Friday, October 14, 2011

The So-Called Protect Life Act: Pro-life? Let's Call It What It Is: Anti-Choice!

You'd think attacking women's rights and trying to systematically oppress women through bills concerning these rights would be out of style at this point. Nope!  Yesterday, a bill passed in the House of Representatives that would make it legal for hospitals to deny abortions to pregnant women even with life-threatening conditions.

Through the so-called Protect Life Act, "The bill would prevent a woman from buying a private insurance plan that includes abortion coverage through a state health care exchange, even though most insurance plans currently cover abortion. An even more controversial aspect of the bill would allow hospitals that are morally opposed to abortion, such as Catholic institutions, to do nothing for a woman who requires an emergency abortion procedure to save her life. Current law requires that hospitals give patients in life-threatening situations whatever care they need, regardless of the patient's financial situation, but the Protect Life Act would make a hospital's obligation to provide care in medical emergencies secondary to its refusal to provide abortions."

And yet "the Affordable Care Act already keeps public dollars separate from the private insurance payments that cover abortion. A federal judge ruled in August that the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List had to stop making the claim on its website that "Obamacare" subsidizes abortions because the assertion is false."

Making the argument that this bill should remain as a way "to ensure that no taxpayer dollars flow to health care plans that cover abortion and no health care worker has to participate in abortions against their will" is misinformation that seems to lack the insight that someone working in the healthcare profession who doesn't perform a legal medical procedure that puts the woman at risk isn't protecting life at all. As my friend Marissa said, "It's willfully taking it."  Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the House passage of the “Let Women Die” bill, otherwise known as H.R.358, yet another reminder of how playing politics with women’s health and privacy is a priority for Speaker John Boehner. Americans are facing real challenges, yet House Speaker John Boehner is ignoring the public’s call for Congress to focus on jobs.  Instead, he is coming up with new ways to give politicians more control over our personal, private decisions. The House’s attacks on women’s freedom and privacy are out of touch with our nation’s values and priorities.

So can we please STOP calling their side pro-life? They are clearly not pro-life! They are anti-choice. What continues to baffle me are not only the men who want to strip women of their reproductive rights, which in a heterosexual relationship directly affects men too, but the women who stand up and argue that women should not have the right to choose what happens to her own body.  Being pro-choice does not make me anti-life; it makes me aware that there is no simple black and white answer, no simple blanket approach to an issue like reproductive rights, and no way that I can claim that other women shouldn't have the right to choose what happens to their bodies.  I come from a place of white privilege and understand that even in my times of struggle am not faced with the same obstacles, misconceptions, or overall disenfranchisement of many women who tend to be left out of these debates.  Identifying as pro-choice does not make me anti-life, it also doesn't mean I'm out having promiscuous sex without birth control, using plan-b as a form of birth control, that I've had an abortion myself which is why I support a woman's right to have one, or that I myself would choose to have one if faced with such a question; it simply means I believe women, all women, deserve the right to choose. 

Do you agree or disagree with the belief women deserve the right to choose?  Do you believe women's health deserves and needs to be protected?  Comment below or email me

No comments:

Post a Comment