WASHINGTON — After a botched effort to pass legislation imposing a 20-week ban on abortions, House Republicans are moving forward Thursday with what’s being dubbed a less controversial bill that codifies a ban on federal funding for abortions.
The bill would do a number of things — including block federal funds for abortion for women who are in the military, who live in Washington, D.C., and who are poor — but one aspect of the legislation that hasn’t received much attention is the fact that it would raise taxes on the vast majority of small businesses.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would deny small businesses a tax credit they currently receive through what’s known as the SHOP exchange, a part of the Affordable Care Act, if they include abortion care in their health plans. Roughly 87 percent of private plans include abortion services as part of comprehensive coverage, meaning the bulk of small businesses would be hit with a tax hike if the bill were to become law.
House Republicans passed a watered-down antiabortion bill Thursday after withdrawing a more restrictive measure that some female GOP lawmakers argued would hurt the party’s efforts to broaden its appeal to women and younger voters.
The rebellion on the abortion bill, led by women and moderates, was an illustration of some of the new challenges the party faces as a result of its expanded majority in the House. The 246-member GOP caucus is now experiencing rifts that previously did not exist, and those divisions are largely being driven by concern among moderates that they could face tough reelection battles in 2016, when more Democratic and independent voters are expected to turn out for presidential election.
So this anti abortion bill is basically a retread. Maybe they think that the Hyde (that old hypocrite) Amendment missed something.
Pope Francis gets pretty chatty on the papal plane.
He’s talked to reporters about jobs, homosexuality and women’s role in the church. He’s spoken out about the War in Iraq and terrorism. He’s even addressed his own retirement. And on his flight back from the Philippines this week, he started chatting about the church’s position on birth control, saying some think that to be good Catholics, “we have to be like rabbits.”
Here’s [sic] his exact words from the Vatican Insider:
I believe that three children per family, from what the experts say, is the key number for sustaining the population. The key word here is responsible parenthood and each person works out how to exercise this with the help of their pastor. … Sorry, some people think that in order to be good Catholics we have to breed like rabbits, right? Responsible parenthood: This is why there are marriage support groups in the Church with people who are experts on such issues; and there are pastors and I know that there are many acceptable solutions that have helped with this. And another thing: For poor people, children are a treasure, prudence is needed here too, it is true. Responsible parenthood but also recognizing the generosity of that father or mother who see their child as a treasure.
RICHMOND — The Virginia Board of Health decided Thursday to move forward with a review of rules for abortion clinics, the latest step in a lengthy process that could roll back controversial regulations finalized last year.
The move was a victory for Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who campaigned on a promise to reverse the rules, which regulate abortion clinics as if they were hospitals by dictating such details as hallway widths and the number of parking spots. Opponents of the regulations say they were intended to block access to abortion by closing down clinics that do not meet the requirements.
“These clinics provide essential preventive care and cancer screenings to many women and families and unfortunately were facing closure due to onerous regulations that were the result of politics being inserted into the regulatory process,” McAuliffe said in a statement.
However, groups opposed to abortion did not necessarily see Thursday’s action as a defeat; they said the review approved by the health board leaves open the possibility that restrictions on clinics could be strengthened. The restrictions, they said, are meant to protect women’s health and safety.
“We don’t know what will happen at the end of this process. This is simply a reopening and reviewing of the standards,” Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, told reporters after the meeting.
The biggest bullshit in the world is out of Victoria Cobb’s mouth. TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) are for one reason and one reason alone–to stop abortion. That’s the only reason. Wide hallways and designer parking lots are just BS and help no one. Let’s face it, people having medical procedures not related to abortion can run into emergency problems. Can someone please explain to me why these laws aren’t in place for all medical facilities that provide out-patient services? They can’t. The requirements are bogus and help no one.
Good for Governor McAuliffe for prioritizing getting rid of these ridiculous laws.
With gay marriage now legal in North Carolina, it was only a matter of time before Flip Benham of Operation Save America started crashing wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples. The North Carolina-based pastor, who is the father of Religious Right activists David and Jason Benham, reportedly disrupted several weddings at the Mecklenburg County and Courts Office in Charlotte last week. Benham’s group, which in July disrupted a memorial service at a Unitarian Universalist congregation in New Orleans, “interrupted several couples’ weddings as supporters held up a large rainbow flag to block his view,” according to the North Carolina LGBT publication Q Notes. “Another protester waved a bible in the air as he screamed several profanities and vulgarities.”
The Supreme Court on Tuesday night blocked a Texas law that had drastically reduced the number of abortion clinics in the nation’s second most populous state.
The court’s order, staying a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that the law could go into effect, will allow more than a dozen of the clinics to resume operation, according to the group that challenged the law, the Center for Reproductive Rights.
The court’s brief order did not say why it was disagreeing with the appeals court. Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. would have allowed the law to go into effect while abortion providers pursued their claims that it is unconstitutional.
The order was unsigned, but that apparently meant Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and the other five justices — Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — were in agreement.
Pro-life isn’t just from fertilization to birth. Life is a continuum that streams from generation to generation.
I find it astonishing that some of our biggest “pro-life” movers and shakers in the community were down at McCoart Building yesterday ready to hop all over the Board of County Supervisors for allowing refugee children to live at Joe Gibb’s private facility, Youth For Tomorrow.
Many “pro-lifers” who feel quite comfortable with legislation that would force a woman to give birth even in extreme cases of rape, incest and fetal anomaly, have no compunction about telling the “illegals” to go back where they came from, even if they are 5, 8 or 11 years old. These same people want to deny these children refuge, even on a temporary basis.
These people simply aren’t pro-life–not by my standards. Perhaps my standards are just a little too high for some of the movers and shakers. From here on out, if I heard you calling out children who are here, alive and kicking, and telling them to go home, I will be calling bullshit on you, regardless of who you are.
Sort of makes you wonder who the real pro-lifers are. Perhaps the very name pro-life has been high-jacked by many who are very short sighted.
With much of Washington already gone for the holiday, the Supreme Court issued a short legal ruling Thursday with the potential to deepen the political backlash among Democrats that was sparked by the court’s earlier Hobby Lobby decision.
The majority of the justices ruled that Wheaton College, a small evangelical school in Illinois, does not for now have to comply with the Obama administration’s requirement that it fill out a form to register religious objections to providing some types of contraceptive coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
The opinion said that until full arguments are heard by the court, Wheaton need only file a letter with the federal government stating the college’s religious objections.
Legal experts say the temporary decision is likely to embolSden religious groups and lead to a wave of lawsuits and objections to the required form.
The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down protest-free buffer zones around abortion clinics in Massachusetts as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.
But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.’s ruling was a narrow one, pointing out that other states and cities had found less-intrusive ways to both protect women entering clinics and accommodate the First Amendment rights of those opposed to abortion.
Massachusetts asserts “undeniably significant interests in maintaining public safety on [its] streets and sidewalks, as well as in preserving access to adjacent healthcare facilities,” Roberts wrote. “But here the commonwealth has pursued those interests by the extreme step of closing a substantial portion of a traditional public forum to all speakers.”
There is a new sheriff in town and his name is Terry McAuliffe. From NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:
Gov. McAuliffe has just ordered a review of dangerous targeted regulations on Virginia’s women’s health centers! These burdensome regulations (also known as TRAP regulations) were designed to close the vast majority of abortion providers – and were enacted only after former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli bullied the Board of Health. It is past time that these TRAP regulations get the evidence-based review they deserve – and Gov. McAuliffe has taken the first step!
At an event for National Women’s Health Week this morning, Gov. McAuliffe announced that his administration is:
- Instructing Virginia’s Board of Health to conduct an immediate review of the medically-irrelevant, burdensome, targeted regulations on abortion providers that they approved last year under pressure from Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli
- Making five appointments to fill seats on the Board of Health
- Approving Planned Parenthood health centers to participate in a cost-reduced medication purchasing program that will enable them to provide affordable care to more Virginians
It’s about time to put an end to laws that do not make women’s health safer. The purpose of TRAP laws is to weave a web of regulations around abortion providers so that abortion simply becomes too expensive and too inaccessible. Good for Terry McAuliffe. He is doing what I voted for him to do. Of course this fight isn’t over. Not by a long shot! But it has started and that is what is important. Also, last I heard, there is a lawsuit filed by Rosemary and Wayne Codding. Hopefully that will blast a few people out of the water. I simply cannot stand disingenuous concern. The Virginia TRAP laws are based on ignorance.