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The Unacceptable Wrongness Of The Sutpak-Pitts Amendment

In right to privacy on December 4, 2009 by Gautam Tagged: , , ,

On 8th November this year, the popular National Health Care Bill encountered its very expected hurdle while being put to vote. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi realised that she didn’t have enough support for the Bill unless she removed the two pro-abortion provisions in it: The prohibition of the “public option” from paying for abortion, except to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest; and by permanently prohibiting the use of the new federal premium subsidies to purchase private insurance plans that cover abortion.  Once these were out of the way, the Bill was passed by the House by a margin of 220-215.

Disregard the Hyde Act and you’ll see that the Republicans are right in characterising the Stupak-Pitts Amendment as the most popular pro-life vote since Roe v. Vade. Effectively what it does is prohibits government subsidies on insurance plans that cover abortion. So a woman from any family that receives federal aid in purchasing a private insurance plan is systematically denied of her right to receive an abortion. Ordinarily not a very major hassle if you consider the government’s old argument of “if you want our aid, dont kill babies”; but heres why it is. Lets go by the estimate that every family earning less than $88,000/- would come under the purview of the Health care Act. Now lets borrow the arguments from Roe v. Wade where – in striking down the Texan law criminalising abortions- the Court considered “unprepared pregnancies, possible failures of contraceptives and  the famed right to privacy”. What we get is that both the Hyde Act and the Stupak Pitts Amendment take away from a woman, a very valuable right to decide what she wants ot do with her body. The issue is more inflammatory because it targets the weak and poor. The middle class and the rich are going to get that abortion any way. Statistics show that more than 70 % of the abortions take place in such groups. Realistically then we’re talking to forcing an unprepared, poverty ridden individual that has little means of managing a decent living for herself with the additional burden of getting pregnant. It gets worse because many families that seek minimalistic federal funding in their insurance, paying most of the premiums on their own would also be effected by the plan.

And since private insurance companies would want to be a part of this plan, the ideal corollary would be that they will eventually stop offering abortion covered plans thereby very conveniently denying women of their right to privacy.

while pro-abortion groups have widely criticised this move, it is quite surprising to notice about 60 democrats voting aye for the Amendment.

Very surprising indeed.

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