Representatives and Senators alike, including Senators Ernst and Graham, have introduced an unusually large amount of anti-choice bills and resolutions to the floor of Congress
Today brought us the March For Life 2019; happening right now as I write this. Judging by the fact that their own site lists “Sidewalk Prophets” as the first billing on their list of speakers and performers, I’m going to assume it is going off as a hit. The theme of this year? Pro-science!…“Being pro-life is not in opposition to science. It’s quite the opposite in fact! Medical and technological advancements continue to reaffirm the science behind the pro-life cause — that life begins at fertilization, or day one, when egg meets sperm and a new, unique, human embryo is created.” While that alone is enough to debate, something much more concerning has been going on over the past few days.
We are used to having quite a few anti-choice bills or legislation restricting women’s reproductive rights throughout the year, but over the past three days alone, 17 bills or resolutions were introduced to the floors of the House and Senate to pursue attacks against pro-choice medical professionals, intentionally inflict shame, humiliation, or emotional distress, or to further restrict the rights women have over their own bodies. Ten were introduced in the Senate, and seven were brought to the floor of the House.
These bills and resolutions pursue quite a few different strategies. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced S.160, “A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect pain-capable unborn children, and for other purposes.” Rep. Mooney (R-WV-2) submitted his attempt, H.R. 616, “To implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.” Working as a team, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA-4) brought S. 119 and H.R. 611, “To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions,” with 38 congressmen co-sponsoring the legislation.
Meanwhile, Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) apparently couldn’t decide who was going to be to the one to defund Planned Parenthood. Both introduced separate legislation titled, “A bill to prohibit Federal funding of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.” Ernst flooring it as S. 141 and Paul as S. 158. It seems like most chose to side with Ernst, garnering 34 co-sponsors to Paul’s 0.
There are three that are especially worth mentioning. First, Representative Jody Hice (R-GA-10) brought to the floor two curve-balls. H.Res.50 is quite disturbing. Hice proposes “Memorializing the unborn by lowering the United States flag to half-staff on the 22d day of January each year.” That is a gross misuse of government property, and the American Flag, to attack and shame the rights and choices of others. Only five other representatives have fallen in behind this one, but 18 have co-sponsored Hice’s other, H.R. 305, “To provide the human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” I feel like I’ve heard that recently…
“Being pro-life is not in opposition to science. It’s quite the opposite in fact! Medical and technological advancements continue to reaffirm the science behind the pro-life cause — that life begins at fertilization, or day one, when egg meets sperm and a new, unique, human embryo is created.”
The third is one of the most concerning. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC-5) sponsored H.R. 634, “To ensure that women seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound and the opportunity to review the ultrasound before giving informed consent to receive an abortion.” Another hateful, manipulative, heartless attack against women’s reproductive rights and ownership of their own bodies. A rape survivor, a victim of incest, a woman who may desperately wants this baby, but the pregnancy is going to kill her if she continues, would be subjected to hearing and seeing the developing fetus before making the final decision whether or not to go through with the choice that they made. A difficult choice that they have likely already debated for hours, days, or weeks before even scheduling their first visit, only to have to potentially re-experience all the trauma and heartache that they already went through thinking it through before. Even worse, a 2009 study found that not a single woman in the study changed their mind after an ultrasound. This bill would create extra financial and emotional strains, to likely accomplish nothing in terms of “change”.
There are many more examples, including attempts to enforce anti-choice agendas around the world through rules to receive U.S. foreign aid. The full list that I referred to can be found at the end of this article. When it is 2019 and thousands are attending an anti-choice rally and calling it “pro-science,” it is becoming increasingly more critical to stay aware of what is happening in our government.
Why are so many bills and resolutions attacking women’s reproductive rights being introduced in such a short amount of time?
Was this a planned effort to group all these into a few days? If so, why?
Was there money to be made from so aggressively pursuing these efforts so early in the year, or are they just representing their ideals and constituents?
Maybe it is just politics as usual. Maybe the 116th Congress has an exceptionally anti-choice Right this session. Either way, is this really what Congress needs to be putting all of their effort into when we are in the midst of a record-breaking Government Shutdown? You tell me.