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Healthcare Reform Isn’t About Winning

Healthcare Reform Isn’t About Winning

In the midst of an already uphill battle for health care reform, new obstacles are appearing in the form of senators like Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn. He recently filed an amendment that would establish an “Office of Unborn Children’s Health.”

There are millions of Americans — pregnant women and born children included — who lack adequate health care. Is this really the appropriate time to ask for funding for “unborn children” (which is a very relative term to begin with)?

Let’s be realistic about the abortion debate: our country will forever be divided on the issue. The debate revolves around differences in opinions and morals, which means there is no right or wrong answer. People can believe whatever they wish, but I draw the line when they try to impose their beliefs on others. Allowing opinions to infiltrate health care laws impedes the personal freedoms on which America was founded. It’s no different than the separation of church and state. The government cannot impose religious beliefs by restricting people to go to Temple or to Church. So how can it impose pro-life beliefs by restricting women from getting contraceptives or abortions, especially when their health and reproductive rights are compromised?

Again, I’m not saying pro-life activists are wrong in their convictions — I fully respect their beliefs. However, when pro-life policies enter the political arena, they inherently enforce a way of life on Americans who may disagree.

Why are pro-choice policies any different?  By nature, pro-choice allows people to act in accordance with their beliefs– no matter what side of the debate they’re on. That’s the essence of being able to choose.  This debate shouldn’t be about right or wrong unless we want to chase each other around in circles until the end of time.

About 12 anti-choice amendments were introduced within the category of women’s health along with Sen. Coburn’s. It seems to me that giving women the right to choose is almost like a default because everyone can do as they please. So why devote so much effort to overriding that default, only to impose opinions and/or restrictions on people who don’t agree? Because people like Sen. Coburn are selfishly determined to win the ideological fight against abortion.

But health care reform shouldn’t be about winning. It should be about providing the best possible health care to the people of our nation. Our government should be looking at the uninsured children and mothers without prenatal care. They should be looking at parents who can’t take care of their kids because they don’t have adequate health care for themselves. They should be looking at older people who are facing the prospect of retirement and no health care because physicians won’t treat Medicare patients. There are millions of living, breathing people who have devoted their lives to this country that do not have sufficient health care. And we are hung up on winning a never-ending ideological battle? Now that is what’s just plain WRONG.

It’s time to the put our personal convictions aside, and look at the bigger picture. Sign the petition to the U.S. Senate to ensure we keep anti-choice amendments out of health care reform and focus on the real issues.

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26 comments

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4:28PM PDT on Aug 19, 2009

Huh. I just wrote a blog about Sen. Coburn. Not quite sure how to make it searchable...

http://www.care2.com/c2c/share/detail/1226048

I ran into this blog instead. Looks like another one of those arguments that is not going to be resolved anytime soon. The Hyde ammendment protects public funds from funding abortion though. No worries there for the anti-choice people... unless they just like to and don't have enough to worry about already.

7:58AM PDT on Aug 17, 2009

Having strong feelings about this issue, I thought, maybe I should just stay out of this. But my conscience won't release me , so here are my thoughts. First, as a woman, I can sympathize with those who believe that the choice to have an abortion is difficult enough with out the judgement that can come from those on my side of the fence. Yet I have rights, too. I should have the freedom to speak on why I believe abortion gives you the worst of all possible 'solutions'. If you care for seeing more of my mindset, you can go to www.feministsfor life.com. As a Libertarian, I also believe 'The government governs best that governs least' especially at the Federal level and that issues like this are why we have the 10th Amendment. If those who support abortion want to support it, that is their choice. But as Thomas Jefferson once said "to compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he (or she ) disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical." If it is tyrannical to force a man to pay for the broadcasting of ideas he disbelieves and abhors, it is even more tyrannical to force him (or her) to pay for the enacting of those ideas. That is why I cannot support taxpayer -funded abortions. .

9:24PM PDT on Aug 6, 2009

Whew! I rented Lake of Fire ($3.99; iTunes) and what an emotional vision quest. Divisive issue is an understatement.

I'd like to leave it at a comment upon which perhaps both sides can agree; that the music preferences at both the Life and Choice rallys is universally terrible.

But to Choice folks, I think I have to raise a new fear: the domestic terrorism that was so prevelent during the Clinton years, but ebbed greatly under Bush (Life folks and Religious Right were feeling less marginalized and were thus calmer) could become an issue now that Obama (a citizen and not a racist) is President. The nutty ones are no doubt feeling marginalized and could become highly militant again. I hope, and believe we should urge, that Homeland Security is all over this very real threat.

Peace all,

Jim

6:35AM PDT on Aug 6, 2009

Sorry, V,

You're free to worship any god you choose; that's unambiguous in our consitution. But things are ruled in these parts by laws, not man nor god. The founding fathers saw to that: Jefferson was diligent about separation of church and state; Adams saw to it that we'd be ruled only by the consent of the governed. (us)

God therefore can be any individual's ultimate authority, just not our ultimate authority.

And if abortion rights survived the past 8 years, they'll likely survive the next 80 years. I'm just not seeing a change as being likely, since easily the best possible climate for overturning R v W has come and gone, with rights still intact.

At this point it's just a divisive issue; nothing much will change no matter how much we kibitiz. I think we're to the point that each of us should just let it go and live within the bounds of our own conscience.

Whadaya think?

J

3:55AM PDT on Aug 6, 2009

Anyone who wishes to make a true decision about abortion should view the very well done documentary "Lake of Fire". It is (thankfully) b & w, but gives the extreme examples of both pro and con on this issue. I highly recommend it to everyone. You can rent it from many on line movie suppliers.

Personally I am against abortion and I am also against the proposed "time to die/health care denial" plan for the elderly in Obama's national health care plan. I am Christian and believe only God has the right to make such decisions. Not politicians.

2:05PM PDT on Aug 5, 2009

I'm terribly sorry to hear that, Sandra. It's a truly appauling story, and is disheartening.

Parental rights, child molestation and reproductive liberty are all issues we need to deal with as a society.

All my best,

Jim

3:51AM PDT on Aug 5, 2009

I HAVE HAD 2 ABORTIONS, NEITHER OF WHICH I WANTED TO DO. THE FIRST TIME I WAS 15. AFTER BEING SEXUALLY MOLESTED BY MY STEP FATHER FROM 8-14 I WAS VERY CONFUSED WHEN IT CAME TO SEX. I TOLD MY MOTHER AND ALL SHE COULD SAY WAS "WHAT'S YOUR SISTER GOING TO DO W/O A FATHER?" AND MADE ME FEEL AS THOUGH I WAS IN THE WRONG. THIS REALLY MESSED ME UP IN WHAT WAS THE CORRECT HEALTHY WAY TO DEAL WITH SEX. WHEN I GOT MY FIRST BOYFRIEND AND HE PRESSURED ME SINCE I DIDN'T HAVE A FIRM FOUNDATION ON WHAT WAS CONSIDERED O.K. I COMPLIED, THINKING IT WAS THE ONLY WAY TO GET HIM TO LIKE ME. NEEDLESS TO SAY HE DUMPED ME SOON AFTER. SO BEGAN MY PROMISCOUS TEENAGE YEARS. EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHY I GOT PREGNANT. THEN THE SAME MAN WHO MOLESTED ME AND MY UNDERSTANDING MOTHER GAVE ME THE OPTION OF HAVING AN ABORTION OR LIVE ON THE STREET. AT 15 WITH NO RELATIVES NEARBY I DID WHAT I THOUGHT WAS O.K. TO DO. LATER WHEN I ENGAGED (AND PREGNANT)MY SOON TO BE SISTER-IN-LAWS CONVINCED MY FIANCEE TO GIVE ME THE ULTIMATUM IF WE WERE TO GET MARRIED THERE HAD TO BE AN ABORTION FIRST. SO AGAIN I LET OTHERS MAKE DECISIONS FOR ME. NOW I CAN'T HAVE CHILDREN. I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING TO GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE MY DECISIONS. I PROBABLY NEVER WOULD HAVE HAD TO LIVE ON THE STREETS AND MEN COME AND GO. BUT I DON'T BELIEVE IN FORCING MY OPINIONS ON OTHERS. I DO THINK THERE SHOULD BE ALOT OF COUNCILING BEFORE ANY ABORTION IS GONE THROUGH WITH AND MORE MORAL ACCEPTANCE OF BIRTH CONTROL TO BEGIN WITH.

5:14PM PDT on Aug 2, 2009

I all ready stated today. I was in a thrift store in my neighborhood that supports pro life choices and there was nothing in the store to outfit a pregnant mother's soon to be infant and where is the baby food, the clothing, and diapers?
In CA our State is in bankrupt and all funds to care for mothers and infants has been cut as well as medical benefits. It has been the taxpayers who have been footing the bill....can the prolifers really meet the challange? I don't think so.

7:05PM PDT on Aug 1, 2009

Hi Rhonda,

Hopefully, even if we strongly disagree, many who believe we are God's creation might legitimately see abortion as counter to His will. Yeah?

Meanwhile, we who might believe the rights of the born (women) trump the right of the unborn are no more or less entitled to our beliefs. And as a matter of courtesy, I think we should be sensitive to pro-life advocates, inasmuch as things are trending our way at present. Chioce is not at risk; pissing off Pro-life evangelists will only serve to invigorate the opposition.

Sorry for waxing philisophical. But I do wonder if any of us are making progress if we attach stereotypes to Pro-life or Pro-Choice. That just seems to be unfair.

I am, for example, a way out there full-on bleeding heart Liberal. But I'm also hugely in favor of nuclear power, an absolute taboo for liberals. Moreover, I think it's OK to eat a beef cow, but still consider myself an animal lover.

OK; I shouldn;t have had that last beer. But bascially, I have to wonder if these stupid labels (Lefty, Righty, whatever) not only unfairly categorize us, but even make us buy-in to stuff we don't really believe, because we're part of the Left, Right, whatever club.

Just a somewhat alcohol-induced thought.

Best,

Jim

2:21AM PDT on Aug 1, 2009

Carol H., you say and I guess believe "No way you should have the ability to chose no matter what the choice is all about." How can you justify prohibiting it -- just because you can't because of a belief you choose to follow?

You chose to sign a petition thanking Secretary Clinton for protecting right of women because you are one. I feel the same, maybe because I am one too. You want the UN to end violence in schools; I agree with that too. I'm also against human trafficking in the U. S., and I don't like the killing of coyotes or wolves or polar bears either, and want enacting stronger urban planning instead. Why do we both get our choices to support those things? It's because our feelings probably also put us in the majority, at least at care2 which is designed to support causes people think are right. That is the reason the majority wants women in this country to get to choose how to take care of their own bodies, regardless of religious groups that feel differently. What convinces you to limit the choice of others, when no one wishes to limit yours?Choose for yourself, but campaigning just to oppose things others do that don't harm you is likely to fail. It's simply recognized as selfish when you want the same choice when it does concern you!

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