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The gender politics of the abortion "compromise"

It's sadly telling that the "compromise" proposal limiting abortion was offered by Bart Stupak, and seconded by a Republican male. The opposition was led by Diana DeGette, and seconded by Rosa DeLauro. Stupak's proposal has female supporters, to be sure, a decision that will mainly govern women is being made primarily by men. I would bet that the final vote will show a majority of congresswoman vote against this bill.

By Ezra Klein  |  November 7, 2009; 7:48 PM ET
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"it's depressing to watch a decision that will mainly govern women being made primarily by men."

So you do not think any of the unborn children being killed are male?

Posted by: WoodbridgeVa1 | November 7, 2009 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Quite the trollfest today, Ezra.

Here's hoping that the YouTube of those Republican men shouting down Democratic women goes viral -- the GOP would kiss moderate and independent women goodbye. Best case scenario: it would stiffen the spine of Olympia Snowe to push through something meaningful.

Posted by: scarlota | November 7, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

another political attack of the penis on the vagina

Posted by: GCReptile | November 7, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

It's "telling" that making note of the sex of politicians passes for intelligent political commentary.

Far as I can tell, the take-away here is that people who are men are only allowed to have certain kinds of opinions, in political commentator Ezra Klein's view.

Posted by: soncharm | November 7, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

@Woodbridge VA1

a) Doesn't Genesis say life doesn't begin until the first breath is taken?

b) women go through pregnancy (and let me tell you, those 9 months are tough) and give birth, hence Ezra's original point...why should men be making a decision about a biological process that women uniquely experience?

Posted by: CTgirl3 | November 7, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

post list or link for the 64.

Posted by: esthermiriam | November 7, 2009 10:27 PM | Report abuse

And for the 39....

Posted by: esthermiriam | November 7, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Answering myself -- on the abortion vote:

Posted by: esthermiriam | November 7, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

" I would bet that the final vote will show a majority of congresswoman vote against this bill."

Possibly the stupidest comment every made. Congresswomen were never going to vote to deny health care to 36 out of 51 million uninsured Americans as some protest vote against misogyny, it is not like they don't realize that these views exist. There are ways to work around the abortion ban just as there are ways to work around the barbarous decision to deny medical care to the children of American workers who don't have the right kind of ID in their wallet. Good enough to mow my lawn, not good enough to use the money I pay you to buy insurance in the only market that will exist for individual coverage. Yeah it all sucks, yeah it is unfair but that would have been no reason to turn your back on what is in overall context a huge advance.

Voting against this bill because it is unfair to women and immigrants would have been a vote to 'heighten the contradictions'. A stance historically pushed by men who themselves are comfortably situated in reference to issue at hand. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments did not actually deliver full equality to blacks. Nor did the nineteenth amendment deliver that for women. And I suspect that few of the promoters imagined that magic would happen overnight. But that doesn't mean that each was not a huge step forward.

The idea that a group of by definition upper-middle class women would, could or should kick 51 million Americans in the teeth because they personally didn't get 100% of equity all in one go shows a kind of immaturity of thought that I would hope is not as prevalent in women who have won high office as it is in young bloggers turned policy wonks. The road to progress mostly doesn't have a stage where "I'll take my ball and go home" really advances things.

Posted by: BruceWebb | November 8, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

When Ezra said that the majority of women will vote "against this bill", did he mean the amendment or the bill itself?

If he meant the amendment, he was obviously right, but the statement is totally unsurprising - 54 women (all Democrats) voted against the amendment, 19 in favor of it. Only two Democratic women voted in favor of the amendment - Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania.

I assume this is probably what Ezra meant. Because women voted in favor of the bill itself by nearly as wide a margin. The two Democratic women who voted for the anti-abortion amendment both voted for the bill. Three Democratic women who voted against the amendment voted against the bill as well - Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota, Suzanne Kosmas of Florida, and Betsy Markey of Colorado. Women representatives overwhelmingly opposed the amendment and supported the bill.

Posted by: jlk7e | November 8, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Considering the financial stranglehold Planned Parenthood has on Democratic candidates, it's a surprise any of the Democrats crossed over.

And, Ezra, save the gender talk. Pro-abortion forces already dehumanize human life to justify its destruction. We don't need their advocates to marginalize another segment of society. All people deserve the right to stand against a crime against humanity.

If you really want to question who has a right to talk about abortion, why grant that to the elite white women who turn a blind eye to the abortion genocide of African-Americans?

Posted by: cprferry | November 8, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

--"a decision that will mainly govern women is being made primarily by men."--

The promotion of factions is a recipe for the chaos of mob rule. Klein never rises above it.

Posted by: msoja | November 9, 2009 10:59 AM | Report abuse

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