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GOP Budget Wars on Reproductive Health

GOP Budget Wars on Reproductive Health

What’s happened to the whole Republican “the economy and jobs are our first priority” mantra from the 2010 elections?  Eric Cantor can say it all he wants, but that isn’t making it true.  Instead of jobs, conservatives are once again focused on our lady parts.   While I am sort of  getting used to the new TSA pat downs,  I have to draw the line when it comes to the government getting its hands on my privates.

The GOP is focusing on the budget, but not for creating jobs — they are trying to impact substantive issues through bills that control spending, as they recently did in their (thankfully) failed attempt to redefine rape in the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” It initially called for limiting the availability of Medicaid funds for abortion only to women who had been “forcibly” raped.

Since the original passage of the Hyde Amendment in 1976, no federal taxpayer funds have been available to cover the cost of abortions through Medicaid except in instances of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is in danger. The forcible rape exception, introduced by Representative Chris Smith (R-N.J.), didn’t explicitly spell out in the bill what that meant, but a variety of organizations, including NOW and EMILY’s List, believed it would exclude victims of statutory rape, date rape, rape victims who initially said “no” but weren’t able to fend off their attackers, and women who feared for their lives unless they acquiesced to a rapist’s demands.

Often, Democrats are scarily silent in these debates.  Thankfully Democratic Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut led the charge that ended in having that exception pulled from the bill.  That’s good news as far as it goes.  Fortunately, they’re also spearheading a full court press to make voters aware of the mostly-Republican efforts to further chip away at women’s reproductive health rights.

Their full-court press includes a petition effort encouraging voters to contact their representatives if they disagree with the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  And now several other Senators have joined with a fiery Gillibrand to protest not only this specific bill, but the GOP’s bait-and-switch agenda:

But why go to such lengths when the bill has little chance to ever become law? Gillibrand explained it to me this way:

“This legislation is an unprecedented effort to restrict access to women’s reproductive health care and it is critical that my colleagues and everyone who cares about women’s rights have the facts about the damage this bill would cause. ”

The GOP’s mantra has long been that there is too much government involvement in our lives. Right now, one commercial airing daily calls on the government not to tax soda and soft drinks because that’s just too much intrusion into our private lives. So if conservatives are upset that Uncle Sam is too involved in what we put in the shopping cart, how do they square that with telling a woman who has been raped that maybe her rape just wasn’t violent enough to warrant an abortion?

I’ll make a deal with the Republicans — I’ll keep my hands of their soft drinks if they stay away from my uterus.

TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition to tell Speaker Boehner that the GOP’s anti-woman agenda is unacceptable.

Sign the petition to let Congress know that women deserve the right to life-saving care.

This post first appeared on PUNDITMOM by Joanne Bamberger – who IS PunditMom.

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by benuski
by Joanne Bamberger, PunditMom

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131 comments

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8:05PM PST on Feb 23, 2011

Pro-choice is pro-democracy and women's rights are human rights!

The regressive Republican Party of No is mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

9:04AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

Thank you all for your compliments and stars! I truly appreciate the lovely things you had to say. Education is the key to so many doors that we as a society have locked ourselves behind. I believe and will always believe that knowledge gives every person the power to make the right choices for themselves and their families. Whether or not everyone agrees is a totally different story. It should never be about being in consensus with the entire world, but being in consensus with yourself. As long as your actions are not negatively affecting another person, I believe everyone should have the right to do what they see fit for themselves and their world.

2:05AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

Thank you, Erica J., for your well-thought-out and very reasonable comments! Unfortunately, I have the feeling that people like Past Member won't bother to actually read them, let alone think about them. The anti-abortion crowd keeps insisting on equating a, say, 13-week-old fetus, with a "baby." As long as they stupidly cling to that notion, all the reasoned explanations in the world may not be enough to help us hold onto our hard-won rights.

1:48AM PST on Feb 21, 2011

Past Member, you need a dictionary (since you can't get a new brain.) Look up "baby." Then look up "fetus." Yes, we favor human rights for every human. Look up "human" now.

If a fetus were the same thing as a human being, then when one is accidentally miscarried, say into the toilet, there would be religious services for the retrieved-from-the-toilet fetus, as well as a funeral and an obituary. There is not a single religion on the face of the earth that gives HUMAN rights to fetuses, you ignoramus.

3:12PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

It is really sad that people have forgotten why abortion is legal in the first place, and how hard people fought to get it that way. Should we revert back to when they were performed by the woman herself and she would die of infection and bleeding out from stabbing herself from her cervix to her uterus with a coat hanger. These people need to wake up and smell the reality, whether they like it or not, It's not going to end, it's 2011. Give me a break. I'm livid!!! I suppose these politicians are going to raise all of the unwanted children. Do you think they would actually set out to look for and adopt a heroin addicted baby , or ten babies, or a hundred babies that everyone knows will have issues for the rest of it's life. It's soo about control...Planned Parenthood offers services to help keep a woman from having to go through an abortion. Education and many methods and forms of birth control. OK, I will shut up now.

5:34AM PST on Feb 16, 2011

You might have a problem with that deal as one of Obama's pets in his administration - Cass Sunstein wants his hands on our soft drinks and everything else in our lives. Progressive government - go Obama.

7:23AM PST on Feb 13, 2011

erica j...
You are one of the most articulate young women on this site. You get your point across with facts and not hysterical emotion. I would give you a star for each one of your posts if I could. Thank you for all of your posts and all of your patients, current and future, will be so lucky to have you as their nurse.

7:35AM PST on Feb 12, 2011

Nancy D, You go, Girl!
To past Member, someone here brought up the issue of women being forced to bear children and it comes down to the same thing as 30 years ago: who is going to take care of these children? I believe it is far worse for women to give their babies up for adoption, because then you know that somewhere out there your child is living, and what kind of life does he/she have? Despite what the anti-choice movement has told you, even up to 8 weeks, the fetus is little more than a sort of chicken fetus looking thing. i was once shown a pic of what was purported to be an 8 week old fetus. When i went back and looked, it turned out to be a 16 week old fetus. If you are right about abortion, why do you have to lie about it? What this country really needs is actual true sex ed. We need to stop thinking that if we tell our children not to have sex, it doesn't mean they will. Your side says sex ed should rest solely in the hands of the parents, what about the vast majority of parents who don't talk to their children?

9:49AM PST on Feb 11, 2011

One more tid bit before I am done on this subject, is that it is not always necessary for a doctor to use a curette (a sharp, spoon-like instrument), when performing Manual Vacuum Aspiration. That is only necessary if he/she believes that there is POC left over. They usually do not start the process with a curette, it will be introduced afterward if necessary. So again, scare tactics are not the way to go, just speak the truth to people so that they can make educated decisions for themselves. I hope that fewer and fewer men and women will have the need for abortion because it is not glamorous or fun, it really sucks!

9:39AM PST on Feb 11, 2011

Past Member, One other point is that D&C is very uncommon now a days. A very small percentage of abortions are performed this way. I believe maybe only about 1.7-2% of all US abortions still use this method as bleeding is profuse and suction has been shown to be the least invasive way to go. Again, doesn't make abortion prettier but if you are going to post facts, they should at least reflect the truth of the matter and the truth is that D&C is not at all common. Manual Vacuum Aspiration is.

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