Thursday, February 10, 2011

Republicans Pursue Economic Restrictions On Abortion Rights

The Republicans are proposing economic restrictions that are more severe than ever in order to impose a de facto abortion ban. Most appallingly, they have sought to redefine rape in order to restrict access further:

One bill, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” would eliminate tax breaks for private employers who provide health coverage if their plans offer abortion services, and would forbid women who use a flexible spending plan to use pre-tax dollars for abortions. Those restrictions would go well beyond current law prohibiting the use of federal money for abortion services.

The bill...has drawn fire over language that undercuts a longstanding exemption on the ban on using federal money for abortions in the case of rape or incest; the measure narrows the definition of rape to “forcible rape”... Democratic lawmakers and others repeatedly hammered on the term, saying it suggested that victims of statutory rape and other crimes could not get abortions paid for with federal money.

...Another bill...addresses the health care overhaul head-on by prohibiting Americans who receive insurance through state exchanges from purchasing abortion coverage, even with their own money...

The bill would also permit hospitals to refuse abortions to women, even in emergency situations, if such care would offend the conscience of the health care providers.

“Both bills are designed to drive coverage for abortion out of health insurance plans, period,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Characteristic of the Republican agenda, these restrictions will hurt poor women the most. If put into effect, some women may be able to travel wherever abortion services are offered. Some may be able to afford out-of-pocket services. The poorest will end up in back alleys with coat hangers.

2 comments:

Michael The Molar Maven said...

I need to preface my comments by stating unequivocally that I am 100% pro-choice. I can accept the argument of those who call themselves "pro-life", even though I consider the lable disingenuous, when they calim, as some of them do, that the only exception is when the mother's life is at stake as consistent, even if I disagree. (Those who don't make that exception are cruel, in my opinion.) But those who exempt pregnancies as a result of rape or incest are hippocrates. If life begins at conception, as life is sacred, why is a fetus as a result of a crime any less sacred than a fetus conceived out of love. Actually, those who exempt rape and incest conceptions simply want to punish women for wanting to have sex. If you consented to the act, you must suffer the consequences; if it was forced upon you, you can abort. The fetus is not the issue, is it? I don't understand how any woman or any man who respects women can be anything but pro-choice. I've been told that my logic is circuitous, but I don't think so.

Jeff Tone said...

Michael: I agree; if the fetus is a baby, how can it be aborted under any circumstances, including rape and incest? This is the contradiction in the thinking of those who are against abortion.