3.18.2010

Open Letter to Steve Driehaus

Dear Congressman,

As the vote on health care reform approaches, I am writing today to ask you to carefully consider your vote and its future repercussions. It has been widely reported by the media that you favor health care reform as long as it does not violate your pro-life principles. In other words, you are backing the demands of Congressman Bart Stupak and the Stupak Pitts Amendment which calls for additional constraints on federal money, to prevent women from obtaining an abortion, should she so choose to have one.

The Stupak maneuver that you so vocally support, bars women from buying health care with their own personal funds, if it contains a clause allowing them to choose an abortion, should it ever become necessary. Your stance goes above and beyond the constraints already imposed upon women by the Hyde Amendment ratified in 1976.

The current health care reform bill has been written to abide by the Hyde Amendment restrictions. Regardless of the vote set to take place in a few days, the Hyde Amendment remains in place. Women cannot use federal or taxpayer funds to get an abortion. It is the law of the land and, right or wrong, has been in place, as I said since 1976.

So, I have to ask you Congressman, what is your problem? Why have you chosen to draw your line in the sand etched on the backs of women?

Refusing to vote for health care reform, continues the practice of relegating women to second class citizenship in the greatest country in the world.

Refusing to support health care reform continues the wrong headed tradition of viewing all pregnancies as a pre-existing condition, regardless of how that pregnancy came about.

Today, women who find themselves pregnant without insurance, cannot get health insurance to help them through a dangerous time in their life, that is a threat to not only their own health, but the health of the very fetus that you say you are protecting.

And, yes, pregnancy, even in these enlightened times, is a health danger, because it still kills more women than any other cause except murder. These deaths come because women cannot get prenatal or post natal health care.

Postpartum depression is barely recognized as an illness, or the treatment for it, paid for by insurance companies. How many more times do we have to sit through trials of obviously sick women who drown their kids in the bathtub, because they can't handle motherhood, or throw them off the Golden Gate Bridge, or strap them into their tiny back seat carriers while releasing the handbrake and watching the car slide under the water.

The current societal answer is to medicate them, lock them away in prison for life, while allowing their husband or lover to shirk any guilt or responsibility in the situation, free to marry the next woman who crosses his path.

Many of these deaths come because men act out and kill their sex partners, either because they don't want the woman, or the children or because they are hiding the fact that they raped and abused a female relative or neighbor.

And the children that you purport to protect by your stance...what about them? The current health care system refuses to help the babies, invitro or after birth, if parents...but let's be real honest. here, their mother can't afford it.

How is this a principled pro life stance?

Just this week, here in Cincinnati, a man was locked up for beating to death, a 17 month old baby girl, who, for some reason was given by her mother to a friend, who left the baby with this man, who was not related to the child.

I guess she must have ticked him off, somehow. 17 month old babies can do that...maybe she cried too much and disturbed his sleep or interrupted him while he watched TV. Maybe this little girl might have lived had her mother put her up for adoption, which has its own built in hazards for unwanted children.

Surely you remember the Marcus Feisel case, here in very conservative Buckeye land. Little Marcus, unwanted by anyone, even by his foster parents, who locked him in a closet while they went on vacation. He died and they went to jail after authorities were led to his burned and disposed of body.

Simply put, Congressman, your so called principled stance is not correct. It is not pro life, pro women, nor is it pro family. Your stance is quasi religious at best. Your narrowly focused pro life principles do not and never have addressed the varied ramifications and repercussions of this very broken corporate run health care system.

One thing that it is, is political.

You seem to think that you are correctly representing the first district. You appear to think that the first district is monolithic-that the thinking of your “identified” majority is the way everybody thinks in the first district.

This identified majority did not vote for you in 2008. If polls are correct, they are not going to vote for you this year either regardless of what you do. If the polls are correct they are going back to the other Steve, Steve Chabot, another long term GOP yes man cut from the same cloth as John Boehner and Rob Portman, all those guys who followed Bush/Cheney to the brink and are still ready willing and able to drive this country over the cliff right now.

The real majority in the First District elected you, Congressman. The real majority desperately needs health care reform not the status quo. If that means an option for choice, then so be it.

The God you claim to listen to, does not even support your stance, and you know this.

You were sent to Congress to help people, period, not vote your personal principles or the principles of some of your District. You were sent to do what is right and what is right is not always what the so called identified majority wants.

Question- were you in Congress in 1964 and 1965...would you have voted for Civil rights legislation? The so called majority of the First District in Cincinnati, was overwhelmingly against the Civil Rights Act. What would you do-stand on principle assuming your principle was different and just..or would you satisfy your so called identified majority constituents, knowing they were wrong and bigoted in their opinions.

Like it or not, Roe v Wade saves many, many more lives, then you and your like minded Congressman are willing to admit. However, the number of deaths resulting from America's inability to adequately address women's health care is staggering and way too high.

Prevention, real talk and action about contraception and sex education for kids are the best way to combat unwanted pregnancies and would go a long way in cutting back on the need to choose.

There is no woman on the face of this earth who makes that decision lightly. It is gut wrenching with the effects of that decision lasting a lifetime.

I have spent way too much time on the right to choose. Health care reform is not really about the right to choose. It is about instilling more equity in an unequal system for women. This reform is not the one I wanted. But it is one that I and others like me desperately need.

It is a first step toward true change, change that you promised to initiate or support, when you came into my First District neighborhood asking me to vote for you.

I am actually glad that you are a man of principle. However, principles should be coupled with what is just, what is moral and what is right.

Any principle that goes against the well being of a single human being, class, color or gender is bigotry pure and simple.

I hope that when the time comes, you will do the right and just thing and help fix a corrupted and biased health care system.


Respectfully yours

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