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There is so much to say about what is wrong with the anti-abortion policy that got smuggled into the House’s “health care reform” bill last weekend. Yet The New York Times’ Op-Ed page today contained a singularly disappointing piece titled Trading Women’s Rights for Political Power by Kate Michelman (the former president of Naral Pro-Choice America) and Frances Kissling (the former president of Catholics for Choice) about the Stupak Amendment. The piece took aim more at inside the beltway politics than the fundamental injustices of the refusal to treat abortion as part of women’s health care needs, and the extension of the Hyde Amendment to the private sector. The outrageousness of this “compromise to get the bill passed” is made all the more stark when you learn that even the health insurance policy that covers RNC staff includes coverage for abortions.

The Michelman/Kissling opinion piece isn’t really about abortion or health care but is instead about democratic party politics. Well ok, but if part of the problem with the Stupak Amendment was the way that it further marginalized the interests of women and made the urgency of reproductive liberty for women all the more invisible, then their op-ed basically did the same by framing the problem as one of points scored in an intra-mural sport.

If Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor of The New York Times, was committed to publishing something on this issue that set it up as a kind of sport, would that he had given the Michelman/Kissling piece a pass and instead published Katha Pollitt’s really wonderful article from the Nation titled: Who’s Team Is It Anyway? Here’s a taste of Pollitt’s piece that just leaves Michelman and Kissling in the dust:

For example, budget hawks in Congress say they’ll vote against the bill Pollittbecause it’s too expensive. Maybe you could win them over if you volunteered to cut out funding for male-exclusive stuff, like prostate cancer, Viagra, male infertility, vasectomies, growth-hormone shots for short little boys, long-term care for macho guys who won’t wear motorcycle helmets and, I dunno, psychotherapy for pedophile priests. Men could always pay in advance for an insurance policy rider, as women are blithely told they can do if Stupak becomes part of the final bill.

You go girl.

6 comments

  1. Interesting. I loved Katha’s piece too. But she really liked the Michelson/Kissling piece and posted it on her Facebook fan page. I think it rawks too. This actually IS a matter of politics and if women don’t figure that out soon, women are going to lose, lose and lose again.

  2. Gender & Sexuality Law Blog » Blog Archive » Message to Dems Who … http://bit.ly/3gAk7n

  3. Dems Who Voted for Stupak: You Better Cut Funding for Viagra, Prostate Cancer, Male Infertility & Vasectomies As Well http://ff.im/-bosW5

  4. Dems Who Voted for Stupak: You Better Cut Funding for Viagra, Prostate Cancer, Male Infertility & Vasectomies, too! http://ff.im/-bosW5 #hcr

  5. Gender & Sexuality Law Blog » Blog Archive » Message to Dems Who … http://bit.ly/4Axq8I

  6. Prostate cancer?

    Did someone propose cutting funding for breast cancer?

    The only ones talking about cutting a sex-specific cancer related expenditure that I’m aware of is the federal *government* panels calling for defunding mammograms before age 50 and pap smears.

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