What You Need to Know About the Stupak Amendment

There’s been a lot of self-congratulatory back-patting around the House’s passing of the Health Reform Bill this past Saturday — but it’s come at a huge price. The Democratic Congress pretty much abandoned women’s reproductive rights by including the last-minute Stupak-Pitts Amendment to appease some religio-conservative members of Congress, including several male conservative Dems. Don’t be fooled: it’s not just simply ensuring that there will be no federal funding for abortion care (which was already in the bill) — it goes much further. According to Reproductive Health Reality Check:

  • It effectively bans coverage for most abortions from all public and private health plans in the Exchange (i.e. the reformed health insurance market)
  • It includes only extremely narrow exceptions (rape, incest) and excludes cases where the health but not the life of the woman is threatened by the pregnancy, where there are severe fetal abnormalities, etc.
  • It allows for a ridiculous and useless abortion rider, which means women would have to buy stand-alone coverage for a completely unexpected event (who plans to have an abortion?!)
  • It allows for discrimination against abortion providers

Abortion is a safe and legal medical procedure that’s currently covered by 87 percent of employer plans and that one in three women will go through in their lifetime. This bill, passed with pressure from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (hello, separation of church and state?), will unfairly take away this necessary coverage and financially penalize women. We should be able to get health reform with a public option without throwing women under the bus — and we can do this if we speak up. Please call on Senate Leader Harry Reid to stop this abortion-care ban.

For a lot more important information on how dangerous and destructive this amendment is, check out these resources:

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  1. Bettyboo, I just read what I wrote in November and realized I left out a single word and it changed the entire meaning of my post.

    I accidentally said, “Also, it has been proven that “young girls” use “abortion” as a form of birth control.” I MEANT “It has been proven that most “young girls” DO NOT use abortion as a form of birth control.” Sorry.

  2. Marie, I am so sorry that happened to you. However, it appears you let yourself be manipulated into the abortion, thus eliminating the idea of “Choice.”

    But, a number of studies have shown that “severe emotional distress” after an abortion is indeed quite rare. (Reagan’s Surgeon General quit because Reagan wanted him to “prove” that abortion caused severe emotional stress and depression in most or all women, it COULDN’T be proven and the man was pushed out of his position, because he wouldn’t LIE for Reagan.) Yes, it happens some of the time, usually in women who have a propensity towards depression anyway (which means that if the abortion hadn’t triggered the Depressive Episode, something else would have.)

    Most women feel sad when they abort for a short period of time, but relieved. There is NO Universal depression in most women.

    Of course, if you want to look at depression as “costly,” you could take the “cost” of treating post partum depression, which effects about 20% of mothers, (women who CHOSE to continue their pregnancies) often effects them for a lifetime and is VERY expensive to treat (plus they still have all the child rearing costs, medical bills, pediatrician bills, also.) I have been treated for depression started by a bout of PPD, since 1989, after my second child was born. Years of antidepressants, therapy, “Alternative” medicine, chiropractic, basically anything to help. Chances are, I would have suffered a Major Depressive episode anyway, but childbirth caused a depression as, if not more expensive than the same you suffered from an abortion. AND it is MUCH more common to suffer PPD than post abortion depression.

    I would never have NOT had my children to avoid the depression, though. They are the Joy of my life (but having them was MY choice.) My choice was the best one for me, and even though it triggered an event (and a lifetime of issues) similar to the ones your abortion did, it doesn’t mean MY choice of having my kids was the WRONG one.

    Also, Marie, in your situation, you allowed someone to manipulate you into doing something it appears you didn’t want to do. (Most women who have abortions make their OWN choices. That’s why they call it “Choice.”)

    THAT alone could cause your depression, even if there was no abortion. HOW do you know, if you had continued the pregnancy, you wouldn’t be stuck with a child with no father, bills you couldn’t pay AND the Depression on top of it? Answer: You don’t know, but the chances are, you probably would have had PPD as well. (As if an abortion supposedly triggered a lifetime of depression, you are predisposed to it, and having the baby would have most likely cause more and more severe depression.) Which, as you were talking about “costs” would have been much more expensive than what you already are dealing with AND you’d have a child with no father….

    My guess is the fact that you did what you did to “keep a man” has more to do with your depression than the fact that it was an abortion.

    I hope you can find the strength to heal and the courage to do so.

  3. I was just wondering, since the topic of cost to raise a child rather than abort was brought up, if anyone took into account the cost of treating the women who end up with emotional and mental issues after their procedure? Specific case: at one point, I was pregnant. The “father” and I were in an on again off again relationship. We both had jobs, both had health insurance. He, however, stated that not only was he not ready to be a parent, but that if I aborted the baby, he and I would get back together. So I had the procedure. And two days later he disappeared and I haven’t heard from him since. That was in 2007. I was so disconsolate, my family had to surround me. I was basically on suicide watch, with tri weekly check ups with not only my doctor that did the procedure, but a psychiatrist who wanted me committed for at least 72 hours. Then I was on anti depressants for the next 6 months, maintaining bi weekly appointments with said psychiatrists. Even now, every couple of months and on the anniversary of my surgery, I have to check in. How much do you suppose that has cost my insurance company? I know I’ve already paid a few thousand in co-pays. And lets say I had been committed on your dime? And guess what, I’m not a rare case. Many women are taken advantage of in this way or even if they make the choice on their own, they soon come to regret it. How much exactly will that cost you? And folks, lets be real here! You cannot compare the government taking over health care (they’ve run themselves for quite some time) to issues of local and national security! Once upon a time, police and fire were private run, but that endangered more people than it helped and there was a communication breakdown that cost lives. The health industry does need reform, but in a broad way. Not just knock down the door of a private industry and have the government take over. Last time I heard of that happening was in Russia and Germany! Do we really want to go down that road? Will the people we are supposedly trying to benefit, really benefit from that kind of system? I doubt it. <—– Former dem who is trying to save the country she loves! God Bless our troops!

  4. I seriously doubt that, given the opportunity to access any other form of contraception, anyone would use abortion as form of birth control. In the UK we have free contraception for anyone as long as you get it prescribed by a doctor or a from a family planning clinic which is something I’ve taken for granted through my adult life. The essential lack of free healthcare in the US looks, to an outsider, really deeply shocking, especially given you must be one of the richest nations on planet. I can’t conceive of having to make decisions about drugs I or my family need for illness or even something like my birthcontrol based on whether I could afford them or whether I had the right insurance.

  5. Elizabeth I have never heard of an insurance company paying for cosmetic surgery in any form. Also, it has been proven that “young girls” use “abortion” as a form of birth control.

  6. Abortion takes a life, no matter the circumstances. In this country it is a felony to destroy an Eagle egg, but it is not only legal, but potentially subsidized, to take a human life in it’s most vulnerable state. I think we need to seriously re-examine our priorities.

  7. Okay, look. I have to be honest, I don’t particularly like the idea of my tax dollars going to pay for some 17 year old to go out and sleep with whomever she wants and use abortion as her form of “birth control”. I personally am pro-life, but that’s also just extremely irresponsible behavior. (Condoms aren’t that expensive.) However, I do understand that there are instances (such as rape, incest, increased risk to the life/health of the mother)that are totally out of the woman’s control. I believe that those situations should be covered by the woman’s insurance, whether it be private, public or government-funded.

  8. during the elections, for all i cared, mccain, obama, and biden could have taken a bullet for all the shit i give – i voted mccain for sarah palin alone! 😀

  9. Why exactly does the government get to regulate what PRIVATE insurance companies choose to cover? I mean, it’s one thing if they are choosing not to cover someone’s cancer treatments or something – hell yeah, step in there, but to say that they CAN’T cover something? Ridiculous! They CAN cover elective plastic surgery, but they can’t pay for a woman to abort a fetus that will seriously endanger her health. What kind of society do we live in again? I thought we gave up the whole dictator thing back in 1776.

  10. Doug, you are totally dead on. Not only is it cruel to the child to bring it into a world where it’s unwanted, but it’s also cruel to the mother to force her to carry something she doesn’t want. The woman may have been able to become a productive member of society, but because birth control and condoms aren’t 100%, her options have become severely limited and now even more so for the sake of religious morals that she may not even believe in. What the hell happened to separation of church and state?

  11. Here here Spes! I can assure you at least one other person feels this way. When you get down to brass tacks, it’s simply better for society to not have to support unwanted children financially. Also, and this is not meant to be a knock on parents, but wouldn’t you rather have been raised in a home where the parents have the financial and emotional faculties to provide for you rather than rely on the state?

    It’s a known fact that in the poorest parts of town (those parts most benefiting from being able to choose, at least financially) are also the highest number of single, disadvantaged, youngest parents. These parts also turn out the highest eprcentage of criminals with the highest rates of recidivism. Not only to do unwanted children become a problem for the state to support until they’re 18, also they become a drain on it afterward. I would rather the mother not be forced to carry and raise a child she is not prepared for.

  12. Mayhap I’m the only one who feels this way, but I’d much rather have my tax dollars go to pay for an abortion, than to pay for prenatal care, delivery with hospital stay, feeding, clothing, housing, and all the other ‘little’ necessities of raising a child for the next 18 years. Hmmm, roughly $700 (nip the problem) or roughly $200,000(in addition to supporting the mother who now stays home instead of working), which would you prefer for your tax dollars? But I’m sure the government can handle all that without incurring any debt. Really!
    Yes, it would be great if the government would get it’s hands out of our health insurance, but too many whiny people won’t let that happen.
    This is for Kile: As for insurance for unexpected events, it holds with home and auto, but not so well with health. I want dental and health insurance, not simply for the unexpected but because I like having regular check-ups and teeth cleaning. And Kile, if you were a chick, you’d better understand that PAPs and mamograms are not unexpected events, whereas abortions totally are.
    Say YES to abortion, and NO to welfare!

  13. Okay.

    But in exchange, you have to turn in all your matches, electrical appliances, firewood, your oven, and let’s see, what kind of heating do you have?? Because I’m not going to let my taxes fund the fire department’s trip to your house just because you left the toaster on for too long or whatever. Also, kinda I hope you’re one of those armed-to-the-teeth Republicans or Libertarians because perhaps you should be cut off from law enforcement services as well. You seem like one who could be a bit pugnacious, I don’t want my hard-earned tax dollars to pay to break up your bar brawls. Oh yeah, and sorry man, all 5 branches of the military, Homeland Security and all that, all paid for by taxes and likely another public service that doesn’t directly benefit to you.

    You bought insurance though, you should be good.

    Your post was written fairly well, where did you go to school? Chances are, even if it was private, it got some taxpayer money via government grant money, perhaps you’ll be paying that back? Oh, and how do you get around? I hope you don’t expect to be using any of those taxpayer-funded roads you’re used to, maybe I don’t want to pay for the stretch of road that leads from your house to your job.

    On a basic level, we pay taxes in order to receive services from our government. On another level, maybe one that appeals to you more, our government provides us with services and public benefits so that we can function as an efficient capitalist system and a healthy society.

    You may have a problem with a variety of people having non-procreative sex, apparently ranging from fertile women to old men with “issues” but those are really peripheral attention grabbers calculated to manipulate your attention and abuse your passion and intellect. A more effective health care system will mean a better functioning economy, more GDP, etc. etc. (plus, it’s just humane).

    I doubt that you would deny a woman who was beaten and raped assistance from the police, would you? What if her arm were broken, should she have to choose between going broke under a mountain of medical expenses or letting it heal however it pleases? What if she were pregnant by her attacker? And what if she were a child or someone that you care for but can’t afford to pay for?

    About the expectation thing, that’s called a discount rate, the higher your discount rate, the lower your investment in the unknown future, and the more you consume in the present. If you have a low discount rate, you invest more in your future as you’re more willing to forgo benefits in the present for unknown benefits in the future, in large part because you feel secure enough to do so. Buying insurance is a sign of a low discount rate.

    BUT if you can’t make enough money to make ends meet, you have no choice but to have a high discount rate. The phrase, “living hand to mouth” comes to mind, there’s nothing left over beyond basic subsistence to be invested in some cloudy unknown. That’s partly how poor countries end up with pollution issues and it’s how the bulk of uninsured people end up without insurance.

    Very few people choose to gamble with their lives and livelihoods if they’re given a choice and what kind of a country are we if we force their hands?

  14. Your article is non-sensical. You state that women would have to buy a rider for a completely unexpected event, (who plans to have an abortion?) ALL insurance is for unexpected events. People don’t buy car insurance because they expect to have an accident or have their car stolen. People don’t buy homeowner’s insurance because the expect to have a house fire or a tornado. If you drive a car you may get into an accident, just as if you have sex, you may get pregnant. The simple solution to all of this is to get the government out of the insurance business all together. Not only do I not want to pay for other people’s abortions through my taxes, I don’t want to pay for other people doctor visits, broken arms or viagra with my taxes. Those are things that an individual is responsible for, not the federal government. If you can’t afford an abortion, DON’T HAVE SEX!

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