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Freedom of choice, except for women

Opponents of the various Democratic health-reform proposals spend a lot of time talking about how people should be free to purchase whatever kind of insurance they want. Except, it turns out, if those people are women.

Going into Saturday’s debate on the House health-care bill, the measure included provisions designed to maintain the status quo against federal funding for most abortions. It took steps to ensure that federal subsidies to purchase insurance wouldn’t be used to pay for abortion coverage. It required that every exchange include one plan that did not cover abortions, so that no one would be forced to subscribe to a plan that violated anti-abortion beliefs. That wasn’t enough for the anti-abortion crowd, including the Catholic bishops. So House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was backed into a corner, facing the loss of anti-abortion Democrats unless she acceded to an amendment offered by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) that effectively prevents insurance companies participating in the new insurance exchanges from covering abortions. It passed, 240 to 197, with 64 Democrats voting in favor.

Under the Stupak amendment, no plan that accepts people eligible for federal subsidies is permitted to cover abortions. It’s hard to imagine a plan participating in the exchange that refuses to accept people with subsidies, since the vast majority of people in the exchanges will receive subsidies. Therefore, no abortion coverage in the exchange -- except to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest. If you are a woman whose health is endangered by a pregnancy, you’ll have to pay for an abortion out of pocket. Same if you are carrying a fetus with severe birth defects.

Stupak supporters argue that women will still be able to obtain abortion coverage by purchasing a separate rider to the policies. As if people plan ahead to have abortions. As if insurance companies will go to the trouble -- and risk the controversy -- of providing such riders.

It wasn’t worth torpedoing health reform over this issue, so I understand Pelosi’s choice. It’s outrageous, though, that she had to make it.

By Ruth Marcus  | November 9, 2009; 12:44 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Comments

Outrageous? How about obscene! Now what can we do to ensure Rep. Stupak gets an unplanned retirement in 2010?

Posted by: 33rdStreet | November 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

It is really astounding and worriesome that a large part of our populace still possess a medieval mindset about a woman's rights and choices. It is just sad that who talk more about God, have so scant godliness in them.

Posted by: ssensharma | November 9, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

"It wasn’t worth torpedoing health reform over this issue, so I understand Pelosi’s choice. It’s outrageous, though, that she had to make it."

And, as a woman, that was exactly my opinion. Millions need health care and one emotional issue fanned by zealous opponents MUST be taken on another day. But...

Men are one part of the conception process -- and then they can walk away.

Women carry the fetus, give birth to the fetus and then are held responsible through law to nurture the fetus to health and happiness. Women, by theological dictate and through the laws that derive from this dictate are held responsible by the impetuous, uniformed choices they make to carry life through to its sometimes horrifying ends.

Children crippled by single parent poverty level households -- with the father not held accountable for any support of the household. Children born of crack addicted mothers with no meaningful support after birth from all those who demand that abortion be abolished.

Note: the two cases on life sentences without parole for the two juveniles sentenced for non-violent crimes that are coming before the Supreme Court.

At some point the issue of abortion must be addressed in a sane way. Why does abortion bring out those with placards, marching in the streets who think that they can walk away from the march without giving thought to the plight of the children who are brought to term through their support of anti-abortion policies?

Posted by: jvoran | November 9, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Women have the right to make their own choices, it's just that there are some psychos out there, for unknown reason, who want to attempt to control what women do.

The birthers have no intention of even helping a woman secure health care to have a baby, nor do they support health care for the baby.

Birthers are just like the absent father who is never around after the child is born.

Posted by: lindalovejones | November 9, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

It makes me so frustrated that often the same people who claim to support minimal government also support government control of my uterus.

Posted by: ideallydc | November 9, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Ms. Pelosi a great leader! The fault does not lie with Mr. Stupak.

Pelosi and her leadership cohorts should not have agreed to a Faustian bargain!

Posted by: philly3 | November 9, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, I'm a gay guy (a 'non-breeder') and I (heart) you! I'm also a person with a major disability who was instrumental in drafting the ADA. Major legislation such as HCR is a massive undertaking -- as was the ADA. I've learned in 60 years that change comes slowly -- but I've also learned that a firm foundation must be solidly in place for the 'structure' to be built. I have always been strongly pro-choice, and I will never stop being so. However, I believe at this time that we must get the foundation set -- and then select the major components. We may never again have this opportunity in our lifetimes to at least have a foundation upon which to build something remarkable.

Posted by: DRFJR | November 9, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

One thing you could say for Tom DeLay is that he knew what the job of Majority Whip was for. Does anyone even know the name of the Dems Whip? They are governing as if they are a minority party that mus assemble a coalition in order to legislate. No arm-twisting allowed. No threats allowed. The only way they know to get votes is by concessions. That is not how the party in power gets things done. The Repubs knew that. Pity the Dems don't.

Posted by: turningfool | November 9, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Gee Ruth you're a mighty moderate when a issue appears that is aimed at YOU.

The rest of the time you're a neoconservative/gloria steinem-supporting hypocrite.

What's up with that?

Posted by: onestring | November 9, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Men are one part of the conception process -- and then they can walk away


Uh, no they can't. The courts are choked with parternity suits against them.

Posted by: OneWhoSpeaksTruth | November 9, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

It is outrageous and discriminatory. Women are still considered second class citizens in so many ways. What is most hypocritical about it all is the fact that many of the anti-abortion or pro-life people don´t seem to care about what happens to the child after it is born. They aren´t concerned that so many children are not covered by insurance. And this same conservative crowd also bemoans food stamps (for feeding the children) and other social services. Yes, abortion is an evil,although sometimes a necessary one, but it is no greater an evil than a hungry, abused, ill-educated, neglected child. Shame that Pelosi had to make this deal, especially to placate male bishops who have done much to protect child predators among their own priesthood.

Posted by: Aquarius1 | November 9, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

So the government should be required to use public funds to pay for a procedure that a large number of Americans find morally reprehensible?

The Catholic Bishops have been taking a great deal of flack lately from pro-abortion activists, but they more than anyone have continually been on the forefront of the fight for health care reform. Why should Planned Parenthood or their ilk have more consideration on this issue than other players in the Democratic tent?

The way pro-abortionist put it you wouldn't know that the health care bill "contains several sections that pertain "just to women" in terms of pregnancy services and prohibitions against excluding those with pre-existing conditions, specifically mentioning women who've been victims of domestic violence...."The bill also contains a new initiative to prevent teen pregnancy, another item on Planned Parenthood's agenda."

"The Hyde Amendment (passed on September 30, 1976) has been the benchmark for years, and current attempts by the pro-abortion lobby to paint this as a robbing of female rights, instead of a renewed grab for government funds (which it is) are way off the mark.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What is up with Bart Stupak? He and the rest of his silly C Street buddies - you know the great "leaders" chosen by Jesus to lead the world - have clearly been sitting around their holy house figuring out how to step on women some more. A pox on all of them, Democrats and Republicans alike. I wish they'd all get on a charter flight to Brazil, shack up, and not come back!

Posted by: isthisajoke | November 9, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Health care reform has at its heart a belief in the inherent right to have care that secures a person's health. When abortion is restricted (financial restrictions are real), women in need are forced seek out more dangerous options to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Prior to Roe v. Wade, women with money were able to secure safe abortion services while poor women struggled to find the means - this has not changed. Every week young women in the USA are asking questions on sites like Yahoo Answers, which indicate they are willing in their frantic desperation to attempt dangerous self-induced abortion methods. The right to health cannot exclude the health of women.

Posted by: NaturalLiberty | November 9, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Ssensharma, if such "a large part of our populace still possess a medieval mindset" about something, does it really make sense to call it "medieval" (whatever that means)?

Posted by: Climacus | November 9, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Freedom of choice, except women"

This is ridiculous. Roe V. Wade is not going to be overturned--the choice will always be available for women. But why do I--as a taxpayer, and future funder of Govt. run healthcare have to be forced to pay for a procedure that a woman I'll never meet CHOOSES to have? Why is that my problem? Any procedure that is elective should not be apart of our health care system. I don't expect you to pay for my elective choices...

Posted by: yam1 | November 9, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: OneWhoSpeaksTruth

Men are one part of the conception process -- and then they can walk away


Uh, no they can't. The courts are choked with parternity suits against them.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

OneWhoSpeaksTruth is correct.

Men are required to support children even if they later find out those children are not biologically theirs.

"Although women have far more contraceptive choices than men (men have condoms, abstinence, or invasive surgery), men are deemed at least as responsible as women are when an unwanted pregnancy occurs.

However, women have the entire say in whether to get an abortion and have much easier access to adoption or safe-haven abandonment. As a result, when unwanted pregnancies occur, either by accident or when men are lied to about birth control or fertility, women can surrender their parental rights and responsibilities, but men cannot, and instead men face a disrupted education and a future of financial and emotional distress.

Choice For Men, as a matter of gender equity and to reduce unwanted births by removing some of the financial incentives for having them, would give men a limited time after being notified of a pregnancy to surrender their parental rights and responsibilities."

"Most divorced and separated dads want to nurture their children, but courts often reduce them to “visitors” and do not even enforce “visitation.” So-called “deadbeat dads” are usually dead-broke or dead-bolted from their kids’ lives by biased court orders or moms who impede access. Over 80% of divorced or separated dads who have jobs and access to their kids pay their support in full. Nonetheless, our government spends hundreds of dollars to enforce monetary support for each dollar it spends to enforce access."

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"So the government should be required to use public funds to pay for a procedure that a large number of Americans find morally reprehensible?"

--------------------

You mean like the war in Iraq?

Posted by: js_edit | November 9, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Firstly, as to jvoran, men can't walk away --- not legally, anyhow. They shouldn't and the law pursues them when they do.

Secondly, Ms. Marcus decries the lack of the right to a free abortion "if you are carrying a fetus with severe birth defects." Can you really correctly call an abnormility a birth defect when there has been no birth?

See, it's fumbles like this that shatter the logic --- logic which you know is constructed to obscure the awkward truth. You have to be careful or you might slip up and call the unborn a child.

Posted by: edgydc | November 9, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

How is one's choice taken away.....they still have it last I looked.....It just wont be funded by federal dollars. You want health reform...let's talk tort...but not even a nod within this bill......This bill provides a windfall to the lawyers...as individual states can earn additional dollars/grants - provided they do not place any type of caps on punitive damages...Geez...Now why would that be in there....who are they rewarding.

Posted by: short1 | November 9, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

This idea of a differential rider for additional coverage is interesting. Perhaps the US government could charge more for flood insurance in states with low taxes like Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida who don't raise enough money through their own taxes to pay for the costs of repeatedly cleaning up after natural disasters. Of course, don't expect that kind of consistency in thinking from Republicans. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | November 9, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"So the government should be required to use public funds to pay for a procedure that a large number of Americans find morally reprehensible?"

--------------------

You mean like the war in Iraq?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Most Americans supported the invasion of Iraq when the President proposed it. That's why republican and democratic representatives gave the President the go ahead. Don't believe me?

Courtesy of Wikipedia

1992

In March 1992 55% of Americans said they would support sending American troops back to the Persian Gulf to remove Saddam Hussein from power.[3]
[edit] February 2001

Seven months prior to the September 11 attacks a Gallup poll showed that 52% would favor an invasion of Iraq while 42% would oppose it.[3] Additionally, 64% said that the U.S. should have removed Saddam at the end of the Gulf War.[4]

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

To js-edit:

Ditto!!! Why should I have to pay for some stupid war (Iraq) that never should have happened when I find it morally reprehensible!

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid | November 9, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Medieval and barbaric is what abortion is. 100 years from now, abortionists will be regarded rightly as even lower than slave owners are today.

There is no choice for the most innocent of life to be slaughtered. Abortion is murder, pure and simple.

It's a child, not a choice. Shredding a helpless fetus is not much of a moral dilemma upon the slightest examination.

Roe lobbies constantly to end convenience abortion. Obama knows it is wrong. No sane person of any intelligence thinks abortion is OK.

The "government in" your "uterus- No. It's a human. Who is totally dependent upon you to make "choices" for its life, its development, and its future.

The "choice" was yours-sex or no sex. Protected sex or unprotected sex. Except in the one in a million chance of rape, that was your choice.

The "choice" is yours. Murder, or some labor and effort. Which is it?

Posted by: georgieporgie2 | November 9, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I think because it's not enough to morally oppose something, but you have to work (and work and work) to lobby support for and elect representatives who are going to push your agenda.

Posted by: edgydc | November 9, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: southernbutnotstupid

To js-edit:

Ditto!!! Why should I have to pay for some stupid war (Iraq) that never should have happened when I find it morally reprehensible!
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

That's what happens when the majority of Americans stupidly support a bad idea. If Americans didn't take everything their President says at face value, and read news from a variety of sources, they would have seen that the Administration was hoodwinking them.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

But, moebius, a "large number" of Americans didn't support Iraq, and found it morally reprehensible. And yet the government still paid -- and continues to pay -- for it with public funds. That was your original argument -- that a "large number" of people find abortion morally reprehensible.

Now you're moving the goalposts.

Posted by: js_edit | November 9, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

But, moebius, a "large number" of Americans didn't support Iraq, and found it morally reprehensible. And yet the government still paid -- and continues to pay -- for it with public funds. That was your original argument -- that a "large number" of people find abortion morally reprehensible.

Now you're moving the goalposts.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is one of the consequences of responding to stupid analogies is that people think they are valid.

A majority of Americans "stupidly" supported invading Iraq.

A majority of Americans do not support using public funds for abortion.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. Because the pro lifers in congress, we women will lose the ability to have an abortion paid for? What will be next that we lose. Our right to vote.. I thought we were evolving.

Posted by: tequilla | November 9, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Let me get this straight. Because the pro lifers in congress, we women will lose the ability to have an abortion paid for? What will be next that we lose. Our right to vote.. I thought we were evolving.

Posted by: tequilla | November 9, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Ruth - are you supportive of fully responsible choice? Should women have all the facts before "deciding" if the this is a life or do we continue with the attempts of pro-abortion/pro-choice groups to ensure that young women do not get the information (ultra-sounds, full disclosure of the child's development, what exactly happens in an abortions to a child that is moving, has a beating heart and feels pain? Or would that information be to uncomfortable to a girl coming in that assumes we have done all that analysis and are telling her it perfectly ok?

Posted by: lynnman1 | November 9, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately such things happen. I recall that when I was visiting Canada in 1998 they were fond of pointing out that 40+ million of us lack health coverage, and the Congress was concerned whether 2 adults engaged in consentual sex!

Sadly we have not matured since then. Witness the Republican Senator who pointed out that he should not have (and pay for) maternity coverage!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 9, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Women who chose to have sex...

AND who chose not to ask the man to wear a condom...

AND who chose not to take the morning-after pill in order to avoid pregnancy...

AND who chose not to take an abortive pill in the early stages of pregnancy...

... now they want US to pay an abortist to murder the resulting baby!!!!!

Only in America!!!!

Posted by: tropicalfolk | November 9, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

So, why aren't Marcus and all the other liberaals outraged, just OUTRAGED because the FEHB (the health insurance plan for federal employees) has barred payments for abortions for, oh, about the last 25 years? Funny how that never bothered anybody before.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | November 9, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm am decidedly pro-choice but health care reform is too important to too many people to let this issue block it. 46 million Americans with out health insurance, millions more who are going broke paying health care bills, and all the under-insured don't care whether abortions are funded they want to be able to go to the doctor and treat their illnesses now.

When are the democrats going to stop performing the circular firing squad and get behind the president and push their congressmen to get this bill passed?

Posted by: wmwilliams14 | November 9, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey all you Pro Choice Folks. Instead of contributing money to lobbyists, congress creeps, and other assorted low lifes, why not use that money to endow a trust fund with the purpose of paying for abortions for those women who cannot afford them. Let NOW, NARAL Pro Choice and Planned Parenthood step up and do this. Once the trust fund is established, say as a non-profit charitable organization, you ladies could contribute directly to it and bypass the shrill demogogues. I am willing to bet the the money flowing to the lobyists alone could pay for most if not all of the abortions needed by low income women in this country. So girls, there is an answer for you, and a way. All you have to do is take it.

Posted by: mike92 | November 9, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

js_edit, people may disagree over whether a particular war is morally reprehensible, but there's generally a consensus (consonant with the Constitution) that military action belongs to the class of basic government functions, that the government is empowered to decide when military action will occur, and that if it arises, its costs are paid with government funds because wars are prosecuted on behalf of countries, not particular individuals. That's not the case with abortion.

It's easy to see why public moral controversy over abortion would be relevant to the question of whether abortions should generally be paid for with government funds. Is public moral controversy over the Iraq War relevant to the question of whether wars should generally be paid for with government funds? If not, why did you bring up that example?

Posted by: Climacus | November 9, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

There is a stronger national consensus in favor of not funding abortions (as indicated by the 240 to 197 vote for the Stupak amendment)than for federalized health care (squeaked by 220-215). Marcus is out of sink with the country.

Posted by: MeInTheMiddle | November 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The Roman Catholic Church and its Bishops need to clean up their own house before they start with their usual control freak denigration of women, marginalizing them and treating them like chattel property.

This is discrimination plain and simple and this has to be stopped and stopped now.

People like Bart Stupak are catering to their conservative, blue collar constituents to the peril of all the women in this country.

If Mr. Stupak wants to live in the 14th century, he should start investigating the possibility of a time machine for his use in going back there and staying there. He can also take the rest of the MEN like himself and the passive, submissive, non-thinking women who agree with him along for the ride. Good riddance.

It's pretty sad that people like Stupak and the Southern GOP Party are taking this opportunity to denigrate and punish women.

Sickening.

Posted by: JaneDoe4 | November 9, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Last time I looked abortion was legal-so why is there a problem?

Posted by: missgirl | November 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

what leads you to believe that non-elective abortion procedures won't be covered?

serious question. I can understand (but still object to) not covering elective abortion procedures (in which the abortion is not of medical necessity). But to bar insurance companies from covering abortion as part of a necessary treatment during hospitalisation is outright wrong.

Posted by: j762 | November 9, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Men are one part of the conception process -- and then they can walk away"

"Uh, no they can't. The courts are choked with parternity suits against them."

Oh, good grief, you just proved the point. Men ARE walking away - thus the courts ARE clogged with paternity suits! Not to mention States Offices of Child Support Enforcement trying to keep up with the enforcement of current cases.

Posted by: booters1 | November 9, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Last time I looked abortion was legal-so why is there a problem?

Posted by: missgirl | November 9, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

---------------
This is not so much about legality - Roe v. Wade is not up for negotiation here. The fact is that under this plan, they can still have an abortion, but as an elective or uncovered procedure, the woman would pay for the costs completely out of pocket except for cases of incest and rape. It does not cover cases where you find through prenatal testing that your child has a congenital defect that will either cause its death within hours or days after birth, for example. A woman in this case would need to continue the pregnancy despite the knowledge that her child may not live to see a first birthday. Tests can be wrong, but I could see this as a painful knowledge to carry. Another case not covered is if the mother's life is in danger, as in cases of diabetes or other condition. Not only would the mother's life, but the fetus' as well, be at risk.

I don't believe that this should be determined by anti-abortion politicos. It should be a woman's choice to terminate a pregnancy, regardless of the reason. I am not advocating irresponsible abortion, or birth-control-by-abortion - this is not a simple act or something that should be taken lightly. But it is an individual's - or better yet, a couple's choice - and should not be determined by an uninvolved third party, UNLESS that party will be paying for every cost that will arise from the moment of conception until the day that child turns 18.

Any takers???

Posted by: openyourmind | November 9, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

The other day I was at my dear alma mater, UC Berkeley, and as I walked past a pro life table which was out there in the sprawl near Sather Gate, I saw three undergraduate women standing at the table pointing to one of the photos being displayed on the table. As I got closer, I heard one of the girls very angrily say, with a look to kill in her eyes, "don't you get it....we know they are babies, we just don't want them..." Perhaps, the abortion issue would be more popular if we really concentrated on woman's and girl's issues by supporting the keeping of girl babies and doing away with the boy babies. At least in China they have made a choice, thanks to Planned Parenthood and Nancy Pelosi and our tax dollars. They have decided to get rid of the girl babies and keep the boy babies.

Posted by: edelgado1 | November 9, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The Pro-choice Creed:

"It's my damned choice whether I want my doctor to take a scapel and slice open the heart of my child in my womb! It's my choice if he wants to flush my child down the john like so much toilet paper!

For that matter, what is wrong with this country when it isn't MY choice if I want to leave my two-year-old out in the cold to teach him some manners. Or if I don't want to feed her for three days because she's been bad. A child is a child, after all. And it's MY child. Not YOUR child.

If a child proves to be an inconvenience, then it's MY CHOICE to dispose of her, not yours.

Get your values off of my life! I can get rid my child if I choose to. That's my consitutional right! How dare you tell me I can't!

And you darn well should have to pay for it! OR ITS NOT FAIR!"


There are actually people who subscribe to such a creed. May God have mercy on us.


Posted by: InTheMiddle | November 9, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

The issue at hand with this topic is that people have different ideologies on life. You cannot allow something as tremendous as this to be allowed in a bill because not everyone agrees it is right. We a democratic republic, not a socialist state. No one should be forced to pay a tax that includes something moral that they are against. To say that this is against women's rights is a tricky one. The reason behind this is because although the "thing" inside you is still biologically alive, it comes in terms of is it considered alive such as a person sitting next to you or is it not allowed to be considered alive because it still does not have cognitive thinking? If you think the first, then the "thing" deserves a chance and has rights. If you believe the other, it is not allowed rights because it is not a fully functional human being then and at that point, women's rights are being taken away.

Private insurance companies if they want, should provide coverage for people who have been raped, who would die if they kept it inside, or because of incest--which I question because if they choose the act that could be their fault--and nothing else. Especially for those who made a mistake and now cannot except the responsibility. We are not supposed to be teaching people that it is okay to make a big mistake due to the fact it can be fixed, but that you need to become an adult--which you must be if you can have sex--since you know what can happen.

Incase someone decides to respond to this, this is not out of a religious point of view. I tend to believe that everything deserves a chance.


Posted by: mwitkows | November 9, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Look Marcus, if you want tax dollars to be used for abortion, which the majority of citizens (like me) finds immoral, then allow me the right to withhold a portion of the taxes I would pay which would go towards such a reprehensible act. What's fair is fair. Period.

This is what happens when the taxes that are levied on our citizens do not benefit EVERYONE. Taxes for defense of the country? No problem. Taxes to build roads and infrastructure? No problem. Taxes for someone to kill a child because they were too stupid to do the right thing in the first place? Big problem!

Posted by: wearedoomed1 | November 9, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"So the government should be required to use public funds to pay for a procedure that a large number of Americans find morally reprehensible?"

Why, yes. Kinda like I have to pay taxes for murder too - the military, the death penalty etc.

Posted by: EAR0614 | November 9, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"It wasn’t worth torpedoing health reform over this issue, so I understand Pelosi’s choice. It’s outrageous, though, that she had to make it."

No, I'm sorry, what is truly outrageous is that she did not put her foot down. For some reason the idea of passing a bill has become the goal instead of what is actually in the bill. The bill has become so watered down in order to get it passed, I'm not sure you can even call it "reform" anymore. Regarding abortion, we should not accept the bill this way. We should have refused to include the provision and continued to fight to get a bill passed that doesn't tack on restrictions on something that is supposed to be legal in this country. By letting this go now, we are setting a precedent that will be next to impossible to overturn. It will take much more work to get this overturned in the future than it would have to fight it now, when we had the chance. I am dissapointed in Obama and my "representatives" who were willing to throw away my rights just so they can take credit for passing a bill.

Posted by: EAR0614 | November 9, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Not so long ago and definitely in a land closer than farther away, there were people who were of another color, those that we now call African American, who were hanged, killed, stripped of rights, whipped because they were not considered people. They belonged to someone else, they were persona non Grata. They were slaves. If their owner chose to do away with them, they could do so....the immense majority of "civilized and educated" thought that this treatment was ok. It was legal anyway! The law sided with the owners. What an embarrassment for the USA to think that this was done under the law! Martin Luther King had a dream!! So do many, many Americans now....do you think that we will ever see the day when this mindless insanity of killing stops? Let the children live! Love And Let Live!! Don't forget that they are planters of love and planters of trees. If you love your planet then don't kill the planters!!

Posted by: edelgado1 | November 9, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I think you missed the larger point. You want Health Care, you want me, in the role of government to subsidize or outright pay for your health care; therefore I get a role in saying what healthcare you get. simple as that. You want to take responsibility for paying for your OWN healthcare then you get the choice to decide. You have hit on just part of the danger in allowing the government or anybody else to 'take care' of you.

Posted by: bob53 | November 9, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't "You lie" shouted to Obama when he said that federal dollars won't be used for abortions? Yes it was, and yes he was, and apparently all the outraged people here knew it and were good with it. Now that his statements have been put into a bill, not by his choice, but by conservative Democrats, you are outraged by them. You should have been outraged by the president for his statement and his lie. It reminds me of Joe Biden saying during a debate that he and Obama do not support gay marriage, and now some are upset that he's not doing more to support gay marriage.

By the way, the vast majority of women know in advance that they will never want an abortion much less insurance to pay for it. Therefore this piece in disingenuous in inferring that 50% of Americans cannot buy the insurance they want.

Posted by: jpowersny2 | November 9, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Pelosi did the right thing in limiting abortions in order to get the health care reform bill passed.

And, there is another day. If abortions cannot be put back in in reconciliation of the House and Senate bills, there is always next year, or the year after that, or the year after that, and on and on. Those of us who think no one has the right to control the uses of another persons body will not give up.

Let all those so concerned about those who want an abortion pay for the food, clothing, shelter and health care of the pregnant mother, the birth of the child, food, clothing, shelter and continuing health care of the child and mother.

Go out and set up homes for unwed mothers and adopt these children. There is a lot those who object so strenuously to abortion can do to reduce the number of abortions. So do it and get your hand off my womb.

Posted by: amelia45 | November 9, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Please don't confuse a woman's right to choose, which I support, with using federal money to fund abortions, which I oppose (rape/incest/severe health threat cases aside). My personal belief is that abortion is wrong; however, it is not my place to impose my beliefs on others, so I support the right to choose. But by forcing me to pay for abortions with my tax dollars, you are imposing YOUR beliefs on me. It works both ways.

Bad enough that my tax dollars are paying to kill innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Don't use them to kill innocents here at home, too.

Posted by: tomguy1 | November 9, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe that intelligent women voted to discriminate against themselves. I would like to see a list of all those female representatives who voted to support "stupid stupek".
It is total discrimination against women by White Men in Congress -- who would buy a rider against abortion?? who plans to have one (at any future time near or far) I am 65 years old, so I am not worried but to watch Women lost their rights is obscene to me -- shame on Peolosi and all the women involved with letting this pass.

Posted by: paulet | November 9, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse


Give a whole NEW meaning for

-the "separation" of Church AND State.

Posted by: DariMD1 | November 9, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Abort this bill. It will do far more harm than good. Start simple: tort reform. Then, move on to the next improvement.

Massive spending on a panacea bill is a fantasy and a disaster.

BTW, liberals are welcome to start their own organizations without the support of anyone. If you belive in something, then support it financially. This would include a health insurance company that is non-profit for the benefit of those who "cannot afford it." Stop pretending that it is moral to take someone elses money to support your agenda. Do it on your own. If it is good, people will donate.

Posted by: primegrop | November 9, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I am sick to death of the Panty Sniffing Purveyors of Piety and Palaver. Do they not realize that they have more in common with the Taliban when it comes to the way they treat women? The Catholic Church has no business interfering with the way women access healthcare and the coverage we need as women. As I see it the only woman the church has respected was one capable of a Virgin Birth. Women in this country contribute equally in all facets of American Life. We pay the same taxes that men do. Plus we work that unpaid second shift to raise our families and keep our homes. We are human beings and it is sickening to live in a country called America and realize there are those in power who would relegate us to breeding stock if we let them get away with it. I do not want the Catholic Church, Pat Robertson, My congressman, Senator, my pharmacist, to be in charge of my family planning. I expect my health insurance deliverer and my Doctors to meet my needs.To ask women to take a step back and go along with this present bill and promise to help us out later, would be like asking African Americans to wait for a more convenient time for laws that guaranteed their civil rights. Thanks congress. You Stink.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | November 9, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

You people seem to be ignorant of the law; it's been illegal to use government funds for abortion for a very long time. Why haven't you been protesting that all along?

If you want to have a government option it should be in line with existing law. Otherwise, scrap the government otpion.

Posted by: joe_g | November 9, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

I understand that as legislation that this goes further that current restriction and on principle makes it an impediment to women's reproductive rights and could be seen as discriminatory against the poor. However, who has health insurance that covers elective procedures? I have never had insurance that would cover an elective abortion. I didn't know any health insurance policy covered elective procedures.

Posted by: xclntcat | November 9, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

What's even worse is that IF the Senate passes a bill (which is doubtful at this point) and this hideous amendment is in the final version, Obama will sign it.

Well, Obama has already thrown gays under the bus too many times to count in the interest of political expediency, so he won't even blink when he effectively ends abortion rights with the stroke of a pen.

I really don't understand why the teabaggers don't just love him. He's on track to do something devastating to abortion rights that even Bush wasn't able to do.

I have always thought Pelosi was a craven coward and this certainly hasn't done anything to change my mind.

As a lifelong dem, my voting days are done.

There is NO difference between Congress dems and repugs...they are all sell outs.

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 9, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Ruth Marcus, you are so right.

In my view, those who voted against reproductive health provisions of the health reform bill should be turned out of office. Unfortunately, the unwise voters of Virginia have a Governor-elect who will promote social conservative policies to the detriment of women. Social Conservatives, no matter their political stripe, are just plain mean and take it out on the females in their lives. I urge all who believe that women have a right to privacy and who should be able to get reproductive health services--from sex education based on scientific information to pregnancy prevention to abortion services --support organizations like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Feminist Majority, Planned Parenthood and other similar organizations

Posted by: Barbin | November 9, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Paulet said "but to watch Women lost their rights is obscene to me -- "

Paulet, like several others posting here, you are confusing the issues. It's fine if you think that Pelosi and Congress made a bad decision (although I'm not sure how Pelosi can lead a charge of "discrimination against women by White Men in Congress," but that's another story). But this decision, even if bad, does NOT lead to a loss of rights!!

You have the right to buy crappy McDonald's food, which is also a health issue. Just because the government does not pay for your Happy Meal does not mean you have lost the right to buy one.

Posted by: tomguy1 | November 9, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Abortion is medieval!

With rights come RESPONSIBILITIES!

Pro-life IS Progressive!

Posted by: Rubiconski | November 9, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Ms Marcus, why should the Treasury of the U.S. Government pay for the killing of unborn children? An act, that the majority of Americans believe is an abhorent, immoral, and a gravely evil act that affects all of society.

It's a womb not a tomb. It really surprises that women don't have more affection for life. It's as if the child growing in the womb, is some sort of inanimate object, an appendage. Whatever, that's just really sad.

Bottom line, sadly enough, if you get pregnant and you do not desire that life to enter this world, then yes you can get an abortion. But you have to take responsibility for the abortion. You do not have a claim that the rest of society should pay to kill your child so you can be "unburdened".

Maybe more people should use reason and their heads before engaging in their "animal passions". After all it is reason that seperates us from the animals.

We should not pay to support an evil. You pay for your own evils.

Posted by: kthhken | November 9, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Whether you agree with abortion rights or right-for-life, this amendment is just another example of why the Federal Government is poorly equipped to make decisions for us in our health care. We can look forward to more and more influence of politics in determining our health care as this reform progresses.

Posted by: vesseldoc | November 9, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm a pro-choice independent who typically votes for Democrats. That said, I would be OK with health insurance reform that does not include government-funded coverage for abortions, with exceptions such as rape, incest, and risk to the health of the mother and fetus. This isn't the equivalent of a law banning abortions, but instead is similar to elective cosmetic surgery – legal, but not usually covered by insurance.
Health insurance reform is too important to let single issues sabotage it.

Posted by: bamccampbell | November 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

You wanna abort a baby? Pay for it yourself.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | November 9, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Is it the uterus owner that made a bad choice, or the helpless person that was conceived, as a result, that needs society's protection? Which of these, in the course of their life, will have the better impact on society?

So-called 'unwanted pregnacies' help provide good incomes for a lot of people and political contributions for a lot of politicians. This 'industry' is undoubtedly looking for ways to 'grow'

Posted by: ForTruth1 | November 9, 2009 8:19 PM | Report abuse

@moebeus22, no one is pro-abortion. The people in the pro-choice alliance believe that the choice of not finishing a pregnancy should be available because not everyone can afford to have children or is ready for them. That said, the cost is high for someone who has absolutely no money but most people can pinch together a couple hundred bucks even if they are living paycheck to paycheck. It's hardship but not going to bankrupt most people. I think that there could easily be donation pools set up to help people cover the costs without having all this covered by the government, as long as there aren't legal restrictions. I absolutely believe it is important to cover this procedure when the woman's life is in danger because a pregnancy going septic could be pretty serious and pretty expensive and that is what you buy health insurance for anyway, right?

On the next topic dead broke dads, you are absolutely correct. While a woman is anatomically more connected to an unplanned pregnancy and should have the ultimate decision whether to terminate the pregnancy, there are a lot of pressures to being a single parent and single dads who are often the breadwinners of two households (while the woman is stuck raising a small child) are in a pretty bad economic position. In fact a similar position to the young single mother who would never have been able to work full time without childcare, which might be a shock to them as guys have in the past been more successful at escaping paternal responsibilities. We have for a long time had very low welfare reimbursements to single parents, bare bones compensation. The women are not living that much better and trust me their education is also disrupted.

As for the choice to get out, that depends on politics. Male reproductive rights (like female reproductive rights) might depend on how willing the state is to step up and invest in the child through higher child subsidies and child health care. Things that would remove some of the costs from the young and unprepared parents and contribute a more stable growing environment for future citizens. At this point there is no political interest in allowing either of the parents to escape costs associated with bringing new human beings into the world. So I guess young men are also stuck with the same conservative political climate. Join the club!

Posted by: persimonix1 | November 9, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Just 13% of abortions are paid by private insurance as it is. Those receiving subsidies that decide they need it can try to come up with the funds or ask PP and NARAL for help.

What the Stupak amendment did was block a huge bail out from going to PP and other providers by subsidizing abortion.

It's funny that Roe v. Wade used to be about stopping abusive government involvement in abortion. Now abortion rights means entitlements to the very providers that make money off the destruction of human life.

Posted by: cprferry | November 9, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Rape and incest should also be covered, particularly as a lot of incest seems to involve children and teens raped by close relatives, which could be dangerous for the woman depending on how young she is. Girls of 13 are raped by their fathers and stepfathers, who might not be developed enough to deliver a baby. Of course this gets complicated as it gets into legal issues involving minors.

Posted by: persimonix1 | November 9, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

"Stupak supporters argue that women will still be able to obtain abortion coverage by purchasing a separate rider to the policies. As if people plan ahead to have abortions. As if insurance companies will go to the trouble -- and risk the controversy -- of providing such riders."

Is this a true statement? I suspect that insurance companies will be quite willing to add riders to their policies to cover abortions.

I see both sides of this debate. Anti-abortion people are justified in seeing that no taxpayer money subsidies abortions. It's really just an accounting problem. Policies which cover abortion should be available on the Exchange, and I expect a way will be found to make it happen.

I expect this issue will prove to be a tempest in a teapot. No side in this debate ultimately is strong enough to achieve an absolute victory. The solution may have to come later.

Posted by: HuckFinn | November 9, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

@moebeus22, no one is pro-abortion. The people in the pro-choice alliance believe that the choice of not finishing a pregnancy should be available because not everyone can afford to have children or is ready for them.
That said, the cost is high for someone who has absolutely no money but most people can pinch together a couple hundred bucks even if they are living paycheck to paycheck. It's hardship but not going to bankrupt most people.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This is nonsense. Even in poor areas in my city there are public quasi government clinics and hospitals which use a sliding scale to allow poor women to receive treatment-even abortion.

Reproductive activists overstate the situation painting pictures that make it look like the reality out there is something akin to living in Guatemala.

As for this talk that abortions where the mother's life is in danger are not covered... I wonder where people are getting this when the Huffington Post states,

"The amendment would bar the new government insurance plan from covering abortions, except in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is in danger. The Democrats' original legislation would have allowed the government plan to cover abortions, if the Health and Human Services secretary decided it should."

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Good, good. Keep trashing this bill. Good.

And perhaps the bill should include a provision for a death panel to decide when to allow subsidized abortions.

Oh, wait...

Posted by: HookInMouth | November 9, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

"Give a whole NEW meaning for
-the "separation" of Church AND State.
Posted by: DariMD1"

Restricting the federal funding of abortions is a First Amendment issue. It prevents the government from prohibiting the free exercise of religious beliefs against abortion by using their tax dollars to subsidize the taking of human life.

As others have pointed out, while many may have religious beliefs about war. It is implied that as a citizen of a country, one grants the federal government the full authority to the decision to enter and wage war.

Posted by: cprferry | November 9, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Ever stop to consider:
-that abortion did not become a moral issue until medical doctors supplanted mid-wives in birth deliveries?
-that before Roe vs Wade 90% of MDs were male?
-that many unwanted babies die during their first year? even in the best of orphanages?
(it's called lack of individual TLC).
-that NO HUMAN BEING, including the Pope, knows if or when a developing human egg, embryo or fetus "acquires" a soul?
====================================
The imposition of Biased religious viewpoints on women and parents is not only cruel . . . it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Not even the POPE can actually understand or decree which early developmental stage is a soul bearing human being! He isn't God, after all.

Posted by: lufrank1 | November 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't see a problem with exacting a cost for having an abortion, as people who have absolutely no money will probably find some other way to get coverage, potentially through charity. This lets people know this proceedure is serious and at about $400-500 not something they would like to repeat. This should encourage more faithful use of substitutes such as condoms and birth control pills. Having one abortion would set people back a bit and this should discourage repeat offenders, as you can lower your probability of getting pregnant quite a bit by your actions. (Condoms also help with disease control so should be used anyway).

It is important that people who can't reasonably be expected to come up with the money receive some sort of charity. This is only fair as while most people can afford a couple hundred dollars there are some people who really wouldn't be able to afford it and would be desparate and could hurt themselves. Rape victims and women who are endangered by their pregnancy should always be covered.

Posted by: persimonix1 | November 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

If women are second class citizens then what are the unborn? Third class citizens? It is amazing the time we live in when people complain that they are victims because they not allowed to kill.

Note that since 1973, women have acquired plenty of new weapons to control their pregnancy, including oral contraception, IUDs, day after pills and last but not least, RU-486 which works for seven weeks. Why are these tools not enough?

Posted by: rohitcuny | November 9, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

It's hard to believe the "holy grail" of liberalism-universal health care-a goal now within reach, could face derailment over abortion. Perhaps (Un)Planned Parenthood could offer a low-cost companion policy for this contentious procedure.

Posted by: slim2 | November 9, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, the fact that abortions are excluded will serve to make abortions the most effective part of the health care system under the new regime. With doctors free to take cash, and customers left with only that option to pay for it, abortion service will be the most timely, cost effective, reasonably priced medical service there is. That's how twisted and wrong the House bill is.

Posted by: _BSH | November 9, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

@moebeus22,
I'm taking a moderate libertarian stance on government coverage of abortions, there should be enough interest in this issue that charity can cover it. So why are you arguing with me? Are you just trying to get the last word in? See this is why I don't vote republican. I get along fine with moderate republicans, but I find the instant spin responce obnoxious in republicans who win primaries and their followers. I am trying to have a rational discussion and you are using a lot of spinwords designed to elicit emotional responses. Please tone those down and I'll be more polite as well. This is the internet and i'm sure it does not show people in their best light.

If the health of the mother and rape victims is covered, I apologize. I've been mired in midterms for the last few weeks and haven't had time to read the entire bill. I am just stating what I find to be a reasonable compromise.

Posted by: persimonix1 | November 9, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Did you know that foetuses can learn languages while in the womb?

"Newborn babies start learning language in the womb—and are born with what you might call accents, a new study of crying babies says.

That fetuses hear and become accustomed to language is nothing new. Several studies have shown that, when exposed to different languages shortly after birth, a baby will typically indicate a preference for the language closest to the one he or she would've heard during gestation."
National Geographic News November 5, 2009

And these are the beings that you want to kill? I can understand abortion out of dire necessity and I can understand a "Day after" pill. But to be so blase about killing a living human, and to insist on doing it at someone else's expense?

And it is NOT a religious issue. It is no more religious than is opposition to war or to capital punishment or to life sentences for teenagers.

It is JUST a matter of plain decency, of being human and humane.

Posted by: rohitcuny | November 9, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

"Well, Obama has already thrown gays under the bus too many times to count in the interest of political expediency, so he won't even blink when he effectively ends abortion rights with the stroke of a pen."
But didn't he just sign a bill that a crime against a gay person is a hate crime? How is THAT throwing gays under a bus? What bus? To be sure, he has not fought hard for gay marriage, but has he ever been FOR gay marriage? Did he not make it clear four years ago that he opposed gay marriage? He has to go by HIS conscience, not yours.

Posted by: rohitcuny | November 9, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

There already is a responsible compromise given the political climate in the country regarding abortion.

Public funding for abortion has been banned by the Hyde Amendment for decades, and this bill more or less continues the trend. What we have are abortion activists trying to spin this as something new, when abortions are still covered in the the case of rape, incest, and when the mother's life is threatened. The only thing that is not covered is elective abortion.

Planned Parenthood is just upset, becuase they assumed with a Democratic President, they would get 100% of their wish list instead of 90%. Crying to the President, to get him to publicly repeat their arguments verbatim is not going to change anything. The Senate has more conservative Democrats than the House with a smaller margin for error.

Planned Parenthood needs to just accept that the majority of Americans do not want to have the government funding abortions, no matter how unjust they feel it is.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 9, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't want to pay for anyone's abortion any more than I want to pay for their health care. If you want an abortion, pay for it yourself. If you want health care, pay for it yourself. In either case get your hand of my wallet and leave me alone.

Posted by: bdc9977 | November 9, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

"Freedom of choice, except women"

This is ridiculous. Roe V. Wade is not going to be overturned--the choice will always be available for women. But why do I--as a taxpayer, and future funder of Govt. run healthcare have to be forced to pay for a procedure that a woman I'll never meet CHOOSES to have? Why is that my problem? Any procedure that is elective should not be apart of our health care system. I don't expect you to pay for my elective choices...
---------------------------
Exactly! No one has ever died from a cataract. Grandma can bus tables to earn money for cataract surgery so she can read her damned Bible or do those meaningless cross-words!

Posted by: Emmetrope | November 9, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it was worth it -- but maybe not. Maybe creating the backlash backstep to set women's needs back at the bottom of the pile will rescue health care/insurance reform, but at what price? -- and if it does not, the negative impact will remain.

How about a counter-factual: face down the Dems who don't want to be part of the party, face down the Bishops who want to impose their beliefs on all America, and let them be blamed if the bill doesn't pass. Oh, and face down Obama for waffling on this issue while winking to the right.
Shame!

Posted by: esthermiriam | November 9, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

If GRANDMA has to bus tables for Cataract surgery ...
SHE SURE SHOULDN'T BE EXPECTED
WANT TO BUY AN
ABORTION LUCY LOOSE LEGS who knew all about BIRTH CONTROL .!

Nobody is going to DIE needing an abortion ..

Go read the BILL .

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | November 9, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Lufrank1 wrote:

"Ever stop to consider:
-that abortion did not become a moral issue until medical doctors supplanted mid-wives in birth deliveries?"

I'm not sure when medical doctors supplanted midwives, but moral condemnations of abortion have existed for thousands of years.


"-that before Roe vs Wade 90% of MDs were male?"

How is that relevant to the moral arguments?


"-that many unwanted babies die during their first year? even in the best of orphanages?"

Again, what's the relevance to the moral arguments?


"-that NO HUMAN BEING, including the Pope, knows if or when a developing human egg, embryo or fetus "acquires" a soul?"

I'm not sure whether a 30-year-old has a soul. I don't think his or her right not to be killed depends on whether he has one or not, though. But let's say someone thought that the right to life depends on a soul but had no idea when the soul was acquired. Given the possible consequences, wouldn't that person naturally want to err on the side of assuming that the right to life attaches at the earliest possible moment?

Posted by: Climacus | November 9, 2009 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I am 100 percent for Health Care reform. I am a 100 percent Democrat. And, I am 100 percent against any federally funded insurance funding abortions, especially for those with so-called "defects." As someone who has spent a lot of time with persons with "birth defects - some severe and some not so severe," I can only say that they bring tremendous joy and value to people's lives every day. It is hard for me to fathom that anyone would make a choice to not give them life just because they have a "defect." Furthermore, I am absolutely incensed (no pun intended) that people want to use this issue to derail health-care legislation. An abortion is NOT health-care - it may be wealth-care, death-care, less-poverty-care, or whatever, but it does not have to do with the health of the mother, except in a very small number of cases which would still be allowed. For those of you who want to brow-beat me, please remember that I voted for Obama, and our votes could go elsewhere. The election a year ago was not carte blanche for the Democrats to do anything they want. Responsible legislation will reap its own rewards, and I hope the health-care bill does so.

Posted by: bartelby | November 9, 2009 10:39 PM | Report abuse

LINDALOVEJONES- Women have babies FREE !!!

Women shouldn't HAVE babies if they can't afford them .

I paid more for my PUPPIES than women want to pay to have a BABY ! I pay more for my DOGS
health Care than women want to pay for their KIDS !!!

Birth control has been around for a long time in many forms ... women don't HAVE to get pregnant. Anybody says different is a LIAR .

The right to MURDER is not greater than a baby's right to live. Your life is no more important than the one you carry !

Posted by: noHUCKABEEnoVOTE | November 9, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) offered the amendment with the understanding that, were it agreed to, Blue Dog Democrats would support the House Health Insurance Reform bill under consideration. As a quid pro quo, it didn't work. Blue Dog Democrats voted for the Stupak amendment to the reform bill and voted against the reform bill. So, it should be stripped out because it is not what the American people want (poor women get no abortions because they get subsidized health insurance coverage), and because Blue Dog Democrats didn't hold up their end of the bargain. When Catholic Bishops start paying income taxes, their opinions should hold sway in Congress. Until then: No. If there is a sanctity to Life then why is abortion offensive and death on the battlefield for ill-defined wars that lack a clear path to Victory not? Health care reform is opposed because, they say, one doesn't want the government to interfere in decisions between a patient and a doctor. Big asterisk here. When the patient is female and pregnant, Congress interferes by deciding the course medical decision-making shall take. No taxpayer money for abortions. This is a Roman Catholic edict. Okay, then. How about no taxpayer money for ill-defined wars?

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | November 9, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"Children crippled by single parent poverty level households"

I'd rather be alive and grow up poor than not alive. The former situation still affords one a chance to improve one's lot in existence and life. The latter does not.

Posted by: SCOTSGUARDS | November 9, 2009 11:45 PM | Report abuse

This proves that there is an exception in the amendment for cases where the life of the mother is in danger from the NY Post. Don't believe the lies that abortion activists are spreading.

Obama Seeks Revision of Plan’s Abortion Limits

"Before passing its health bill on Saturday, the House adopted an amendment that would block the use of federal money for “any health plan that includes coverage of abortion,” except in the case of rape or incest or if the life of a pregnant woman is in danger."

Posted by: moebius22 | November 10, 2009 12:08 AM | Report abuse

It would be much cheaper to buy condoms than to expect taxpayer money to pay for abortions. Get real

Posted by: johntu | November 10, 2009 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Oh, boo hoo hoo. The abortion industry was licking its chops, banking on a taxpayer-funded windfall — but alas no such luck! Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo.

Posted by: thebump | November 10, 2009 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Who was it who suggested ignoring the pundits. Oh, right.

Posted by: daphne5 | November 10, 2009 12:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey, all you women out there! Let's get with the facts....the only reason that Planned Parenthood is so upset is because they see that their take will be much, much less than planned. This is their business! They could really care less about woman's rights. Don't be fooled and so naive!! Come on. With abortion a part of the HR bill, they were set to make millions and millions of $$$$$ more than they already make. And with money that all of us have worked so hard to make. Dear Ms. Cecile Richards, if you really care about abortion rights, then give it away free. Don't impose your human rights beliefs on the rest of us!!

Posted by: edelgado1 | November 10, 2009 5:30 AM | Report abuse

You have the freedom of speech, but I don't have to buy your megaphone.

You have the freedom of religion, but I don't have to built your house of worship,

You have he right to bear arms, but I don't have to buy you a gun.

You have enumerated and un-enumerated rights, including the right to choose an abortion. Nobody is stopping you from exercising that right. But like other rights, other people should not be forced to pay for your choice.

Posted by: MadElephant | November 10, 2009 5:35 AM | Report abuse

To:moebius22

Excellent points! Let's keep the fight on!
Never give up
Never give in!!

Posted by: edelgado1 | November 10, 2009 5:35 AM | Report abuse


Bart Stupak's ( D-MI) the perpetrator of the restrictive and unconstitutional amendment severely prohibiting funding for LEGAL abortions lost his son , BJ to suicide in 2000.

He blamed the drug Accutane for directly altering his behavior and contributing to that tragic event.

He spent the next 6 years fighting successfully to create an implement much more explicit and dire warnings on the use of Accutane including the iPledge program --all of which should be applauded.

What if Stupak lost a daughter to an illegal abortion? Would he let the Catholic bishops impose their will on US Governmental law? Would he blur the line of his religious beliefs with his role as a member of the US Congress. ( What has happened to the separation of church and state?)

For Democrats to support this amendment was a terrible disappointment to the women of this country. How many women have to DIE because they cannot afford a safe and legal procedure?

Posted by: suec716 | November 10, 2009 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Guess what: Be careful what you wish for, when you wish for political meddling in the health insurance system — you just might get it.

It's hard to take seriously the whining of those who advocate both nationally socialized medicine and maximum abortion. Exactly what did they expect?

Posted by: thebump | November 10, 2009 7:13 AM | Report abuse

If men could get pregnant, abortion would be free.

Stupak is a card-carrying member of the C -Street cult. What else is there to expect from a troglodyte?

Posted by: Gatsby10 | November 10, 2009 8:57 AM | Report abuse

A woman still has freedom of choice. She can choose not to have sex if she doesn't want to get pregnant or barring that she can choose to use birth control if she abolutely must have sex. Another choice is to use her own money or her families money or the father of her childs money or take up a collection in the community to pay for her abortion if she decides against the previous two choices. So I see lots of choices which all fortunately don't involve my tax dollars going to pay for her abortion because she chose badly. Abortion is a disgusting procedure and too readily used in place of birth control and the agreement has always been to remain legal it must not be payed for by the taxpayers. Goverment run healthcare by definition is payed for by the taxpayers and therefore cannot include abortion coverage. Maybe government healtcare isn't all its cracked up to be?

Posted by: RobT1 | November 10, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Most of the posters just don't get it. Private insurers have covered choice since Roe to sell policies, not politics. They will now separate that coverage as a rider to be in exchanges. The problem of poor abandoned by the father pregnant women having a hard time having choice is offset by the possible child support payments when the men are tracked down. Women still have choice but have to pay for it via insurance riders or directly.

Posted by: jameschirico | November 10, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

I find it mind-boggling that the Bishops disdain the sequestering of federal funding from paying for abortion as a 'accounting trick' and yet...churches use the same 'trick' to secure federal funding from the government so they can use all their tithe money for proselytizing instead of the charity work it was (ostensibly) donated for.

Hypocrisy, meet the Catholic Bishops...again.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | November 10, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Seems that a lot of posters don't understand that the amendment doesn't just ban federal dollars from being used to pay for abortion, it bans any payment to any plan that provides for the medical procedure, even if they're useing their own private funds to pay.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | November 10, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

This article should be front-page because of its importance to most of the population and indirectly to all the population because of the great increase in taxes that will result from its implementation due to the need for more prisons, welfare, police, public housing, etc.

The Stupak amendment, like the Republican Party, is racist since the amendment will affect poor minorities the most and it's misogynistic as it reflects a religious extremist hatred towards women. America is not yet a theocracy but is heading that way fast. Freedom of religion is greatly in jeopardy when tax-exempt churches are allowed to promote politicians who cater to them and destroy those who disagree with them.

When are women going to get angry enough to have a Million Woman March to let the world know they're "mad as hell" about this and won't put up with it anymore, aside from the fact they have to take care of their children, hold a job, cook, clean, etc.?

A woman has the right to make decisions about her own body just as a man has and there's nothing in the constitution that prevents it. The Stupak amendment is unconstitutional, discriminatory, racist, misogynistic and anti-free enterprise, punishing women just as the religious extremists in other countries do. It's a national stoning of women.

It's clear that those who voted for the amendment will never be affected by it.

Posted by: BettyW1 | November 10, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The fundamental mistake Ms. Marcus makes, though it is beyond her to understand this, is that abortions, except in the rarest of cases, do not constitute health care.

Posted by: Roytex | November 10, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Someone please investigate this C street Family connection to Capitol Hill!! Eight of the Democrats who supported this Stupak-Pitts amendement and God only knows how many of the Republicans have this belief system that they are THE CHOSEN! This scares the hell (no pun intended)out of me!Pitts is the Godfather of this gang! Either they are covering up abuses their fellow members(Ensign, Sanford,et al) inflict on women and their families or they are attempting to twist the Hyde Amendment to abolish Roe v. Wade!!Who do these men represent? The Catholic Church? Evangelicans? Their own Coe inspired religion? Someone needs to let us know their intent!! Does thier belief system harm our rights when they try to impose it with laws? Stupak-Pitts scare me!

Posted by: mrobertson011 | November 10, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Choice shouldn't be limited to women alone. Society should choose to value life from conception to natural death and every step in between by providing comprehensive, life-valuing, life-sustaining, life-fulfilling health care and promoting a culture that values women, young children and all life.
The promotion of promiscuity and contraception without responsibility and value of life will merely pit factions of society against each other and be used by the state and elite to practice eugenics and the genocide of certain factions.

Posted by: cprferry | November 10, 2009 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"Private insurers have covered choice since Roe to sell policies, not politics.
Posted by: jameschirico"

Except that 54% don't cover abortion and only 13% of all abortions are paid by insurance.

Posted by: cprferry | November 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

"Seems that a lot of posters don't understand that the amendment doesn't just ban federal dollars from being used to pay for abortion, it bans any payment to any plan that provides for the medical procedure, even if they're useing their own private funds to pay.
Posted by: WilyArmadilla"

That is the problem with trying to include abortion in health care. The pools subsidize each other that accounting tricks don't mean anything towards protecting the right to not be taxed for abortion. Abortion would need to be removed from the pool's coverage to ensure no subsidy would assist the practice of the heinous crime against humanity.
PP and providers are looking to exploit this to greatly expand the number of abortions by forcing insurers and taxpayer subsidies to pay for it. Stupak stops that, prevents any subsidies for abortion. The unavoidable effect is that abortion rights providers have wasted much of their time encouraging insurers to cover it and are prevented from winning more concessions, but such was the risk of trying to include abortion into a federal health care program. Status quo is abortion is not funded, and the majority of citizens (including many pro-choicers) don't wish to extend it. It was a power play by PP and they lost badly.

Posted by: cprferry | November 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that the Stupak Amendment is flat out un-contitutional. It discriminates against a group of people and it is basically saying the US gov now is promoting a religion.

My recommendation is that any member of Congress who cannot vote for health care due to the abortion issue should resign.

The reason being, they took an oath to uphold the Constitution.

My question is: where is the allegiance to the US Constitution by each Congress person?

Posted by: Shingo56 | November 10, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"The Stupak amendment, like the Republican Party, is racist since the amendment will affect poor minorities the most
Posted by: BettyW1"

If anything, Planned Parenthood is racist. It was formed out of the forced sterilization and eugenicist movements. It places most of its facilities in urban areas. It seeks grants to reach African-American schools. It was caught accepting donations by known racists. Its language is clearly racist as it speaks of the poor and minority and future criminals in the next. What of all the wonderfully, brilliant minorities that rise out of poverty? Why is that over a third of African-American pregnancies end in abortion? That abortion accounts for more deaths among African-American life than any disease?
Clearly, Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion forces haven't fallen too far from the racist eugenicist tree.

Posted by: cprferry | November 10, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The restriction on the federal funding of abortions is a First Amendment issue that protects the right to free exercise of those taxpayers whose religions forbid from participating in any way with abortion. To tax this population for abortion would be violation of their First Amendment rights.

Also, abortion is Constitutionally protected choice, not Constitutionally mandated entitlement. There is nothing in the Constitution that mandates the government and taxpayers to make every concession PP lobbies Pelosi and DeLauro about. Roe v. Wade provided those seeking abortion the choice by limiting excessive federal regulation, but makes no assurances on its payment.

Posted by: cprferry | November 10, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

So much talk about abortion - so little talk about birth control. If everyone agreed that kids need to learn about birth control, and kids actually had access to information about it and access to free safe types of birth control, you could probably eliminate the need for abortion. BUT WAIT- I forgot. No one is supposed to have sex anymore either!! It is a sin unless you wait until you are married! News flash- it is 2009, not 1959!

Posted by: samney | November 10, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your column on the abortion fiasco, until the last sentence. While I am very much in favor of passing a health care reform bill, it is not worth sacrificing our hard won battle for choice. Reproductive freedom is a human right and we don't need a home grown version of the Taliban restricting our freedoms.

The three stooges - Obama, Reid, and Pelosi - need to develop some spine, and do what is right. They were elected to bring change. Bush, however ignorant and misguided, could at least be counted on to stand up for what he believed.


Posted by: wenfu | November 10, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well. How about this. Health care by politics. What do you expect from national health insurance....choice?

Posted by: sailor3 | November 10, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The "freedom of choice" that many women want is the option to kill their own infants, pre-birth. Basically, this is the freedom of choice to kill out of convenience.

And this happens 2,700 times per day, or 1,300,000 times per year. The same women who march for gun control to curb the 30,000 gun deaths each year, want the leeway to commit infanticide on an industrial scale.

And where is the infant's "freedom of choice"? How about the right to live, to be born, to grow and to enjoy life? Where is that choice?

Freedom of choice. How about choosing to use birth control? How about responsibility? Our society forces men to pay child support, but gives women the power to kill their unborn children. The hypocrisy of it all.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | November 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

The Health Care bill needs to be fixed before it goes into law. One of the biggest problems of many is the limiting of a woman’s rights to get health care reform to this point. Bartering/Limiting Women’s Health Care Rights Is Outrageous!!! To Pass A Bill!

Maybe they were thinking in a couple of years they can go back and fix problems like this just to get the basics in place and then tweak the law later does have some merit.

HOWEVER! A woman's right to an abortion should not be limited by balding fat white men, or by those who are consumed by religious dogma. Women pay taxes too! And for the men in public office to limit how tax money is spent on woman’s health care is absurd!

I am an old fat white married man who remembers when women had to go to underground clinics operated by butchers or take coat hangers into their own hands; and when the fetus was going to be too deformed to bring it to term and I was relived my partner had her right to choose!

Our fore fathers had the wisdom to set up a form of government separating church and state. Ever since Reagan got into office I have noticed the separation start eroding and under the last administration’s policies the separation has became even less clear.

It is disgusting to see our public representatives consulting with clergy or other religious fanatics on how to impose religious dogma under the guise of morality upon US.

A woman's right to choose one way or another should not be limited in any way by federal regulations. It is unpatriotic to use the power of the federal government to limit women’s rights in the way they are being limited/destroyed by this health care bill.

Women are tax payers too and to say that their tax dollars will be used to limit women’s rights is appalling and immoral.

It is time we identify the unpatriotic religious fanatics who have been elected to public office and replace them with people who can keep their religion and politics separate move forward and get the job done. We Now have Hope and it is time for Change!

Posted by: James_In_Atlanta | November 10, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The abortions due to rapes or "deformed fetuses" argument accounts to less than 4% of the 1.3 MILLION abortions perpetrated in this nation each year. Women are using abortion as birth control.

Even the Pro-Choice folks ought to realize that 1.3 MILLION procedures per year is too much, and goes a long way to reduce the weight of any arguments they make for "women's choice."

Through abortion, we are murdering generations of people. Is the slaughter of 1.3 MILLION innocents a worthy exchange to prevent 5,000 back-alley botched up abortion attempts? I think not.

Please put things into perspective. The unborn have no voice but for those adults who have a conscience.

Again, this is not so much about Pro-Choice or Pro-Life as it is about "excess." We cannot continue to kill more than a MILLION people per year.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | November 10, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

By the way, James_in_Atlanta, your argument is nonsense. You cast insults and stereotypes, misrepresent the founding fathers, and somehow purport to be holier-than-thou.

What you support is murder, and there is no other word for it. And as far as "unpatriotic religions fanatics", you can be none of those to realize that mass scale abortion is wrong.

Ten thousand procedures per year would one thing, but this nation aborts up to 1.3 MILLION infants per year, and that is inexcusable.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | November 10, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

James in Atlanta,

- Women pay taxes. Pro-choice women pay taxes. Pro-life women pay taxes. Millions of people that believe abortion is a crime against humanity that their tax dollars (or any participation) should go to funding abortion. To allocate their tax dollars to abortion would violate their First Amendment rights. Overall, the majority of people, secular and religious, believe no federal funding should go to elective abortions. People who feel otherwise are free to use their own funds, including tax credits for donations, to support the heinous crime.

- Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, but it does not prevent it from regulation. That's the real issue here, is it not? The stakeholders (those that perform abortions for a fee) are the same ones demanding new concessions. Their requests need to be challenged by any decent society less we become one that devalues life and uses as a eugenic weapon. Some will be accepted, some will be rejected. However, far better those decisions be made by the people and their Representatives (fat balding white men) than Planned Parenthood (rich immoral white women). Abortion is a legal choice, not an entitlement.

Posted by: cprferry | November 10, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Is Ms. Marcus serious about the freedom of choice this legislation bestows? How about the choice of those millions of uninsured who do not wish to pay for health insurance? How about the choice of millions of seniors who wish to be covered under Medicare Advantage? In the face of all these distinctions: pro-choice, pro-life, anti-abortion, pro-abortion, the bottom line is that abortion indisputably takes a human life. The most avid pro-abortion advocate has to acknowledge this. If it were not the taking of a human life, there would be no sense to the whole abortion controversy. So, what does mandatory, tax payer provided health insurance have to do with any taking, instead of preserving, human life in all its stages and progression? Like it or not, because most Americans realize and further the sanctity of all human life, there will be health care "reform" with the undiminished Stupak amendment, or there will be no health care "reform." I could add that all of us know about the ruses and subterfuge legislators can employ to get their way. But I am confident that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops will ensure that the undiminished Stupak amendment will be part of the final bill. After all, this group was able to get Speaker Pelosi, of all people, to give up on tax payer funded unrestricted access to abortion. Enough said.

Posted by: erkenbra | November 10, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

James In Atlanta Wrights:

We as a nation need responsible sexual education in our public and private schools since the child’s “parents” do not do their job! We need to teach our young men and women responsible sexual behavior to prevent sexual transmitted deceases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancies; that means use of condoms and the pill. Just Saying No! Does not work, and Abstinence is one solution that does not work in the REAL WORLD.

I do not believe most women use abortion as a form of birth control unless it is their ONLY choice because females truly love and care for children; it is in their DNA just like is in men’s DNA to fix things and make every thing all right.

Now days we have the morning after pill; or is it still limited in some areas by religious dogmatic individuals who do not think that a sexual encounter of any kind that may result in a sperm and egg unite equal a human being no mater what the consequences must be brought to full term no matter what the woman thinks regardless of her or the expencive circumstances and emotional turmoil.

Limiting/obstructing women’s health care is not the answer. Education and support for women/children who find them selves parients is the only way to fix this problem!

I stand behind my 1st amendment rights to say what I believe to any one who will listen and hold off the crowd as long as I can to let you express yours.

James In Atlanta

Posted by: James_In_Atlanta | November 10, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Are some folks being deliberately obtuse here? This IS NOT about tax funding FOR or AGAINST abortions. There was always an accounting mechanism included in the original public option and for other insurances offered in the Exchange so that NO public $$ (the health care subsidies to purchase insurance) would be used to fund abortions- in compliance with Hyde. The Stupak/ Pitt Amendment is AN EXPANSION of government intervention into WOMEN's health care options offered thru insurance policies(at THIS time- just within the Exchange.) Again, the intent of the original House bill (before amendment) was that private- i.e. NOT publicly funded- premiums would pay for any p.g. term. services. Per the above article, the Democratic Committee who put together the House bill even tried to accommodate those families & individuals required to purchase insurance but who might have moral convictions against purchasing a policy that covered abortions and wrote that at least 1 policy in the Exchange would exclude pg. term. services. What occurred though is that Stupak, et.al. held the possibility of health care coverage for MILLIONS of uninsured Americans, hostage- threatened to vote against passage of the House bill- unless (their) fundamentalist and religiously motivated beliefs was accommodated instead! So- if this stays in, that means that any families that include women or post-pubescent daughters will have to purchase health care insurance AND if it's possible even, try to decide if they have additional $$ to purchase a rider. Or if they might need it- or if they should just risk doing without it. If pg term services were left as a part of comprehensive health care insurance the way it is now in many policies, then the cost is simply part of the normal premium and deductible. Again- this is the POLICY HOLDER'S $$- NOT government subsidies. Especially with this assault on private insurance coverage, I think it's time to revisit Hyde. Since a precedent has already been established for withholding public funds for one specific medical procedure based on moral grounds, then it makes sense to allow for not withholding public funds for a specific medical procedure on moral grounds as well. I would suggest a check off on our 1040's- "Do you wish to contribute $5 (or whatever) of your taxes to fund pg termination health care for indigent women, women eligible for Federal Health Care Subsidies and/ or Federally provided Insurance coverage?" "If checking YES, this will not increase your taxes or reduce your refund" Maybe we could even have a second check box for a donation that would increase tax or reduce refund. I would check YES in both cases. I would not be alone...

Posted by: minorth30 | November 11, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

minorth,
An accounting mechanism allocates certain funds, but it doesn't stop supplanting by the subscriber or the pool's (which would include federal dollars) subsidization of abortion. Not unless it is separated and charged as a rider to the plan.
You are right that this isn't exactly status quo. This is the unfortunate consequence of pro-abortion forces claiming the elective abortions belonged in core health care coverage. They've been able to win over a few insurers, 46% of them, and they hoped to continue working on them to get into the rest of the plans and bump up the insurance subsidization of abortion up from just 13%.
The pro-abortion forces thought they could greatly expand that 46% figure by including abortion into the public option and the 13% figure by allowing subsidies to purchase insurance with abortion coverage.
It was going to be a huge windfall for them. You might even call it a bail out. However, the America public doesn't want to pay for elective abortions. Catholics oppose on religious grounds protected by the First Amendment. Over 64 Democrats responded despite threats from Pelosi and the pro-abortion lobby that funds the party. Pro-abortion forces made a power play and lost. Elective abortion is not to be covered by any federal health program. Because the federal program extends into all of health insurance, pro-abortion forces lost a lot of ground they had made in the private market. They aren't the only ones whose coverage will change because of the legislation.
This is a logical extension of the Hyde Amendment framework. Thing is the pro-abortion forces never accepted the Hyde to begin with and thought Pelosi and the pro-choice Democrats would protect their racket from the public takeover of health care.

Posted by: cprferry | November 11, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

The same freedom of choice that was exerted in the sexual act should be shown in accepting its consequences. The moment the government enters the picture the more likely it will one day decide, as in China today, to enforce abortions as a means to control overpopulation. If murder in utero is justifiable in any way, please don't let the government be the enabler.

Posted by: eliseom | November 11, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

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