Thursday, March 25, 2010


Well well well. I was a tad unclear yesterday on the implications of Arizona Senate Bill 1305 (passed the Senate and a House panel, now awaiting a House vote), which amended the current law prohibiting the use of public monies for abortion to include prohibiting the use of public monies (directly or indirectly) for health insurance that covers abortion. Silly starry-eyed me thought this was designed to be a direct response to the federal healthcare reform bill, reiterating times two the Hyde Amendment at a state level so that any future insurance exchanges run through Arizona would force women to purchase a separate abortion rider. And I completely forgot that state employees would be fucked over in the process.
Public employees will no longer be able to get insurance that covers most abortions under the terms of legislation approved Wednesday by a House panel.

Sen. Linda Gray, R-Glendale, told members of the House Committee on Health and Human Services that state law already prohibits using public dollars to terminate a pregnancy except to save the life of the mother.

But Gray said that intent is thwarted by allowing cities and counties to offer health-insurance policies that cover abortion - policies paid for, at least in part, with taxpayer dollars.

Remember, this is the law that allows the state to assist in financing an abortion only when the woman risks death or "substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function;" rape is no excuse for relief here. And it's bill sponsor Gray's sniffing attitude toward the latter that enrages me like little else, at least this morning.

That does not include coverage for abortions in case of rape and incest. Gray said those situations can be addressed with prescriptions for the "morning-after pill," a high dose of hormones that can prevent ovulation or keep a fertilized egg from implanting.

Her legislation, though, would preclude coverage for that pill, too.

Gray said that ban should not keep any woman from getting the care she needs because she could simply pay the $300 cost of getting the pill out of her own pocket.

Oh, simply fish three hundred dollars out of your pocket! See how simple that was? Don't forget, though, that Sen. Gray also voted for HB 2564 last year, which enshrined into law a pharmacist or emergency room doctor's ability to tell a rape victim to fuck off when she asks for emergency contraception, so good luck with all that, ladies. There's more from a couple of Gray's cronies, whose names will be familiar to you if you read me or Homer very regularly.

The measure is backed by Cathi Herrod, president of the anti-abortion Center for Arizona Policy. She said that while courts have upheld the right of women to an abortion, they also have said there is no right to demand public funding.

Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, defended the move. "The overwhelming number of citizens in our state do not approve paying for abortion," she said.

Well, guess what, Nancy and Cathi. People in this state do all sorts of shit on a regular basis that I don't approve of, but I accept that part of the deal of getting to live in a society that's above the level of band organization means having to chip in for stuff I don't like. Courts have upheld the right of men to smoke cigarettes on private property, so do I get to argue that there's no right to demand public funding for their lung cancer treatment just because I think smoking is nasty? What about women who choose to carry a high-risk pregnancy to term against medical advice and end up with a prolapsed uterus or an infant who needs months in the NICU and 24-hour nursing after that for the rest of its life? Should I have to pay for that? Erectile dysfunction? Should I pay for that?

Short answer, yes. If legal medical procedures are covered even when another person could argue they aren't necessary, preventative, or deserved, then they all have to be. We don't get to decide we won't let publicly subsidized insurance pay for bypasses for people weighing more than 300 pounds because we think they brought heart disease on themselves, or for Cialis because we think when you're done you're done, or for procedures requiring blood transfusions because we think they go against God's design. You don't get to single out one perfectly legal procedure to exclude from coverage because you think it offends the God you've created, and restrict access to the drugs that will reduce the incidence of that procedure you despise, and then haughtily shrug and say that the whores can pay a prohibitive cost out of their own pockets if they want it so badly. You don't get to do that and sniff that you're taking the moral high road. Fuck off with your $300 out of pocket, Linda Gray.

It's really this Let Them Eat Cake attitude that puts me on Team Pie for life, y'all.

1 comment:

Damien Huffer said...

The bloody state is becoming less and less recognizable...