Boxer, Senate Dems blast House GOP on abortion

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and other Senate Democrats held a news conference today in opposition to legislation being pushed by House Republicans this week that they say would endanger women’s health by limiting access to affordable health care and reproductive health services.

Boxer, along with senators Patty Murray, D-Wash.; Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.; Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called on House Republicans to join in job-creation efforts rather than pursuing what they called “an extreme agenda.”

“We are sending a clear message to House Republicans that their agenda on women’s health is extreme, it breaks faith with a decades-long bipartisan compromise and it risks the health and lives of women,” Boxer said. “It also punishes women and businesses with a tax hike if they wish to keep or buy insurance that covers a full range of reproductive health care. We want the women and families of America to know that we will continue to defend women’s health and, with a bipartisan effort, we will stop an agenda that would do them harm.”

Read up on some of the provisions Boxer and her colleagues are complaining about, after the jump…

Among the House Republican provisions cited by the Senate Dems are:

● Women would be restricted from using their own personal funds to purchase insurance that covers a full range of reproductive health care. (H.R.3, H.R.358)
● Families would be barred from using their Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts to pay for a full range of reproductive health care. (H.R.3)
● Small businesses that receive a tax credit to buy health insurance for their employees would lose their tax credit if they choose a plan that covers reproductive health care. (H.R.3)
● People who have lost their jobs because of trade with foreign countries would no longer be able to use their Health Coverage Tax Credit to buy any insurance plan that covers a full range of reproductive health care. (H.R.3)
● According to the National Women’s Law Center, for the first time in decades, there would no longer be a requirement that states provide abortions to poor women who are victims of rape or incest, or need the procedure to save their life. (H.R.3)
● Hospitals would no longer have to provide pregnant women who need urgent, emergency care with life-saving procedures. (H.R.358)
● Due to restrictions on the Title X family planning program, millions of women would lose access to mammograms, other cancer screenings, and essential health services. (H.R.217)
● The self-employed who deduct health care costs from their taxes would no longer be able to do so if they have a plan that covers a full range of reproductive health care. (H.R. 3)
● Those who pay health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars would not be able to buy or keep insurance plans that cover a full range of reproductive health care. (H.R.3)
● The District of Columbia would no longer be allowed to spend its own tax dollars on providing women in D.C. a full range of reproductive health care. (H.R.3)
● The legislation, as originally proposed, would have redefined rape and incest for purposes of federal funding to take away access to the full range of reproductive health care for some victims of rape and incest. (H.R.3, H.R.358)

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Bob Loblaw

    So the GOP’s most important issue right now is redefining the legal definition of “rape” and “incest”. OK, I can understand that. What I don’t understand is why they spent the last 6 months telling the voters that their number one issue would be creating jobs. Where are their job creation bills? Do they have any?

  • John W

    Gotta fire up the base! We’re pro life up until the baby pops out of the womb; not so much after that.