A Deal is Made. On the Backs of Women.

Kristin Teigen

A last-minute budget deal was made tonight in Washington, DC, averting a catastrophic shut-down of the federal government. As a fierce proponent of the concept of government, as well as the wonderful reality of this President, you'd think I'd be gleeful. Yeah. Great. Go, government. Cough.

Well, I can't remember when I've been as outraged. The budget deal included a provision to ban all federal funding for abortions for women in Washington, DC. This is, granted, a small proportion of our over-all population. I should shrug it off. But I can't.

This is one of those moves that symbolizes who we are as a nation. Think about it. The majority of Washington, DC residents are African Americans who have, to quote their license plates, taxation without representation. They don't have a say in what happens in Congress, despite the empassioned eloquence of Eleanor Holmes Norton. And they have a shocking 18.9% poverty rate, which will no doubt be higher in the next tally.

So, you take a voiceless, poverty-stricken population and you tell the women (again, the women), that they are not to have access to their constitutionally-protected right simply because they CANNOT pay for it.

Rights for some, not for others, depending on where you live and what you can pay for. Is this now who we are?

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    your pretty amazing K.T.

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    "Is this now who we are?"

    I would say this is exactly who we are and have always been. There are many parts of the country where a woman can't get an abortion, period, whether she has the money to pay for it or not. And it would be wrong to say there has ever an iota of justice for the poor or the marginalized in health care or otherwise. I'm thankful the GOP wasn't able to shut down Planned Parenthood and the good work they do they do in women's health care. But let's not fool ourselves that there ever been justice in access to health care for women, or the poor. And let's not be surprised that the GOP is setting out to do exactly what they have been trying to do, have promised to do for decades now, to eliminate all access to, not only abortion, but also to reproductive health care, and even contraception (which for many on the right is considered immoral and even murder, in the case of the pill). When women, especially poor women, begin to turn out to vote in huge numbers against the values of the GOP, maybe this will be changed.

    Unfortunately Wash. D.C. is under the direct rule of Congress and they can do this stuff, and have no true representational rights in the Congress.

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    DC has a larger population than Wyoming, I wonder what would happen if their representation was taken away?

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      And Wyoming has two senators as well. Democracy is not alive and well in the U.S. The U.S. Senate is a good example, as well as the District of Columbia.

      Giving representation or statehood to D.C. is adamantly opposed by the GOP. So it's not gonna happen any time soon.

      I assume the calculation here is that going to the mat on a shutdown of govt. would be politically defensible and supported for providing comprehensive non-abortion medical and family planning services to women at Planned Parenthood. Providing tax payer funded abortions is not widely supported by the public and it would be difficult to defend a protracted govt. shutdown to do that. So D.C. publicly funded abortions got thrown under the bus in order to save other services, like funding Planned Parenthood, or protecting the environment through the E.P.A.

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    The budget deal included a provision to ban all federal funding for abortions for women in Washington, DC.

    I think it's worse than that. I heard tonight that the provision also banned all LOCAL public funding for abortions in DC.

    Congress, after all, treats Washington DC as something worse than a colonial territory.

    So, they get to involve themselves in local politics. In the past, proposing vouchers for education, overruling local gun laws, etc.


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    Yes, Kari, you're right. The Hyde Amendment does not allow for any federal funding for abortions within states, but the states themselves could, of course, provide funding themselves. DC is prevented from even using their own funds in the way they want.

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    Great points, Kristin. FYI, I'm also just hearing of other less-well publicized elements of the deal, for example, caving in to Republican efforts to undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This is from Boehner's fact sheet on the deal:

    The agreement subjects the so-called Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the job-destroying Dodd-Frank law to yearly audits by both the private sector and the Government
    Accountability Office (GAO) to monitor its impact on the economy, including its impact on jobs, by examining whether sound cost-benefit analyses are being used with rulemakings."

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    Yes, there are so many ways we have to keep fighting -- here is the fact sheet you were talking about, for others to see...


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      @ Kristin "Yes there are many ways we have to keep fighting.."


      We have received a taste of what's to come in the last few months: the end of collective bargaining rights for workers, the planned death of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the planned death of any new steps towards health care reform, an end to Title X health care services for women, the shifting of the tax burden entirely onto the middle class, and the total domination of all phases of government by corporate interest, starting with tax policy. Now is the time to identify what those ways "to keep fighting" are. Can you share your views on that?

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    This is the consequence of 2010 and liberals staying home. This, and many, many other things that have happened in the past 4 months. I shudder to think how bad it will get before November 2012 rolls around.

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      There are plenty of factors that led to the current Republican majority in the house including the liberal turn out or lack there of. That said, the war on women's reproductive freedoms is a faith-based one.

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