Foregoing any interest in getting America back to work, House Republicans continued their campaign against women’s health yesterday by passing the “Protect Life Act.” Known as the “Let Woman Die” act to women’s health advocates, the radical measure would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to reject any pregnant woman seeking an abortion in any circumstance, even if it is necessary to save her life.
On the House floor before the vote, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) — who revealed earlier this year that she had to have an abortion for medical reasons — rebuked Republicansfor a bill that “goes to the farthest extreme in trying to take women down, not just a peg, but take them in shackles to some cave somewhere.” Republicans are basically saying, “‘‘Oh, except for a woman who is in need of an abortion, or except for a woman who is bleeding to death who happens to be pregnant. Or except for a woman who is miscarrying,’” she declared. “It’s absolutely misogynist.”
But North Carolina Rep. Virginia Foxx (R) was having none of it. This bill “takes away no protections from women in this country,” she insisted. “It takes away no rights. It is not extreme.” Declaring herself to be foremost defender of women’s rights, Foxx countered that pro-choice advocates are actually misogynists because “fifty percent of the unborn babies being aborted are females”:
FOXX: For my colleagues across the aisle who say this is a misogynist bill,nobody has ever fought more for the rights of women than I have. But fifty percent of the unborn babies that are being aborted are females. So the misogyny comes from those that promote the killing of unborn babies. That’s where the misogyny comes in.
The bizarre logic of Foxx’s misogyny argument is not even in the vicinity of fact. The majority of abortions in the U.S. occur around the 10th week, well before gender is definitively known. There is no data — let alone evidence — to back up her claim.
But her claim that “nobody has ever fought more for the rights than I have” throws facts straight out the window. As Raw Story notes, Foxx voted against women’s health bills at least nine times in her congressional career, including a vote against funding for Planned Parenthood — an organization with the chief purpose of providing cancer screenings and sexually transmitted disease tests and treatment to low-income women. Along with lowering costs and free preventive care, the health care law also prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage women “due to pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and having been pregnant.” Foxx, however, believes such health reforms pose a greater danger than “any terrorist.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told Republicans that a vote for this bill is a vote “to say that women can die on the floor of health care providers.” And Foxx is fighting for women to have that chance.