In a follow up to their failure to renew the Children’s Health Insurance Program, House Republicans once again demonstrated their continuing compassionate care for children by passing a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, except where the mother’s health is threatened or in cases of rape and/or incest. Author of the bill, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA.) said:
All of us—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents—can agree that the government has a vested interest in protecting the rights of children, and that should include unborn children after 20 weeks.
In the face of continuing cuts to education budgets, Head Start, attacks on WIC (nutrition programs for women and children), cuts to SNAP, attempts to slash school breakfast and lunch programs, and a host of other assaults on children at risk, it is abundantly clear that this current bill, which enjoys the full support of the White House, is nothing more than a religious war against women and their right to control and make decisions about their own bodies.
The legislation begs the question “who decides when the mother’s life is at risk?” For that matter, how does anyone know that a woman and her doctor have decided to terminate her pregnancy without gross violations of HIPPA laws protecting patient privacy?
As I write this, Sen. Lindsey Graham has introduced a similar bill in the Senate, saying:
At the end of the day what we are trying to do is stop the practice of abortion on-demand at 20 weeks, and believe it or not, it is a problem.
The basic premise of both bills is the issue of “pain capable,” meaning the fetus might feel pain during an abortion at or after 20 weeks. Sen. James Lanford (R-OK), in a breathtaking demonstration of scientific illiteracy, said:
Occasionally there is an abortion where it is botched and instead of actually destroying the child in the womb, the child is fully delivered. This bill would say ‘if a child is fully developed, or fully delivered, then they need to get medical attention to try to protect their life,'” he later added.
Viability does NOT start at 20 weeks, that means a 20-week old fetus is NOT a child. Furthermore, they claim to care about children but babies who are as little as 3-4 weeks early often require months of neonatal ICU care and experience a lifetime of medical difficulties. Obviously, with the failure of renewal of CHIP Republicans like Lanford don’t give a tinker’s damn about caring for those children after forcing doctors to “try to protect their lives.”
Abortion is a medical procedure, a choice made by a woman and carried out by her doctor. No one else belongs in that procedure room, no matter what their holy books tells them. Don’t want an abortion? Don’t have one. But keep the hell out of other people’s wombs. Because it isn’t your choice. It is way past time to run these Bible thumpers out of Congress and let science, compassion, and common sense guide our lawmakers.