I just had the (dis)pleasure of watching the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution hearing on HR3. Needless to say, I am absolutely stunned at the levels of misogyny and disrespect to women displayed by the GOP committee members and “experts.”
Perhaps what stunned me most is that of the “experts” allowed to testify at the hearing, only ONE was not representative of the anti-choice fringe (she is a law professor who spoke strictly of the tax implications of the bill). The other two “experts” included a male representative of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (really, take a moment, step back and appreciate that one) and a representative from the likewise anti-choice Family Research Council.Where were the voices of pro-choice women? Medical professionals? Nowhere to be heard. Adding insult to injury, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton was denied the opportunity to testify, even though the bill directly interferes with D.C. abortion funding.
And, seriously, since when did having an opinion on a matter (a la USCCB and FRC) make you an “expert”? If all it takes to become an expert is having an opinion, then please note my areas of expertise: cheese, cats, reality TV, sex, dust bunnies and purses.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, who sits on the Subcommittee, won my love and respect as he unapologetically stood up for women’s right to choose. He made some very valid points, which I will now take the liberty of paraphrasing:
- HR3 is really economic coercion to prevent women from exercising their right to abortion
- HR3 places government in the middle of private choices & represents a new affront on women and their families
- HR3 would allow women to die (by denying pregnant women access to life-saving procedures via expanded conscience clauses). Apparently that’s the new definition of pro-life.
Professor Rosenbaum of GWU — the one actual expert who spoke about the bill’s tax implications — also made valid points. Primarily, that HR3 moves the Hyde Amendment into the tax code. This not only reaches into people’s health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and private money, but it also brings the IRS into abortion policy. Under HR3, the IRS would have to make decisions regarding what constitutes a medically necessary procedure, whether a miscarriage is an allowable expenditure under insurance plans, and what the exact definitions of rape, incest and “medical risk” are, etc. Again, here we go with non-medical experts making decisions affecting millions of women’s health care.
Now for the barrage of anti-choice points — er, lies — brought up:
- Abortion is NOT health care
- Conscience clauses do not place women’s health or lives at risk
- Rep. Chabot: All abortion clinics are houses of horror like Gosnell’s clinic
- “Dismemberment abortions” — a new term coined by Rep. Steve King, who has neither a medical degree nor a college degree, but is clearly an expert on abortion — run rampant.
- Abortion is a “billion dollar industry” that just benefits Planned Parenthood
- Apparently, a subsidy isn’t a subsidy if it’s for religious schools
- There’s currently federal funding for abortions
No, no, no, no, no, no and no!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NOW is the time to contact your representatives! Not just to voice your outrage at everything that is HR3, but to also send your appreciation to those who are steadfastly against the bill.
Stay tuned — tomorrow is the hearing on HR358!