Stop Stupak

Usually, when I come down to the kitchen for a snack (also known as an excuse to take a study break) I  can tell what mail my Mom is sorting through by the look on her face. The annoyed-pursed-lips-eye-roll is usually elicited by a Home and Garden magazine of some type (Martha Stewart is defiantly not listed amongst my Mom’s personal heroes). Glazed over, resigned boredom  can usually be attributed to a water or electricity bill. But the truly depressed, pissed off face of injustice can only be caused by one thing.

My family has struggled with the issue of health care ever since I can remember. Because of a pre-existing condition my Mom has and the fact that my Dad is independently employed, the business of staying healthy has put a huge financial strain on my family.  Our government essentially charges us a small fortune to stay alive, and it has been ingrained into my head since my youth that this is nothing less than a violation of a basic human right. So, naturally, when we heard the news of a Health Bill passing, we were pretty excited at what this could mean.

Until we heard of the Stupak amendment.

According to Planned Parenthood, “the Stupak amendment would restrict millions of women’s access to abortion coverage in the newly created health care exchange, undermining the ability of millions of women to purchase private health insurance that covers abortion, even if women pay for all or most of the premiums with their own money.”"

To which I respond: Government…what the hell?

And I’m not the only one.

Senator Barbara Boxer stated about the amendment, “This amendment is unfair and discriminatory toward women. It singles them out as a group and would deny women access to a legal medical procedure by dictating what a woman can do with her own private funds.”

Hell yeah it is. Here is the way I see the issue of choice: while personal opinions on whether or not abortion is right or wrong are not irrelevant I honestly think they should be separated from whether or not abortion is legal and available. It’s a choice and it should be available for women to make.

And I don’t think I’m alone on this one. Of course teens, like the rest of the population, have a wide span of opinions on the matter. I have friends who are pro-life and who are pro-choice and the amazing thing about all of them is they can agree on the fact that everybody needs to stay the heck out of everybody else’s business. If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t get one, the consensus seems to be. If you decide that abortion is the best option for you, then make that decision.

Now that's not the rule, but it seems like my generation is more flexible on the matter, more understanding of others' opinions than ever before. Maybe it’s the increasing global perspective, maybe it’s the frustration we have with previous generations' inability to get shit done, but more and more my generation wants justice, and the ability to choose definitely falls under that category.

More and more, we're siding with people like Rachel Maddow when she states that the Democrats would face serious consequences, especially from our generation, “if they don’t get women or anybody who’s pro-choice to ever vote for them again” in facing “the biggest restriction on abortion rights in a generation.” Also, when she tells us that the health care the Republicans have enjoyed since 1991 (Cigna) covers abortion, we're more than a little bit pissed off.

So pissed off, in fact, that the generation all the adults in my life deem as too addicted to facebook to get off the computer and do something…are actually doing something!

Harvard freshman, blogger at amplify and here at the fbomb and all around badass Leah Reis-Dennis is just one student who is taking an active role in opposing this horrendous amendment. On November 18th (Wednesday…tomorrow…) she’s holding a Students Stop Stupak rally at the Harvard Square T-Stop during rush hour (3:30-5:30). As she puts it, “We’ll hold coat hangers, signs, and circulate petitions as commuters and students filter through the Boston subway system. We’ll get media attention, and force our representatives to understand that students and voters care and are angry.” You can check out more on her blog for Stupak – Student Stop Stupak.

And if you're not in the Boston area, you can call your senator (see how they voted here) or sign Planned Parenthood's petition.

As Sojourner Truth said, “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again.”

More articles by Category: Feminism, Health, Media, Politics
More articles by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Abortion, Planned Parenthood, Reproductive rights, News, Women's leadership



Julie Zeilinger
Founding Editor of The WMC FBomb
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