While tens of thousands of people are protesting corporate greed and jobs loss in the U.S., and while the rest of the world is joining in solidarity with the protesters, the Republican dominated House of Representatives demonstrated their true priorities. Quietly, they passed HR 358.
Republicans call the bill the “Protect Life Act,” and in an Orwellian sense, it’s a perfectly appropriate name. Much like the government in the classic novel 1984, the current Right Wing establishment routinely and blatantly does one thing while naming it the opposite. The most egregious and appalling effect of HR 358 is that doctors would be allowed to “exercise their conscience” — by allowing women to die instead of performing an emergency abortion.
Again, the “Protect Life Act’s” most prominent feature is a defense of letting people die.
For Georgia progressives, there is one clear call to action. Our own Sanford Bishop (D, Georgia) voted in favor of the bill. Curiously, there is no update about this vote on his webpage, although there is a mention of his recent receipt of the “Patriot Award.” (Find his contact info HERE if there’s anything you’d like him to know.) Bishop was joined by 14 other Democrats.
The bill is not just about letting women die. It also includes numerous provisions allowing states to deny preventative healthcare and birth control. Even more shocking, it allows hospital employees to refuse to even evaluate or examine a woman seeking abortion services! Let’s make sure this is in proper context: A hospital could completely ignore a woman in physical pain seeking an emergency abortion, let her die on the front step, and the courts would side with the hospital.
Did you catch that? A hospital could completely ignore a patient in pain and let her die.
The good news is that President Obama has vowed to veto the bill if it also passes the Senate. The bad news as that this bill passed the House. The majority of Congressmen in the House of Representatives think it’s a great idea to pass a bill that would allow a woman to die without offering her so much as a couple of aspirin to ease the pain.
Meanwhile, the entire world is protesting corporate favoritism and the disenfranchisement of 30 million people in America and millions more worldwide. One has to wonder: How, precisely, will allowing women to die create new jobs or reduce the brobdingnagian gap between the haves and the have-nots?
This is today’s America. During the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, Congress’s highest priority seems to be the further degradation of women’s rights. To say the least — to say far, far too little — to criminally understate the situation — America’s government has completely lost touch with reality.