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...]