Category Archives: Anti-abortion

“Let Women Die” Bill Will Go To Senate; Conservatives Say “Nothing to See Here”

How does HR 358 create jobs? It doesn't. John Boehner.
The effort to criminalize birth control and make legal abortion impossible to access continues. Over 1,000 bills introduced in 49 states aim to achieve these goals. On the national level, H.R. 358 (aka the “Let Women Die” Bill) and its bizarre provision allowing hospitals to refuse to give a life-saving emergency abortion—and refuse to transfer the patient to a hospital that will—passed in the House by a vote of 251 to 172.

There were 15 Democrats who voted yes on the bill; all were male.

Groups like Family Research Council and the American Family Association, as well as conservative bloggers and politicos like Towhnall.com’s Katie Pavlich, have been hard at work misrepresenting the stance of opponents as well as the content of the bill itself. Conservatives are painting H.R. 358 as a bill that simply “stops abortion funding in Obamacare.” (and here.)

From the Family Research Council:

Despite misleading comments by abortion proponents, the Protect Life Act simply removes abortion funding and funding for health plans that include abortion. It ensures that Americans who want health care insurance with abortion coverage or supplemental abortion coverage can purchase it, but not with federal dollars. This was the long standing policy of the Hyde amendment until Obamacare bypassed this 30 year-old provision by directly spending money on new programs without any abortion funding restriction and creating tax subsidies for plans with abortion. The Protect Life Act restores this principle. (frc.org)

But here’s what the FRC doesn’t want you to know: Continue reading

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Congress to Vote on Allowing Hospitals To Let Women Die Rather Than Give Them an Abortion

This is a quick repost to give folks a primer on what’s going on with H.R. 358. There’s still time to stop this bill in its tracks.

TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro writes:
 

A bit of backstory: currently, all hospitals in America that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding are bound by a 1986 law known as EMTALA to provide emergency care to all comers, regardless of their ability to pay or other factors. Hospitals do not have to provide free care to everyone that arrives at their doorstep under EMTALA — but they do have to stabilize them and provide them with emergency care without factoring in their ability to pay for it or not. If a hospital can’t provide the care a patient needs, it is required to transfer that patient to a hospital that can, and the receiving hospital is required to accept that patient. In the case of an anti-abortion hospital with a patient requiring an emergency abortion, ETMALA would require that hospital to perform it or transfer the patient to someone who can. (The nature of how that procedure works exactly is up in the air, with the ACLU calling on the federal government to state clearly that unwillingness to perform an abortion doesn’t qualify as inability under EMTALA. That argument is ongoing, and the government has yet to weigh in.) Pitts’ new bill would free hospitals from any abortion requirement under EMTALA, meaning that medical providers who aren’t willing to terminate pregnancies wouldn’t have to — nor would they have to facilitate a transfer. The hospital could literally do nothing at all, pro-choice critics of Pitts’ bill say. “This is really out there,” Donna Crane, policy director at NARAL Pro-Choice America told TPM. “I haven’t seen this before.” Crane said she’s been a pro-choice advocate “for a long time,” yet she’s never seen anti-abortion bill as brazenly attacking the health of the mother exemption as Pitts’ bill has. NARAL has fired up its lobbying machinery and intends to make the emergency abortion language a key part of its fight against the Pitts bill when it goes before subcommittee in the House next week.

You can call (202) 730-9001 to be connected to Planned Parenthood, who will redirect you to a Washington operator board so that you can tell your Representative to say no to H.R. 358 and focus on jobs creation instead. I recommend knowing your district/Congressperson’s name before calling.

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Assaults on Planned Parenthood, Abortion and Birth Control Rights Rage On

Photo of Cliff Stearns

via stearns.house.gov

Pink is the new Red
Cliff Stearns (R-Fl) continues to utilize a strategy of false accusations of fraud in order to attack Planned Parenthood through a Congressional investigation. The pretense of the investigation is the unfounded claim that Planned Parenthood has committed fraud of sorts by using federal dollars for abortion. This investigation has nothing to do with Planned Continue reading

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For Those Interested in Abortion Clinic Escorting

If you are interested in escorting at an abortion clinic, I encourage you to contact any clinic that you can make it to once or twice a month (or whatever your availability is, even once a year is going to help.) Ask them if they have escorting, do they need escorts now (or when do they usually need us?) and when will the next training session be? Remember to listen closely to your trainers and take what you see and hear very seriously. The needs of the clinic and the women outweigh our needs to express our feelings to the anti-abortion protesters, no matter how incendiary or vile they can be. Remember never to carry weapons on the premises, no matter how crazy the antis are. Follow the rules, keep your wits about you and stay legal–and enjoy the rewarding feeling of knowing that you are doing something truly courageous.

A note about protection and paternalism, from a discussion I was having in the comments:


Allow me to note, too, that escorting is mostly about emotional comfort and support, rather than (in the case of males, paternalistic or patriarchal) physical protection. Our presence also serves as a deterrent, as we are witnesses and, finally, the last line of physical defense–though we cannot ever physically engage the protesters. In a life-threatening situation, such as one involving weapons, who knows–escorts should be concentrating on staying safe and leave the security detail to the security detail. As a male escort, I do my best to keep my privilege in check and not be given to paternalism.

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Letter from an Abortion Clinic Escort: Pt 1- A Day in the Life of an Escort

Warning: contains strong language, sexual content and violent imagery. Real names are changed but nicknames remain the same.
A Day in the Life of an Abortion Clinic Escort
I am an abortion clinic escort. Two Saturdays a month, I walk with girls and women, as well as their companions of any gender, from their vehicles to the clinic entrance. I and my escort partner occupy the attention of the patients on the way to the door, which I often hold open for them in a more-than-symbolic gesture: I literally support your access to a safe abortion. For any reason. On demand. Should be free of charge. No apologies to the antis or anyone else.

The antis [anti-abortion protesters]? The antis are present and accounted for. They are men and women of varying ages, standing on the sidewalks, terrifying the holy fuck out of our patients.

A young girl in her car will see us coming to escort her and get a terrified look on her face. She thinks we’re with the protesters. We assure her that we’re not with them, we’re with the clinic, and we’re going to walk her inside. They always sigh with relief, but still look disoriented by the cries of the antis. We tell the girls and women the antis aren’t allowed on the property, but they are going to yell a lot of nasty stuff. She doesn’t have to talk to them. (Some do. It can be awesome when a patient just rips into those bastards. Fuck and yes.)

We keep talking to the girls and women as they walk inside, because we are trying to distract them from and drown out stuff like this: Continue reading

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