Here we go again… As current law stands any hospital that receives federal funds through Medicaid or Medicare is legally required to provide emergency care to any patient in need, regardless of the patient’s financial status. If they are unable to provide the needed care, they have to transfer the patient to a hospital that does. This currently includes women who are experiencing life-threatening complications with a pregnancy who needs an abortion to stay alive. Just to be 100% clear this means that the woman will die if she doesn’t get an abortion. To most reasonable people, an abortion under these circumstances is understandable.
The unreasonable people however are not so happy with that. So in swoops Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to advocate for the extreme “pro-lifers.” Last spring he introduced the “Protect Life Act.” One of the main aspects of the bill is that it will allow hospitals to decline to provide emergency abortions to women who will otherwise die. This is to protect the fetus, which is where the “protect lives” title comes from. Except… if momma dies and the fetus isn’t viable… the fetus dies too, so I’m really not sure whose lives are being protected.
The bill will also ban abortion coverage in state health care exchange insurance plans making it nearly impossible to get abortion coverage. It will also place a gag order on insurers in regards to abortion, meaning they can’t even tell their customers how to get abortion coverage. I’m going to have to borrow a line from Saturday Night Live here and just say “Really?!?!” I mean, really? They can’t even talk about abortion coverage?
I cannot even begin to understand the lack of logic that went into the writing of this bill. I’ve said it before; I can (to a certain extent) understand the mentality of those who oppose abortion on the assumption that it’s ending the life of an unborn child. I disagree that an 8 week old fetus qualifies as a child, but I get the mentality. What I don’t understand is how people can have such a disregard for the life of a pregnant woman that they are willing to let her die rather than ensure she is able to access an abortion in the event of a life threatening complication. Shameful is really the only word I have to describe this.
The bill, introduced as H.R. 358 is up for debate this week and is scheduled to be voted on by members of the House on Friday October 14th. A representative for the White House announced that if the bill does pass, President Obama will veto it, but I see no reason why it should come to that. If you support a woman’s right to life, contact your Representative today.