To be completely fair, every day is Conservative Dudes Shit On Your Rights Day if you look at things from the right (pun intended) angle. But even in the current anti-letting women mind their own bodies climate, today was special. Isn't it nice to know that some old guys in Washington who you'll never meet care so much about your insides?
Today, the House Judiciary Committee — which consists of almost entirely old dudes—marked up HR7, a bill designed to further fuck with women's access to abortion by limiting what private insurance companies are allowed to cover with plans purchased over health care exchanges. They're calling it the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act, which makes about as much sense as barring people from using their tax rebates to purchase hamburgers and calling it the No Taxpayer Funding For Hamburgers Act, because accusing people who use their own money of spending "the taxpayers'" money is ridiculous. Do House Republicans know that women also pay taxes?
At one point, pro-choice New York Rep. Jerry Nadler attempted to strike the entire bill and replace it with something called the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, pointing out that there's nothing "pro life" about starving children and mothers who can't take care of their families. In response, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona countered that pregnant women have nothing to do with abortion funding. So, there's that.
Before the panel, the House Pro-Choice caucus, led by Reps. Louise Slaughter and Diana DeGette, held a press conference where they pointed out that the House Sausage Party shouldn't be determining how women can spend their own money. Here's video of Rep. Slaughter kicking some ass.
It's increasingly evident that the only women's agenda that the Republicans have put forward is to take away your health care rights and then tell you to get lost. Women are sick and tired of these constant attacks on our constitutionally-protected right to choose, while priorities like equal pay, fair wages, and paid family leave go unaddressed. If Republicans in Washington have any hope of repairing their relationship with American women, they need to turn away from these anti-choice bills and start helping American women with the kitchen table issues important to them.
Wouldn't that be nice? The small, lady-heavy caucus "crashed" the hearing — peacefully, might I add — in an attempt to draw attention to the bad optics of 18 dudes voting to restrict women's rights to their own insides. At any rate, thanks to the Democratic Senate and Obama's veto pen, the law has about a snowball's chance in Arizona of becoming law. But don't worry, GOP dudes of the House: I still appreciate what you're trying to do. It's the thought that counts! (The Pro Choice caucus, meanwhile: demonstrably not amused.)
Meanwhile, in the Supreme Court, today Justices heard arguments over a Massachusetts law that requires protesters outside of abortion clinics give patients a 350 foot buffer zone. The Associated Press seems to think the Court will be likely to strike that law down.
Liberal and conservative justices alike expressed misgivings about the law during arguments at the high court Wednesday. They questioned the size of the zone and whether the state could find less restrictive ways of ensuring patient access and safety.
No one has been prosecuted under the 2007 law, which state officials and clinic employees have said has resulted in less congestion outside the clinics.
Grain of salt: the Associated Press doesn't have an awesome recent record of correctly assessing legal cases of late. Let's hope this impression is once again off the mark.
The case against Massachusetts was brought by a woman the press insists on referring to as a "77-year-old grandmother," as though 77-year-old grandmothers can't be assholes. My 94-year-old great grandmother spent time in prison and once stabbed a nurse in the hand with a fork. Old ladies have the asshole game on lock.
The 6 man, 3 woman court will announce their ruling by June.