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The Protect Life Act & Pennsylvania's Representative Pitts

Well, I seem to be forming a trend around women and family issues. This is my second in a series about Republicans in our House of Representatives trying to limit the rights of women. This time I'm very disheartened to say that the bill's leading sponsor is Rep. Joe Pitts from my own state of Pennsylvania (note to self: do not vote for him).

Bill HR 358 -- deemed the "Protect Life Act" -- appears to be a re-working of the Stupak/Pitts Amendment from 2009. The section of the bill which is causing concern states:
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 the real issue at odds is not what this bill says, but rather what it does not. The language typically inserted in such bills which regards the health of the mother is included in an earlier provision related to funding but is not included in this non-discrimination provision. Critics say the elimination of this language from said section would allow hospitals to turn away a pregnant mother who may be dying, because they are not willing to perform an abortion.

What first brought this bill to my attention was this set of cartoons from NPR.

BUT, I think the bigger question in all of this is why the Republicans who claim they are working on jobs, are so very focused on social issues. To me, these types of bills seem like the "big government" they so vehemently claim to be against.

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Cartoon: Jen Sorensen, SlowPokeComics.com