Friday, May 18, 2012

Another Slap in D.C.'s Face

Suburban Phoenix, Arizona is light years apart from the District of Columbia socially, economically, politically and just about any other “lly” way one can think of. Republican Trent Frank represents such an Arizona district in the U.S. House. Yesterday he also chaired a committee hearing on a very sensitive issue for District residents: funding abortions for low-income D.C. women.

A majority of District residents have voted in favor of using some of our tax dollars to help these women. Certain members of Congress are utterly and completely determined to prevent that from happening.

Ignoring legitimate local legislative decisions is onerous enough. To treat our one and only, duly-elected, NON-VOTING representative to Congress, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton with the same contempt is inexcusable. She had a front row seat (where she belonged) for the hearing and was not even allowed to speak on this important issue, much less cast a committee vote on it.

More than half a million U.S. citizens who happen to live in Washington, D.C. have consistently been treated like chattel and poker chips by Congress. Speaker Boehner coerced the President into agreeing to eliminate D.C. funding for abortions in hopes that Congress would cede control of the District’s budget back to the District. In order for the city to control its own budget, we must impose a permanent ban on abortions for our residents, something we, the people, have voted down.  In other words, to hell with what the tax-payers want.

Confession time: I am firmly on the fence about abortion. I do, however, believe that a woman has the right to make her own health decisions. I don’t wish to debate the sentient or non-sentient nature of a fetus. That and the debate about being compelled to raise a child with severe disabilities is none of my business. These must to be addressed by and lived with by the parent/s, not the public at large.

I’m grateful that I have never been faced with having to make such a monumental decision. I honestly cannot tell you how it might have come down. What I can tell you, is that certain members of Congress and their supporters need to get off their high horses and recognize the basic political and human rights that they are denying to a population they do not represent.

They also need to apologize to The Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton for the disrespectful and undignified way she was treated yesterday and many more times that go unreported.

No comments: