Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
In somewhat of a surprise this week, the main anti-abortion bill of the Christian Taliban aka Center for Arizona Policy, House Bill 2838, which proposed to toughen state abortion requirements including banning nearly all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, died after it failed to draw enough support to merit a committee vote.
Perhaps our Tea-Publican legislators were watching the mass protests in Virginia this week that caused Gov. Bob McDonnell to drop his support for the state-sanctioned rape by trans-vaginal ultrasound probe abortion bill. Sen. Jill Vogel, the sponsor of the bill, said she will strike her legislation, killing the bill.
This was followed by the Virginia Senate voting 24-14 to scuttle a bill that would have given fertilized eggs the same legal rights as people (the "personhood" bill). Huzzah! Virginia puts 'personhood' bill on hold until next year.
If only we were so lucky in Arizona. The point man woman for Center for Arizona Policy, Rep. Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix), plans to paste the language of HB 2838 into another of her bills, HB 2036, as a "strike-everything amendment."
HB 2036, which originally dealt with regulations in the Attorney General's Office (private attorney retention; contingency fees), already passed the House and is scheduled for a hearing on Monday in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 2:00 p.m., in Senate Hearing Room 1. Get yourself there to testify in person or sign up online to testify.
h/t Daily Kos for graphic
Unable to shepherd an abortion bill out of a House committee, pro-life advocates are resorting to a common legislative maneuver to revive the proposal.
Instead of persuading the chairman of the House committee who refused to hold a vote on the bill, they’re attaching its provisions onto another measure that is scheduled to receive a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 27.
The measure would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.
“We are striking the bill around (Rep.) Cecil Ash,” said Sen. Ron Gould, the Senate’s Judiciary chairman.
* * *
Supporters of the legislation will amend HB 2036, which is now in the Senate, with the language of HB 2838.
When asked about the bill’s chances, Gould said there are ample pro-life members on his committee.
* * *
Under [HB 2838], physicians could be punished with professional misconduct – the original charge of a Class 5 felony was removed by an amendment – if they perform an abortion after the fetus is past 20 weeks of gestation.
The measure is being pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy, the influential pro-life group that has successfully backed for abortion restrictions over the past several years.
Deborah Sheasby, the center’s legal counsel, said the bill was intended to protect the health of the mother.
Like hell it is. The goal is to narrow the time frame in which a woman can obtain a legal abortion in Arizona. Center for Arizona Policy has been waging a war against women's reproductive health and constitutional rights under a gradual erosion strategy for years. Its ultimate goal is a completely ban all abortions and enact "personhood" at conception, which would eliminate almost all forms of birth control other than prophylactics, or CAP's preferred method of abstinence.
CAP seeks to impose its Christian religious dogma on all women with the force of state law, regardless of others' religious beliefs, if any, or liberty of conscience.
And it's not just here in Arizona. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to allow a vote on the Blunt Amendment this week in the U.S. Senate.
The amendment is offered by forced-birth Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) The text of the Blunt Amendment is taken from a National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) endorsed bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (S. 1467, H.R. 1179). It would amend the Obama health care law (“Affordable Care Act”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that supposedly violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health care insurance.
In effect, the Blunt Amendment would allow any employer (not just religiously affiliated employers) to impose the employer's religious belief or moral objection on employees by denying insurance coverage for any health care coverage to which the employer objects. This is not limited to contraception -- contraception is just the cynical "dog whistle" to the GOP base that Tea-Publicans are using in an effort to weaken and undermine the provisions of the ACA.
Religious liberty and conscience is a right possessed by individuals -- individuals make the determination whether or not to use contraception. There is no inherent right of employers to make this personal and private health care decision for employees. That would elevate employers to a preferential status over the rights of all others, something never contemplated by the Founding Fathers in drafting the Bill of Rights. We all enjoy equal rights under the law.
Democratic senators said in a press call that one of the more disturbing parts of the Blunt amendment is that it removes anti-discrimination protections from national health care coverage. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said it's clear that the birth control controversy is part of a concerted GOP strategy to win in 2012, because they believe "their path to victory on election day runs right through a women's health clinic." Blunt Amendment Is 'Desperate' GOP Election Strategy, Senate Dems Say:
"They seem to think that if they can make birth control harder for women to get, that they're going to see results at the ballot box," she said. "You know, this is a desperate strategy from a party that is clearly given up on creating jobs and boosting the economy."
Tea-Publicans only succeed when the public is foolish enough to fall for the "culture war" wedge issue politics of division.