A healthcare reform bill passed the House late last night for the first time since the passage of Medicare. But one of the amendments passed to the overall legislation was the so-called Stupak amendment which put language in the bill to deny even indirect support of abortion through the health care reform provisions. This amendment goes further than the Hyde amendment, which is current law, that prevents direct financial support for abortions, except in the case of rape or incest, even for the poorest women who can least afford a pregnancy or another child. No, this is bad enough, but Stupak goes on to resistrict even indirect support... so for women receiving subsidies for health insurance, those policies can't cover abortion except in the case of rape or incest. Now, women who work for large companies, or who receive health insurance through them (via parents or spouses), or wealthier women will be able to afford to pay cash for an abortion if they need one. But women who can least afford it, who work for smaller companies and have to buy insurance themselves, they will be out of luck; abortion will be a cash-only service. This is not a polticial issue, because 46 Democrats voted for this draconian policy. This issue is purely a religious one.
The Abrahamic religions are notorious for their desire to control the lives of women, and to blame women for all the ills of the world. Whether you blame it on Eve, or whomever, that is the effect of their sexist and stone-age positions on women's issues. Women deserve to pay the price for their indiscretions, but men do not. The same men who voted for Stupak (and the vast majority of them were men), the ones who are saying that women deserve to pay for an unplanned pregnancy by living with it, and risking their lives for it, they are the same ones who support the right of men to stop women from having abortions, and who will fight against the responsibility of the father's of these unplanned pregnancies to any financial responsibility toward the eventual child. This is how religion controls and punishes women just for being women. Oh, they will tell you this is a moral issue, but no, this is simply about control. "Morality" is only the mechanism.
Furthermore, religion may once have been about explaining things about the world that cannot be explained by primitive people, but it quickly became about control, for if you have those answers, people will expect you to lead them, especially those who think that thinking for themselves is too hard. Once in power, power does corrupt, and much of the trappings of religion are simply about maintaining that control. The priestly class long ago sided with the upper classes to maintain their control over the masses. It is plain to see that the Stupak amendment does just that. It does not ban abortion, but only those that can afford it, who were able to plan for an unplanned event, will be able to exercise this "right". There is one kind of morality for the elite, and one kind of morality for the poor. Anything to keep them down, and to keep the powerful on top. Women will be forced to spend their money on an abortion rather than spending it on their education, or feeding the children they already have. It has the effect of preventing them from bettering their condition and challenging the elite.
The consequences of this amendment are serious. If the poor are not able to afford a legal abortion, it is likely that charlatan's will pop up, as they did in the past, to perform cheaper abortions in unsafe conditions. How many women will need to die before the "moderates" are reminded that making abortion harder to obtain is the greater immorality?
This amendment is not just bad policy, it is deeply immoral, and the undeniable motivation is religion. Even if you just tell me that abortion is murder, that is a moral claim of religion which secular fact simply does not support.