Republicans took over the House with a battle cry about jobs, the deficit and lower taxes. Their talking points were super focused. So, since they came to power in January, they have been working on…wait for it…wait for it…multiple bills restricting abortion. Why are we playing abortion politics today? 14 million people are unemployed and we are trying to rewrite laws on women’s health issues?
The argument seems to be that there are fiscal savings to be had by not paying for abortions? Currently, there are laws that prevent any federal funding from paying for abortions. So, what money, how much money and who’s money are we talking about?
The bills proposed will restrict abortions and abortion coverage from employer based health plans, eliminate tax breaks for employers who provide health coverage if their plans offer abortion services, forbid women from using their own flexible spending dollars for abortions and prevent people who get money through state exchanges from buying their own abortion coverage. It allows hospitals to refuse to give women abortions, even if they are in emergency situations and could potentially hold women responsible for their miscarriages. What?!
There is the Life At Conception Act (S.91, 1/25/11) declaring that human life begins at “the point of fertilization.”
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (HR.3, 1/3/11) that goes beyond current laws preventing federal fund being used for abortion, it “prohibits federal funds from being used for any health benefit coverage that may include coverage of abortion.”
The Protect Life Act (HR.358, 1/20/11) amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to make sure federal funds can’t be used to cover any part of “any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.”
The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (HR.361, 1/20/11) “prohibits the federal government and any state or local government that receives federal financial assistance from subjecting any health professional, a hospital, a provider sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, an accountable care organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan to discrimination on the basis that the entity refuses to participate in abortion-related activities.”
And, finally, the Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (HR.217, 1/7/11) “amends the Public Health Service Act to prohibit the Secretary of Health and Human Service (HHS) from providing any federal family planning assistance to an entity unless the entity certifies that, during the period of such assistance, the entity will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion.”
So….all of that being said, let’s be honest…this is not going to help create jobs. And, it’s not what’s causing our deficit problems. This is not about money. It is inserting government into our most personal matters (video of WY Republicans making this point). It’s about morality and trying to legislate it. We are watching politicians do what politicians do…they come into power and then pay up to those that got them there. Republicans won the House by the will and determination of “conservative” voters, some of whom want to reverse Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion altogether.
MOMism: “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” Our kids are graduating from college without jobs. We have 14 million people unemployed right now and protests all over the country from the right and left about fear and frustration over the economic situation. People are desperate for solutions. So, how did women’s health become a political football in 2011? Regardless of where we stand on the abortion issue, why is this priority #1 for the House of Representatives? We need to address the jobs crisis in our country, without taking women back to a desperate era where women had no options and desperate women did very desperate things.
MAMAs – how do you feel about this issue being front and center?