Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Obama Takes a Stab at Stupak

Throughout this Stupak whirlwind, we've been awaiting to publicly address where he stands on the legislation.

Last night, on ABC news, the President defended the rights of 50% of the American population, as well as put the debate in big picture terms, by saying:

“I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill...And we're not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions...I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we're not restricting women's insurance choices.”

Here, Obama points out that Health Care Reform should be just that, and not be used as a means to sneak in conservative slashes to reproductive rights. Thank you, President Obama!! You are what a feminist looks like!

photo credit: vmarinelli on flickr.com


Emily said...

I have to respectfully disagree. While I appreciate Obama coming out against the Stupak amendment, I am not ready to start celebrating yet. I feel like this is a bare minimum statement, and while I get that he is walking a thin line with the healthcare reform bill, I would not say he is acting particularly feminist.

A feminist would affirm that women's rights cannot be bargained away, and that abortion is a legal medical procedure that all women should have fair access to. I appreciate his statement, but he has not proven himself to be any kind of champion for reproductive rights.

Cori said...

Emily, I got to hand it to you, "This is what a feminist looks like" was written prematurely.

Considering that the President has been seemingly passive on the health care debate, letting the members of the Hill duke it out on their own without public interference, I was just happy to hear that he did comment on the horrors of Stupak (and that when he did, it was for the correct side.)

So, not a "feminist," but not someone taking advantage of health care reform as an opportunity to undermine rights of women, like past administrations. You're right, major difference.

As an education major, I'll give him a B- in feminism. That way, he'll have something to work up to during the Senate hearings. If he's not showing up in FMF tshirts, he'll go down to a C+.

Madama said...

It's very hard to get anyone other than a longtime feminist to understand that abortion is not a separate issue from a woman and her rights. I argued with my husband, who is pro-abortion, for about an hour to try to explain to him that the whole "abortion politics" argument could not even be made without institutionalized belief systems that someone other than THE WOMAN HERSELF has authority over her body. It was very difficult to get across the idea that patriarchy is built on the (unstated) assumption that the means of reproduction (women churning out babies to go to war, to go to work, to plant the corn)are a legitimate locus of control by the state, or the husband as proxy.