May 2011 09

by Damon Martin

Ever since taking over the House of Representatives with the last elections in 2010, the Republican party has been screaming to the proverbial heavens about reducing the national budget by cutting spending and unnecessary programs.

However the GOP seems hell bent on side-stepping issues like cutting the national defense budget or dealing with Social Security, and instead are concentrating on finding new ways to erode and destroy women’s rights – especially when it comes to abortion.

Seeking to advance their social agenda since taking over the House, Republicans have been targeting programs like Planned Parenthood for termination. Their latest such atrocity, is the passing of HR-3, also known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which was passed on May 4 by a vote of 251-175 (all Republicans and 16 Democrats voted for the bill).

The bill has been discussed for several months, and while it’s likely to die on the vine when it reaches the Senate, or get vetoed by President Barack Obama, the Republicans seem determined to make abortion the lead issue heading into the next series of elections – regardless of all the other problems that currently face the United States.

The bill, which Republicans claim is just a further execution of the Hyde Amendment (which outlaws the use of Federal funds for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or serious injury to the mother), is anything but an extension of the current law.

If it actually became law, here are a few facts that women would have to deal with, and a few that men would actually come under fire for as well

First, the bill would ban the government from subsidizing any health care plans that covered abortions. This would mean that small businesses and corporations would have to pay more out of pocket to provide the same insurance for their employees, or they’d be forced to switch to an insurance provider or plan that doesn’t cover abortions.

This part of the bill alone would actually cost male and female taxpayers more money, because it would mean many companies would have to make alternative healthcare provisions to comply with the new law, and/or put more of the financial burden back on their employees (some may even choose to cease health benefits to avoid getting caught in the mire).

Furthermore, another provision in the bill would mean that women who pay out of pocket for abortions would no longer receive any tax subsidies or credits. The ramifications of this are far-reaching, since were a woman to be audited by the IRS, they would be forced to explain why they had an abortion, and provide proof of rape, incest, or a life-threatening medical condition (those being the three exceptions to the provisions of the Hyde Amendment and HR-3).

Can you imagine going through one of the toughest decisions in your life and then having an IRS agent question why you did it?

The final part of the bill, which is dangerously close to stepping over the line when it comes to separating church and state, would give doctors and hospitals to right to refuse to perform abortions based on a ‘conscience clause.’ A doctor or hospital would simply be able to deny a woman treatment, were it to disagree with their personal moral sensibilities.

The bill will head to the Senate and likely be voted down in the next few weeks, but that won’t stop Republicans from making it sound like this bill is exactly what the people of America really want.

“A ban on taxpayer funding of abortions is the will of the people,” House leader John Boehner said before the vote, “and it ought to be the will of the land.”

But, as the Daily Kos articulated so well in an article which served as a rebuttal of the controversial bill and the Republicans who back it, “In case you were wondering, no, this bill will not create any jobs. Or reduce the deficit. Or save lives. Or reduce abortion. But it will make it that much harder for women to obtain safe and affordable health care and to exercise their legal rights.”

Republicans may claim to be ‘for the people’ but so far it seems they are decidedly against women.


Related Posts:
Taking Women From The Clinic To The Coat Hanger: Republicans Now Targeting Planned Parenthood

Republicans Tell Big Bird and All Things Considered To Bugger Off

Republicans Attempt To Slip A Proverbial Political Roofie As They Strive To Redefine Rape While Trying To Pass Anti-Abortion Law