Let’s face it. We men have the good end of the stick. Think about it. When was the last time you heard a discussion in our politics that would limit the ability of men to have control over the decisions that impact their own lives, bodies, health, and well being? I’m of course talking about abortion legislation, and the bit passed by Congressional Republicans with help from Blue Dog Democrats is particularly nasty:
H.R. 3, known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” is essentially a rewrite of existing anti-abortion language in the federal code. It would make permanent some well-known provisions like the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding of abortion in all cases (as it’s written now, the Hyde Amendment expires at the end of every fiscal year and has to be reauthorized as part of the Health and Human Services funding bill) and eliminate employer and individual tax deductions for private insurance plans that cover abortion.
But the bill does more than just make permanent the prohibition on the government paying for abortions or make it harder for people to use insurance to pay for abortions. As Mother Jones‘ Nick Baumann reported today, it also redefines what the government considers rape.
Currently, women insured under Medicare or Medicaid or through the government can obtain abortions in cases of rape, incest or risk to the life or health of the mother.
Under the new law, the only rapes that would qualify a woman for abortion coverage would be “forcible rape.” Statutory rape, incest and other kinds of reputedly non-violent sexual assaults (for example, an assault in which a rapist used drugs to incapacitate the victim might not count as “forcible”) wouldn’t be classified as rape for the purpose of obtaining abortion coverage.
In other words, date raped? Sorry, you’re stuck with a pregnancy from sex you didn’t consent to. And guess what? Mike Ross is a cosponsor. Seriously Mr. Ross? You’re willing to go to that length in your anti-choice demagoguery? I understand you feel like you have to run to the right on this issue to get elected here, and truth be told, as much as I loathe you sir, I kind of understand that. But seriously, how many women and girls are you willing to let get hurt for your political career? (Our new Republican Congressmen haven’t signed on as of yet, but I won’t be surprised when they do.)
But there’s some anti-choice nonsense going on at the state level too. Several bills are expected to come out of the state legislature one of which, an act restricting private companies from offering insurance coverage for abortion, has already passed the state senate with ease. In other words, the state of Arkansas is on the verge of telling women that they can’t have control of decisions impacting their reproductive health and health insurance providers that they aren’t allowed to pay for health care that’s considered a constitutional right. As I understand it, the ACLU is already ready to sue and they should be. Beyond the fact that this is just bad policy, the bill itself is constitutionally suspect. Of course, Governor Beebe could save the state a whole bunch of lawsuits by vetoing the bill. Why don’t you ask him to do that…
What parent, upon finding out that Uncle Fred had convinced their daughter to let him put his penis inside her wouldn’t want their child to have the right to reproductive care? What woman, upon waking up and realizing the guy at the bar last night slipt something in her drink and violated her doesn’t deserve the right to choose? That’s what this comes down to.