Here’s a weekly rundown on two of the many, many abortion-related laws conservatives are hastily drafting and (in the case of Mitch Daniels) signing on Friday nights:
Indiana officials said Thursday they will defy a federal order to continue funding Planned Parenthood and other clinics that offer abortion services. Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law in May that would cut off federal funding from Indiana clinics that perform abortions. The law is primarily aimed at the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics, which get federal family planning grants to administer services unrelated to abortion
A failed legislative proposal that would prohibit low-income Iowans from having a taxpayer-paid abortion in cases of rape or incest returned Thursday, tucked inside what is expected to be the state’s nearly $6 billion budget bill.
“We did what I believe is right to do here,” Rep. Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, said about relaunching the abortion provision. Existing state law follows federal requirements and allows Medicaid money to pay for abortions in situations of rape and incest and when a mother’s life is threatened. The proposal launched in March by House Republicans would remove rape and incest from the list. The Senate, which is narrowly controlled by Democrats, stripped the provision from a budget bill earlier this year.
And, same link, a poll:
Americans are growing tired of the abortion debate and want to move on to a broader discussion about reproductive health, a new survey by a Democratic polling firm finds The poll, conducted by Lake Partners, found that Americans feel Congress has focused too much on abortion and not enough on things like preventive care, reproductive health and expanding access to birth control. When presented with the following statement, 79 percent of adults agreed, with 49 percent agreeing strongly:“While the current political debate focuses too much on abortion, there is a much broader discussion that needs to happen around reproductive health. We may have different opinions about abortion, so rather than continuing to argue about this one issue, our elected officials should focus on the broader context like providing greater access to birth control, teaching comprehensive sex education and improving maternal health and childbirth outcomes. These are issues that will allow us to come together.”
I think the rape and incest provisions are a real dividing line on Republican policy on women’s health. We’re now into something much bigger, and much more radical, than banning abortion. Conservatives are now stating, with these laws, that women’s health extends only to their physical survival. They are quite literally excluding all of a rape or incest victims humanity – mental health, autonomy, free will, capacity to regain control of her own life- besides that of the continuing existence of her physical being and passive presence, and they’re writing that new, lesser status into law.
I’m going to make a bold prediction and bet that this archaic, bizarre and dramatically limited purely physical notion of what constitutes “a woman” or “her health” is not widely accepted in this country. I think the vast majority of us see women as a bit more than their reproductive functions.
Focusing on things like preventive care, reproductive health and expanding access to birth control (from the poll) also just happens to be the mainstream, centrist, Clinton-era Democratic position, so this should be a good political issue for Democrats and liberals. That’s “safe, legal and rare” rephrased positively, and 79% is a very high number.