Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stupak: the Global Gag rule comes home

This is the argument made over and over again: If the repro rights activists would just stop agitating about the pro-life Dems, we could get majorities, and things would improve for women and men everywhere. I get that argument. Most days, I believe it. And then I wake up to a Democratic majority that will only pass progressive healthcare legislation if it includes antiabortion provisions. These trade-offs build on each other. Stupak did not happen in a vacuum. It's part of a larger cycle. Is this the moment to stand up and say "no"? How could I say it is, especially when I am all too aware that if pro-choice Democrats were to revolt over this issue, they would be vilified and further alienated from a party that already allows the erosion of reproductive rights? We choose to play nice, our party trades on our freedoms. We choose to object, our party resents and blames us for failure. It's not exactly a bright set of options for anyone who has gotten into this quandary simply because they fervently believe that the rights of half the population to control its own reproduction are fundamental to full and equal participation in our democracy. - Rebecca Traister