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Lawmaker Bravely Reveals She Was Victim Of Rape In Emotional 'Abortion Insurance' Debate

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gretchen whitmer rape

Before her colleagues voted a controversial bill restricting abortion insurance into law, Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D- East Lansing) begged them to consider the rights of women. In her speech Wednesday, the lawmaker held back tears as she revealed something she'd never told most people: she was raped in college.


For several minutes Wednesday afternoon, Whitmer read from notes on the Senate floor, condemning her Republican colleagues who were expected to pass the measure and the group, Right to Life of Michigan, who pushed the measure through.

"As a legislator, a lawyer, a woman and the mother of two girls, I think the fact that rape insurance is even being discussed by this body is repulsive, let alone the way it has been orchestrated and now shoved through the legislature," she said. "Those of you on the other side of the aisle are all too happy to be puppets in this offensive game impacting women's lives. ... This is by far one of the most misogynistic proposals I've ever seen in the Michigan legislature."

The law, which appeared before the legislature through a citizen-initiated petition, requires women to purchase additional insurance coverage for elective abortion before they would need one, including in cases of rape and incest.

"Let's be clear: this stance is not pro-abortion or anti-children born through rape or incest. This stance is merely upholding a woman's right to make her own decisions about her own body," Whitmer continued.

But after more than six minutes of speaking, Whitmer put down her prepared remarks, saying she couldn't push a colleague to share a personal story if she wasn't brave enough to tell one of her own:

I'm about to tell you something that I've not shared with many people in my life. But over 20 years ago I was a victim of rape. And thank God it didn't result in a pregnancy, because I can't imagine going through what I went through and then having to consider what to do about an unwanted pregnancy from an attacker. And as a mother with two girls, the thought that they would ever go through something like I did keeps me up at night.

I thought this was all behind me. You know how tough I can be. The thought and the memory of that still haunts me. If this were law then and I had become pregnant I would not be able to have coverage because of this. How extreme, how extreme does this measure need to be? I'm not the only woman in our state that has faced that horrible circumstance. I am not enjoying talking about it. It's something I've hidden for a long time. But I think you need to see the face of the women that you are impacting by this vote today. I think you need to think of the girls that we're raising and what kind of a state we want to be where you would put your approval on something this extreme.

Whitmer told the Detroit Free Press she called her father after she spoke, because she had never told him about her attack.

After her speech Wednesday, both the state House and Senate voted the bill requiring separate abortion insurance into law. Not a single Republican voted against it. Two Democrat state representatives and one state senator also voted for the measure.

A petition circulated by Right to Life of Michigan's No Taxes for Abortion Insurance committee gathered nearly 300,000 valid signatures in favor of the act. Under a quirk of state law, the citizen-initiated petition allowed the bill to be passed by a simple majority in the legislature, without Gov. Rick Snyder (R), who vetoed a similar bill last year, needing to sign it. If legislators had not passed the bill, it would have gone on the ballot for a statewide vote in 2014.

"We applaud the Michigan legislators who stood firm in their resolve and voted to ensure no person is forced to fund the deliberate taking of an innocent human life in the name of health care," Right To Life President Barbara Listing said in a statement.

Watch Whitmer's full speech above and hear her courageous admission beginning at 6:48.



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

by on Jan. 2, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Replies (211-219):
jaxTheMomm
by Platinum Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 8:58 PM

LOL sorry, you seem a little stuck on my "medical advice" comment and I must not have been clear.  In Texas, lawmakers are passing laws that physician's groups counter as dangerous.  I can give you links if you like.  I meant that as a more in general comment regarding how our lawmakers deem their medical wisdom to supersede that of physicians.  Sorry if that jumped around on you.

I'm not sure that "everything" should be covered.

What I am sure of is that one person's religious beliefs should not trump another's when it comes to medicine.  It just seems as if women get the short end of that stick every time.

And that seems to be the crux of this argument - "I think abortion is immoral, therefore I think you as a woman should have to purchase extra insurance to cover it should you ever need it."

Sorry, that's bullshit.  It is a constitutionally protected medical procedure, and part of comprehensive reproductive health care.  I really don't give a fuck what you think of it, that's none of my business.  Don't make me check my imaginary crystal ball to see if I'll get knocked up (via rape or otherwise) in the future and therefore need to purchase this extra expense.

It's honestly just laughable at this point.

Quoting JTROX:

  I can read the laws, but what is the "medical advice" that is being countered?

People can't make random claims and be seriously considered.  That's why it matters.  ( Not merely for me, but for legal consideration.  For example, ACA exemptions for specific religions.)

Is your answer to my last question that if anythings covered you think everything should be covered?

Abortion as an elective is not a medical need.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

There are many laws made regarding abortion that counters the medical advice of physicians groups.  Look at Texas.

Why does it matter what my religion is?  It's as valid as anyone else's in the context of this argument.  (and yes, I just made it up.  It's still valid once I get tax-exempt status.)  

There are many things that are covered by general medical insurance.  Why do you think abortion requires additional insurance and should not be covered by a general policy?

Quoting JTROX:

lol   Is that a yes?

What advice from "physicians groups" are you referring to?

You said  based on a religion you didn't want to support heart valves.   I asked which religion it was, because I 've never heard a religion that had a problem with heart valves.  If you don't want to share that's ok.  I figured you were just making it up anyways.  ;)

There are many things people have to pay out of pocket for.  Why do you think abortion deserve different consideration?

 

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

That's really quite subjective, isn't it?  Not to mention a little condescending.  I'm 46 years old with an IQ of 149, so follow along with me here.  ;)

If I am held down in an alley and viciously beaten and raped, and become pregnant, an elective abortion absolutely can be a need.  I didn't want it, didn't ask for it, didn't do anything to deserve it.  Every bit as much as you wanting to live longer than your heart can take.

However, it sure seems like some folks desire to insert themselves into what is, and is not, a medical need for me.  Not based on trauma, not based on medical information, and in many cases against what physician's groups advise.

But based on faith.

If someone of faith can claim that my abortion should not be covered and I should have to get special insurance (for fuck's sake already) because they don't like it, then you asking me what faith I am because I don't think you should live longer than God intended is pretty funny.

Yeah, it's a lot of hairs.  And it's why eventually, every one of these stupid rules will get tossed out.  

Quoting JTROX:

That's alot of hairs.

Do you know the difference between a need and a want?

What religion are you that has a problem with heart-valve replacements?  

An elective abortion is not a need.  A heart-valve replacement is a need.

 if you split enough hairs, is a personal "want".

You want children but can't conceive, want.  Don't wish to be mentally ill, want.  Be able to get around when you are paralyzed, want.  Live longer than your body seems able to without medical intervention, want.

Matter of fact, after a lot of soul searching and thought, I have decided that heart-valve replacements go against God's will and therefore my religion.  You WANT to live longer than God decided you should?  That is a personal want, and I, as a taxpayer, won't pay for it.

This is just as much of a "personal want" as a medical procedure that ends a pregnancy you don't want and was forced upon you.

Except, it's a whole fuck of a lot safer and cheaper than heart valve replacement.  It's actually even safer and cheaper than the prenatal care and childbirth insurance will pay for.

Quoting JTROX:

Ok.  We can discuss a different topic.  

Abortion is a personal want.  If abortion isn't a "personal" want why to abortion proponents always cry that it is a woman's body and therefore only a woman's choice about what happens to the unborn child?

Personal inurance and taxes are different.  

Give me an example of something that is the same.


Quoting Aestas:

I know what the OP is about. But right now, we are discussing why some people get to control how money is spent for everybody.

Abortion isn't any more a "personal want" than eating meat is. And access to abortion has major societal effects in terms of many different issues which affect society as a whole, from child abuse to poverty. So, no, it's not just about someone's "personal want."

It's interesting how determined you are to justify why it's somehow different when it's something you agree with, though.





JTROX
by Gold Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:18 PM

You brought up the issue.  If you didn't want to discuss it why did you bother bringing it to the discussion.  By "in general" does that mean you don't have any specific examples of this "medical advice" that the laws are countering?  

So abortion should be covered, but not "everything".  How do we decide which get preference?  Why should abortion get preference?

You do realize all types of insurance are all about your "crystal ball" scenario.  Insurance is meant to cover things people don't plan on happening.  


Quoting jaxTheMomm:

LOL sorry, you seem a little stuck on my "medical advice" comment and I must not have been clear.  In Texas, lawmakers are passing laws that physician's groups counter as dangerous.  I can give you links if you like.  I meant that as a more in general comment regarding how our lawmakers deem their medical wisdom to supersede that of physicians.  Sorry if that jumped around on you.

I'm not sure that "everything" should be covered.

What I am sure of is that one person's religious beliefs should not trump another's when it comes to medicine.  It just seems as if women get the short end of that stick every time.

And that seems to be the crux of this argument - "I think abortion is immoral, therefore I think you as a woman should have to purchase extra insurance to cover it should you ever need it."

Sorry, that's bullshit.  It is a constitutionally protected medical procedure, and part of comprehensive reproductive health care.  I really don't give a fuck what you think of it, that's none of my business.  Don't make me check my imaginary crystal ball to see if I'll get knocked up (via rape or otherwise) in the future and therefore need to purchase this extra expense.

It's honestly just laughable at this point.

Quoting JTROX:

  I can read the laws, but what is the "medical advice" that is being countered?

People can't make random claims and be seriously considered.  That's why it matters.  ( Not merely for me, but for legal consideration.  For example, ACA exemptions for specific religions.)

Is your answer to my last question that if anythings covered you think everything should be covered?

Abortion as an elective is not a medical need.

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

There are many laws made regarding abortion that counters the medical advice of physicians groups.  Look at Texas.

Why does it matter what my religion is?  It's as valid as anyone else's in the context of this argument.  (and yes, I just made it up.  It's still valid once I get tax-exempt status.)  

There are many things that are covered by general medical insurance.  Why do you think abortion requires additional insurance and should not be covered by a general policy?

Quoting JTROX:

lol   Is that a yes?

What advice from "physicians groups" are you referring to?

You said  based on a religion you didn't want to support heart valves.   I asked which religion it was, because I 've never heard a religion that had a problem with heart valves.  If you don't want to share that's ok.  I figured you were just making it up anyways.  ;)

There are many things people have to pay out of pocket for.  Why do you think abortion deserve different consideration?

 

Quoting jaxTheMomm:

That's really quite subjective, isn't it?  Not to mention a little condescending.  I'm 46 years old with an IQ of 149, so follow along with me here.  ;)

If I am held down in an alley and viciously beaten and raped, and become pregnant, an elective abortion absolutely can be a need.  I didn't want it, didn't ask for it, didn't do anything to deserve it.  Every bit as much as you wanting to live longer than your heart can take.

However, it sure seems like some folks desire to insert themselves into what is, and is not, a medical need for me.  Not based on trauma, not based on medical information, and in many cases against what physician's groups advise.

But based on faith.

If someone of faith can claim that my abortion should not be covered and I should have to get special insurance (for fuck's sake already) because they don't like it, then you asking me what faith I am because I don't think you should live longer than God intended is pretty funny.

Yeah, it's a lot of hairs.  And it's why eventually, every one of these stupid rules will get tossed out.  


Goodwoman614
by Satan on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:29 PM

I find myself reminded that one of the favored tactics of the anti choice crowd is to be excessively and without focus or point, argumentative.

Oh yes. Also deflective, reductionist, promoters of false eqivalencies. All manner of logical fallcies.

But, argumentative throughout.

JTROX
by Gold Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Are you part of the pro-abortion crowd?  

Funny how you ignored me the last time I asked.  

Quoting Goodwoman614:

I find myself reminded that one of the favored tactics of the anti choice crowd is to be excessively and without focus or point, argumentative.

Oh yes. Also deflective, reductionist, promoters of false eqivalencies. All manner of logical fallcies.

But, argumentative throughout.


snookyfritz
by Gold Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 10:11 PM
1 mom liked this

I'm sorry, but abortion isn't health care.  It's predominantly, an elective procedure, that is completely avoidable by not having sex or protecting yourself from pregnancy in the first place.  To deem it having anything to do with reporductive health is nuts.  An abortion does nothing to improve your reproductive health.  Need a pap smear?  I'm happy to contribute.  I should not have to contribute to the consequences of your sexual choices. 

A child is not less a life because it was the product of a rape.  I will remain adamant in a pro-life position; from conception to natural death.

AdrianneHill
by Platinum Member on Jan. 3, 2014 at 11:16 PM
Yeah, I read it too, bits of it. My concern is kinda focused on the language of what was considered covered by insurance without the extra. While it covers a d&c, the wording makes me think that it won't cover an abortion unless the woman's life is in immediate and pressing danger. The fetus has to have already died before they'll perform the d&c and it can be dangerous to wait that long. That might seem like splitting hairs but if they aren't supposed to act until the heartbeat stops on its own, women could get infections or worse just so they're covered.
Hospitals in Catholic networks already prevent women from receiving these tours of abortions/d&c's in their facilities, nor insurance companies won't want to pay except for the most dire of circumstances if the insured isn't carrying the extra policy.


Quoting JTROX:

Have you read the law?  I have.  Check out Section 11.  

Quoting MirandaStJohn: It has been specifically pointed out with this law a D and C will not be covered.



Quoting JTROX:

You seem confused or misinformed.  This law doesn't prevent coverage/care of miscarriages.  

Quoting MirandaStJohn:

What about the D&Cs though? You want these women to have to have their babies....some of these women DO want their babies, they miscarry. What if they cannot afford the D&C and they miscarry should they just die? What if their pregnancy was accidental and they want to keep the baby and still miscarry, once again should they just die??


DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on Jan. 4, 2014 at 12:23 AM

Speechless. 

JTROX
by Gold Member on Jan. 4, 2014 at 6:52 AM

This is what I've gotten out of the reading of the law:

In the case of a miscarriage there is no need to wait until a mother's life is considered in danger to have a d and c.  

An abortion, nothing to do with a miscarriage, can be done previous to the child's death to save a mother's life.

Elective abortions and miscarriages, while they both may use a d and c procedure (although it isn't always the case for either one), are two different medical issues.  

Quoting AdrianneHill: Yeah, I read it too, bits of it. My concern is kinda focused on the language of what was considered covered by insurance without the extra. While it covers a d&c, the wording makes me think that it won't cover an abortion unless the woman's life is in immediate and pressing danger. The fetus has to have already died before they'll perform the d&c and it can be dangerous to wait that long. That might seem like splitting hairs but if they aren't supposed to act until the heartbeat stops on its own, women could get infections or worse just so they're covered.
Hospitals in Catholic networks already prevent women from receiving these tours of abortions/d&c's in their facilities, nor insurance companies won't want to pay except for the most dire of circumstances if the insured isn't carrying the extra policy.


Quoting JTROX:

Have you read the law?  I have.  Check out Section 11.  

Quoting MirandaStJohn: It has been specifically pointed out with this law a D and C will not be covered.



Quoting JTROX:

You seem confused or misinformed.  This law doesn't prevent coverage/care of miscarriages.  

Quoting MirandaStJohn:

What about the D&Cs though? You want these women to have to have their babies....some of these women DO want their babies, they miscarry. What if they cannot afford the D&C and they miscarry should they just die? What if their pregnancy was accidental and they want to keep the baby and still miscarry, once again should they just die??



mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Jan. 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

I admire her courage.

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