Congress May Put Restrictions On Teaching Doctors To Perform Abortions

Apparently Republicans aren't satisfied with pushing measures that severely limit the conditions in which a woman can get an abortion. Tomorrow night Congress is scheduled to vote on an amendment that would prevent doctors from even learning how to perform the procedure.

The Hill reports that Rep. Virginia Foxx has proposed an amendment that would prevent federal funds from being used to train medical residents on abortion techniques. The provision is attached to a bill that would reduce federal funding for graduate medical student education and make it subject to annual appropriations. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the program is automatically funded. Foxx says:

"This amendment ensures that the grants being provided to teaching health centers are not being used to perform elective abortion, makes it crystal clear that taxpayer money is not being used to train healthcare providers to perform abortion procedures ... When the liberal Democrats rammed through their government takeover of healthcare, in an unprecedented fashion, they refused to include longstanding pro-life provisions."

Once again, Republicans are putting their quest to limit access to a legal procedure ahead of women's health. Medical Students For Choice estimates that, "97% of family practice residents and 36% of Ob/Gyn residents have no experience in first trimester abortion procedures," and this would lead to an even bigger shortage of doctors who are educated on abortion. Quite a few Republicans believe abortion should be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger, but those women would become casualties of the conservative effort to punish women who choose to have an abortion.

On Care2, Robin Marty, who required procedures that would be affected by this amendment after having a miscarriage, writes:

There's only one problem with refusing to train residents on "abortion procedures." Those medical procedures aren't simply used for terminating unwanted live pregnancies — they are used for terminating wanted live pregnancies that are putting a woman's health in jeopardy. Or used for removing the products of conception for women who have had missed or incomplete miscarriages, who need a doctor to help them pass the rest of their tissue in order to stop bleeding or stave off infection.

Of course, Planned Parenthood opposes the amendment. Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood's executive vice president of public policy and communications, said:

"At a time when our country is focused on addressing provider shortages, increasing access to health care and advancing medical training programs, opponents of women's health are pushing dangerous policies that could severely limit physicians' ability to serve their patients ... This amendment is anti-women's health and anti- physician training and should be rejected."

As we've seen before, House Republicans don't care all that much about women or their health, as long as they're able to push their moral beliefs on others.

House To Vote Tonight On Abortion Training Provision [The Hill]
Fact Sheet: The Lack Of Abortion Training [Medical Students For Choice]
War On Women: Congress Proposes Refusing To Teach Doctors Life-Saving Procedures [Care2]

Image via Lisa F. Young/Shutterstock.