Conception at Life Act, Stupak on Steroids & More

In a previous post, I discussed the upcoming legislative hurdles the pro-choice constituency will have to face in the coming year. Well, since then, more details have come to light regarding specific anti-choice measures.I’ll do my best to summarize here.

1. Conception at Life Act, introduced yesterday in the US Senate. According to Ms. Magazine’s Feminist Wire Daily:

Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced the Life at Conception Act in the Senate yesterday that would establish that human life begins at the moment of conception. If passed, the bill would extend equal protection under 14th article of amendment of the Constitution to unborn fetuses and would reverse Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the US.

At the March for Life, held Monday at the National Mall, Senator Wicker pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade and stated, “We believe Roe v. Wade has led to a three-and-a-half decades-long holocaust in the United States of America.”

2. No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion (H.R. 3), aka “Stupak on Steroids,” introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). NOW-NYC explains:

What the bill will do:
Establish a federal ban of abortion insurance coverage on the new health exchanges.

Eliminate tax subsidies under the new health care law for individuals OR employers that purchase health insurance plans that cover abortion.

Permanently restrict abortion access for women in the military, federal prisons, and at the Indian Health Service by codifying a full ban on abortion in all health facilities operated by the federal government.
Further restrict the Hyde amendment by limiting exceptions to if a woman is “in danger of death,” the victim of a forcible rape (not statutory rape) and incest of a minor (not 18 or over). There are no exceptions for a woman’s health – no matter how severe.

Reality Check: Federal funding for abortion has been banned since the 1976 passage of the Hyde amendment. Obama also signed an executive order last year clarifying that the health care reform law will not allow federal funding for abortion.

Basically, this is an extreme attempt to dramatically reduce access to abortion services. It is NOT, as it may sound by its name, a reiteration of previous bills.

3. Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act (H.R. 217), introduced by Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN). Again, NOW-NYC explains:

What the bill will do: This bill will ban Title X dollars from any health clinic or entity that performs abortions, even though this funding is already banned from going toward abortions.

Reality Check: This bill brings the global gag rule home to the U.S., and it will threaten access to health care and prevention services for low-income women.  It will decimate major funding for thousands of health clinics across the country – including Planned Parenthood – that provide critical reproductive health services such as access to contraception, treatment of STI’s, and cancer screening.  For many women, these types of clinics provide their only health care.

This may seem bleak, but I personally enjoy a challenge. AND, there are ways to act and have your voice heard:

1.  Contact your Representative today. Tell them WHY you care about protecting women’s abortion access, which is LEGAL under U.S. law.  Ask them to reject these measures.  

2.  Flood Speaker Boehner and Representative Smith’s offices with comments.


Categories: Politics

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