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House GOP: Economy, Schmonomy, Let's Ban Abortion


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Jul 28, 2011
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Despite the fact that the Hyde Amendment for the last 30 years has banned tax payer money from funding abortions; despite the economy being the number one concern of most Americans; the House GOP today showed where their priorities lie when they voted in favor of a controversial abortion law that gives hospitals the right to refuse an abortion even if a woman is dying.

So, there you have it folks. If you haven't yet been convinced that the GOP is not concerned with womens health, this ought to do it.

GOP abortion bill passes House - The Hill's Floor Action

The House approved a bill that Republicans said would prevent last year's healthcare law from funding abortions, but which Democrats said would go far beyond that and make it much harder for women to exercise their constitutional right to have abortions.

The bill, H.R. 358, was passed in a 251-172 vote that saw more than a dozen Democrats join nearly all voting Republicans in support of the measure.

Republicans said throughout the day that the bill is needed because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was approved without any limitation on funding for abortion rights. They also dismissed President Obama's Executive Order that Democrats say reinforces this prohibition.

"Thus ObamaCare, when phased in fully in November 2014, will open up the floodgates of public funding for abortion in a myriad of programs, including and especially in exchanges, resulting in more dead babies and wounded mothers than would otherwise have been the case," Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said.

But Democrats furiously rejected all of these arguments, and said PPACA does include language that prohibits abortion funding. More importantly, they said the bill, offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), would give hospitals the option not to provide emergency care related to abortions if they so choose, and would prevent newly created state insurance exchanges that will be created under PPACA to offer abortion coverage.

"This bill is a radical departure from existing law," House Minority Whip Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. "This legislation is bad public policy, it is the wrong priority for Congress, it is an assault on women's health, and women should know that it prevents them from using their own dollars to buy their own private insurance should they be part of an exchange."

Democrat anger over the spill erupted early in the debate, when Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Republicans are "misogynist" for bringing up the legislation. Other groups who oppose the bill also bristled at the GOP attempt to expand anti-abortion laws beyond their current scope.

Sarah Lipton-Lubet, policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the bill is "outrageous" in how it could lead some hospitals to deny medical treatment to women, and said there is evidence that some hospitals would in fact elevate their opposition to abortion above the need to perform certain emergency procedures.

"This is one in a line of anti-choice measures in the House, but it's really both unprecedented and unconscionable the way it blatantly tries to override emergency protections," she said. "They call it the protect life act, but it allows hospitals to deny treatment in emergency situations."

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