As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nicaragua And Abortion

Simply put, this is the kind of world that Chris Matthews privileges when he goes on television and says that we have to get "subsidized abortions" out of the health care bill (there's about 100 ways in which that isn't true, which I've described consistently over the last few weeks, but put that aside for a moment):

Nicaragua's total ban on abortion is a violation of human rights and is killing a growing number of women and children, Amnesty International said Monday in launching a campaign to have the measure repealed.

In a report released in Mexico City, the international human rights organization said Nicaragua's law, which went into effect in late 2006, puts the Central American country among the 3% of the world's nations that do not allow abortion under any circumstance.

Citing statistics from the Nicaraguan Health Ministry, the report says 33 women and girls died from pregnancy complications in the first 19 weeks of this year, compared with 20 in the same period last year. It also says the real numbers are probably much higher.

Nicaragua has one of Latin America's highest rates of sexual violence, with the abuse often perpetrated by fathers, uncles or other relatives.

At least 50% of reported rapes are of girls under the age of 18, and most of those who get pregnant are under 15, the report says.

Women and girls who have been impregnated by rapists or whose lives or health is at risk are not allowed to abort.

Lindsay Beyerstein has more.

Matthews would say that he simply doesn't want to sully the health care debate with all that icky abortion talk. Well, it is icky when women and girls die because they cannot access medical care. But that's not a reason to give in to anti-choice demands. Conservatives don't just want to prevent "government-funded abortions" (again, not true, just using their language), they want any plan inside the insurance exchange, including private plans, not to cover abortion services. That's the entire individual market, under this vision of health care reform. And Medicaid is already banned from covering reproductive rights. And Medicare is irrelevant. So we chip, chip, chip away at reproductive choice, preventing insurance from covering it, making it more expensive, less attractive for doctors to perform to people who may not be able to afford it, and essentially more difficult. The extreme version of where Matthews is being led can be found in Nicaragua, where women are dying for no reason.

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