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Taking action against Stupak

A few days ago, I wrote about how the House of Representatives threw women under the bus in order to pass the healthcare reform bill.  All week the blogosphere has been buzzing with anger and disbelief at the fact that our elected leaders would pass such an unprecidented repeal of abortion coverage, which both prohibits the public option from offering coverage, and provides financial incentives for private insurance companies to drop the coverage they currently offer. 

This morning I read Katha Pollitt's editorial in The Nation, and was brimming with rage before I finished my morning coffee. If you're looking for an article to email to your friends, this is the one.  Pollitt expertly voices the anger many of us are feeling, especially at the notion that we should just "take one for the team." She explains that "taking one for the team" was what got us into this in the first place.

Katha Pollitt has already voiced my feelings on this issue, so instead of writing another version of the same, I would like to share a list of ways that we can each take action to ensure that the Stupak Amendment is stripped from the health reform act.  If you're as angry about this issue as we are, please join us by taking action.  Here's how:

  1. Call your senator. You can use the Congressional Switchboard at202-224-3121.

  2. Send a hand-written letter to your senator.  If you're stuck on what to say, use the language from the standard emails available from NCJW and other organizations listed further down. Trust me, they won't mind. But remember that personal letters tend to stand out.

  3. Organize a protest in your community. 

  4. Submit an editorial or letter to the editor to your local newspaper.

  5. Organize a letter writing/call-in group event in your community, or for your friends.

  6. Join the Stupak Amendment Revolt group on Facebook.  This active group is working to deliver coathangers, along with letters, to the Democrats who voted for the amendment.  It's a little extreme, but they provide sample letters and addresses in their "discussion" section, which are very useful.

  7. Send an email to your senator.  You can do this at NCJW, the Center for Reproductive Rights or through Feminist Majority (this website will also give you your senator's phone number).

  8. Sign NARAL's letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

  9. Start your own electronic petition campaign at

  10. If you live in D.C. you can join NOW's protests on November 16 and 23.

  11. If you don't live in D.C., consider heading there on December 2 for a rally being planned collaboratively by all the major national feminist and progressive organizations. Not much has been announced about this rally yet, other than the date, so mark it on your calendars and stay tuned.

If you have any additional ideas or information about how to take action, please share them in the comments.

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1 Comment

I happened to see a bit of the House debate and was shocked. Here is one way to react - send a coat hanger! Dorothee in Wiesbaden, Germany (not a US citizen)

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How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Taking action against Stupak." 13 November 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on January 18, 2018) <>.


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