At Least It's Warm Under the Bus

by Shaker Azzy

Analysis Examines Industry-Wide Implications of the Stupak/Pitts Amendment: "An analysis conducted by the GW School of Public Health and Health Services' Department of Health Policy, concludes that the Amendment would produce industry-wide effects, leading to the elimination of health plan coverage for nearly all medically indicated abortions."

Have a read. Go on, take a minute. I'll wait.

Done? Ok, cool.

What the fuck, right? I mean? What the fuck?!

Did you catch this part here?
The analysis also concludes that, based on past experiences with claim administration decisions involving treatment exclusions, insurers can be expected to interpret the exclusion broadly, excluding coverage of not only most medically indicated abortion procedures but also treatments for serious illnesses, injuries, and medical conditions that include an abortion undertaken for health reasons.
Did you catch that? Let me give a real world example for you. If the Stupak version goes into the final bill, and all the flying monkeys stop arguing long enough to do the one thing they always seem to do really well (sell women out), here's what this analysis is telling me: I had radiation therapy in July of this year. My boyfriend, who I love very much, is coming to visit me next week. If our contraception should fail us, and I become pregnant, I will need what is considered a medically indicated abortion. Under these conditions, I'm shit outta luck. That woman who is fighting breast cancer and happens to get pregnant? She's shit outta luck too.

The single mother of three who finds out she's pregnant with a baby she can't feed? Outta luck.

The woman who got raped walking home from work? Outta luck.

The teen who doesn't want to be a mother yet? Outta luck.

A woman expecting a fetus with such severe abnormalities it won't be able to survive post-birth? Outta luck.

And all the other women out there, each with her own story, each with her reasons, each with her struggles? Out. Of. Luck.

But it's more than that folks. That woman in the horrible car accident, hanging onto her life in the ICU? Who needs a potentially life-saving procedure that puts her fetus at high risk? She's out of luck too. If broadly enough interpreted, medications and pain killers could be included in this. But surely that won't happen. For-profit insurance companies would never try to save money by denying a woman medication or pain management.

So no abortions, even if you're buying insurance out of your own pocket. Unless you have the one thing that makes it all moot: Money.

Y'see, wealthy women have always had access to safe abortion - even before Roe. In fact, the only women who couldn't get a safe elective abortion before Roe were those living in poverty. You'd think a bill touted as being intended to help people in poverty afford healthcare would include coverage for a legal healthcare procedure that is increasingly difficult to obtain the poorer one is.

And because poverty disproportionately includes women of color, the Stupak Amendment is as racist as it is misogynist and classist.

One supplemental note:
President Obama has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and believes in preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade. At the same time, he respects those who disagree with him. The President believes we must all come together to help reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.
Those people who disagree with him? It really feels like they're the ones getting all the respect. Meanwhile, those people whose lives and bodies are the subject of that supposed disagreement? We're all tossed under the bus.


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