Reproductive Rights Updates: Blunt Amendment, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Arizona

The Senate has, by a sadly small but still enough margin, voted down the Blunt Amendment:
By a vote of 51-48, the Senate agreed to table a Republican amendment offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) that would have empowered employers to deny coverage of health services to their employees on the basis of personal moral objections. The measure represented the GOP’s response to President Obama’s rule requiring employers to provide contraception and other preventive health services as part of their health insurance plans. Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe (ME) — who announced her retirement earlier this week — was the only Republican to join Democrats in “tabling” the amendment, while three Democrats, Sens. Ben Nelson (NE), Joe Manchin (WV), and Bob Casey (PA) voted to preserve it.
Of course they did.


In other big news:

Pennsylvania's odious mandatory ultrasound legislation was essentially shelved last night and there is no current time set to pick it back up.
HARRISBURG - House lawmakers postponed a vote that was set for later this month on controversial legislation to require women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound exam to determine the gestational age of the fetus.

Stephen Miskin, spokesman for House majority leader Mike Turzai, R-Pittsburgh, confirmed the delay Wednesday night, citing concerns raised by the medical community. He said there is no timeline to take up the legislation.
So, that's some good news!


In not-so-good news, in Virginia, HB462, the mandatory ultrasound legislation, could potentially come to vote in the House of Delegates:
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The ultrasound bill that’s caused a commotion at the General Assembly and around the nation could be coming up for a final vote on Thursday.

HB 462 is on the schedule to be voted on by the full House of Delegates today, after being passed with an amendment by the Senate. That additional amendment would not require women who are the victims of rape or incest to go through an ultrasound.
However, there was some relatively good news from Virgina as the proposal to ban Medicaid recipients from being able to get abortions in the event of a fetus with severe anomalies was killed:
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would have banned Medicaid funding for indigent women with severely deformed fetuses who seek abortions has been defeated in Virginia's General Assembly.

On a 13-2 vote, the Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to kill a bill by Del. Mark Cole that would have eliminated state funding for low income women who have learned that their fetuses have gross, incapacitating and perhaps mortal deformities.
Cole states that he just wants to comply with the Hyde Amendment like almost everyone else. Oh is that all? /snort


In Alabama, a senate committee approved so-called "conscience" legislation:
A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday that would allow health care providers to refuse to perform abortions and other medical procedures they may find morally objectionable.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, the sponsor of the legislation, said it was intended to protect health care employees from termination over those issues.

"If that person is fired because it's against their conscience, they have no recourse," he said. "They could be fired on the spot for just doing that."

The bill allows employees to opt out of abortion, sterilization, cloning or human embryonic stem cell research, but would require those procedures to be performed if the life of the patient was at stake. Abortion clinics are exempted from the legislation.
This legislation is just part of several pieces legislation regarding health care: last week mandatory ultrasound legislation was cleared and there is proposed legislation banning abortion being covered by insurance.


A couple weeks ago I posted about legislation being introduces in Arizona:
Rep. Kimberly Yee (R-Epugnant) has intro'd legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation. Abortion would only be allowed if the person would die otherwise. This bill also includes mandatory ultrasound 24 hours beforehand, posting signs in clinics saying that no one can force anyone else to have an abortion ...
And it also requires the health department to provide information on fetal development and "abortion alternatives" on its website. Well, Yee has been successful in pushing this forward in a very quiet way:
PHOENIX (CBS5) - An abortion bill is one step closer to becoming law. On Monday, the bill passed though the Senate Judiciary Committee; however, many are being openly critical about the path it took to get there.

The bill stalled out in a House health committee several weeks ago after the board's chairman refused to hold a vote. But a backdoor maneuver allowed the bill's sponsor, Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, to revive the proposal by flying under the radar.


The 'strike everything amendment' takes a bill that's gone through some of the legislative process and deletes it, then pastes another bill in its place.

In this case, Yee replaced a bill that regulates contracts between state and private attorneys with her abortion bill.
Yee, of course, doesn't think there's anything remotely sneaky about this. Of course not! There's nothing at alltelling about trying to quietly put in a bill that was refused a vote via backdoor legislative methods. Sure.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus