Yesterday, via linking to a post by Goldni, I asked Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN, the Fightin’ 5th!) to explain his vote for the Stupak Amendment. Last night, I received his answer:

“Health reform would simply not have passed without the Stupak Amendment. The Speaker of the House made this deal, and she is one of the strongest Pro-Choice members of the House. I think this just underscores how important this issue was to the passage of the bill. The health care bill only passed by two votes. Going forward, we need to better define the status quo regarding the Hyde Amendment because that is what most members support.

The reform bill does contain the most important health improvements for women in history, including bringing more women into a heath care system that includes reproductive health benefits. I continue to support affordable birth control and a woman’s freedom to choose, and I hope that we can make progress on these issues in the future with the Senate version of health reform.”

Thanks, Coop (He lets us call him that. OK, no he doesn’t.) for both your “Yes” vote for H.R. 3962, the health insurance reform legislation, and for the explanation of your Stupak Amendment vote.

Now, I’m satisfied with Congressman Cooper’s answers regarding his Stupak Amendment vote. I understand, however, that some are not. I understand that some still take issue with the way in which this vote went down.

Not me.

Instead, I take issue with those who were on the front line of this debate decades ago – when the term “pro-life” was first used – for scrambling to find a different term to describe their position instead of standing up and screaming, “How dare you! The definition of ‘pro-life’ doesn’t begin and end where you say it does, buster. I’m ‘pro-life.’ You’re ‘pro-life.’ We’re ALL ‘pro-life.’ Now stop being a dumbass and let’s work on ways in which we can eliminate the underlying reasons why women seek to have abortions in the first place. Hello? Lack of age-appropriate public school sex education? Hello? Lack of affordable contraception? Hello? Poverty? Hello? Lack of affordable child-care options? Hello? Hello? Hello?

The Stupak Amendment and the strangle-hold it had over the health insurance reform debate is a direct result of elected officials giving up the practical moral high-ground on this issue a long, long, LONG time ago. We reap what we sow.

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9 Responses to “What Pisses Me Off About the Stupak Amendment (Hint: It’s Not Jim Cooper’s Vote)”

  1. Earlybird says:

    If they are going to call us baby killers, we should be calling them doctor killers. Is that not fair? And it is not pro life; it is pro-birth.

  2. [...] In an interviews on Hardball and with the Washington Post and in written statements, like this one posted on Liberadio’s blog, he appears to say that his goal was simply to support a compromise necessary to get health care [...]

  3. Dean says:

    “So, Mr. Undecided Voter, you’ve got two options: If you want to reduce the number of abortions, join us. If you want to pursue the unattainable goal of eliminating them, go with those other guys who don’t seem to know what the hell they’re doing.”

  4. Dean says:

    The whole abortion issue pisses me off, actually. Progressives should be much more active is pushing their view, something like this:

    “Look, Mr. Undecided Voter. There are two camps. Our goal is to make abortion safe, legal and as rare as possible. We do this by legalizing it and tackling the root causes: lack of child-care options and lack of sensible sex education, to name a few. That’s our camp. We feel like we’ve got a good, clear mission.

    “The other camp? I’m not sure. They want to outlaw it — I think. But they don’t want to criminalize it, at least not to where they throw the mothers in jail. Even though they say it’s murder. Then again, some of them are OK with murdering providers. … Oh, and after they outlaw it, they consider their work to be done, even though it’s not.

  5. [...] » What Pisses Me Off About the Stupak Amendment (Hint: It’s Not Jim Cooper’s Vote)Posted 3 hours [...]

  6. Scarce says:

    There are more reasons to be suspicious of Jim Cooper’s vote.

    “The forty members who stood strong with me through this whole deal, I think at least 15 will not vote for the bill no matter what, even if Stupak is adopted,” he said. “Then there might still have been ten to 15 who would vote for it even if we didn’t get our amendment.”

    So enough to put it over the top?

    “It should be,” he said.

    Those are Bart Stupak’s own words. He said the bill would pass even if the amendment failed. Cooper is saying the opposite.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/07/house-health-care-vote-br_n_349468.html?page=3

  7. Mary Mancini says:

    Goldie, I’m not writing this to make excuses for Jim Cooper’s vote. I’m writing this because I want to 1) thank Cooper for voting for health insurance reform and 2) make sure I direct my anger at who is actually responsible for getting us to the point where our electeds had to make this reprehensible choice.

    “Progressives/Democrats/Liberals” roll their eyes at being corrected for using the term “pro-life” in the exact way in which those who – as WhitesCreek writes – force “meanspirited intrusions into women’s health issues” want them to. And they have been doing it for years – even after being made aware of the damage it does to our community.

  8. WhitesCreek says:

    The more I learn about the Stupak amendment the angrier I am. Why would any woman, regardless of her views on the abortion issue, not be outraged at this meanspirited intrusion into women’s health issues? How can you justify preventing women from spending their own money on their own health? Will women stand for institutionalized rape?

  9. GoldnI says:

    Mary, I certainly agree with you that this is the result of ceding the moral high ground, but I don’t think Cooper answered anything at all. He still never actually owns up to voting for it, but treats it as some compromise he wasn’t involved in. And if he knew that a) the amendment did not preserve the status quo and b) that it would pass by a large margin, then he needs to explain why none of that mattered.

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