Bart Stupak, Leave My Daughter Alone

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Why would twenty men with positive ratings on past votes from Planned Parenthood vote for the horrendous Stupak amendment? I have no idea.

Democratic representatives Joe Baca, Zach Space, Ciro Rodriguez, and Chris Carney all had 100% Planned Parenthood ratings, and they voted with Stupak, the Catholic Bishops, and all but one House Republican for a radical anti-choice measure.

The Stupak amendment, passed with the votes of 64 House Democrats, prohibits any Federal subsidies for any health insurance policy, private or public, that covers abortion. Most private policies now do, including the Cigna policy that covers employees of the Republican National Committee.

The House passed health care reform mandates that all Americans be required to buy insurance coverage if not covered at work, and do so through an insurance exchange. Since many without insurance cannot afford insurance, the legislation provides for subsidies to lower the cost. Preventing those subsidies from going to any policy, private or public, that covers abortion effectively forces insurance companies to drop coverage.

Quite clever, in a darkly perverse way. Leverage the nation's desperate need to provide universal health care to force private insurance companies to restrict access for women!

It makes sense that Rep. Stupak, a fiercely anti-choice member of Congress, would use his leverage to radically change reproductive rights. After all, he is a resident of the infamous C Street townhouse owned by the secretive right wing Christian group The Family.

But why twenty Democrats, almost all of whom favor health care reform, and who say they are pro-choice, voted for the most repressive anti-choice legislation, I have no idea. This makes no sense.

It makes so little sense that I want them all to come to their senses and tell Speaker Pelosi they have changed their mind and will change their vote if given the chance.

And to make sure these men get the point, I am sending each of them a coat hanger. You can join in at

We know what happens when women are denied access to reproductive health care including abortion. And we can't go back to an era of coat hangers and back alley abortions.

Like the majority of Americans, I support serious health care reform. I think that reproductive health is part of health care reform, not something separate. And their ratings of these twenty guys from Planned Parenthood indicate they once agreed with me.

Did they discuss this vote with their wives, daughters, nieces, and mothers? I have a daughter, and I sure don't want the likes of Bart Stupak to set the terms of her insurance policy.

Guys, think long and hard about this one. You made a big mistake, but there is time to fix it. Tell Nancy you have changed your mind.