Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Wedge

I am depressed but not surprised by the healthcare debate in the US.

Again, we're shown that women's rights are ALWAYS negotiable.

Some commenters like Megan McArdle take women to task for making a big deal out of nothing much really.
Most of them seem to come from feminists who blithely assume away concerns about the personhood of the fetus, and the staunch political opposition to subsidized abortion from those who lean towards the "person" side. This allows them to spend 1,000 words or so having a completely irrelevant discussion of the disparate effects of the Stupak amendment on poor women, arguing that women's reproductive health care is too real health care, and similarly unrelated side points.

Talk about irrelevant . . . Dig this:
Last time I looked, there were over 1 million abortions a year in the United States. The most methodologically shoddy, activist-induced statistics on the number who die from lack of health insurance is 44,000, and the real number is much lower. The abortion statistics, on the other hand, are carefully collected numbers from a pro-choice group. Even if you only value a fetus as 1/20th of a person, the fetuses win.

She says that only 13% of abortions are insurance-funded. So, taking her own number of one million (which is too high, by the way), that measly 13% works out to 130,000 women per year having to pony up their own dough.

And for those women too poor? Fuck 'em.
The women who genuinely can't afford $500 bucks for an abortion are the women closest to the poverty line. Those women will be covered by Medicare, and they won't get abortion coverage anyway in most states.

There's much more, but as I said, it depresses me.

McArdle is a business writer. Nancy Folbre, on the other hand, is an actual economics professor. And she gets it.
With sex (as with food and exercise) Americans don’t seem, on average, to be very good at planning. Almost one-half of all pregnancies — and about one-third of births — are described as “unintended.”

We need insurance for a reason.

Nonetheless, despite heroic lobbying and phone-banking by people like Marta Evry and Jane Hamsher, I think the misogynist Christofascists are going to win.

Because paying for other people's (ahem) abortions really really bugs people.

And here's what I find really depressing -- the anti-choice forces here in Canada will get revved by the success of this tactic and push it even harder here.

While a recent poll by Angus-Reid clearly shows that Canadians are much more liberal than Murricans in their views (support for both abortion and same-sex relationships is up significantly -- for same-sex relationships by 7 points -- over the past two years), the question that polls 'best' for the anti-choicers, even here, is 'Should government fund abortion?'

Sorry, I couldn't find another source for this Environics poll:
The disconnect between official policy and the opinions of Canadians is even more stark in the area of abortion funding. Most abortions in Canada, which now total well over 100,000 annually, are paid for by taxpayers through the publicly funded health care system. Yet when asked, 68% of Canadians polled said that abortions should be either privately funded (18%) or only tax-funded in cases of medical emergency "such as a threat to the mother's life or in cases of rape or incest." Only 26% support tax-funding of all abortions, down from 30% last year.

They're spinning of course. An Angus-Reid poll from 2008 found that '43% say the health care system should fund abortions whenever they are requested'.

But still, this is their wedge.

1 comment:

Antonia Z said...

More on that Environics poll at my place.

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