New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion

From Talking Points Memo:

Evan McMorris-Santoro

February 4, 2011

The controversy over “forcible rape” may be over, but now there’s a new Republican-sponsored abortion bill in the House that pro-choice folks say may be worse: this time around, the new language would allow hospitals to let a pregnant woman die rather than perform the abortion that would save her life.

The bill, known currently as H.R. 358 or the “Protect Life Act,” would amend the 2010 health care reform law that would modify the way Obamacare deals with abortion coverage. Much of its language is modeled on the so-called Stupak Amendment, an anti-abortion provision pro-life Democrats attempted to insert into the reform law during the health care debate last year. But critics say a new language inserted into the bill just this week would go far beyond Stupak, allowing hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions to turn away women in need of emergency pregnancy termination to save their lives.

The sponsor of H.R. 358, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) is a vocal member of the House’s anti-abortion wing. A member of the bipartisan Pro-Life Caucus and a co-sponsor of H.R 3 — the bill that added “forcible rape” to the lexicon this week — Pitts is no stranger to the abortion debate. But pro-choice advocates say his new law goes farther than any other bill has in encroaching on the rights of women to obtain an abortion when their health is at stake. They say the bill is giant leap away from accepted law, and one they haven’t heard many in the pro-life community openly discuss before.

Pitts’ response to the complaints from pro-choice groups? Nothing to see here.

“Since the 1970s, existing law affirmed the right to refuse involvement in abortion in all circumstances,” a spokesperson for Pitts told TPM.

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One Response to “New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion”

  1. Angela Says:

    What is going on sounds more and more like “The Handmaids Tale” by Margaret Attwood.

    Obviously abortion is a difficult issue, and I don’t think it should be used routinely as a means of contraception. But I do support a woman’s right to choose, and I think this is essential for a free and democratic society. I say this as someone who’s mother considered an abortion, and was under pressure possibly to have one. This was in the 60’s when things were much harder for unmarried women who were pregnant. But she decided, that is made a choice, not to. The important thing I think is that she had a choice, and this is one of the foundations of a positive relationship between us. Had she either been forced into, or forced not to carry her pregnancy to term things could have been a lot worse. Women are not just vessels for incubating fertilised eggs. Even a woman who cannot have children, such as myself, can see that there are relationship aspects that require active and positive engagement from the mother and the baby. This cannot be forced by a law designed to protect an abstract religious ideal at the expense of reality.

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