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Culture

Standing Against Abortion Restrictions in the Healthcare Bill

As the House and Senate hash out their versions of the sweeping healthcare reform bill in the coming weeks, several crucial women’s health issues hang in the balance. The most high-profile, and controversial, is abortion — the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House and the Managers Amendment in the Senate would both severely restrict abortion coverage nationwide, even among private insurers — but coverage of other women’s health procedures, such as mammograms, are also written specifically into the bill (those are, fortunately, required to be covered).

That the health of millions of American women being tossed around like so many political footballs has inspired some very inspiring metaphors, sports and otherwise. Sick of being told that “prochoice women should shut up and take one for the team,” Katha Pollit wrote in The Nation, “Whose Team Is It, Anyway?” A Mother Jones blogger went with a financial metaphor, asking whether abortion rights are “the price of healthcare reform.”

Now a new campaign called Not Under the Bus “calls on all women and men who support women’s equality to take the initiative and start driving the bus right down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

The campaign held a day of action on January 13, in which 700,000 supporters blogged, tweeted, and otherwise spread the word about the campaign, which seeks to defeat the restrictive abortion measures in the new healthcare legislation. A new video released by the campaign features Jane Fonda saying, “it’s time to demand that all basic healthcare for women be safe, fair, and covered.”

Or, in the words of the campaign’s Web site, in a splendidly metaphorical flourish, “Women are the backbone of this country and cannot be thrown under the bus!”

Watch Jane Fonda’s video on healthcare:

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