What a Trainwreck

And now the fate of healthcare reform hangs in an intra-party fight over abortion:
In a move that will intensify the coming war over how to treat abortion in the health care bill, more than three dozen House Dems have signed a letter to Nancy Pelosi firmly pledging to vote against the bill if it contains an anti-abortion amendment.

A source sends over a working copy of the letter without the signatories, and the source says it currently bears the signatures of 41 House Dems. They're all vowing to vote No on a bill if it contains the Stupak amendment — enough to sink the bill.
As Members of Congress we believe that women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women's access to reproductive health services.

The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented and unacceptable restriction on women's ability to access the full range of reproductive health services to which they are lawfully entitled. We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women's right to choose any further than current law.
That's unequivocal, with no wiggle room.
Good to see Dems with some bloody principles.

Except...remember when being pro-choice was a standard Democratic principle?

I'm reminded all over again of the fight in '04 when Harry Reid became Senate Minority Leader, despite being anti-choice, and the fight in '05 about Bob Casey, the anti-choice Dem who stole Rick Santorum's Senate seat, and all the other various inside baseball arguments surrounding the Blue Dog-Big Orange-Conservative Democrat-win-at-all-costs fuckery that demoted women's fundamental right to bodily autonomy to a negotiable platform plank.

Five years ago, progressive feminists were cast as hysterics for shouting that conceding ground on choice, that not requiring a strong pro-choice position among the party's elected ranks (no less the party's leadership), would eventually lead to compromises that even classic Democrats could not abide. And here we are.

And all I can do is watch in horror as the party tears itself in half because it prioritized winning over undiluted support for equality.

Meanwhile, let us not forget that abortion rights were considered a legit bargaining chip because it was MORE IMPORTANT to win back the Congress and the White House so we could end those two wars and stop extraordinary rendition and close Guantanamo and end the era of presidential secrecy and...

That the trade-off ain't working any better for the people who were willing to throw my rights under the bus is no comfort at all. In fact, it somehow makes the whole goddamned mess even worse.

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