I can’t explain the urgency of awareness about women’s health care needs any better than Gloria Feldt, former president of the national Planned Parenthood organization:
So we are where we are with health reform and coverage of abortion.
The time to be purists and hold politicians’ feet to the fire is at the beginning of any battle.
Here is what I wrote about abortion coverage back in September that summarizes how I think the issue should have been framed and fought for, hard, so that we would been able to mount a stronger campaign for fair health reform and then on to rescind the Hyde Amendment going forward.
Accepting (and even defending!) the Capps amendment in the first place was a huge mistake. The opening salvos of the health reform debate should have been the time to challenge the entire notion of separating out one aspect of basic women’s health care from any other. No, let me back up a bit and say I would have slammed Obama when he allowed family planning to be labeled controversial in the first stimulus package.
After acquiescing on those first two moments of decision, we were pretty well sunk. But the silver lining is that women began to realize–and got angry–that we’d been thrown under the bus by Congress, the president, and even some of our own advocacy organizations who had been complicit.
But it good that anger breeds activism. We can do something about this, you know. It is always up to advocates to make politicians do the right thing. Today is the best day to start driving our own bus, and turning things around. The Women’s Media Center has declared today Not Under the Bus Day. Go to their website and find lots of direct action you can take that wil make a difference. Whether or not it changes the outcome of this particular health reform vote, it will without question set a new and better path down the road to women’s heath care that’s fair, safe, and fully covered.
A couple of posts from the Action taken so far:
And here’s how you can take action:
- Tweet: Jan. 13th is Take Action Day for reproductive rights in #hcr. Don’t get thrown #underthebus – do something. http://bit.ly/7u15IG
- Post the NUTB video to your Facebook page, Blog, or status.
- Donate your Facebook Status to raise awareness: “January 13th is Take Action Day for reproductive rights in health care reform. Don’t get thrown #underthebus – do something. http://bit.ly/7u15IG”
- Sign and Share the NUTB Petition: Tell lawmakers in Washington to keep women’s health care safe, fair and covered and urge them to strike any anti-abortion amendments from the final bill.
- Visit the NUTB Take Action page for more ideas!
I think of this in terms of how mental health was for so long not treated as real or deserving (thank you Ted Kennedy and in Ohio, Bob Spada – a Republican – for changing that prior status quo). I’m not okay with the health of more than half our population being treated the same way.
I’m Not Under The Bus. Where are you?