Wading into Troubled Waters

I’d really like to believe that reasonable and intelligent people can view the same set of facts, reach divergent conclusions, and discuss them rationally.  This is true of many things but Abortion doesn’t seem to be on that list.  Still, I am about to wade into that political and moral morass on my largely apolitical blog because of the passage of the Stupak Amendment.

Federal and state governments have long been prohibited from using public funds to pay for abortions by the Hyde Amendment (except in cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother.)  The Stupak amendment would functionally eliminate health insurance coverage for abortions because it would ban any company that has Federally Subsidized Subscribers from offering it.

The essence of the arguments I continually hear in favor of the Stupak & Hyde amendments is that tax payers shouldn’t have to fund activities they find morally repugnant.  For the record, I find:

  • A state spending money to execute her citizens to be morally repugnant
  • Waging war under false pretenses to be morally repugnant
  • State sponsorship of Abstinence-Only Sex Education which is clinically ineffectual at best, and reckless endangerment at worst, to be morally repugnant
  • Spending money on referendums so that the majority can strip rights granted to a minority to be morally repugnant
  • Spending money to remove volunteer patriots from our military because they happen to have been born homosexual to be morally repugnant
  • Doing the prior during a time of war and with our military battling on two fronts, and stretched as thin as the Redskins offensive line, to be morally repugnant.

I am not trying to pick fights about any of those issues – reasonable people can reasonably disagree – but the argument that we, citizens, should have the ability to fund, or defund, our portions of federal taxes flies in the face of the logic upon which a Democratic Republic is based.  The false logic of the Hyde Amendment’s status quo was problematic; the hyperbolic extension of the Stupak Amendment ought not stand.



12 Responses to Wading into Troubled Waters

  1. Rahree says:

    Right on, Refugee.


  2. laloca says:

    the effects of the stupak amendment are a bit more nuanced than that, and it’s unclear if it would have much of an impact on health insurance companies that did not participate in the insurance exchange.

    what does seem clear is that the “abortion rider” carveout (section (b) of the amendment) is irrelevant, as companies do not offer them (as has been the experience in states with similar legislation). what also seems clear is that the procedural requirements of offering abortion-covering plans in the insurance exchange to non-subsidized customers (section (c) of the amendment) will be too expensive to justify any plan doing so.

    i haven’t seen any good analysis of the potential spillover effect into non-exchange plans, though. a company that does not offer abortion coverage within the exchange shouldn’t have any accounting or management barriers preventing it from offering abortion coverage to non-subsidized customers outside the exchange.

    that said, i believe anything that restricts women’s access to reproductive health care of any sort is morally wrong and part of a worldview that wishes to erode the gains women have made in american society, limit our freedom, and return us permanently to second-class citizen status.

    (uff. i’ll get off the soapbox now.)

    My point speaks more to the illogic of the amendment, however, because of the universal mandates contained elsewhere in the bill, effectively every company will be offering plans – what company turns down millions of new customers – that are impacted by the subsidies. Thus the availability of an insurance plan that covers this will be eliminated without the purchase of a separate rider. Which brings me to the point I wish I had included (and I know you agree with me, but I just wanted to shout it anyway) REPRODUCTIVE CARE IS A MEDICAL CIVIL RIGHT.

  3. A says:

    I’m a lawyer, and that last comment/response made my head spin. Good luck to average person trying to navigate this groundbreaking new health insurance system.

    Note the intentional use of the word “insurance”, because it sure as hell doesn’t sound like “care” to me.

    So sayeth the bleeding heart Canadian commie who will surely burn in hell because of same-sex marriage anyway.

    All of which makes me wonder how our northern most colony is so much more evolved than we are.

  4. Christina says:

    Lately, I have been disgusted by politics, especially the hypocrisy, the mind bending (and mind numbbing) arguements about stupid stuff.

    I am become so disappointed by those on a local, state and federal level.

    Bums, the whole damn lot of ’em. Democracy is the worst form of government… except when you compare it to all of the others.

  5. Vie says:

    Let’s hope Boxer stands her ground, and that Obama backs her up. I’ve been fuming about this the past few days.

    How can we not fume? This shit is outrageous.

  6. k8 says:

    Um. I’m still kind of dumbfounded that this passed.

    Mystified, want to punch people angry is where I am.

  7. Jamie says:

    I could not agree with you more.

    The great irony of this is that the same conservatives who oppose funding abortions (which are legal) with federal funds, also oppose funding the entitlement programs which will be needed to pay for the the all the services that are disproportionately needed by people (and their children) who couldn’t afford the abortion.

    I guess to them, life begins at conception, but ends at birth.

    I try not to demonize those on the other side of this issue, but this is just wrong on so many levels.

  8. Alice says:

    i can’t even comment coherently on this subject. my brain melts and i become a rage filled yell-y person.

    (suffice to say: i agree with you wholeheartedly)

    Honestly, I am just glad that I could get through the writing of that post without my brain melting from anger.

  9. kate.d. says:

    sometimes, it starts to feel like we have collective amnesia over the fact that abortion is a LEGAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE. you’ve gotta hand it to the conservatives though, they’re making serious strides with this angle – put it out of reach for as many women as possible, and it’s “legality, schmegality.”

    Legal and nobody’s business, but you’re right – they are having success with this line of attack.

  10. kitty says:

    gah. I hate that this has come up, and love that you’re brave enough to post your opinions. Morals aside, abortions will happen. Let’s do something to make them safe, a’ight?

    Safe, and rare. Besides that imbalanced woman who had fifteen (how did her doctors not get her help,) no one is actually Pro-Abortion, just Pro-Choice.

  11. titania says:

    I could not agree more also…

    Following on what Jamie said, sometimes I have the crazy thought that for conservatives the best solution would be to kill them all, so as all need for any type of welfare is gone. It would be ok, I guess since it would be after they are born.

    That’s a level of evil that even I cannot ascribe to them.

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