the ultrasound sensor around my growing, round belly and put her hand on my shoulder. “It’s not alive,” she said.

She turned her back to me and started taking notes. I looked at the wall, breathing deeply, trying not to cry.

I can make it through this, I thought. I can handle this.

I didn’t know I was about to become a pariah.

This isn’t that uncommon:

I had learned the day before that the baby I thought was nearly 12 weeks old had no heartbeat, and had actually died at 8 weeks.  I was given three options: wait for a miscarriage to occur on its own, something I was told my body had no intention of doing anytime soon, take medication that would expel the fetus, passing it in my own home (classified a “chemical abortion”) or come in for a D&C to remove the fetal materials.

As much as I struggled with the sudden realization that the pregnancy was over, I also found myself trying to decide financially what I was willing to do.  A chemical abortion would cost $40, but I would be alone, bleeding, and it could still be incomplete and I would require a D&C anyway, since my pregnancy was so advanced.  Surgery would be quick, total, and under controlled circumstances, but would likely be our full maxed insurance amount of $1500.  And of course, there was the free option of waiting for my body to finally realize I wasn’t pregnant, but after 4 weeks the risk of infection was steadily climbing, increasing my chances of future miscarriage, infertility, or even death.  With a toddler at home, and still nursing hopes for extending our family some day, this was not an option.

I chose the quick and total route of the D&C, despite the costs, prioritizing my health and the health of possible future children.  I was lucky, and could afford to make that choice, because currently, my insurance cannot chose to refuse to cover what the hospital as termed an abortion.

Thanks to the Stupak amendment, that can now change.

And then there’s this legal analysis, which undermines some of the nice things Democrats have said about their bill:

Essentially, the amendment violates the underlying principle of health care reform, as articulated by President Obama, that “no one will lose the benefits they currently have.”  The truth is that under the Stupak-Pitts amendment, millions of women would lose benefits that they currently have and millions more would be prohibited from getting the kind of private sector health care coverage that most women have today.  To put a fine point on it, millions of women would lose private coverage for abortion services and millions more would be prohibited from buying it even with their own money.  Simply put, women’s access to private coverage for abortion would be restricted by health care reform.

I understand there are 41 House votes lined up against the health-care bill if it comes out of conference with the Stupak amendment (which would ban the use of federal money for abortion services in federally funded insurance plans) intact. That’s 41 Democratic House votes. It’s enough to kill the bill no matter what Republicans or other Democrats do.

I’ve given up expecting the current crop of Republicans to do the right thing on individual rights; the most moderate of them anymore are still borderline fascists. But the Democrats have no excuse. If this bill emerges from conference with the Stupak amendment intact, it should fail … and Democrats should pay the price in 2010. Because it won’t be the progressive Dems from deep-blue districts who’ll get ousted. It’ll be Blue Dogs.


1 Comment

  1. […] } I blogged a little while ago about the inanity of the Stupak Amendment, a mind-numblingly stupid and unconstitutional rule pushed hard by, among others, the U.S. […]

    Pingback by Yet another reason why the Stupak amendment and its backers must be slapped around « Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Monday, November 16, 2009 1:09 am @ 1:09 am

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