House Passes Let Women Die Act

Not satisfied with simply punishing poor women through the Hyde Amendment, the House of Representatives voted Thursday to radically roll back women’s access to reproductive health care. H.R. 358 would ban abortion coverage for millions of women across the country and allow health care providers, including hospitals, to refuse a woman emergency abortion services, even if she would die without it.

The “Protect Life Act” bans insurance plans in government run exchanges created by the new federal healthcare law from providing abortion coverage, if a single person receiving premium assistance enrolls. Because a great majority of individuals on the exchanges will receive subsidies, the bill would essentially ban abortion coverage on the exchanges for everyone, including those paying for coverage entirely with their own private dollars. It’s an excessive intrusion into the health care coverage for women and an attempt to force insurance companies to stop providing abortion coverage at any cost.

The bill was authored by Rep. Joe Pitts, (R-PA), better known for his work with former Rep. Bart Stupak in pushing through an amendment tightening the already strict restrictions on abortion coverage in the proposed government-run insurance plan.

The final vote was 251-172 with 14 Democrats breaking ranks and voting with Republicans, ensuring passage of the bill. Notably, Reps. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul both abstained from the vote.

Despite the 14 Democrats voting against basic health care rights for women, not all in the party were willing to let the bill pass without a fight. “When the Republicans vote for this bill today they will be voting to say women can die on the floor and health care providers don’t have to intervene,” said Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

The bill is unlikely to be considered by the Senate and even if it did, and passed, it faces a veto threat from President Obama, which is a good reminder of just what is at stake in the November 2012 elections.

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House To Move On Let Women Die Act

Photo from infowidget via flickr.


Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M6 years ago


Jen Kae
Jen Kae6 years ago

Urge Your Lawmaker to Vote No on "Let Women Die" Bill

On October 13, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.358, an extreme anti-choice bill.

Now, at least 46 anti-choice U.S. senators stand ready to move the War on Women forward in the Senate.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah has already introduced the Senate companion to H.R.358, the “Let Women Die” bill – and it has more than 30 cosponsors. It would allow a hospital to refuse a woman lifesaving, emergency abortion care even if she will die without it. On top of that, it effectively would ban insurance coverage of abortion in state health-insurance exchanges, denying abortion coverage to millions of women.

We must stop Sen. Hatch’s bill, S.877. Call on your senators to stop this anti-choice attack from advancing.

Jen Kae
Jen Kae6 years ago

I think the real problem is irresponsible sex. Of course, there are men and women who take responsibility and use birth control, and sometimes it fails. Anyone can be a victim of rape, whether or not they are on birth control. In these cases, I think an abortion should be appropriate, without all the bs and torture.

However, there are so many people who are opposed to birth control and simply regard abortion as their birth control of choice. I think we need to learn to discern.

Bottom line, cutting abortions will not stop unwanted pregnancy, and we should really target the irresponsible sex if we want to really make a positive difference.

Jen Kae
Jen Kae6 years ago

I wonder if people remember the names of children who have been killed or the names of their killers. Very little legal action is taken against the Susan Smiths of the world and I bet few remember Jon Benet Ramsey, but I can guarantee you that whatever consequences the killers of these children face is nothing compared to legalized murder at the hands of our government or hospitals because a woman is turned away from a life saving abortion because the current trend is to care more about preserving the life of an underdeveloped fetus that does not work, pay taxes, or otherwise contribute to society over the lives of those of us who DO!

Seems like so many people see women as the f**k, push the baby out, and drop dead from uselessness machine when we, in partnership with G-d, are the sole reason the rest of us are alive. Women who cannot safely have a baby should not be forced to do so.

Jen Kae
Jen Kae6 years ago

A pertinent scriptural passage is Leviticus 24:17, where it states: “And he that smiteth any person mortally shall surely be put to death.” However, an unborn fetus is not considered a person or nefesh and, therefore, its destruction does not incur the death penalty.

Turning to talmudic sources, the Mishnah asserts the following: “If a woman is having difficulty in giving birth [and her life is in danger], one cuts up the fetus within her womb and extracts it limb by limb, because her life takes precedence over that of the fetus. But if the greater part was already born, one may not touch it, for one may not set aside one person’s life for that of another.”

Rabbi Yom Tov Lippman Heller, known as Tosafot Yom Tov, in his commentary on this passage in the Mishnah, explains that the fetus is not considered a nefesh until it has egressed into the air of the world and, therefore, one is permitted to destroy it to save the mother’s life. Similar reasoning is found in Rashi’s commentary on the talmudic discussion of this mishnaic passage, where Rashi states that as long as the child has not come out into the world, it is not called a living being, i.e., nefesh. Once the head of the child has come out, the child may not be harmed because it is considered as fully born, and one life may not be taken to save another.

Don G... Why should a woman die to bring a child into the world that she cannot carry. Is that the only purpose women have? Do w

Dorthy Alynna Tapic


Emma S.
Emma S6 years ago

Thank you for this. It always seems so strange to me that there are people who value foetuses more highly than women.

Don Go
Don Go6 years ago

I am all for choice!

Jez w., if you ask me, it's the contrary. By passing this act, women are told that they DO count. That what they want matters, that they can choose their own fates. They CAN choose to die for their children, just as they can choose to live without them.

Brian F.
Brian F6 years ago

Republicans are so sanctamoniuos in their endless mantra of we are the party of life. They sure don't care about our poor and elderly who are having social security, and medicare cut. They don't care about our enviroment, supporting the horrible Mountain Top Removal mining, Toxic coal ash, dirty coal mining that releases toxic mercury into our air and water, natural gas fracking that threatens our water supply, and pollutes the air, oil drilling that pollutes our oceans, and the use of oil and fossil fuels that pollute our air, the authority of the EPA that must enforce clean air and water, and the use of nuclear power that is dangerous and produces highly toxic nuclear waste that takes 100,000 years to decompose and be safe for humans. So, according to republicans, it is murder if a woman aborts her baby after rape and incest, or to save her life, but it is perfectly all right to force our poor and seniors to live on the streets and eat dog food because of social security and medicare cuts. It is allright to blow up and destroy our mountains in West Virginia and dump toxic coal ash into our valleys and streams. It's ok to pollute our oceans with oil, and our water with natural gas fracking.

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

If a woman dies in the first trimester of pregnancy--she takes the baby to the grave with her--so what good does that do?