The Secret Republican Plan To Save America By Making Abortions (AKA Healthcare) Inaccesible

Hi remember when the House (which at this point is synonymous pretty much with “the Republicans in Congress”) tried to cut all funding for Planned Parenthood? That was super cute but ended up not working. At least not then. But if you thought that meant Planned Parenthood – or, you know, women in America – were safe, hoo boy were you wrong! What are those wacky misogynistic politicians up to this week?

Well! They’re expected to pass HR3, which is also known as the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act,” which tells you pretty much everything you need to know right there because TAXPAYERS ALREADY DO NOT FUND ABORTION. Minor point. What this would actually do is penalize private insurance companies if they cover abortion, which means this bill would be more accurately titled “No Affordable Access To Abortion, Even Though You Yourself Are A Taxpayer And Therefore Entitled To Healthcare Act.” I guess that’s a lot longer though, not as catchy.

“This is definitely breaking new ground for federal funding abortion bans,” Julie Rovner of NPR just said on C-SPAN of HR3. “I have never seen a situation quite this,” professor George Washington University law professor Sara Rosenbaum told the Los Angeles Times of Indiana’s ban. Along with the failed attempt to strip Planned Parenthood of all federal funding, this is yet another new frontier in the abortion wars — which manages to hurt women’s access to medical care more than it’s expected to move the needle on abortion.

To reiterate once again, in case this is unclear: even to the extent that Planned Parenthood is funded by the federal government, zero of those dollars will ever ever go to fund an abortion, as that is illegal. They will instead go to help women PLAN their PARENTHOOD, to treat sexually transmitted diseases, to provide birth control so abortion won’t be necessary, and provide a wide range of basic healthcare treatment for women who have no health insurance and therefore no other option for healthcare. Also, as we’ve mentioned before, they’re often a safer and more accessible option for queer people. When you cut any kind of funding to Planned Parenthood, that’s what you’re cutting funding for – rarely, if ever, abortions. (Although cutting funding

"I'VE NEVER EVEN HAD AN ABORTION, HAVE YOU?" "NOPE! JUST, YOU KNOW, HEALTHCARE!"

And if that wasn’t enough, there’s this: Indiana governor Mitch Daniels has said he will sign a bill denying Medicaid recipients the right to seek ANY care at Planned Parenthood – he’s not even pretending this is just about restricting access to abortion. This is clearly and unabashedly a plan to punish and make an example of any organization that provides abortions, or even care for women and marginalized groups (Medicaid is an insurance option for people whose income falls below a government-mandated poverty line). But really, this isn’t about decreasing abortions, is it? There are 28 Planned Parenthood centers in Indiana, and only 4 of them even offer abortions. And if it was, then there would be much more interest in funding for access to birth control, just for one example.

What Daniels is doing seems pretty clearly illegal, and Medicaid and Planned Parenthood have both indicated that they will look into legal action to protect their patients:

“If the state denies payment to these providers, that would be illegal,” said Mary Kahn, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. agency that administers the two huge healthcare programs. “There are some options available to us. But I can’t say what action will be taken to bring the state into compliance. All we can say now is we will review the matter once Indiana decides.”

But this hasn’t stopped many from speculating that other states may follow in Indiana’s example. Oh, and just fyi, there are still ongoing efforts to defund Planned Parenthood in Congress, they just didn’t happen to work in time for the final budget compromise earlier this year. And also moving to Canada isn’t really a viable response, if it ever was. So! Enjoy! And go get that weird itching checked out while you still can.


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Rachel

Rachel is Autostraddle's Managing Editor and the editor who presides over news & politics coverage. Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.

22 Comments

    • yespleasecomehere, I need more autostraddlers here.

      in Germany, nearly everyone has healthcare (there is a “public” and a “private” option). It’s so cheap. I’m a student and I pay about 80 euros a month. (116 $?)
      ’tis nothing ’cause I can go to the doctor whenever I have a cold!

      also: WHAT THE FUCK were those idiots doing for sex BEFORE they were totally legally STRAIGHT MARRIED? having, uhm, gay sex so noone gets pregnant? having anal sex so noone gets pregnant? without condoms because condoms are teh evil and straights don’t spread the AIDS?
      come ON! those vacuums of intelligence were teenagers once, too. they have to know that abstinence is not an option.

      ARGH. feel my european anger. (Obvs)

      • ok, I vote for Scandinavia too…

        … a german archbishop just revoked a gay man’s license to teach, wtf bigots (with all our scandals about child abuse in the church.. the gay man clearly is the problem.)
        http://www.n-tv.de/politik/Meisner-entzieht-Lehrerlaubnis-article3264656.html

        Camp AS In The Mountains anyone? I speak swedish, too, so it would be no problem moving to Sweden/Norway. I hereby happily volunteer to be everyone and their gaybro’s interpreter if needed.

      • I’m moving to Germany! It’s going to take a few years to get everything here settled and get my ass over there, but it WILL happen!

        Because this kind of bullshit? I can’t take it anymore. It just gets worse and worse all the time. There comes a point where trying to change the system from the inside becomes tilting at windmills. This country is fucked. I’m out.

          • I don’t really know about the sucking part. abortions are legal within the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, or if there could be damage to your health – before having the abortion, you have to go to a counseling session and wait 3 days. so that’s that.

    • But not the UK, because we too have the Conservatives in charge (in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, who are proving fairly useless)and they are doing these two things:

      http://www.thefword.org.uk/blog/2011/05/the_problems_wi (Mandatory abstinence-only education-just for girls!)

      http://www.sparkindarkness.com/2011/05/ban-on-same-sex-kisses-pre-watershed.html (A ban on same-sex kissing before 9pm on TV. Although the specifics of this one are in doubt, the one above is definitely true.)

      And not France because they have banned the burka/niqab.

      I think we should all decamp to Scandinavia, which may be freezing nine months of the year but at least we’d have more rights.

      • While it’s true that the Conservatives are in charge, and that’s a shame/pain in the arse, at least women have the right to choose in the UK, since it was legalised there you’ve very kindly let us Irish come over and avail of the right to choose whenever necessary which is great. It’s not great that we have to travel to a different country to do so but at least the option is there. But I agree, sometimes I feel like we should all just tell the bigots to feck off and head to Norway or Sweden or another land of perpetual winter that happen to have loads of rights…..equal rights, frostbite and vodka for all! :-)

      • To be fair on our fairly sane Parliament (with the obvious exception of Dorries and the few dozen far right), the abstinence bill will never pass — there are ten more stages to becoming law, and it won’t even get through the first one. (http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/passage-bill/)

        The thing was introduced as a Ten Minute Rule bill (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Minute_Rule), which is less of a real bill and more of a publicity platform. They are the lowest priority of anything in Parliament so they tend to die or disappear without the first reading debate even being finished.

  1. Sometimes I wonder if these “pro-life”ers ever stopped to consider the “choice” in pro-choice. Personally, I would not have been able to go through with an abortion, because in my heart, I wouldn’t feel it was right, but I do believe that every person should have the right to make that decision for themselves. People aren’t just numbers, statistics, figures and facts. People are stories, and these politicians haven’t read the stories that are the millions of girls they are deciding the futures of. They don’t seem to have read the history books either. The alternative to legal abortion isn’t no abortion.

    (Also, Americans, please explain something to me. How does the right-wing ideal of a small government include deciding over people’s lives, hearts and bodies? I realize that the sixties cause a polarization in terms of religious morals and believes which tied closer bonds between conservativism in religion and politics, but seriously. The connection between abortion, same-sex marriage and low taxes should have caved in on its own flawed logic long ago.)
    #somanyfeelings

    • I agree sooo much! As someone who has been raped I KNOW that, had I gotten pregnant from the encounters, I would have gotten an abortion. PERIOD! I would NEVER have been able to carry that monster’s child.

      HOWEVER – on the other hand – when I was legally married to a man I got pregnant when I should not have and my life could have been/probably was in danger. The first thing my OB asked me at my first appointment was “When should we schedule the termination?” My response” NEVER, I’m carrying this baby..I love the man I created it with, and I will not terminate it. I’ll make it thru.” And I did.

      So I’ve been on the “choice” side of the abortion issue – once I would have chosen, once I wouldn’t have. The point is I HAD THE CHOICE! I had the choice. Not the lawmakers, not congress, not “the people”, ME!

      Do NOT take that choice away because unless you know the story behind EACH and EVERY person who wants/needs/chooses an abortion! PLUS – WE HAVE THE LEGAL RIGHT TO AN ABORTION! Roe V Wade anyone?

      This just infuriates me!! Tax dollars aren’t even ALLOWED to fund abortions so all they are REALLY doing with this is prohibiting people from having safe sex!!!!! I guess the spread of AIDS, and other sexual diseases doesn’t matter as long as they can PRETEND that by doing this that they are making ALL people only have straight, married, monogamous sex. As Dr. Phil would say “How’s that working for them?”

    • Rachel Maddow said ( in this episode: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/04/13/6463628-civil-war-politics-here-again) that basically it’s a hangover from the civil war where rich politicians/business men use social issues (slavery) to get poor people to vote for economic/political policy that actually disadvantages them (small state governments).

      That is, using uneducated people’s racism/sexism/religious intolerance/homophobia to rile them up and get them to vote for politicians who will cut those same people’s access to health care and education and funnel that money in to big business. The politicians know that they will always get elected because they’ve convinced uneducated people that the blacks/gays/jews/women/immigrants/heretics are the reason for the poor economy/declining value system/lack of health care.

    • RAGEEEEE. How DARE 15 of the people who represent my state be voting for this bill? I want to puke. 15 are for it, only 4 are opposed. I sincerely apologize on behalf of Pennsylvania. You don’t deserve to sufferer because of the bigots our state elected.

    • Well, see, once you’re born, you’re no longer of any importance. We have to protect the Unborn from the Actual Real-Life Women, you know? Because women are all evil child killing whores, you know? There’s no blame in their deaths but their own.

      …Excuse me while I vom from even pretending to hold these views in sarcasm.

  2. I hate Mitch Daniels with a passion.

    The shit Indiana does just infuriates me so much. They’re so ass backwards with their obsession with being able to carry guns and control women by taking away healthcare and Planned Parenthood.

    It’s embarrassing to live here.

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