House Representatives Vote No on Women's Rights, Yes on War

The House voted yesterday and the anti-women's health Stupak amendment passed 240 to 194, with one member voting present.

Sixty four Democrats voted yes on the Stupak amendment, which effectively bans insurance companies from selling insurance plans that cover elective abortion on the individual and small group market.

Firedoglake calls this "one of the most far reaching national [restrictions] placed on abortion in decades. It could also [potentially] be used by insurance companies to allow them to legally discriminate against low income Americans."

Many of the Democrats who voted in favor of the Stupak amendment will surely boast they did so because they are the sentinels of human life. Of course, these Democrats are only concerned with protecting certain types of life.

In preparation for such pharisaic claims, I compared the list of 64 Democrats with the roll call for HJ Res 114, the bill that authorized the United States Armed Forces to invade Iraq.

Nineteen of the Democrats who voted for the Stupak amendment also authorized the United States to invade Iraq (one representative, Ortiz, chose not to vote, which in a time of war, is just as bad as voting "aye.")

The so-called Democratic representatives that voted in favor of the Iraq invasion and for the Stupak amendment are: Robert Berry (AR), Mike Ross (AR), Sanford Bishop (GA), Baron Hill (IN), Stephen Lynch (MA), Collin Peterson (MN), Gene Taylor (MS), Ike Skelton (MO), Bob Etheridge (NC), Mike McIntyre (NC), Earl Pomeroy (ND), Paul Kanjorski (PA), John Murtha (PA), Tim Holden (PA), John Spratt (SC), John Tanner (TN), Jim Matheson (UT), Bart Gordon (TN) (voted "aye" on Stupak and "nay" on final bill) and Solomon Ortiz (TX) (didn't vote in Iraq authorization roll call).

All of these representatives are male, and with the exception of Sanford Bishop and Solomon Ortiz, they're white, and ten are from Southern states. None of them are poor. This is the kind of unrepresentative, elite club that gets to vote on sending our soldiers to possibly die after killing many innocent people in distance lands, and this Rich Boys' Club also occasionally votes to steal rights from poor women.

What's even sadder is that Southern states have historically high rates of unplanned pregnancies, which makes the need for women's health alternatives, including contraception (also not terribly popular in religious areas of the south) and abortion, all the more great. The Stupak amendment only ensures that poor, desperate girls will have to resort to terrible measures in order to terminate unwanted pregnancies.

Meanwhile, the Iraq authorization has resulted in the deaths of anywhere between hundreds of thousands and a million Iraqi civilians in addition to 4,000 US troops without counting the deaths of US allies.

These 19 Democrats voted in favor of a horrific, pointless war based on a lie, and have now voted to suppress the rights of poor women. This means they would rather authorize the US military to bomb, maim, and murder innocent civilians than allow a woman to make a personal decision about her own body.

If it goes to war like a Republican, and votes against women's rights like a Republican...

I can't wait for the primaries.

Cross-posted from Allison Kilkenny's blog. Also available on Facebook and Twitter.