The 113th Congress hasn’t even worked a month and already House Republicans have put forward a host of anti-woman bills designed to roll back access to health care and strip women of their rights. Some of these will look familiar, which I think pretty much sums up House Republicans’ obsessive focus on women’s reproductive health.
1. Sanctity of Human Life Act
Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan is so serious about tackling this country’s budget woes that he’s co-sponsoring a federal fetal personhood bill. H.R. 23, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, defines life as beginning at fertilization. The law bans abortion with no exceptions, outlaws in vitro fertilization, and blocks access to most forms of birth control.
Republicans introduced the Sanctity of Human Life Act on the first full day of session.
2. Repeal Obamacare
Seriously. You’d think after a Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and a resounding defeat in the 2012 presidential election that Republicans would just move on. Get over it.
But Republicans won’t get over it, especially Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) who introduced H.R. 45 to repeal Obamacare and replace it with…..nothing. If you’re Bachmann though, what choice is there but to introduce this legislation again and again and again? Aside from anti-Muslim fearmongering and gay conversion controversies, pathologically opposing health care reform is the cornerstone of her national political career.
Oh, and in case it wasn’t crystal clear that the Republicans have a woman problem, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) introduced his own bill to repeal Obamacare rather than sign on to Bachmann’s bill. Nothing says small government like two protest bills that if successful would strip benefits form millions of Americans.
3. Go After Planned Parenthood. Again.
Title X, the federal family planning program, used to be considered a signature achievement of the conservative movement. It was signed into law by President Nixon and whole-heartedly embraced by President George Bush the senior. But then something happened and anti-abortion became synonymous with anti-contraception.
Since this shift Republicans have relentlessly attacked Planned Parenthood’s participation in the Title X program as a way to shut the entire thing down. 2013 is no different with not one but two bills introduced already to defund Planned Parenthood. Sadly, both bills are sponsored by Tennessee women, Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Diane Black.
As the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same. And for House Republicans nothing could be more true.
Photo from donkeyhotey via flickr.