Yesterday, the House passed HR 358, the “Protect Life Act” which would interfere with women’s ability to choose and pay for their own health insurance plans with abortion coverage. As so clearly outlined in the dissent from the House Energy and Commerce Committee:
…this bill clearly goes further than the regulation of federal funds. Its effect would be to harass and intimidate women and their families in their use of their own money. It makes the job of private insurance companies so artificially complicated and unworkable as to force them from the market. It takes anti-abortion politics far beyond where they have been for the decades of the Hyde Amendment and to put them right in the middle of private homes and workplaces and squarely in private citizens’ paychecks and premiums. Its very essence is to create an undue burden on how people can exercise their own choices with their own money, and it creates a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking abortion services.
…For those members of Congress who have regularly said that they are opposed to federal funding of abortion, this bill is absolutely unnecessary.
President Obama has vowed to veto the bill, stating, “…the legislation intrudes on women’s reproductive freedom and access to health care and unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that women and their families have today.”
The Rachel Maddow Show had a nice piece on this last night which called out the Republicans for focusing on an ongoing war against women’s rights instead of focusing on the current unemployment situation. It includes another impassioned speech from Jackie Speier, who spoke so strongly against the bill earlier in the year. Speier also appears as a guest on the show in this clip.