Friday, December 25, 2009

American Health Care and Abortion Funding

1. Harold Pollack:

2. Blackton--my old polemical rival:

...Yes, there is nothing more important in our health care debate than to focus on the right of poor people to have non poor people pay for them slicing and dicing their unborn children.

"I have written before about people I respect who hold pro-life views, and the need for mutually respectful dialogue on these issues. I have less respect for people who use economic pressure to restrict abortions among low-income women, when more privileged Americans would not for a moment tolerate such restrictions applied to people like themselves."

utter and reprehensible bullshit. how dare you call pro life people hypocrites. Unless you have been living on Mars pro life people want those restrictions against abortion applied to everyone, rich and poor alike. But then I suppose you will call them hypocrites because some rich people would go to Canada or Europe to have abortions, so therefore you would use that as an argument to allow it here. Obviously, you are more interested in sophistry than in true respect.

I am pro life and anti death penalty, but I accept societies choice to have both. (and I do have genuine reservations about society forcing a woman by law to carry a child to term, but that doesn't mean I can't call it for what it is: an abortion) It is bad enough my tax dollars have to pay for the death penalty, but now you expect me to pay for women to have abortions as well. Look, I respect it is their choice, but how about my choice not to freaking pay for it as well.

If you are so worried about poor women having the money to have abortions, get off your ass and donate to planned parenthood, as you yourself admit the cost is not exorbitant.
I am about as big a supporter of this health care bill as there is, but listening to you inject this narrow minded laser like focus on something that is such a minor yet inflamatory part of the debate makes me have the exact opposite reaction, to dig in my heels more to not have this funding.

Just stfu about this issue until after the bill is paid, unless you truly feel that the right of poor women to have funded abortions (which they don't have now, in fact, they don't have any coverage at all) is soooo important that you are willing to blow up the whole shebang.

Afterwards, do what you want, agitate, donate, whatever. If you can get congress to finance abortions for all, then so be it, but lets get basic, affordable health care for all Americans first before you go off on that Quixotic quest. If you succeed, then hey, that is Democracy and I can live with it....

3. Me:

Blackton calm down. Let’s not, firstly, dismiss Pollack’s post by the canard that there are more important things to write about. On that theory, there’s nothing much that could be written about because there is always something more important.

Secondly let’s not cloud the issue with pure vituperation crowding out balanced analysis: "… Yes, there is nothing more important in our health care debate than to focus on the right of poor people to have non poor people pay for them slicing and dicing their unborn children..." Nice talk!

Thirdly you totally misread the part of Pollack’s post you call “utter and reprehensible bullshit”. You “argue”--to me very unclearly--that Pollack is calling pro lifers hypocrites because, well, because why, according to you:

1. is it:

Pro lifers only want to restrict the poor from having abortions when you say they want the restrictions on abortion to apply to everyone?

2. or is it:

Pro lifers will be hypocrites to Pollack because some who have means go abroad to have abortions?

3. or is it:

That some with means can afford to go abroad to have abortions is an argument for making abortions available for all in the U.S.?

I don’t really know what you are saying. But whatever it is, it’s not Pollack what is saying.

Firstly, under what I am writing about as thirdly, he is not calling pro lifers hypocrites. He’s attacking the legislation’s effective uninsuring of abortions on two grounds: 1. As a substantive matter it’s wrong to do that, he would say, as someone obviously pro choice; and 2. while those with means, and even those without much means but not destitute, can financially stick handle around the restriction, the poor and the destitute, will suffer adversely from it by not having the insurance now to be available to them cover abortions. What does this have to do with anyone being a hypocrite?

Secondly, under what I am writing about as thirdly, he is not calling pro lifers hypocrites. He is disrespectful of the legislators amongst them—specifically Nelson and Stupak, and more specifically Nelson, since Stupak got shot down in Congress— for the differential effects of their legislation on the poor and destitute. Political gutlessness and bullying are the reasons for his disrespect rather than hypocrisy. They are not being hypocritical. Rather they are putting their no doubt
principled pro life boots to the most vulnerable who can’t fight back, kicking them politically when they are down, so to speak.

Thirdly, under what I am writing about as thirdly, Pollack says that women with means would not tolerate for a minute restrictions on their right to abortions functionally equivalent to what uninsuring of abortions will do to the poor and the destitute. Somehow from this you have gotten some misconceived notion that Pollack is calling some people hypocrites, when in fact, and plainly, he is not.

Fourthly, under what I am writing about as thirdly, nowhere in his text does Pollack use the ability of some to get abortions abroad as an argument for allowing abortions in the U.S. Moreover he needn't; they are allowed up to the point, essentially, of fetal viability.

So Blackton, Pollack do dare; and he do dare with rightful intellectual impunity.

Fourthly, following my thirdly, who are you to say where your tax dollars should go? You want health care insurance available to all. The unmitigated right to an abortion up to fetal viability is the law of your land. Women’s constitutional rights to it are as legally deeply grounded as any other of their basic rights. Get that changed by political or legal processes if you can. But otherwise you must, as a principled citizen, accept the insured provision of abortions. You like other citizens cannot withhold your tax dollars going to pay for other policies of which you disapprove. No citizen can. But your federal restriction on abortion funding and the uninsuring of abortions in your health care legislation are sheer ideological instances of that. (The Hyde amendment by the way is a species of sheer ideological hypocrisy and posturing, since the states in your country can and do provide abortion funding regardless.)

Fifthly, you continue to misread Pollack throughout. Where does he say, for example, that he is “…willing to blow up the whole shebang...” over abortion funding? Unless I missed it, it’s not anywhere in what he wrote. Yet this further misreading of him is the non existent premise of about the entire last 1/3 of your self-admitted rant.

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