Victory and Defeat For Women Around the Nation’s Capital


Perhaps one of the most harmful moments of the impending federal government shutdown earlier this year was that the reproductive rights of women in Washington, D.C. were sacrificed in order to make a deal with House Republicans.  The Capitol’s long history of allowing the poorest and sickest of women in the area, those who receive medical assistance from Medicaid, to use their coverage in order to end an unwanted pregnancy was reversed, leaving the right to decide whether or not to have a child a right that only those who weren’t struggling financially could afford.

Luckily, that prohibition is over for now.  The Senate Appropriations committee has passed a “clean” budget bill that does not include a ban on “taxpayer funded abortions in Washington, D.C.,” allowing the city to once more decide for itself whether or not women on Medicaid should be allowed to obtain the procedure.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news in the area.  The Virginia Board of Health has now approved a set of new regulations for any state facility that provides abortions, regulating them with the same rules as hospitals — a standard that is likely to close most, if not all of the clinics in the state.  The TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law needs only to be approved by anti-abortion rights Governor Bob McDonnell in order to go into effect at the first of the year.   For women in D.C., that could greatly reduce their access to available providers in the area.

Providers are being asked to redo construction on their building, widening halls and enlarging rooms, with the same set of rules that are currently being tied up in court in Kansas.  When Kansas implemented their own TRAP law, two of the three providers in the state were immediately shut down for non-compliance until a temporary hold on the rules were put in place by the courts.

So it’s a half-hearted victory for women in the Capitol.  Poor women may be able to afford abortions now, but finding a provider may instead be the difficult part.


Related Stories:

Anti-Choice Protesters Target Middle School Children

Are Graphic Photos Really Going to Win Elementary School Kids To the Pro-life Cause?

Ultrasounds Done Testifying, Now They’ve Turned to Protesting

photo credit: wikimedia commons


Hao P.
Hao P.4 years ago

So this is what America has come down to, these politicians won't be satisfied until they push us women back into the dark ages. "Freedom" what a bitter sweet word. Many say it but very few truly understand the meaning of it.

Debra M.
Debra G.5 years ago

You know, I am not pro abortion, but I am not in favor of closing the opportunity for women to make their own choices, and deal with those choices themselves. Republicans cling to this one issue and let all the other really very bad ideas the Tea Party or their Republican leaders have to sling around, go unobstructed! It is the very thing they hue and cry about! Isn't the term, "nanny state" used to denote this very thing? If government can make the decision for the woman to have or kill the life inside her, to get birth control or not, if they can decide if a clinic that gives the poor women the ability to be tested for Aids, or breast, uterine, or cervical cancer, stays opened or closed, how is this not a nanny state? Sanctioned by the very party that condemns President Obama's health care law? Republicans need to actually make sense before I can take them seriously.

Debra M.
Debra G.5 years ago


Mick R.
Mick R.5 years ago

Amanda M.

Please be aware that basically any law in a "joke" if a man or woman is determined to violate it and don't concern themselves with the consequences.

Amanda M.
Amanda M.5 years ago

(comment continued)

barricading himself in the house for the better part of a day until police were able to talk him out and he was arrested. Sadly, her injuries proved to be fatal, and the sonofabitch is now in jail charged, among other things, with first-degree murder.

This isn't the only case. Many women have reported that restraining orders are a complete and utter joke and actually only serve to let their abuser know where they are, which causes more stalking, abuse, etc.

Many other women in this kind of relationship have to deal with not being able to get their birth control because their SO's withhold it, or they find it sabotaged by their man. It's another way to keep these women "tied down." And yes, withholding or sabotaging birth control IS a form of abuse! So you can't say it's their fault.

Rape is NEVER the fault of the woman. It's the fault of controlling men who equate sex with power and not love. NO MEANS NO.

Amanda M.
Amanda M.5 years ago

John H, you are wrong on that score. Obviously you have never been in an abusive relationship. Women in one of those are trapped in more ways than one. Her boyfriend/husband can make it VERY hard for her to leave the relationship by threatening to kill her if she does, or by taking away money because she could use it for public transportation or taking away the car if they have one. Worse, if she does manage to escape, he can still go after her by stalking her house and on the phone. Too many times a restraining order has proven to be a JOKE when a woman is trying to escape an abusive relationship because it does little or nothing to actually protect her. The abusive spouse/boyfriend often calls it "just a piece of paper" that won't stop him, and sad to say it doesn't.

We had a case in the county seat two months ago. A woman broke up with her abusive boyfriend, only to have him constantly calling her at her workplace, on her cell phone, and at her home phone. Unlisted numbers mean dick if a person's determined enough to get hold of you. Worse, yet, he stalked her at her home even though she moved several times-it's nothing to tail a person. Finally she got a restraining order against him-which enabled him to track her down because of her information being listed (it's on there to tell the person where he has to stay away from and whom). This resulted in him breaking into her house, shooting her in the head, and barricading himself in the house for the better par

Msq Howard
jo Howard5 years ago

Ladies ... come next election time let’s remember the Republican Party Politicians that muscle-blocked this issue by squeezing out of President Obama and the Democrat Party a sweet deal all for themselves, over this important need and concern.

Jackie Agusta
Jackie Agusta5 years ago

Disgraceful, this makes no sense...:-(

Msq Howard
jo Howard5 years ago

...and all because of a sweet deal for the Republicans ... hum?

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson5 years ago