Roe v. Wade, 410 US 113 (1973), el asunto del derecho de las mujeres a decidir terminar un embarazo sigue siendo eje principal en las mayores discusiones sociales del país. Así, no es sorpresa que la reforma de salud de la Administración OBAMA, peligrara- en gran medida- por el derecho fundamental del aborto y los problemas de acceso a ese derecho que tienen las mujeres de escasos recursos.
¿El resultado? Miserablemente, una vez más, los fundamentalismos religiosos y machistas se apuntan otra victoria: Los derechos de las mujeres nuevamente quedan desplazados, en aras de otros derechos, que representan un supuesto bien mayor. Todo el proceso de aprobación de la reforma Obama en la Cámara de Representanres, volvió a poner de manifiesto que las mujeres, sobre todo, las mujeres pobres todavía están gravemente expuestas a grandes inequidades e injusticias. Eso va para quién aún lo dude.
Aquí la noticia:
November 8, 2009
Abortion Was at Heart of Wrangling
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and JACKIE CALMES
WASHINGTON — It was late Friday night and lawmakers were stalling for time. In a committee room, they yammered away, delaying a procedural vote on the historic health care legislation. Down one floor, in her office, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi desperately tried to deal with an issue that has bedeviled Democrats for more than a generation — abortion.
After hours of heated talks, the people she was trying to convince — some of her closest allies — burst angrily out of her office.
Her attempts at winning them over had failed, and Ms. Pelosi, the first woman speaker and an ardent defender of abortion rights, had no choice but to do the unthinkable. To save the health care bill she had to give in to abortion opponents in her party and allow them to propose tight restrictions barring any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions.
The restrictions were necessary to win support for the overall bill from abortion opponents who threatened to scuttle the health care overhaul.
The results of that fight, waged heavily over two days, were evident as one liberal Democrat after another denounced the health care plan because of abortion restrictions, even though they were likely to hold their noses in the end and vote for the bill itself.
“If enacted, this amendment will be the greatest restriction of a woman’s right to choose to pass in our careers,” said Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, one of the lawmakers who left Ms. Pelosi’s office mad.
Representative Rosa DeLauro, Democrat of Connecticut, said the bill’s original language barring the use of federal dollars to pay for abortions should have been sufficient for the opponents. “Abortion is a matter of conscience on both sides of the debate,” Ms. DeLauro said. “This amendment takes away that same freedom of conscience from America’s women. It prohibits them from access to an abortion even if they pay for it with their own money. It invades women’s personal decisions.”
But Ms. DeGette, Ms. DeLauro and other defenders of abortion rights said they would nonetheless vote in favor of the health care bill and fight for changes in the final version, to be negotiated with the Senate.
The fight over abortion foreshadows difficult soul searching in the months ahead as Democratic lawmakers confront deepening divisions among their caucus on issues like abortion rights and gun control.
Through the 1980s, the Democrats struggled over abortion. But by the 1990s, the share of Americans supportive of abortion rights had grown. Democrats lost their majorities for 12 years, leaving the most liberal and pro-abortion rights members in office. As a result it seemed to fade as a public issue. Now, however, Democrats once again have a large and diverse House majority, with more members from conservative-leaning districts where anti-abortion rights groups are active.
It was that division that played out behind the scenes late last week, and into the weekend, and came powerfully in the open as the issue.
Earlier Friday, Ms. Pelosi and her supporters thought they had a deal that would quiet the fight between abortion foes. Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan, an anti-abortion leader, said he thought so, too — until, that is, Ms. Pelosi called to tell him it was dead.
“We had an agreement at 7:30, 8 o’clock,” said Mr. Stupak, who added that he had called nearly 40 other lawmakers favoring tighter abortion restrictions to make sure they would back the deal. But then Ms. Pelosi called. “The deal’s off,” he quoted her as saying. “It’s not my choice. I can’t hold my side together.”
The sensitivity around the abortion fight — and the likelihood that it would not disappear from the health care debate — was evident from the start of floor proceedings on the health care bill on Saturday.
And it was part of the drama outside the Capitol as well. Roughly 300 protesters who rallied against the health care bill included a number of anti-abortion demonstrators with large placards showing grisly photos identified as aborted fetuses. Inside the building, House Democratic leaders had hoped to spend the day rallying their members around a historic vote. President Obama, visiting the Capitol to make a personal appeal to lawmakers, likened the bill to two of the party’s greatest achievements: Social Security under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Medicare under Lyndon B. Johnson.
Instead, Ms. Pelosi found her caucus caught up in the fierce dispute over abortion.
First, Ms. Pelosi met with leaders of the Pro-Choice Caucus, then she huddled with staff members from the bishops conferences, and with Mr. Stupak and two other leading Roman Catholic lawmakers, Representative Mike Doyle, Democrat of Pennsylvania, and Representative Brad Ellsworth, Democrat of Indiana.
The representatives of the nation’s bishops made clear they would fight the bill if there were not restrictions on abortion. In an extraordinary effort over the last 10 days, the bishops conference told priests across the country to talk about the legislation in church, mobilizing parishioners to contact Congress and to pray for the success of anti-abortion amendments.
The bishops sent out information to be “announced at all Masses” and included in parish bulletins, and urged priests and parishioners to tell House members: “Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns.” They added: “If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”
In the end the abortion opponents had the votes, and Ms. Pelosi yielded, allowing Mr. Stupak to offer his amendment. At a news conference, Ms. Pelosi denied being angry about it.
“I was part of recommending that it come to the floor,” she said. “Both sides are whipping, the pro-choice side and others who want to support the amendment. But no, that was my recommendation to allow a vote on that amendment.”
Robert Pear and Elisabeth Goodridge contributed reporting.