Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ponder on this for a Moment

If anyone needs evidence that sexism exists, just look at the abortion compromise in the Senate healthcare bill. Basically, women who want abortion coverage will have to write two separate checks, one for their regular health insurance premium and another for their abortion coverage. I don't know how cumbersome writing the separate checks will be, but the fact that women have to go through that is ridiculous just on principle. No other healthcare coverage requires a rider like this. Furthermore, states will be allowed to keep insurance companies from covering abortion. This isn't new, but it's new to national healthcare legislation.

Okay, quiz time. Here are a couple of scenarios where someone would need healthcare.

Scenario 1: One day, someone drinks several alcoholic beverages, enough to be legally "under the influence." They get into a car and drive. They're speeding, going 60 mph in a 35 mph zone. They're not wearing a seat belt, and they're talking on their cell phone, both of which are illegal in their state. Then, they drive into a tree. Since they weren't wearing a seat belt, they sustained many injuries. The drinking, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and talking on the cell phone all contributed to this accident.

Scenario 2: One day, a woman has consensual sex with her boyfriend. Two weeks later, she finds out she is pregnant. She decides to have an abortion, for reasons that are none of your business.

Who's covered by health insurance? The person who became seriously injured because they engaged in four illegal behaviors at once? Or the woman who did absolutely nothing illegal, two of those things being biological phenomena (sex and pregnancy), one of which she really has no conscious control over (pregnancy)?

In the first scenario, the person who engaged in all of those illegal behaviors is covered by insurance. Furthermore, they do not have to purchase a rider to cover injuries sustained in the event that they drive drunk, speed, don't wear a seat belt, or drive while talking on the cell phone. (Keep in mind, the fines leveed on the person for doing all of that are probably more than your average first-trimester abortion would be). The fact that they've broken four laws in the process is not held against them. Nobody really cares that such people exist. Nobody is debating their rights on the floors of the House and Senate, in the media, or at the kitchen table. Nobody is worried that they're tax dollars will fund the treatment of such reckless and illegal behavior. They're given the benefit of the doubt, in addition to their treatment.

In the second scenario, the fact that she's a woman is held against her. The fact that she had sex with a man who is not her husband is held against her. The fact that she had sex without wanting a child is held against her. The fact that she is pregnant is held against her. The fact that she wants an abortion is held against her. Her rights are constantly being attacked by the people who are supposed to represent her, as well as people who care about her, and people who don't know her and are judged by them anyway. People are complaining that their tax dollars might go to providing her an abortion, because they think abortion is wrong, even though it's a completely made-up concern. Nobody gives her the benefit of the doubt, and nobody gives her treatment.

So to say that the Senate healthcare bill will treat women like criminals isn't exactly accurate. The coverage of criminals isn't being debated. Criminals will still get their healthcare.

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