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Stupak Amendment Threatens the Rights of Every American

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The members of Congress who voted in support of the Stupak amendment sent a message to America's women: after more than 200 years we are still not full citizens of the United States. Apparently members of Congress now believe that it is within their power to determine what legal medical procedures are acceptable. And under the health care plan passed over the weekend, American women should not count themselves among those who have full access to quality affordable health care, just partial access. But listen up fellas - you should be worried too because if they can do it to us they can do it to you.

The Republicans and Democrats who voted for the amendment have clearly decided that big government has a major role in controlling our personal health care decisions and Congress' ability to flat out deny access to a legal procedure. If you follow the logic of the Stupak amendment, a Congressional majority could also decide that under the plan tax payer dollars cannot be used to pay for the use of a defibrillator during a heart attack, only manual CPR. Or, that all surgery should have a local instead of general anesthesia, despite the consequences for the patient. As an American citizen I do not believe that the government should have a say in making determinations about what is appropriate for my or anyone else's health care as long as I'm following the law.

And once again, a group of mostly white men have decided to put additional burdens and increased difficulties of women - particularly low-income women. And this same group will of course not want to be responsible or offer assistance when that same woman is struggling to care for her children. Women already make less money than men - which means less money to pay for health care. We know that women statistically pay more for their health care than men. So less money for more expensive basic care. Now we are saying to women that the personal feelings of members of Congress can come before the legal rights of an American citizen.

Despite how you feel about a woman's right to make up her own mind about her health care, every American should see this for what it is: an attack on our personal freedom and liberty as guaranteed by the constitution. President Obama and Democrats in the Senate must stand up against this tyranny. The personal feelings of a group of Congressional members cannot be put ahead of the legal rights of American citizens. This is not just a woman's issue; it's an American issue.