Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee held a hearing on HR358, aka the Protect Life Act. Or as I like to think of it, the “Let Women Die” act.
Sadly, the audio component of my video feed died about 1/2 way through the hearing. The conspiracy theorist in me finds that awfully suspicious. But I digress.
Like yesterday’s HR3 hearing, there were 3 “experts” who provided testimony before the subcommittee. And, just like yesterday, 2 of the 3 were antichoice fanatics. Professor Rosenbaum returned to provide testimony on the tax implications of the bill.
However, UNlike yesterday, more pro-woman, pro-choice voices were heard. Democrat reps shared their allotted time with each other to ensure that their views were not drowned out, as with the previous HR3 hearing. For example, Representatives Baldwin, Pallone, Waxman, DeGette, and Schakowsky all contributed their views, adding more balance to the discussion. Finally.
My hero of today’s hearing was Rep. Pallone of NJ. He consistently hit home the fact that what the American people want is JOBS, not the restriction of women’s rights, and that HR358 blatantly – and unapologetically – puts women’s lives at risk. He made excellent points, including:
- Today’s hearing and the Protect Life Act are not about public funding, but are really about an attempt to dismantle health care reform law
- Religious and personal views should NOT be used as an excuse to put women’s lives at risk
- This bill is not pro-life but anti-woman (YES!)
I also enjoyed Waxman’s and DeGette’s comments:
- The objective of HR358 is to say that no woman will be able to buy insurance in this country that would cover a necessary medical procedure (Waxman)
- This is an assault on women’s reproductive health and constitutional right to decide when to have children (Waxman)
- (To one of the “experts”) You only want to protect the consciences of those who agree with you
- No federal funds used for abortion is ALREADY LAW (DeGette)
- Anybody who purchases an insurance policy that covers ALL reproductive services now can not have any tax relief (DeGette)
Of course, the anti-choicer representatives also had their say:
- Rep. Upton: The massive health care plan contains loopholes to be used to pay for abortions
- Rep. Burgess: The act isn’t applying anything new or adding further restrictions; rather, it values the “sanctity of life.” (Except for the sanctity of women’s lives). He also believes that medical professionals NEVER have to make the choice between saving a woman’s life and that of her unborn child. Right.
- Rep. Myrick: There is no evidence that prohibition of coverage for abortion woould negatively impact women’s health (I can’t even respond)
- Rep. Pitts: The Hyde Amendment is the “best abortion reduction” strategy this country has
Aaaaaaaaaaaand the “experts”:
- Abortion is at the margins of health care
- Abortion is killing, NOT health care for women
- The Protect Life Act will ensure conscience-driven providers remain in the market
I mean, really people. Abortion IS health care, whether you like it or not. And it IS medically necessary in many cases. This bill will allow hospitals to LET WOMEN DIE. Now, what about that is health care? Or “pro-life” for that matter?
Never in my life did I think I would have to fight for what my foremothers already fought for: my absolute RIGHT to privacy and bodily control. To say that this bill is dangerous is a major understatement.
Rep. Pallone voiced his opinion that this bill will never pass. I can only hope that he’s right. But HOPE alone will not protect us. We MUST speak out, and we MUST take action. Please contact your Representatives today.
And my sincerest apologies for being unable to provide a full recap. If you were able to hear more of the proceedings, please add to this via commenting.