Neither health, nor care, nor reform

What Natasha said:
Choice, dying by inches, is already a near fiction for many (4.00 / 4)
If you can’t get something, choice is meaningless. Right now, for example, 87 percent of counties don’t have any facilities that perform abortions, and a third of US women live in them.

Because the required travel costs more, and takes more time to raise money for, women may require later term abortions. Both later term abortions and abortions with complications can run many thousands of dollars, which just isn’t an amount many families can pay up front.

There’s more about the Nelson language here, but the two-check rule, as well as the mandate that equivalent plans be made available that don’t cover abortion, means that a lot of women will find themselves needing an abortion that their employer or male head of household already decided not to bother covering. That’s two levels of approval a woman has to go through, as well as facing the social stigma of even wanting the option.

The administrative overhead will be such that it isn’t even clear many providers will offer such coverage. And the likelihood that only a very small pool of people will even be willing to purchase it guarantees higher costs anyway.

The promise from the administration and Congressional leadership at the beginning was that this bill would be choice-neutral and that people could keep the coverage they had. It isn’t choice-neutral, and it will strip abortion coverage from many women who have it. We were lied to and sold out.

Further, reproductive justice advocates were hoping to campaign against the Hyde amendment. Now, Obama has forestalled action on that until 2014.

And let’s take on that class issue. Of the women who get abortions, 61% are already mothers who don’t believe they can care for their families adequately with another mouth to feed. This bill has taken contraception coverage out of the required benefits, and IIRC, the expanded conscience clause would pre-empt state mandates for contraception mitigating this. Further, women with one child often find, or know already, that having a second child can mean extreme damage to her future income potential, with the pay and promotion discrimination extended to mothers increasing near exponentially with further children.

It’s a recipe for permanent impoverishment of women and their families, so we can expect to see the number of poor people under that threshold go up. Instead of making it easier for women to delay childbearing, and many women who have abortions go on to have children later when they’re better situated, this bill makes it more likely that they’ll be stuck in a lifelong cycle of poverty that their children will inherit.

Reproductive health care and empowerment to determine their own family spacing is the core issue of female poverty, as well as the feminization of poverty. The president and Congress decided that didn’t matter, though.

And as an aside, the bill also did very little for those 55-64, many of whom have been rendered all but unemployable by the recession and the higher costs of their coverage compared to younger workers.

So while there’s help in it, while there’s a team victory in it, this bill perpetuates both corporate rent-seeking and systemic discrimination against women. Being probably the only bite at the apple we’ll get, yes, I’m angry. Having been defined as some wiggy, far left-wing thing, when it’s the unholy love child of Romney and McCain’s plans, yes, I’m angry.

This was handled badly and the ‘center’ has been pushed farther towards unapologetic misogyny. So no, I’m not happy.

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