Republicans Decide Paying for Abortions is Too Darn Easy, Resolve to Correct Problem

Another day, another piece of onerous anti-choice legislation in the news. But this week we’ve got a twofer! And it’s only Wednesday …

Republican Representative Christopher Smith has sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which made news recently for its use of the term “forcible rape.” Smith’s office claims that that term will be removed from the bill, though as of earlier this week, it still remained. Regardless of what linguistic gymnastics wait in the future, there’s no getting around the fact that the bill would eliminate tax breaks for private employers who provide health coverage plans that offer abortion, as well as prevent women that use flexible spending plans to use pre-tax dollars for abortion care. Oh, and Smith’s bill would also make the odious Hyde Amendment permanent.

Meanwhile, Republican Representative Joe Pitts is sponsoring the Protect Life Act, an amendment to the health care law that would prohibit people that receive health insurance through the state exchanges from buying abortion coverage – even if they use their own money. In addition, this bill would allow hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, even in emergency situations, if doing so would offend the conscience of the physicians and other health care providers.

According to a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, this legislation reflections the G.O.P.’s focus on “creating a better environment for economic growth and job creation.” Majority leader Eric Cantor considers both measures “obviously very important in terms of the priorities we set out initially in our pledge to America.”

Call me crazy, but it’s a bit of a stretch to see how forcing women and families to pay more for comprehensive health care will be good for our country’s economic growth. It’s equally asinine to claim that attempting to shoehorn punitive measures into an already-passed law is a priority for voters. [Read more...]

The House Votes to Begin the Repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

About damn time if you ask me.

The House voted Thursday to let the Defense Department repeal the ban on gay and bisexual people from serving openly in the military, a major step toward dismantling the 1993 law widely known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The provision would allow military commanders to repeal the ban. The repeal would permit gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military for the first time.

[Read more...]

Berkeley Sends a Message to Anti-choice Democrats

coat hanger choiceIn response to recent attacks on choice in the House and Senate debate over health care reform, the Berkeley City Council voted in an 8-1 decision to send a message to the anti-choice democrats who voted to completely dismantle women’s access to reproductive health. In hopes of reminding our dear friends of exactly what is at stake in a world without legal access to abortion, the Berkeley City Council will be sending a letter and coat hanger to each and every one of the twenty spineless democrats that sold women out on the hill. The Associated Press reports, [Read more...]

Health Care Bill Sidelines Women’s Reproductive Rights

Pro-choice majorityThe news of a health care bill making its way through the house yesterday turned out to be a giant failure. Yes, the bill includes a public option. The bill encompasses a plethora of other much-needed benefits as well, however; the religious right, along with a slue of spineless democrats, managed to push through the Stupak Amendment, effectively sidelining women’s reproductive rights in favor of a bankrupt political agenda.

The provision would block federal subsidies for insurance companies that cover abortion procedures. Such a restriction threatens to deprive women of access to vital health care services. In addition, it would eliminate any incentive for insurance companies to provide abortion services. They would be forced to give women’s health the axe in favor of qualifying for federal subsidies. Insurance companies will do anything to compete in a newly expanded market of subsidies, which inevitably means that women would lose coverage for abortion. [Read more...]