During the health care reform fight the women’s reproductive rights groups and legislators were basically sold out. President Obama decided to cut a deal with Bart Stupak’s Gang. He assumed that the pro-choice and women legislators in the House and pro-choice groups would just fall in line, and they did with very little fighting.
Passing the ACA required virtually every vote. Only a handful of pro-choice women rebelling could have stopped the new law, likely forcing a new deal, but none did. The pro-choice groups didn’t even seem prepared for the showdown that everyone paying attention saw coming.
That incident proved to the Obama administration that the President could treat women’s reproductive rights as a bargaining chip, without facing a rebellion from the pro-choice caucus or real retribution from pro-choice political groups. So that is exactly what Obama has been doing.
Earlier this year to get the budget deal done to avoid a government shutdown Obama again used choice as a bargaining chip by allowing the Republicans to include a policy rider to prevent the District of Columbia from using city money to pay for abortion. Obama got away with this and faced little repercussion or heat from pro-choice groups or elected officials.
Today Obama did it again. Obama’s Secretary of HHS, in a blatant, politically motivated move, took the almost unheard of step of going against FDA recommendations regarding Plan B. Science, common sense and women’s reproductive rights were all disregarded in what clearly appears to be an attempt to appease conservatives.
This is what happens when you don’t fight the first time. This is what happens when there is no political cost for crossing you. People learn that they can walk all over you, and they do so whenever possible.