Today, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum joined Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, activist Gloria Steinem, and other distinguished women leaders to protest the Stupak amendment to the House health reform bill. Gotbaum spoke out against the amendment last week, and today she reiterated her criticism and voiced a call to action:
Last weekend, congressional leaders and representatives voted for a bill that would regulate the insurance companies, give health insurance to 36 million Americans, and create an affordable public insurance option for Americans without coverage.
But because of one amendment attached to the bill, they had to compromise while casting this historic vote. The Stupak amendment is a gross insult to women, advocates for choice, and voters who have supported these representatives year after year.
Voters have tolerated the nominations of anti-choice candidates in order to retake Congress and advance President Obama’s agenda for change. But this goes too far.
We have all fought our entire lives for women’s rights – reproductive rights in particular – and we will not allow them to be sacrificed for political gain. Congress must pass a bill without this dangerous provision. Otherwise, women and longtime voters will respond at the ballot box.