Thursday, December 24, 2009
Pro-Choice Legislators and Advocates Offer Contrasting Reactions to Senate's Abortion Compromise in Health Care Bill
Newsweek: The New Abortion Divide, by Sarah Kliff:
At first, it seemed like abortion-rights activists could count on their allies in Congress. When the House of Representatives voted to approve the Stupak amendment in early November, prohibiting plans on the public exchange from covering abortion, abortion-rights groups reacted with immediate outrage and activism. On Dec. 2, strong supporters of abortion rights—congresswomen such as Patty Murray, Barbara Boxer, and Lois Capps—gathered at a rally, surrounded by women in pink with STOP THE ABORTION BAN! signs. They both spoke out against the language. "I am one who cannot even envision voting for health-care reform that takes us back on women's rights," Capps told a cheering crowd.
But now there is fissure between pro-choice leaders inside and outside of government. . . .
When the Stupak amendment passed, there was common outrage among pro-choice organizations and their counterparts in Congress. But this time, it's different: while leaders of pro-choice groups call the Nelson language "outrageous" and "absurd," a number of their strongest supporters in Congress are taking a nuanced stance: we don't love it, we don't even like it, but if this is what it takes to move forward with health-care reform, we will live with it. . . .