Saturday, November 20

Under cover of Darkness

There is a big omnibus spending bill that needs to get passed otherwise the gubmint will shut down, and in true republican fashion they have inserted an anti abortion clause that will open the door to the refusal of government funded health care for women without reprisal. I am sorry but this is a privacy issue, and I would just as soon see Dubbya and his crotch sniffing minions of morality legislation tackle some real issues, in other words Get the Government out of our Bedrooms. From the NYT.

Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill

Published: November 20, 2004

WASHINGTON, Saturday, Nov. 20 - House and Senate negotiators have tucked a potentially far-reaching anti-abortion provision into a $388 billion must-pass spending bill, complicating plans for Congress to wrap up its business and adjourn for the year.

The provision may be an early indication of the growing political muscle of social conservatives who provided crucial support for Republican candidates, including President Bush, in the election.

House officials said Saturday morning that the final details of the spending measure were worked out before midnight and that the bill was filed for the House vote on Saturday.

The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.
So we already have a law that allows for consciencious objection, but now we get a law that provides cover for the true medical desicion makers, Hospital administrators and Insurance companies. This certainly is a good way to kill Roe v Wade, while keeping the law around to stir up the self righteous during future election cycles.

This kind of cynical legislative tactic is just another salvo in the war to destroy the right of privacy. this is exactly the kind of governmental intervention into the relationship between doctor and patient that Dubbya warned us about when he was projecting his desires on Kerry's health plan. Shame lies twitching and near death in some back alley, and one wonders if she will even be missed.
"It's something we've had a longstanding interest in," said Douglas Johnson, a spokesman for the National Right to Life Committee. He added, "This is in response to an orchestrated campaign by pro-abortion groups across the country to use government agencies to coerce health care providers to participate in abortions."
Doug, if i may call you that, I think you may be overstating the situation. I believe that the pro-choice groups that you refer to are only interested in keeping all legal options on the table when a woman and her doctor choose to discuss treatment options, not to force abortions on anyone. Now if I read this correctly, your group is attempting to force the government to remove access to legal methods of care available to a woman and limit the options her doctor has when addressing legitimate health concerns. Barbara Boxer is not going to back down without a fight.
The provision could affect millions of American women, according to Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California, who warned Friday that she would use procedural tactics to slow Senate business to a crawl if the language was not altered.

"I am willing to stand on my feet and slow this thing down," Ms. Boxer said. "Everyone wants to go home, I know that, and I know I will not win a popularity contest in the Senate. But they should not be doing this. On a huge spending bill they're writing law, and they're taking away rights from women."
Some lawmakers and Congressional aides interpreted the House leaders' insistence as reflection of the new political strength of the anti-abortion movement and of Christian conservatives, who played an important role in re-electing Mr. Bush this month.

"They are catering to their right wing doing this," said Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa. "It doesn't make it right. I think this is the first step."
Let the legislation of morality begin in the full light of day. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned from the small group of people who have high-jacked the republican party, if twenty percent of the country can get it's way by throwing a never ending tantrum, maybe we need to get some adults who know how to deal with petulant children, back in control of the government. Morality Mandate, my Ass.