Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Year of Aggressive Attacks on Women’s Health (in Review)

(Image from Flickr, by Radarxlove)
The following are from Tanya Somanader’s year-end piece, “The GOP’s 10 Most Extreme Attacks On A Woman’s Right To Choose An Abortion,” in Think Progress:

According to Somanader, there were nearly 1,000 anti-abortion bills in state legislatures last year, while the GOP-led House led a “comprehensive and radical assault” on a federal level. She details the 10 most aggressive of these laws (you can click here for the complete article). Here’s my summary of her summary:

Redefining Rape: the federal No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act tried to narrow the definition of rape to “forcible rape,” by excluding women who say no but do not physically fight back; women who are drugged and raped; and minors impregnated by adults.

Abortion Audits: The No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act could force some women to undergo audits and prove that their abortions “fell under the rape/incest/life-of-the-mother exception, turning the Internal Revenue Service into “abortion cops.”

Let Women Die: House Republicans also passed the “Protect Life Act”, also known as the “Let Women Die” bill because it would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to reject any woman in need of an abortion procedure, even if it is necessary to save her life.

Personhood: Mississippi considered passing a “personhood” amendment to its constitution which would not only ban all abortions, but could potentially outlaw birth control, stem cell research, and in vitro fertilization for couples struggling to conceive.

Race/Sex Abortions: House Republicans introduced the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) that bans abortions based on the fetus’s race or sex, even though the “problem” of selective abortion is virtually non-existent.

Fetal Pain: Several states tried to pass legislation limiting or banning abortions past 20 – 22 weeks based on disputed research that fetuses an feel pain at that point of development.”

Heartbeat Bill: Ohio Republicans are pushing the “heartbeat bill,” which, if enacted, would outlaw abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can occur as soon as “six to seven weeks into pregnancy,” before many women even know they are pregnant.

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