Lansing, Michigan


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Devon Glass
Devon Glass
Contributor •

Women are second class citizens in Bart Stupak's America


History was made last night as the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill, and now it’s up to the Senate to pass one as well. The bill passed does have a public option and will help control health care expenses in the coming decades. This bill was not passed without significant compromise, but one of the compromises made me really angry.

Representative Bart Stupak, who is from Michigan, decided his vote was contingent on being able to offer an amendment to the health care reform bill to prevent any federal money used in the new health care exchange from paying for abortion services. Nevermind that abortion is one of the most common surgical procedures performed in the United States. Nevermind that abortion is legal, and has been, for more than 30 years in the United States. Nevermind that access to abortion services is supported by the majority of Americans. To Bart Stupak, all of this is meaningless because he does not support abortion and since he gets to vote on this health care bill and you don’t, his opinion matters more than yours. The price for Bart Stupak‘s support for health care reform is simple, sacrificing women’s rights.

I find it interesting that, as a man, Bart Stupak gets to decide what medical services should be afforded to woman in this country. Rep. Stupak will never personally need to have an abortion, so I guess from his perspective it’s okay to limit peoples access to abortion services. The effect of his amendment will not outlaw abortion, but it will make it tougher for people who need an abortion to pay for it. Since the new health care exchange won’t be permitted to provide coverage for abortion services with federal money, anyone who gets insurance through the new health care exchange will need to pay out of pocket for an abortion or additional insurance to cover abortion services. I don’t know about you, but my understanding is that most woman don’t plan on having abortions so it’s going to be difficult to convince them to pay extra for a service they don’t believe they will need in the future.

To add insult to injury, the woman who are purchasing insurance on the new health care exchange are likely receiving assistance to pay for the insurance. This means it’s unlikely they can afford to purchase additional insurance to cover abortion services. In effect, this will make abortion services something that only rich women can afford, creating a tiered health care system for women. Is that what we want when we are working to expand health care to cover most, if not all, of Americans?

I can only speculate what goes through Bart Stupak‘s mind when deciding to expand health care but limit health care options for women. This reminds me of the discussion between Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Jon Kyl about providing maternity care, which I’ve provided below. The thing is, there are lots of services that I don’t use when I have health insurance, but we all pay because we don’t know when we may need those services in the future. I may not need dialysis coverage now, but if I go into renal failure in the future I’m going to be glad I have it. The money I spend to pay for health insurance covers everyone who has health insurance and it should not be up to me or Bart Stupak or anyone else what services someone else gets to receive. It should be a decision made by the patient and their doctor. End of story.

Abortion may be something that people feel icky about, but it’s a legal medical procedure that more than 1 million women utilize every year. It should not be a political bargaining chip to convince someone to support health care reform. I think we should look at passing an amendment that erectile dysfunction treatment should not be covered by any insurance offered on the new health care exchange. The reasoning is simple, if old men didn’t get boners they would not impregnant the women they are having sex with, therefore no abortion needed. However, I don’t think you would get much support for such an amendment because it discriminates against men, but I don’t see the difference between not providing coverage for abortion and not providing coverage for erectile dysfunction. Maybe Bart Stupak can explain the difference if you call his office and ask him really nice, he can be reached at (202) 225 4735.



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  1. Steve Lynott says:
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    Never mind that abortion kills the unborn child and scars the mother for life, legal or not , common or not. Rationalizations never replace reality in the long run.

    Remember that abortion has never been chosen by the people. It has always been imposed by small numbers of “intellengcia”. Oh yes, and the “intellengencia” were all men.

  2. J K Bond says:
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    I respectfully disagree with your premise and the wrong-headedness of your “it’s OK to kill the babies” stance. It takes real courage to risk the wrath of liberal Democratic women — in a political party that shuns those Democrats who oppose the taking of innocent human life. Did you see in their floor remarks the venom and disgust aimed against a fellow Democrat?

    You are being very political — no doubt — against a courageous American, Congressman Stupak, who has a lot to lose in carrying the anti-abortion amendment in this debate. He could have ignored the debate, made his pleadings privately and left it at that. However, when one goes up against their own leadership and sticks to their belief that abortion is murder and goes up against his own Democratic leadership to force this vote — that is conviction and courage in a political body lacking both.

    Why would anyone think the Lord would condone abortion or persons’ sinful support of same? This is a base belief in any truly devout person, regardless their chosen method of practicing faith.

  3. susan says:
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    Great comment! It seems only fair that if women can’t get a legal and private medical procedure covered, then men shouldn’t get treatment covered for ED.

  4. joe says:
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    abortion is kiling …You never heard

  5. Devon Glass says:
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    J K and Steve,

    If you don’t agree with abortion, then don’t get one for yourself or your loved ones. However, don’t tell the rest of the women in America they can’t have a legal medical procedure because YOU don’t like it. How would you feel if I had a moral objection to you receiving for diabetes because you should have controlled your diet better and exercised more? Or if I had the same objection to you receiving treatment for a heart attack because you failed to exercise and eat healthy? I don’t to see the difference in providing treatment in either of those circumstances when compared to covering abortion services. No one is forcing you to have abortions, don’t get one if you don’t want one. Stop telling others how to live their lives.

  6. Denny says:
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    Mr. Stupak’s amendment does not hinder a woman from obtaining an abortion compared to the situation that prevails today. It does however, prevent me and many like minded Americans who are pro-life from being forced to pay any part of the cost. This is a reasonable compromise even for pro-choice people. Choice cuts bot ways.

    Let Planned Parenthood come up with their own support means to fund abortions, if they feel so strongly about it, pass the hat or come up with an insurance plan of their own, just don’t expect the taxpayer to pay the tab.

    I don’t mind paying for health care, but abortion is not normally a health measure at all, unless one deems pregnancy to be a disease.

    And, by the way, I think all elective medical treatments, including ED, should not be publicly funded in any way.

  7. Dan says:
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    Mr. Glass,

    You missed the point of the Stupak amendment. It does not take away anyone’s “rights” to an abortion. It just ensures that those of us who know it is morally wrong, won’t have to pay for it.

    It would be wrong to force someone to fund an activity that they feel is clearly immoral – the stopping of the human heart.


    P.S. Did you see the lastest news that new borns cry in the tone of their mother’s language and that they can recognize their mother’s voice from hundreds of others. Dont’ try to convince me that you are not ending a human life. – look at the DNA!

  8. Devon Glass says:
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    Dan and Denny:

    Maybe I missed something. Was abortion outlawed since I posted my article this morning? Unless that’s the case, it is a legal medical procedure and you should not have the ability to limit someones access to a procedure that is allowed by law. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions due to religious reasons, how would you like it if they were successful in outlawing all blood transfusions because they have a religious objection? Or what about my example of my moral objection to people who don’t care for themselves receiving medical care?

    This is not a reasonable compromise because the people who can only afford the new health insurance through the exchange will likely be unable to afford the additional coverage for abortions services. The cost of the procedure or the additional insurance will be unaffordable for the women who likely need the services the most.

    What gives you the right to deny access to a legal medical procedure because you feel uncomfortable or don’t like it? Let people live their own lives and stop imposing your particular point of view on the rest of America. Why do you care if someone you don’t know has a medical procedure that does not have any impact on your life?

  9. J K Bond says:
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    I think in fairness to you — we must chalk a lot of what you write to a youthful naïveté — just as we must disregard your nonsensical comparisons of the wanton killing of babies in the womb to health responses to diabetes and heart attacks.

    Devon, where is your moral compass? Abortion is not a “democratic” issue but one of moral consequences. Would you put on the same par permitting the killing of someone’s elderly relative with dementia equivalent to killing the baby in the womb — terming it a “right” of another even as you might not do the same? PLEASE …. why is it not murder and a violation of the Ten Commandments (or do you think that is a lot of hocus pokus?)

    Do you have any belief in God ?

  10. Devon Glass says:
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    J K,

    My beliefs are my own, just as yours are your own. I don’t plan on telling you what you should do with your private life, as it’s your life to live. I don’t want the government telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, especially when it comes to legal, constitutional, medical procedures. I understand you have strong beliefs about abortion and that it motivates you to do what is necessary to achieve your goals, but I don’t believe you have the right to tell anyone what they should do with their own body.

    The reason it is not murder is because we are a nation of laws and not the 10 commandments. This is a country that does not have a national religion and your faith is no more important than mine in terms of what laws we should enact.

    Please also don’t try to dismiss or diminish my opinions because you believe I am too young or out of my league. I have spent years studying medicine prior to becoming an attorney, and my opinions are based upon my convictions of what I believe is right under the law.

  11. Milton says:
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    Just remember that health care reform is about expanding choices, that the govt. will not come between you and your doctor, that nobody will lose their coverage, and if you like your current plan you get to keep it.

  12. RMinIL says:
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    Mr. Glass you are doing an excellent job of presenting the case against the Stupak Amendment. Unfortunately the anti-choice zealots always seem to yell louder than the rational majority. I always find it interesting that the anti-choicers are generally men or women who have passed child-bearing age. They are also the ones who scream to keep government out of their lives but want government to control the lives of others.

  13. Devon Glass says:
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    Thank you for helping to bring the larger picture into focus, that this amendment is part of the larger effort to reform health care. It is true this new bill will expand coverage, but I think it’s worth noting the compromises that were made to help this bill get passed in the House of Representatives. I hope this is the first step of many to reforming our badly managed health care system.


    I really appreciate the support. I’ve been doing my best to put forth my point of view and it’s nice to have someone who also supports my point of view speaking up. I’m not sure why they believe it’s okay to restrict the private actions of people whom they’ve never met, but they don’t have any qualms about expressing their point of view. I’m glad they have the ability to express their opinions, but they should not have the ability to use their opinion to restrict the personal, private, choices of others.

  14. Jeane says:
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    Goodie – by your reasoning, then, JK et al, I get to withhold the portions of my taxes that go to fund unncessary wars, capital punishment, Haliburton, Brown and Root, and Secret Service protection for the Bush/Cheney crime cartel. And I won’t have to pay for your Viagra, and Cialis! Or tax breaks for Bush cronies!
    Whether or not you approve of abortion, it is NONE of your business. I don’t see any of you anti-choicers adopting less than perfect children, but I do see you out protesting against healthcare for all. If you were really “pro-life” you’d care about people after they were born, instead of trying to control womens bodies. Again – it is NONE of your business.

  15. Dan says:
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    Devon, et. al.

    Just to clarify a first mis-statements:
    1. Women in America will still have access to relatively cheap abortions. I just won’t have to fund it. – Seems reasonable to me even though I strongly disagree with abortion.

    2. Advocating abortion because the child may not be adopted is incorrect. On average, a couple in the U.S. will have to wait 2 – 7 years before they can find a baby to adopt. – It’s a shame too many people think it’s too inconvenient to finish the pregancy. “poor is deciding a child must die so you can live as you want.”

    I fully understand that pregancies can cause people’s plans to change. However, ending a human life instead because it’s inconvient has always been wrong. – Documents from 100 AD show except the Romans, all societies protected their babies.


  16. jeane says:
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    Dan – there are millions of children here in the US waiting to be adopted, but because they aren’t perfect little blue eyed boys, you anti-choicers don’t want them.
    And HOW DARE YOU equate this as just a convenience issue?? How dare you. This is about womens lives. As a man, you never have to worry about something like this. Would you permit someone to, say, force a vasectomy on you? I thought not. Who do you think you are that your “not approving of abortions” gives you the right to force women to bear children? I don’t like our troops being sent to war because Bush thought it would be fun to be a war president, but I’m stuck with that.

    And what ever gave you the idea abortions are “relatively cheap”? You antichoice nuts have made them more difficult to obtain, even though they are a legal medical procedure.
    In addition, it’s only been the last 100 or so years that abortion has been this type of issue. Societies have not protected children, and you know it. You’re making things up.
    And did you know that Mother Teresa with held pain medication from the dying because she thought brought them closer to God? This is not necessarily someone to emulate.

    When you get pregnant, Dan, we’ll be interested in your opinion. Either you support womens rights or you don’t.

  17. Denny says:
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    I am especially concerned about paying for abortion due to my beliefs about the sanctity of life and that the start and end of a life is something to be left to God. But, I am also opposed to to funding any form of elective procedure by taxes or compulsory premiums, and that includes things like erectile dysfunction medications or elective plastic surgery.

    None of these is generally construed to be a health matter. But, over the years, the pro-choice side of the abortion debate have again and again tried to equate abortion provision with reproductive health. (Yes, I will concede that there may be a rare situation in which pregnancy either exacerbates the effects of disease or treatment of disease, and in some of these cases, in order to save the mother, the fetus must be sacrificed. That is a sad situation, but morally acceptable to me and I think the majority of the public. )

    But, in the vast majority of cases abortion is a choice, not an imperative. An, if a choice, then it is an elective medical procedure, not a “health” matter.

    To equate abortion and health would mean one must presume pregnancy to be a disease. Pretty twisted thinking that is!

    Many have given out examples of immoral uses of tax money that one is compelled to support. I don’t know how to overcome those. I do know how to overcome funding the evil of abortion and that is to keep it a privately funded matter. Lets face it, there are many evils out there that are not illegal, but we do not expect the public to pay for them either.

    By the way, if one checks Mr. Stupak’s record, he was opposed to funding the Iraq war.

  18. Esme Weatherwax says:
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    “Never mind that abortion kills the unborn child and scars the mother for life, legal or not , common or not. Rationalizations never replace reality in the long run.”

    Actually, I am not scarred for life. I was relieved after I had my abortion. My friends who had to give their children up for adoption HAVE been scarred for life, however. Odd how your concern doesn’t extend to them.

    “I just won’t have to fund it. – Seems reasonable to me even though I strongly disagree with abortion.”

    You don’t have to fund it now. What this amendment would do is restrict the consumer choice of Americans who receive subsidies. We do not dictate what foods people can buy, what entertainment they can use, or what clothing they can buy if they receive subsidies. People were aspirating on their own spittle about the government limiting our freedom of choice and restricting the kind of medical care we could get; these same people are happy to embrace this when it comes to women. Since insurance companies will find it too burdensome to figure out who is and isn’t eligible for this coverage, many will simply drop it.

    But okay–let’s not fund things we don’t agree with. In that vein, I don’t think I should have to fund faith-based programs. I find it repugnant that my tax dollars are funding programs run by religions I find bigoted and vile, and faiths I don’t believe in, and that many of those programs are discriminatory. I believe in the separation of church and state, and this flies right in the face of that.

  19. Devon Glass says:
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    Thank you for sharing a part of your personal life and how this horrible policy decision would affect someone who has had an abortion. I believe a big part of the problem surrounding abortion is that so many people make it feel really taboo, when the reality is it’s one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States. If people stopped trying to make someone feel ashamed for what they choose to do with their body, I believe abortion would lose it’s stigma. However, we are a long ways away from that happening.


    I’m not sure I understand why it makes a difference if the abortion is elective or not. What should it matter the reason behind why a woman wants to end the pregnancy, unless you think it is only okay under certain circumstances. I believe it should be available to a woman when she no longer wants to carry the pregnancy to term. The decision to chose an abortion is a very personal matter and it should not be made more difficult because your religious beliefs think it’s evil. I’m sure a woman who is deciding to go forward with an abortion is facing a difficult choice with you coming in an telling her what she is doing is evil.


    Thank you for the support. I appreciate your passion in defending this issue and speaking out clearly on where you stand. I think it would be interesting to hear from Dan when he gets pregnant to see if that changes his opinion, but I won’t hold my breath.

  20. Dan says:
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    R.e. abortion is about inconvenience….. Don’t get me wrong. I know that having a child is a tremendous amount of work. I know my life changed when my daughters were born. (So was my wife’s life changed.) My statements may sound harsh but I really do feel for the individuals. I just wish I could help them see a child is not the end of their lives.

    However, it still doesn’t change the fact that every excuse for abortion is about stating a child is inconvient – It’s so sad! For example:

    1. I’m not ready for a child yet – Grow-up and take responsibility.

    2. I’m still in school. – change your plans and finish at night.

    3. I need to concentrate on my career right now. – your career should support your life not vice versa.

    4. I can’t afford a child – change your expectations on how you live or give the child up for adoption. The adoption agencies can pay all of your medical expenses and even time off work in most states.

    So as you can see, it’s a matter of priorities. I want to live how I want to live even if a child must die.

  21. Jeane says:
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    Dan – your ignorance and arrogance is astounding. Why is a woman’s life and future less important than your own?? Who are you to decide whether or not a pregnancy is too much to bear?? One of my high school friends committed suicide because her step brother raped her and she got pregnant. Merely an inconvenience to you, I guess, but she couldn’t live with it. How. dare. you. I mean it – how dare you??

    Gee, as an afterthought, your wife’s life changed too. I’m sure you’re happy to fetch a diaper on occasion when it isn’t interrupting your football game. That’s awfully big of you.

    Abortions won’t stop if they become illegal, but women will die. I guess that’s okay with you though, since you won’t have to “pay for it.”

    On another personal note, my Mom was told (pre Roe) that it would kill her to go through another pregnancy. I would have missed my Mom a lot more than a fetus you think would have been so much more important and worthy of life than her. It certainly would have been inconvenient had she died, not that you care.

    And of course, once these fetuses are born, people like you couldn’t care less about them. Your comments show that you don’t really care about women once they’re born. Obviously, you’re “much” better qualilfied to make a decision about women’s lives and bodies than the women themselves are. Goodie for you.

  22. Dan says:
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    Thank you for sharing some of your life. It must have been difficult. I am truely sorry to hear about your friend. May the Lord hold her close and help you with the loss. It’s never easy to loose anyone and obviously you were close. Rape is a terrible ordeal that no woman should ever have to experience. Even worse, it frequently happens to relatively young woman who are struggling aready. – There is no punishment strong enough for a man who would do this.

    Back to the Stupak Amendment, it will nto make abortion illegal and an abortion in the U.S. is still very inexpensive. Therefore, I believe it’s an appropriate action for taxpayer funding.

    Please take care and God Bless!

  23. Barbara Lombardi says:
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    Devon, Great perspective on a polarizing subject which is obvious from the comments. One thought that no one seems to understand; “pay now, or pay more later”…Translation? The very women who are being denied public funding for abortions will more than likely end up on public aid, food stamps, etc. and those children will benefit from WIC, hot lunch programs at schools, not to mention a free public school education. So, Representative Stupak if you think you are saving money by not supporting funding for abortions in the health care bill, think again.

  24. Gerry McGill says:
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    I live in Pensacola, Florida which has probably seen more anti-abortion related violence than anywhere else in America, ranging from clinic bombings to the murder of two doctors who performed abortions. Both murderers were male as are the most outspoken leaders of the anti-abortion movement. The most common sense solution is on a sign outside the Knights of Columbus Hall which simple states: “ADOPTION NOT ABORTION”. Unfortunately, I have not seen much movement in that direction from those who condone or encourage violence to stop violence. If you believe that abortion is killing, and I know many good people that do, you cannot justify killing with killing. I frequently see bumper stickers and magnets on vehicles that say “WWJD?” meaning “What would Jesus do?” I confess that I don’t know the answer.

  25. Barbara Lombardi says:
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    Sorry, my comment accidentally posted before I was finished. Rep. Stupak’s objection to funding abortions may be his personal aversion to the legal medical procedure, and not the money to pay for it, I will allow for that to be the case. But as has already been stated in previous comments, there are medical procedures that my insurance premium pays for that I will never need or want either, or perhaps will not CHOOSE to have. But that is my choice,not yours. You, Rep. Stupak do not have the right to take that choice away from me. The Constitution of this country does not allow you to do that, and it does not allow you to decide who gets an abortion.

  26. Becca says:
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    The primary function of sex is to make babies. If you can’t learn to be responsible for your own choices, no other human being should have to pay for it, especially an innocent unborn child.

    Spiderman’s uncle said it best. “With great power comes great responsibility.” Humans have the power to multiply, and screwing around with this power should not lead to punishment of the natural result. :)