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Web Letter

I am a Catholic who voted for Obama because of his very Catholic stand on social justice, despite his extreme views on abortion. The venom dripping from the prochoice, anti-Catholic bigots about the Stupak amendment is psychologically clear: hit blindly when you cannot use logic to justify your position that “abortion is healthcare.” And I would support "sacrificing [a] denomination’s tax exemption." Planned Parenthood would be a good place to start.

Maria Deszcz-Pan

Denver, CO

Dec 5 2009 - 11:59am

Web Letter

"...to say nothing of the twenty prochoicers, all men, who supported Stupak out of sheer careerism." I want their names!

Ann Goodstein

New York, NY

Nov 29 2009 - 8:10pm

Web Letter

Katha Pollitt nails it in this article. It is time to look at the benefits for men only that are taken for granted while women's needs are optional. This bill is not a healthcare bill. It is a insurance company and pharmaceutical company stimulus bill. I voted for Nader in 2000. This time I drank the Kool-Aid and voted for Obama. Not again. I'm Green for good unless a real progressive runs. I suggest Katha look at the effect managed care has had on the line workers in the healthcare industry, e.g., nurses, assistants and particularly behavioral health (notice the change from mental or emotional health to behavior). The insurance and pharma companies are driving care on every level from theory taught in universities to practice in agencies based on maximizing profits. This healthcare bill will only serve to increase the perversion of what should be healing professions.

dorothy schieber

Royersford, PA

Nov 14 2009 - 9:41pm

Web Letter

I agree with Ms. Pollitt completely that abortion should remain safe and legal. But "abortion is healthcare"? Really? Unless in the case of rape, incest, or the life of the mother being preserved, how on earth is abortion healthcare?

I am a woman and a Democrat. I hopped on the choice train years ago. I marched in Washington for women to have access to abortion services. But as I have gotten older, my views have changed a bit (espeically after my first child was born), as I think many Americans' have on this very difficult issue.

I was 18 when I got an abortion. I had to cross state lines because there were no legal and safe abortion services in the state I lived in. My boyfriend, a gas station attendant at the time (he didn't want me to get an abortion, but supported my decision, nonetheless), helped me scrape together enough money for the "procedure." I have no idea if it was included in my insurance policy. I never checked and it never occurred to me to do so.

Hindsight is always 20-20, and I wish to God that I had taken a little more time to think about my "choice." But I was young and filled with shame and embarrassment. Now that I have too many friends in their late 30s who are unable to have children, I see what a gift I could have given a caring, loving family.

Now in my mid-30s, having to purchase my own individual coverage, I am unable to get maternity, prenatal care or delivery services. It's not law here, so why would an insurance company pay so much to cover a woman who wants a child? I ask Ms. Pollitt, where have you and your "prochoicers" been for women like me all these years? Why haven't you also fought for women who want to keep their babies, women who want to put their baby up for adoption? Or fought for women who simply want quality, affordable prenatal care and delivery services covered in their health insurance policies? Those are choices, too.

Stupak doesn't get me outraged. What outrages me is the threat this health reform bill may have on programs like SCHIP that could eliminate much-needed healthcare programs for low-income children.

I also urge Pollitt and Ms. Kissling to stop spreading such factually baseless claims about Ms. Kelley. She has never compared abortion to torture. Neither of you have any evidence to back that up. I, however, know Ms. Kelley personally. She knows about the choice I made so many years ago. She may not agree with the decision I made, but she has never judged me or called me a torturer. She has always been a good friend who has an admirable faith in, and works tirelessly for, the common good of this great nation.

V.M. Hauwser

Longmont, CO

Nov 14 2009 - 4:54pm

Web Letter

Hey, Katha, are you going to pin this one on Ralph Nader if you don't get what you want on this bill? Just curious.

Obamism is Clintonism, Katha. You of all people should know. This is Uncle Tobama's version of the Welfare Reform Act. And don't even get anyone with a brain and a spine started on Iraq or Afghanistan.

I'm just waiting for nothing to get done on EFCA to complete my reasons for the mea culpa I'll do over working for the Dems last year.

Douglas Presler

Minneapolis, MN

Nov 14 2009 - 2:25pm

Web Letter

Blaming Howard Dean for Rahm Emanuel's recruitment of Blue Dog Democrats to run (and mostly lose) in GOP districts in 2006 and 2008 is wrong and unfair. At the head of the DCCC, Rahm argued with Dean about resources and the 50-state strategy while wooing non-Democrats to run (and mostly lose) against actual GOPs.

Ms. Pollitt should correct her article.

Teddy Partridge

San Francisco, CA

Nov 14 2009 - 1:54pm

Web Letter

Voting For Republicans and Democrats is a waste of time. Look elsewhere. There are other parties out there. We can't have anyone convince us that voting for other than the R and Ds is throwing our vote away. That's what many of us are doing now. We might also consider that the R and Ds have succeeded in nearly wiping out all other ballot choices.

In the face of this, these people tell us that their imperial war machine stationed all over the globe is protecting our liberties at home.

Apparently, we are not in the Mid-East and central Asia to assure our access to the oil fields, gas fields and to protect their pipelines routes through friendly nations to outlets to world markets.

Abortion and healthcare are important issues, but haven't we also been betrayed as well on other issues, such as finance/banking reform, the environment, infrastucture, jobs, Patriot Act, impeaching G.W. Bush, etc. ?

James G. McHugh

Quaker Hill, CT

Nov 14 2009 - 1:16pm

Web Letter

Whose team? Surely this is a rhetorical question! The team belongs to those entities that put up the money that pays the bills.

Naturally the team will listen to those among the lower orders who can punish some or all of the teammates who cross it. It’s not always about the money.

Stephen Zielinski

Allison Park, PA

Nov 14 2009 - 10:55am

Web Letter

Katha Pollitt seems unable to point her fingers in the right direction. The figures in the party behind the infamous Stupak amendment are nobodies in comparison to the party leadership. She seems to absolve by silence figures like Nancy Pelosi, who are supposedly the party leaders in the House of Representatives that produced the legislation. An expectation of these figures is that they force allegiance to the common causes of the party amongst nobodies like Stupak or McCaskill.

Finally, Katha Pollitt should probably not have concluded her writing with the shrieked rant "Time for the theocrats and male chauvinists to give something up for the greater good." It is certainly true that the anti-reproductive freedom part of this legislation is a non-starter. It is also certainly true that someone like Pollitt who determines that the party is apparently comprised of "prochoicers," "theocrats," and "male chauvinists" is going to alienate anyone moderate or reasonable (or male, great heavens forbid) party who might not feel a visceral connection to the abortion issue but might still be very open to hearing the clear and obvious arguments as to why this amendment is so bad. A winning argument does not need angry, off-balance rants and insults. Those are what tea-partiers depend on.

Seymour Friendly

Seattle, WA

Nov 13 2009 - 7:42pm

Web Letter

I agree with Pollitt's basic thesis, but I disagree with her characterization of Howard Dean's efforts.

First, Stupak predates Dean's appearance on the national scene, much less his becoming head of the DNC, and second, Dean was not aggressively recruiting Democrats of the Neanderthal persuasion, that was Rahm Emanuel, who recruited people like Heath Shuler, and aggressively campaigned against antiwar Dem Christine Cegilis and for prowar (and eventual loser) Tammy Duckworth.

Why is Pollitt calling out Howard Dean, who simply looked for candidates, rather than Rahm, who aggressively worked to put forward right-wing candidates?

Matthew G. Saroff

Owings Mills, MD

Nov 13 2009 - 3:57pm