Five Ways the Right Assails Women’s Reproductive Rights
Even in government economic crisis, conservative lawmakers squeeze in anti-abortion policies.
There is no clearer indication that priorities are misplaced when the most pressing issues in Congress -- unemployment and economic growth – are bookended by women’s reproductive rights.
This week, GOP members of Congress are insisting an anti-abortion measure for D.C. residents be extended with the now stalled bill to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for millions of Americans.
This is not the GOP’s (nor the Democrats’) first anti-abortion rodeo. These issues have been debated and policed to death, preceding and following Roe v. Wade. Here’s a list of the most recent fights:
Defunding Planned Parenthood
Despite Planned Parenthood advocates’ insistence that federal funding does not pay for abortion services, right wing Republicans and conservative Democrats have still made every feasible attempt to cut funding from the organization. The latest attempt: the Republican-controlled House’s stalled $1 trillion spending bill siphons off $2 million from Planned Parenthood’s government funding source. Read more here.
Ineffectual Abstinence-Only Sex Education Funding Restored
Evangelicals would like to ignore it, but study after study has proven abstinence only sex education does not work as well as comprehensive sexual risk avoidance curriculum. The House’s $1 trillion spending bill cuts $90 million from teen pregnancy prevention programming. This includes any material explaining the various methods of birth control available to young women. Read more here.
D.C. Abortion Funding Ban
Its not tied to an ounce of federal funding. Still conservative lawmakers, who are largely unaccountable to Washington, D.C. residents, fought to extend a ban on local taxpayer dollars that fund abortions for poor women. Congress imposed the ban as part of a deal that averted a government student shutdown in April. Read more here.
Plan B Rejected for Teenage ‘Over-The-Counter’ Use
On this issue, the Obama Administration has to share the blame. In what might have been a victory for women’s reproductive rights, Human Heath Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius rejected an FDA proposal that okayed over-the-counter sales of the morning after pill to girls age 16 and younger. There is no objection from conservatives on this issue, who argued it endanger young girls at risk of sexual exploitation. Read more here.
Pro-Life Republicans Bully Each Other Into Submission
When current GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich served as Speaker of the House, his party was embroiled in a bitter war over pro-life pedigree. In 1998, the Republican National Committee proposed a ban on funding any GOP candidate who supported partial birth abortion. Republicans failed at getting a ban signed by President Bill Clinton, and Speaker Gingrich appeared to be fuzzy about his resolve. Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has (rightfully) hammered Newt on this point. Read more here.
"The Ingredients In Congress’ Spending Bill" – Loop21
"An Early Holiday Hangover" – Gail Collins for New York Times