“I believe in this nation we need to take a stand for life.”
That is what state Senator Jason Rapert from Arkansas (R-Conway) said upon the introduction of an abortion bill that would seek to ban abortions where a fetal heartbeat is detected. North Dakota is also currently considering a fetal heartbeat bill. That is in addition to North Dakota's consideration of bill SB 2305 which would require any physician performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. In fact, there are currently four abortion bills being considered by the North Dakota legislature, all aimed at banning or limiting further access to abortion services. Both heartbeat bills appear to be modeled after the failed Ohio legislation.
Each week that goes by brings another attempt by Republicans to circumvent the law by introducing legislation that undermines Roe v Wade.
I do not care what your individual views are on abortion and neither do other women, or those in need of having an abortion. When you go buy a gun, do you consider what other people’s religion says on the subject? When you are having sex, do you want to know what your Congressman thinks about it? Nope and definitely not.
Here’s what I really do not understand about Republicans who claim to be for small government, for limiting the role of government in our lives. How do you reconcile that attitude with a stance opposing abortion? Congressman and failed vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has this to say on government:
“The oath that all of us take is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, under which government is limited and the people are sovereign.”
The people are sovereign, unless Ryan disagrees with you, in which case Ryan would actively seek to destroy the very nature of your sovereignty. How can he be for limiting the role of government and increasing it at the same time?
Here’s Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) back in 2009:
“On health care, we’ve put forward a better alternative that will reduce costs, expand access, and increase the quality of care in a way Americans can afford — without new taxes, costly mandates, or a government takeover that puts bureaucrats in charge of medical decisions that should be made by doctors and patients.”
Congressman Tom Price (R-Ga.) wrote an op-ed piece when Congress was considering health care legislation where he expressed serious concerns over a ‘government takeover’ of the U.S. health care system, going on to say, “That’s a whole lot of government involved in personal, private health care decisions.”
Mitt Romney toed the Republican line in June of 2012. Too bad it was all fiction. See, Republicans only care about alleged governmental involvement in medical decisions, not actual governmental involvement.
Because the truth is, they want to be involved. Very much so. Here’s what John Boehner had to say on abortion just this past week:
"...help make abortion a relic of the past. "Let that be one of our most fundamental goals this year."
Republicans would have you believe that they are doing this because political will is in their favor, well it isn’t.
When legislation in passed on abortion at the national or state or local level, it has a real effect on the lives of those seeking an abortion. After Act 217 was passed in Wisconsin, medical abortions were essentially outlawed due to the vague wording of the bill. The bill also made it more difficult to obtain a medical abortion as it increased the waiting period. Also, in Wisconsin the GOP eliminated state funding to Planned Parenthood where less than 2% of its services were abortion-related.
As I've stated before, Republicans seem to be hell-bent on intervening in the lives of women and what medical choices they make. How is that small government? How does this not encroach upon our individual sovereignty? Of course it does, but Republicans don’t care about that.
What they do care about are gun rights, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an e-mail to his supporters,
"You and I are literally surrounded. The gun-grabbers in the Senate are about to launch an all-out-assault on the Second Amendment. On your rights. On your freedom...”
Roe v. Wade established that a women’s right to choose what happens to her body is protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. So, you would expect after seeing McConnell’s vigorous defense of the Second Amendment that he would do the same for all of our constitutionally-protected rights, but you would be wrong. Instead he has done the exact opposite.
To Republicans, gun rights are a fundamental freedom whereupon even the suggestion of legislation is met with severe resistance.
"I don't want a national list of people selling guns ... My reasoning is that we have too much government as it is..." Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).
But Hatch didn’t seem to have a problem with the role of government when he proposed the addition of an anti-abortion amendment to a totally unrelated Korean trade bill.
"The ideal world is one without abortion. Until then, we will continue to pass laws to ensure that they are as rare as possible." Governor Rick Perry (R- Tx.)
Republicans are blinded by a political ideology that focuses on a world that doesn’t exist, so much so that they actively ignore solutions to the very thing they find so morally reprehensible, like extending insurance coverage to cover birth control.
You cannot legislate your way to a perceived utopia where abortions do not exist. What you can do is prevent the need for abortions by expanding medical coverage and advocating for improved access to education and contraception. But they will not even do that — from the Republican 2012 platform:
“We renew our call for replacing “family planning” programs for teens with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior. Abstinence from sexual activity is the only protection that is 100 percent effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually ( ... ) We oppose school-based clinics that provide referrals, counseling, and related services for abortion and contraception. We support keeping federal funds from being used in mandatory or universal mental health, psychiatric, or socio- emotional screening programs.”
Republicans only wish to prevent abortion or talk about sex when they consider it to be politically expedient or in-line with their own personally held beliefs. To Republicans, abortion is about a deeply held moral belief concerning the sanctity of life which propels them to legislate against half of the U.S. population. But, when it comes to gun control or fiscal issues, Republicans paint them as fundamental attacks on our freedom, liberty, privacy, and the very document that governs us. But what could be more central to the tenants of the Constitution then the right to choose the course that is best for us in life?
Republicans claim to be the defenders of the Constitution, but the only thing they are defending is a way of life that has never and will never exist, while the rest of us suffer the continued erosion of our privacy and freedoms in the futile hopes that legislation against abortion will one day result in the America they wish to see reflected back at them.