THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Will Democrats Scuttle Healthcare Because Of Abortion?

Does Spanx make an asbestos undergarment for HuffPo bloggers about to set themselves on fire?

I'm wondering if some Democrats are going to use abortion against the healthcare plan the way Republicans have used it (and gay marriage) to scuttle elections for years. This concerns me.

I am a pro-choice voter. I used to say I was politically pro-choice but personally pro-life, meaning I would never consider having an abortion. That was until I was faced with the choice of carrying a baby to term myself.

In November of 1999, my two daughters were diagnosed with autism. Mark and I agreed we would not have any more children. Alas, someone forgot to clue in the sperm and the egg. On New Year's Eve, we partied like it was 1999, because it was. In January 2000, when I found myself guzzling cartons of milk and stuffing bagels into my face at Panera while watching the clock to see if Taco Bell was open so I could get the burrito that was demanding my attention, I realized I might be pregnant. Mark formally announced my pregnancy. "Holy sh*t, Kim, you're pregnant. Look at your chest!" he declared, eyes agog, as I stepped out of the shower one chilly February morning. Lo and behold, he was right. I had that glorious chest that was my pride (and his joy) for the couple of weeks before the belly outpaced the boobs. I really should have taken a boudoir shot during one of my pregnancies to remember the chest that appeared so magically.

My obstetrician was a terrific doctor and a good man. He had a son with severe ADHD and he knew what I was facing at home with my newly diagnosed girls. Mark and I were pretty naive about the challenges of autism. Dr. P said to me, "You know, Kim. You have choices. You do not have to have this baby." He said this with great kindness and concern. He was not pressuring me. I chose to have the baby, and Bella was born.

Fast forward nine years.. My husband lost his job three times before finally striking out on his own. We sold our home before we got into mortgage trouble. We've moved four times in six years. We have one car. We've cut our budget so close to the bone I can smell the marrow.

One of our biggest worries since 2003 has been health insurance.

The first time Mark lost his job we paid over $20,000 into COBRA. The second time, he found another job quickly, and we went right onto another company sponsored health plan. But the insurance cost $1000 out of pocket per month. Money we could ill afford. The third time, we were just plain tapped out financially and COBRA was not an option at close to $1200 a month. My girls were denied private insurance coverage because autism is a pre-existing condition, so they went onto the state plan.

I need healthcare now for my family. I don't have the luxury of waiting for the perfect plan that pleases everyone. And as much I believe every woman should have access to safe reproductive healthcare, I'm not willing to deny healthcare coverage to millions, including my own family, because one medical procedure might not be covered.

If the plan ensures easy and affordable access to birth control, that would help women. Perhaps an astute reader can tell us if access to regular healthcare results in fewer abortions. Certainly access to birth control could.

Are Democrats going to scuttle their President's promise to deliver healthcare reform because of abortion? That seems like a page from the Republican playbook. I'd like to have the choice of healthcare.

And now, feel free to flame away.