The Protect Life Act…

15 Oct

The House just passed the Protect Life Act, which true to its name ensures that all U.S. citizens have access to affordable health care, nutritious meals, and safe housing. It also eliminates capital punishment and reduces our military presence abroad. No, wait, I confused the U.S. with a first world country; the bill actually does the following:

Limitation on Abortion Funding-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), including credits applied toward qualified health plans under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or cost-sharing reductions under section 1402 of this Act, 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…

So, what’s the point of this? House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says it’s to “ensure that no taxpayer dollars flow to health care plans that cover abortion and no health care worker has to participate in abortions against their will.”

Cantor must think we live in some sci-fi movie in which everyone, after their birth from a futuristic gestation matrix, is assigned a career with no option to choose something else — such as the vegan who got randomly assigned to the slaughterhouse that specializes in cute animals. If you are distinctly anti-abortion, it might behoove you to consider a career in which it will never come up. It’s not that hard. I have friends who are real estate agents and accountants. To my knowledge, they’ve never had to participate in an abortion — even when the market was at its worst.

The bill does make the usual exceptions for “rape or incest,” so apparently the life is less worthy of protection if the father is a bastard and the mother did not actually enjoy the sex that led to conception. There’s also an allowance if the woman might die. However, that only gets her through Level 1 of the government-approved misogyny video game. Level 2 is still the potential refusal of the service if it offends the sensibility of medical provider.

OPTION TO PURCHASE SEPARATE COVERAGE OR PLAN- Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting any non-Federal entity (including an individual or a State or local government) from purchasing separate coverage for abortions for which funding is prohibited under this subsection, or a qualified health plan that includes such abortions, so long as–

‘(A) such coverage or plan is paid for entirely using only funds not authorized or appropriated by this Act; and

‘(B) such coverage or plan is not purchased using–

‘(i) individual premium payments required for a qualified health plan offered through an Exchange towards which a credit is applied under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

‘(ii) other non-Federal funds required to receive a Federal payment, including a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds.

I’m not a lawyer but basically, if you’re rich, you can still have an abortion — just have your butler hand over some gold bars to the doctor. This seems to put abortion on the same medical footing as a nose job and breast enlargement.

There is a section the prevents “nondiscrimination on abortion,” but that actually is intended to protect medical providers who are anti-abortion and don’t wish to perform them (sort of like the dentists who don’t like root canals):

‘(1) NONDISCRIMINATION- A Federal agency or program, and any State or local government that receives Federal financial assistance under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), may not subject any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination, or require any health plan created or regulated under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) to subject any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination, on the basis that the health care entity refuses to–

‘(A) undergo training in the performance of induced abortions;

‘(B) require or provide such training;

‘(C) perform, participate in, provide coverage of, or pay for induced abortions; or

‘(D) provide referrals for such training or such abortions

I think this is how you ban abortion while people are too busy watching primetime TV to notice. Who needs to bother with Roe v. Wade? Reading this bill, it seems a woman has a better chance blowing up the Death Star than getting an abortion.

Laura Bassett from the Huffington Post reports further:

H.R. 358, introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), goes beyond the issue of taxpayer dollars to place actual limits on the way a woman spends her own money. The bill would prevent a woman from buying a private insurance plan that includes abortion coverage through a state health care exchange, even though most insurance plans currently cover abortion.

An even more controversial aspect of the bill would allow hospitals that are morally opposed to abortion, such as Catholic institutions, to do nothing for a woman who requires an emergency abortion procedure to save her life. Current law requires that hospitals give patients in life-threatening situations whatever care they need, regardless of the patient’s financial situation, but the Protect Life Act would make a hospital’s obligation to provide care in medical emergencies secondary to its refusal to provide abortions.

I suppose the bill is appropriately named after all: Its stated desire to “protect life” certainly is an act.


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