The Ongoing Peril to Abortion Rights:
So let's see where we are here, now that Republicans control the House and a majority of state legislatures:
1. Majority Leader Eric Cantor and 173 other representatives have co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act (seriously, who names Republican bills? It's like there's a bunch of inbred, brain-damaged teenagers kept in a basement in the Capitol who are allowed to play Xbox, masturbate, and come up with titles like this one). The law would limit any funds from anything even remotely related to the government from going to an abortion except in cases where the woman's life is in danger and "if the pregnancy occurred because the pregnant female was the subject of an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest." You got that? Since "forcible rape" is not a defined term in federal criminal law, it varies from state to state, which means that no one will be sure exactly what this covers and where. Also, the bill gives even more cover to, say, the pharmacist who doesn't want to fill your day-after pill scrip; refusal to do one's job is now a protected civil right under this bill. Oh, and you could no longer use money from your pre-tax health savings account if you wish to have an abortion because in some convoluted way that means the government is paying part of it. (You can use it for your chiropractor, though.) By the way, 13 women have co-sponsored this.
2. The Arkanas Senate "passed a bill today to prohibit federal funding for abortions offered through an insurance exchange in Arkansas except where the life of the mother is in danger," ignoring calls that rape and incest be included. The governor has said he would support whatever bill the legislature passes. The Pennsylvania Senate is advancing a similar bill.
3. Over in New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie, who cut state funding for women's health and family-planning clinics (even though federal matching funds would have covered it), on Monday addressed an anti-choice rally in Trenton, saying that he stands with them and that the issue's "time has come."
4. Out in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry has promised to fast-track a bill that forces women seeking abortions to have a sonograms prior to the procedure. Perry, whose state faces a fiscal meltdown to the tune of a $27 billion shortfall, declared it emergency legislation that must be dealt with immediately by the legislature. The Wyoming House rejected a similar bill.
5. Meanwhile, the number of self-induced abortions is on the rise again in the United States, even though it's hard to determine how many there are actually are. Women in places where restrictions have made abortion access nearly impossible are using drugs, herbs, even coat hangers.
6. Meanwhile, a massive study from Denmark demonstrated that women who have abortions are not at any risk to their mental health. Having a baby, though? It nearly doubles the rate at which women sought mental health treatment. There's two ways to view this: first, that the image of the weeping, regretful woman who got an abortion is a lie; and, second, that more needs to be done for women suffering from post-partum depression.
Denmark, by the way, has far more liberal abortion laws and a lower abortion rate than the United States, 13 per 1000 pregnancies in Denmary, 20 per 1000 in the United States. It would not be a stretch to say that universal health care makes it easier for women to have children and lowers the abortion rate by over 25%, a more significant number than any restriction has accomplished in the United States. It seems fairly simple: if you truly believe in the right to life, then you believe that the living, not just the potentially living, need to be taken care of. If your goal is to stop abortions and not just control women, you'd have to support universal health care.
But that kind of logic and compassion does not extend to our right-wing. It is far, far easier to restrict and restrict the procedure. It is far, far easier to hope for the day that Roe v. Wade is overturned. It is far, far easier to carve their religious beliefs into the bodies of American women.