Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Stupak Amendment: Keep the Pressure Up

I really think the Democrats underestimated how angry we Democratic women were going to be after they helped pass the Stupak Amendment. As I mentioned in my last post, the Stupak Amendment takes the current law that prohibits federal funding for abortion and takes it a huge step further - prohibiting federal funds from being used for abortion services in any health exchange be it public or private.

At first, the White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs refused to address it. Then Senator Claire McCaskill said it wasn't that big a deal. Fortunately, the backlash must have had an effect. President Obama said in an ABC News interview that it needs to be changed to maintain the status quo. Senator McCaskill has already reversed course, tweeting that she opposed adding such an amendment to the Senate Bill. And women's rights champions like Senator Barbara Boxer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand are speaking out, denouncing the Stupak Amendment and saying that it will not make it through the Senate.

What this all shows me is that we have to make sure our voices continue to be heard. Get the blogosphere buzzing. Set the twitterverse a-twitter. Contact our representatives, call in to radio shows and write letters to the editor. We must keep the pressure on the Democrats so that they know this is important and not an issue to compromise away. For reference, here is a list of Democrats who voted yes on the Stupak Amendment. Even more interesting, here is a list of strongly pro-choice Democrats who voted yes on the amendment.

Here is Rachel Maddow's segment on the Stupak Amendment that lays out very clearly why this is so serious.

The Democratic Party Platform states:
The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally support Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.
Let's hold our representatives accountable to uphold our principles and uphold this key women's rights issue.

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