November 7, 2009 should have been a day for me to celebrate. After months of organizing phone banks to call our reps and dealing with Tea Party insanity, the House finally passed a health care reform bill that would cover 96 percent of Americans, and even included a reasonably strong public option.

I should have been ecstatic. Instead I was numb. Because apparently the White House and Nancy Pelosi had to trade away my reproductive rights at the 11th hour to pass the bill.

If you’re reading this, I don’t have to rehash the rest. I don’t have to tell you that pro-choice groups were caught flat-footed and unprepared, or that Stupak would eventually mean the end of abortion insurance coverage, period.

Coverage for Viagra? Sure! Coverage for abortion services to protect the health of the mother? Are you nuts?

No, I don’t have to tell you any of that. You already know.

But here’s the thing. We can do something about this.

See, during the Obama campaign last year, my group, Venice For Change organized dozens of phone banks.  Our congressional district alone had 1,500 volunteers and made over 600,000 phone calls to swing states all over the country. We know how to do this. We have the power.

With the help of FDL Action PAC – and all of you – we’re going to make sure those 64 Democrats who voted for Stupak know it’s not OK to hold women’s reproductive rights hostage to pass health care reform.

Today, we launched "One Voice For Choice". As featured on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe", this will be a unique and tightly targeted campaign, pressuring these lawmakers with the voices of those they need care most about – motivated Democratic voters who will hold them accountable at the ballot box in 2010.

This is a fascinating development in politics. Jane Hamsher, the founder of firedoglake blog, one of the influential liberal blogs, she’s a former movie producer from Seattle.

She has a PAC, raises a lot of money and starting today they’re announcing they’re going to be phone banking into the districts of House Democrats who voted for that abortion restriction amendment, the Stupak amendment on health care reform. They’re going to call pro-choice voters who are likely to vote in 2010 and telling them to pressure their Democratic member of Congress to make their vote on health care contingent on pulling that out.

So this is a very fascinating new force in politics and it shows that the health care calculus isn’t as set on the House side as we thought it might be.

President Obama is supposed to have promised the Democratic Caucus that he’d strip Stupak from the final bill. That’s great, except he can’t honor that promise if it means losing the three votes it took to pass the original bill. We know we’re going to lose Stupak and the Republican, Cao – that leaves us with only a one vote margin. Too close too call.

So Obama and Pelosi are going to need our help. We know how to do this. We have the power. Already we have a half a dozen phone banks set up in my home state of California. Today we added Texas to that list.

Make your voice heard. Sign up to host a phone bank in your neighborhood. It’s easy, it’s fun, and it works.

Click on this link to sign up.

Click on this link to find a phone bank in your area.


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