Posted at onthewilderside.com. Based on a national Green Party press release:
Greens blast the anti-choice Stupak Amendment in the Democrats’ health care bill, predict voter anger and defections from the Democratic Party over the amendment
Green Party leaders today called the Stupak Amendment in the recently passed US House bill on health care reform a disaster for women’s reproductive rights and a betrayal of the Democrats’ stated support for women’s rights and well-being.
Many Greens foresee growing anger among Democratic voters, especially women, and possible defections from the Democratic Party over the amendment.
The Stupak Amendment to HR 3962 states that any health care plan purchased with any federal subsidy cannot cover abortion services, even with private funds, and prohibits the public plan from covering abortion care. The amendment will make it more difficult and expensive for anyone to purchase a plan with abortion coverage and discourages insurers and employers who provide health care benefits from affording such coverage.
The Green Party has criticized the Democrats’ health care proposal because it leaves the insurance and pharmaceutical industries in control of health care and fails to provide universal coverage: see “Greens urge defeat of the Democrats’ ‘insurance industry life-support’ bill in the US Senate and call for a rally of efforts to enact Single-Payer/Medicare For All,” press release, November 10.
The Green Party supports full reproductive rights, including uncompromised access to abortion services for women (http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#998980 / http://www.gp.org/platform/2004/socjustice.html#1012830).
Candace Caveny, Green candidate for the US House in Michigan’s 10th District (http://www.candacecaveny.org) in 2010 said,
Michigan Greens targeted Bart Stupak’s District One seat in Congress with the candidacy of Jean Treacy, who challenged his opposition to women’s rights, including the freedom to choose. The Stupak Amendment is the sharpest blow against poor women and their rights since the Hyde Amendment. It was proposed by a Democrat and passed by a Democratic Congress. We challenge feminists, feminist and progressive organizations, and all Americans who support rights and equality for women to stop supporting candidates who retreat from these principles, and to vote Green instead.
Greens called the Stupak Amendment a direct consequence of a public debate on health care reform that has been mostly limited to Republican ‘no reform’ versus Democratic ‘faux reform.’
It’s urgent that advocates of universal health care and women’s rights push harder now for Single-Payer. If the Senate version of HR 3962 gets passed with the loss of abortion coverage for women, Americans will soon realize that, along with this serious downgrade in coverage for women, the bill offers only minimal reform overall and creates new financial burdens for many while channeling more taxpayer money into insurance companies’ already bloated profit margins. Poor women and women of color are the least likely to be helped by the House Democrats’ plan and the most likely to suffer under the Stupak Amendment. Unless advocates for Single-Payer reject the Democratic Party bill and continue to fight for real universal health care, the resulting frustration and disappointment among millions of Americans will lead to more power for anti-women Republicans and Democrats.
Democratic Party leaders have made too many compromises on reproductive rights. Greens believe reproductive rights are non-negotiable. Feminism is one of the Green Party’s key values. Until Greens gain seats in Congress and state legislatures and we end two-party control, women’s rights face compromise and repeal.
“Face it: The Democratic Party is not for women”
By Kate Harding, Salon.com, November 10, 2009
“Health Reform: Implications for Women’s Access to Coverage and Care”
Kaiser Family Foundation, October 2009