- The proposed GOP budget cuts for fiscal year 2011 mean a drastic decrease in funding for domestic violence prevention programs; this includes the elimination of the Violence Against Women Health Initiative and the Engaging Men and Youth in Prevention programs, as well as a $7 million cut to Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, which funds domestic violence shelters and the national hotline for domestic violence victims.
- The "Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act", introduced by Representative Mike Pence (R-IN) would amend the Public Health Services act to prevent any organization that provides abortions--except in cases of incest, rape, or when the woman's life is endangered--from receiving family planning grants. Under the existing Act, Title X funds are not used on abortion services, but on family planning and preventative health initiatives. The change to this act would effectively defund Planned Parenthood. The House has voted in favour of the act.
- H.R.3 and H.R.358 are both on the table in the House. H.R.3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act", originally sought to redefine rape (this has since been removed from the bill), and strong arms insurance companies into not covering abortion services, as well as imposing a tax burden on small businesses that purchase plans that cover abortion. H.R.358, the "Protect Life Act", carries a provision that would allow health care providers to deny live-saving abortion care to women with dangerous pregnancies. It also bans insurance coverage of abortion in the new health care system.
- The Ohio State Legislature recently tabled a "Heartbeat Bill", which would ban abortion after a heartbeat is detected in the fetus. The heart is one of the first organs to develop in a fetus, and heartbeats are detectable between eighteen days and six weeks into the pregnancy. The presence of a heartbeat does not indicate viability. If passed, the bill would likely provide an avenue for a Supreme Court challenge of Roe v. Wade.
- Meanwhile, the South Dakota Legislature has (thankfully) shelved a bill that would have rendered as "justifiable homicide" those murders in service of protecting an unborn child. In a country that has seen the murder of abortion providers and the bombing of abortion clinics, this is clearly a concern. From the NYTimes article: "Dave Leach, an Iowa anti-abortion activist, praised the bill, saying it could end abortions in South Dakota by scaring away doctors or by establishing grounds for someone to kill those who stay.'There may be something I’m overlooking, but from all appearances, this bill would certainly justify an individual taking the life of an abortionist in order to save human lives,' he said."
- Melissa McEwan, on the bullshit that is the anti-choice position: "No one can argue, with any honesty or credibility, that they give a fuck about the sanctity of life if they would force a woman to carry to term an unwanted or unviable pregnancy against her will. That is the opposite of a respect for life, if the definition of "life" is to have any meaning at all."
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Quick Hits: the GOP hates women edition
The following bills have recently been put on the table (and then occasionally shelved, hallelujah) by various state and federal Republican representatives: