The campaign against abortion

House Republicans doing all they can to limit access

When Republicans took control of the House in January, abortion-rights groups were nervous. They knew these ultra-conservatives were going to do all they could to make abortion even more difficult to obtain than it is now.

Sure enough, that’s what’s happened. First there was the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” H.R. 3, that would make permanent and expand the Hyde amendment, an annual rider to health-services appropriations bills that prohibits Medicaid—in California, Medi-Cal—funding for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger.

H.R. 3 also goes after insurance plans that cover abortions by denying tax credits to companies that offer those plans to employees. And it would block anybody with insurance that covers abortions from receiving federal subsidies, even if the abortion portion is paid separately with personal funds.

More recently, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence has taken advantage of a sting video attacking Planned Parenthood to continue his campaign to defund the group entirely. The hidden video shows an actor posing as a pimp attempting to obtain contraceptives for his underage prostitutes, and one Planned Parenthood counselor apparently giving him assistance, contrary to policy.

The sting failed at 11 other Planned Parenthood centers, and at this one the counselor who violated policy was immediately fired and the situation reported to authorities, but that hasn’t stopped Pence from introducing H.R. 217 to defund the organization entirely.

Planned Parenthood receives no federal funding for its abortion services; Pence’s bill would affect only its family planning and medical services and the 1.85 million mostly low-income women who get help each year at its clinics.

We thought the new House Republicans were going to Washington to create jobs, jobs, jobs. Instead they’re going after women’s private health decisions and medical care. That’s shameful.