Meet The Newly-Powerful Dudes Who Want To Regulate Your Uterus


The midterm elections brought new members of Congress very interested in your uterus, and also empowered the existing reps who were already all over it. Brace yourself. Here are some key players to watch out for.

John Boehner (R-OH). Duh. His chief of staff just met with domestic terrorist Randall Terry. He has said, “There is no cause more noble than the defense of human life,” and he worships Henry Hyde. Also, “Of his 142 votes on reproductive rights in his 20 years as a Representative, Boehner has voted pro-choice zero times,” per DailyKos.

Joe Pitts, (R-PA). He’s just been named chairman of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, which the Times reported this weekend “presages a major shift on abortion and family planning, according to opponents and supporters of abortion rights.” The National Right to Life Committee adores him, saying he has “made the protection of the sanctity of innocent human life the cornerstone of his service in the House,” while the VP of Planned Parenthood called him
“as anti-choice as a member of Congress can be.” The “Protect Life Act” he introduced in April would require that “no funds … may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion” in the new healthcare reform law.

Chris Smith (R-N.J.). He just introduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would make the Hyde Amendment (denying Medicaid coverage for abortions) permanent. But as Mother Jones recently reported that pro-choicers “view it as a Trojan horse for the elimination of private insurance coverage for abortion.” The bill has Boehner’s support.

Mike Pence (R-IN). He’s had his eye on defunding Planned Parenthood for ages, and now he plans to reintroduce his “Title X Abortion Provider Prohibition Act.” Unsurprisingly, it has Michele Bachmann’s enthusiastic support. Never mind that government funding for Planned Parenthood “goes to family planning, contraception, sex education, and prevention and treatment of STIs, and is carefully monitored so that none of it is used to provide abortions, as per federal law.”

Steve Chabot (R-OH) His first stint in Congress included a starkly anti-choice record, including sponsoring the so-called Partial Birth Abortion Ban, to which he opposed all health exceptions. He said in 2006: “The problem with the health exception is we have a number of abortionists who have testified that any pregnancy is a risk to a woman’s health. So if you have a health exception in there, in essence, you have a phony partial-birth abortion ban.”

The End Of Abortion Insurance? [MJ]
Push For Stricter Abortion Limits Expected In House [NYT]
Related: An Anti-Choice Wishlist For The New Congress [RHRC]

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