This bill prohibits any federal funds from being used for any health benefit coverage that includes abortions with the exception of terminating pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest or if the woman suffers from an injury, illness or physical disorder.
This kind of legislation attacks women’s health and it isn’t a new thing. It has been lurking around since 1976 as the Hyde Amendment, a provision that bans federal Medicaid funds for abortion except when the woman’s life is endangered by the pregnancy.
It’s an oppressive provision that’s gotten pinned onto annual bills every year since.
It’s ritualistic in a sense, like an annual pinning ceremony to commemorate paternalism and having control over what a woman does with her body
This bill further reinforces a woman’s role as an incubator and baby factory. It’s hard not to feel that the government has once again reduced a valid medical procedure to a dirty, shameful thing that’s only necessary in traumatic circumstances where a woman is a damsel in distress.
Passing this bill affects all women negatively especially low income women who need medical coverage the most.
The Guttmacher Institute reports 58 percent of women who seek abortions are in their 20s, 61 percent have one or more children, 56 percent are unmarried and not cohabiting, 69 percent are economically disadvantaged and 73 percent report a religious affiliation as the reason.
This data reflects characteristics not uncommon for women seeking abortions: young, single and poor. These women are in a difficult situation where having a child would be a trying hardship they could never sustain.
And the reality is that sometimes that is the only choice. But that’s the keyword: choice. Women should be able to decide.
Being at a particularly low point in one’s life doesn’t mean a woman won’t able to rise up and succeed in the future. But she needs to be given that chance first.
What this bill’s passing really does is take away the opportunity for young women to improve the quality of life they grew up in.
Having a child is a lifelong commitment that requires a huge amount of sacrifice and financial resources. Taking away the medical coverage of this important procedure is taking away a critical choice from these young women.
It also puts lives at risk by making women resort to unsafe measures of abortion in times of desperation.
In the grand scheme of things, it continues the cycle of poverty by making it unlikely these women will be able to afford higher education for themselves and their unborn children.
Women who have bright futures ahead will not have a chance to better themselves. They will have to worry about earning enough to support not only themselves, but their child.
This will leave them no time to pursue a degree, accept a higher paying job that’s more demanding or time to emotionally mature in order to provide the nurture and care every child deserves.
Not giving women a choice will successfully ensure they permanently remain in a helpless position, for both themselves and their children.