If We Take Health Care for Granted, We’ll Get Thrown Under the Bus

Stop StupakAs someone who came of age in the 1970s, I assumed things would continue to progress for women’s rights.  I felt lucky to be living in an age where I knew I had access to birth control as I headed off to college and got married the first time WAY too early.  And while I hoped I would never need to think about it, I was glad to know that if I ever needed an abortion, I could get one safely and legally because it was my constitutional right to do so.

It never occurred to me as a young woman that we would be where we are today, with conservative forces trying to chip away at reproductive rights, even when they claim that’s not on their agenda.

If you think I’m not serious about this, please stop by NotUnderTheBus.com, created by the Women’s Media Center and my friend Gloria Feldt, former President of Planned Parenthood.

You’ll find all the latest information about what’s really going on with the health care bill in Congress and how women’s health is being negatively impacted by a handful of men who believe it’s their job to take away our health care rights.

I’m worried about what will happen in the long run if more of us don’t speak out, because in many ways this conversation isn’t  just about abortion — it’s about necessary procedures performed after miscarriages that get called “abortions.”   Then it will be about the military saying that women members of the armed services will get kicked out if they get pregnant.  And then it will be whether insurance will pay for certain kinds of birth control. Or that covering woman-specific health care items, like mammograms, are just expensive “extras” that we don’t need.  This is a very slippery slope and I don’t want my daughter or me at the bottom of that hill if the conservatives have their way.

Let’s not let out bodies get thrown under the bus.  We’ve come too far to let that happen.  I wish I didn’t have to think about this over the holidays.  But as a friend reminded me, we know the right-wingers aren’t taking a holiday break from this fight.

We shouldn’t either.

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