Put the Hyde Amendment back on the negotiating block
This isn’t a usual LGBTQA rights issue, but I am 100% in favor of respect for a woman’s right to choose and I know thats the case for the rest of the real LGBTQA rights movement because its about the basic human rights of women to control their bodies.
In 1976, a rider was added in to every appropriations bill, known as the Hyde Amendment. The effective language is “No Federal Funds for Abortion”, which doesn’t just extend to Medicaid, but the associated laws and riders prevent Federal employees from getting abortion coverage on their health insurance, for the military, the peace corps and all but a few federal employees. I was opposed to the Hyde amendment when I found out about it during the healthcare debate, but that wasn’t good enough for the republicans to keep that in. Stupak tried to force insertion of an expansive poison pill measure that would prevent any of the healthcare packages in the exchange from covering abortions. Thankfully the President managed to roll over for the supposedly democratic Stupak and signed an executive order preventing the healthcare bill from covering abortions.
Planned Parenthood is one of the most important and noble organizations in the US, who provide the full gamut of women’s health services, safe sex education and lobby for reproductive health issues. I’m so proud that doing the Vagina monologues last year gave support to the local Planned Parenthood in Albany. Planned Parenthood is constantly under attack from the right wing, but now the social conservative puppet party known as the republican party has decided to push an anti-choice agenda. The latest one pushed by Mike Pence would say that if you offer abortion services you cannot receive federal funds.
I’ve had enough of this bullshit, its perfectly simple. Late term abortions are only used for vital medically necessary reasons so those should be left alone. If you don’t like surgical abortions, support abortifact drugs. If you don’t like abortifact drugs, don’t restrict access to the morning after pill. If you don’t like the morning after pill, then do effective real sex education. Abstinence education is delusional at best, criminally negligent at worst. I really don’t care about the opinions of the anti-choice crowd because there are ways of lowering the number of abortions by supporting sex education, access to the morning after pill, and safe doctor prescribed access to abortifact drugs, all of which they oppose.
If the republicans want to bring up the issue of women’s health funding, it is time for the Democrats to respond by focussing on removing the hyde amendment from the appropriations bill. Federal, military, public option, and medicaid health insurance should provide full coverage for women’s health the same that it provides full coverage for men’s health.
I know I”m being opportunist but if the anti-choice crowd had not focussed on repealing women’s health coverage in the new congress, then it would have been more difficult to bring into the fore. They opened the door, and I’m walking proudly through in the opposite direction.