Yesterday, House GOP members passed abortion legislation banning federal funding for abortions. The legislation was substituted for a more strict bill that would have capped abortions at 20 week, and being pushed for by right-wingers who claim a 20-week-old fetus may feel or perceive some pain during the procedure.
Though we’re glad that one was shelved (for now), the new legislation negatively affects the health of hundreds of thousands of women—especially those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Nancy Pelosi even argued that this new bill is even worse than the one previously considered: “They’re putting a bill on the floor that undermines the health of America’s women. The bill is worse than the bill they pulled from the floor yesterday.”
Why? Well, it’s exceptionally draconian: The only way an exception for abortion after 20 weeks would be if a woman reported her rape or incest to police and had documentation to back it up. GOP women recognized how damaging this could be for women who were afraid to come forward about their assaults (one of the reasons it was scrapped, in fact).
But Pelosi does have a point. The new bill enacts a ban on federal funding for abortions—affecting women with Medicare, who might not be able to afford a procedure out of pocket.By extension, it targets the health and well being America’s female poor, young, and minorities: This is the opposite of progress for reproductive rights.
We have our fingers crossed that President Obama keeps his word to women about protecting their liberties and health rights. But we still wish this piece of legislation would have died on the floor.
Image via ProgressWomen