Can We Talk About Abortion?
People who oppose a woman’s right to choose will use any device they can to try to ban abortion. These days, it’s health care reform.
Anti-choice extremists have themselves in a frenzy over health care reform and abortion, and are on a rampage of deceit and distortions. Organizations like the Family Research Council insist that the Democrats’ health care reform bill will force taxpayers to fund abortions and will radically expand abortion coverage. Their allies in Congress have introduced 35 anti-abortion amendments to the bill, including Senator Coburn’s outrageous “Office of Unborn Children’s Health.”
I find this whole debate maddening. First of all, abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in this country. Why shouldn’t it be covered by both private and public insurance? Should we legislate that private insurers can’t cover vasectomies because that would be preventing potential future unborn children? Hopefully Sen. Coburn can keep them healthy long enough to be born uninsured!
Second, abortion is not some dirty procedure that only nameless, faceless harlots have. A lot of women have abortions. Safe, legal abortion. They may not want to talk about it, of course – who would, when your doctor could get gunned down for having performed your procedure. But according to the Guttmacher Institute, by the age of 45 one in three American women will have had an abortion.
Look around you – chances are you know someone who has had an abortion. These women are our friends, co-workers, neighbors and family. And they’re not a bunch of raging left wing atheists either – 43% of women who have abortions identify as Protestant and 27% as Catholic. Thirteen percent identify themselves as born again or evangelical Christians. Chew on that, Randall Terry.
So when Senator Coburn and Randall Terry and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and all these far-right anti-choice hate-mongers rail against health care reform because it doesn’t explicitly prohibit private insurers from covering abortion, one must ask – why should it? Why should a “reform” bill ban a procedure that 33% of American women will have performed at some point in their life? Why should reform ban a legal procedure that occurs over a million times every year? And why should abortion be any different than any other medical procedure, when it is more common than most?
I think every woman who cares about protecting her current insurance coverage and her fundamental right to choose the best medical options for herself needs to stand up and be heard. Every man who cares about the health and rights of women needs to stand up and be heard. Congress needs to know: health care reform is too important to be co-opted by the anti-choice extreme in their campaign to eliminate our reproductive freedom by any means necessary.
Sign the petition: Tell Congress to oppose all efforts to take away abortion coverage!