Thursday, May 5, 2011

All Your Uteri Now Belong to Us

The House passed a sweeping ban on abortion.

The House voted 251-175 on Wednesday to pass the GOP’s controversial anti-abortion measure H.R. 3, “The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.” Sixteen Democrats joined 235 Republicans in approving it.

It now goes to the Senate, where it’s all but certain to perish. The White House has threatened to veto it.

The legislation would eliminate tax deductions for employer-provided health insurance plans that cover abortion, effectively raising costs for businesses that offer abortion-inclusive health care to employees. It could also deny Medicaid-based abortion care to women even if their health may be harmed by carrying the pregnancy to term.

We already have the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits tax dollars going to pay for abortions, so this is just one more attempt for the Republicans to really drive home the fact, once again, that all this talk about smaller government and more choices for freedom-loving Americans doesn’t apply to those of you with a uterus.

Oh, and to prove that they really Do Not Get It, the Republicans wrote back in their definition of “forcible rape” that had been dropped from the bill last winter. It’s the one where a woman would have to prove that she was raped in order to get an abortion because, y’know, that’s what they would do in order to get one, right? Sheesh.

Even though this bill stands little chance of passing in the Senate and is certain to be vetoed, what it does show is the contempt the Republicans have for the women of this country. Regardless of where they stand on the matter of reproductive rights, they are treated as if they are incapable of making up their own minds about something that is intensely personal.

It is the not the last vestige of patriarchal domination, but it is clearly the most insidious.