As if the expansive abortion rights available in this country weren’t enough, the loud and unoppressed women on the Left are asking for more. In the 40+ years since the Supreme Court’s decision regarding Roe v. Wade, unfettered access to abortion has cost countless lives at the altar of choice. According to the Guttmacher Institute, and reported on Life News:
A new analysis indicates the millions of abortions that have taken place since the Supreme Court ushered in an era of unlimited abortions via Roe v. Wade have killed more Americans than were alive in the entire country in 1800.
For those on the side of life, this is a difficult, painful, but necessary fact to remember in the endless fight for the unborn. For those on the side promoting abortion choice, it reads as a win, and one which they desire to build upon, as they did so this week.
On July 8, seventy Congressional co-sponsors joined with [mc_name name=’Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’L000551′ ], [mc_name name=’Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001145′ ], and [mc_name name=’Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S000480′ ] in introducing the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Care (EACH Woman) Act. You can see the full list of the 73 supporters here. The goal of the act is to essentially overturn the Hyde Amendment, a rider first introduced in 1976 which keeps certain Federal funds from going to pay for abortions. In 1993, an appropriations act signed into law by President Clinton changed the amendment, adding the exceptions of rape or incest to the already existing exception of life of the mother. This week the Left is seeking to do away with the 1976 amendment entirely.
The effect of Hyde on the ability of low income women and women of color to access the full range of reproductive health services is devastating. Every year since 1976, Congress has banned federal Medicaid fund from paying for abortion services, resulting in the denial of any access to abortion for countless women who cannot afford to pay for this constitutionally protected care. And while there are limited exemptions under Medicaid for pregnancies caused by rape and incest, these are not easily accessed by the great majority of women who need them, and they impose an arbitrary restriction on what is, should and must be a universally protected right.
In addition to the matter of life entirely, the complaint that “low income women and women of color” are most affected by legislation regarding reproduction always strikes me as odd. I was always under the impression that pregnancy is an aspect of womanhood which is arrived at the same way no matter your skin color or what your bank accounts look like. If anything, the Left is clearly admitting that they believe women who fall into the two previously mentioned categories are incapable of making financially sound decisions before or after pregnancy, or, because of their race, have no chance at success in this area at all. Women, along with babies, deserve better. Women deserve an assumption of responsibility to seek out care for their unborn child, and should they choose to do so after birth, give their child(ren) up for adoption.
Earlier this year, the Hyde Amendment was also in the news during the Congressional debate over the anti-human trafficking bill. As reported in April:
The unanimous outcome put a bipartisan punctuation mark on legislation that started out with wide support from both parties, but veered into a partisan cul-de-sac last month when Democrats said they’d noticed language that could expand federal prohibitions on abortion funding.
Although a compromise was reached giving both parties a portion of what they wanted, the incident showed that Democrats have such a thirst for government funding of abortion that it stood in the way of quick passage of a bill to address the horrendous reality of human trafficking.
I’m not sure what the outcome of the newly introduced legislation will be, but it again reinforces that the Left is obsessed with this sacrament of liberalism. Instead of questioning anything related to abortion rights in this country, they seek to remove all restrictions. While doing so, they brand themselves bold, as they did in the Twitter campaign #BeBoldEndHyde. Protection of abortion and desiring to expand its funding is in no way a bold project. Instead, daring to stand up against such popular, legally-supported rhetoric is. But it’s not about our actions being praised. It’s really about using our voice for the voiceless, those at the center of this decades-long argument. The unborn.
The same day the EACH Woman Act was introduced, I noticed a picture on Planned Parenthood’s Twitter page with the words: “Your rights shouldn’t depend on your zip code.” In regards to the unborn and how they’re denied existence just because of location, and how doing away with even minimal legislative protection will affect them, I couldn’t agree more.