When the rise of Rep. Bart Stupak began, I wrote a post about Speaker Pelosi and 64 Democrats selling women out. Well, it seems that Pres. Obama and Congress are prepared to double down on that action by allowing Mr. Stupak to become the Democratic Henry Hyde on abortion at the expense of women who put them in office. Why is no one in the House taking him on?
From Rep. Steney Hoyer we get capitulation. via The Hill yesterday:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation.
Jane Hamsher has already called for the resignation of Rep. Lynn Woolsey as head of the progressive caucus. Seems Ms. Woolsey is all too eager to sign on to the Senate health care bill, even though it's a bad bill and still doesn't contain the one thing the public wants, some form of public option.
Now, I'm not a movement progressive, just a political analyst who can figure out pretty clearly what's going on. Women are being told again by Democrats to stand aside, be quiet, and take one for the team, because the health care bill is more important than our individual rights. Oh, and because the bill isn't about abortion. If it's not about abortion then why is the leading Democratic anti abortion legislator being coddled and kowtowed to over it to make sure the language passes his test?
What about how Democratic, progressive and liberal women feel about Rep. Stupak's legislation and the Senate health care bill?
Considering the fact that we help get Democrats elected, our concerns should be taken very seriously. Because if you think the Democratic base is demoralized, you should read my emails from women who have had it with the current Democratic crop, who are yet again selling out the best interests of women, while taking our votes for granted.
Even as wrong as conservatives are about women's rights, at least they represent and support the voters who get them elected.
The Democratic Party is not and neither is Pres. Obama in this health care bill.
That the Democrats are going to such lengths to simultaneously ignore that the American public support a public option, while selling women out, is like punching a bad bruise.
Women not only pay more for health insurance, but we get screwed by it more often. The Senate bill that Obama has embraced, with the House prepared to suck it up to "save his presidency," women are going to have to follow convoluted rules never before put into place in order to get full reproductive health care.
Most people respect the right to life crowd's stance, even if it is pro selective life, putting the woman second. But the fact of the matter is that Griswold and Roe are settled law, with the majority of Americans wanting it to stay that way.
Rep. Stupak's efforts are exactly what Rep. Henry Hyde did when he couldn't overturn existing law.
Unfortunately, Pres. Obama and leading Democrats, including Rep. Lynn Woolsey, are letting Mr. Stupak not only get away with it, but helping him do it while making him a star. Women being asked to shut up and take it when our rights are being chipped away. The right already has succeeded in lessening the number of doctors who perform abortion, sometimes through murder, what's next?
If the Democratic Party won't fight for women's full reproductive rights in health care reform why should we continue to support them?
Because Republicans are worse?
Pretty soon that won't be good enough. Because if no one will stand up to Stupak there's no point in women voting for Democrats.
Taylor Marsh is a political analyst out of Washington, D.C.