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Notes from the Stop Stupak rally, Washington DC

I spent Wednesday in the company of a hundreds of dedicated activists, all lobbying for the passage of health care reform without the Stupak/Pitts amendment. In case you've missed the firestorm over this issue, the amendment introduced language into the bill that would severely limit coverage for abortion in our health insurance plans, even we paid for those plans out of our own pockets.

Why should health care include a full range of reproductive services? Because you never know when you'll need them. In this speech (video above), an activist reads a letter from Tiffany Campbell of South Dakota, who could not travel to the event. She talks about carrying twins who had contracted a serious fetal illness:

We were sent to one of the premier fetal care centers in the country and told our only hope for saving this pregnancy was to have a selective termination on the one of the babies, and hope the other twin would survive.

At my next doctor appointment when I asked my perinatalogist if the termination we had would be allowed under the abortion ban. He said no.

I was outraged and felt violated, how a group of individuals dare think they can make life-altering medical decisions for me. If I hadn’t had the termination, I would have buried two babies instead of only one.

A version of the full text is here and the Washington Post did an article about her back in 2008.

The video above is one of my favorite speeches, from Loretta Ross, the National Coordinator of Sister Song: A Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective. In 2007, the organization hosted "Let's Talk About Sex!" with workshops on sex, women's bodies, reproductive justice...and pleasure! Click here for some choice Joycelyn Edlers quotes from one of their panels. Their next conference will be in Miami in 2011 - but do we have to wait so long??