Broke Feminist Faces Health Care Battle

Family tragedies have left Michelman with nothing
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2009 4:15 PM CDT
Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL and author of 'With Liberty and Justice for All,' speaks during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at NBC studios January 8, 2006.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – When Kate Michelman had mounting bills as a pregnant single mother of three in 1969, she lobbied for abortion rights and became one of America's top feminists. Now, treading water financially again, she's girding for a new fight—over health care. Her daughter is paralyzed and her husband has health problems, but Michelman said her "top of the line" insurance has left her "with thousands of dollars of bills that are not covered."

"We have literally fallen from the middle-class to potentially having nothing." Her husband, who has Parkinson's disease, fell in the driveway one day and fractured his hip. "At that very instant, our lives would be forever different," said Michelman. She quit work as a political consultant to take care of him, but now badly needs a job—and is ready to fight for other families like hers.