The unemployment rate is 9.4 percent. Millions of Americans are without jobs, health insurance and food stability. The federal deficit is soaring. Many states are facing budget shortfalls. Two wars are still being fought in the Middle East. There’s an uprising in Egypt. So of course the first priority of the new House of Representatives should be…denying women access to abortion.
Republican leadership in the House has come forward with the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would restrict federal funding for abortions to only those who could prove their pregnancies were the result of “forcible rape.” It doesn’t include provisions for statutory rape or rapes where drugs or alcohol are involved. So a 34-year-old could rape a 13-year-old and that teenager would be forced to carry the pregnancy to term under the proposed law, such as happened in Peru. The awesome crew at Feministing has more on the problems with the law.
Lest you be fooled into thinking Medicaid pays for thousands of abortions each year, Amy Sullivan at Time provides the statistic that in 2001, 56 abortions were paid for. “That’s all abortions for cases in which the mother’s life was in danger, the pregnancy was a result of incest, or in the case of rape.” Nationwide.
A recent poll shows social issues such as abortion at the bottom of the list of things Americans are concerned about, but who cares? It’s not a surprise Republicans are more determined to show their disrespect of women by denying them health care than to create jobs or cut the deficit, but it never fails to make me furious. My own Democratic representative, along with several other Democrats, has signed on in support of the bill, and you can bet I’ll be calling him to express my displeasure.