Well, you see, it’s just women

Dahlia Lithwick on the Let Women Die bill.

The other noteworthy element of the bill is a “conscience” provision that would allow hospitals to turn away women who need abortions, based on policy set by religious leadership. The provision ensures that the approximately 600 hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Church will now be legally protected if they turn away women seeking abortions medically necessary to save their lives. Oddly enough, Pitts says the conscience provision is redundant, as it’s simply “preserving the same rights that medical professionals have had for decades.” So that makes both provisions of the bill redundant—or maybe only one is while the other literally gives hospitals cover to allow women to die. Rock on, Party of Life!

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has described the bill as “savage,” telling reporters that the legislation could ultimately lead women to “die on the floor of health care providers.” The president has promised to veto the bill if need be. (It needn’t be, because it won’t pass in the Senate). And Rachel Maddow has wondered how pointless anti-abortion legislation would create jobs, an issue on which the GOP is supposed to be laser-focused. Meanwhile, a national coalition of anti-abortion groups has announced it is pushing legislation in all 50 states that would force pregnant women to see and hear a fetal heartbeat before terminating a pregnancy.

She goes on to ask why there isn’t more outrage. Good question.




  1. Chiral says

    I’ve wrote a letter to my rep about this in October. All I’ve gotten back is a form letter about how he’s strongly pro-life and how he’s happy to represent me on this and other issues.

    When I pointed out that he was a lousy representative for supporting this bill that will let a hospital do nothing while I sit and die of something they could prevent, I didn’t hear back.

    I’m another person stuck far away from a non-catholic hospital. I get ragey if I think about it too much.

    I wish I knew why there isn’t more outrage. This is about life and death. Do people think it can’t happen to them or those they love? What sort of man would accept losing not just his unborn child, but his wife as well of she could be saved by medical intervention? Why does it matter if it’s a sin, doesn’t their god forgive?

  2. julian says

    It’s times like this I wish we had a more focused woman’s movement in the U.S. Something with half the power MRA’s often attribute to feminism. Maybe then we could actually push back against this clearly anti-woman bullshit.

  3. says

    I really don’t know, Chiral. I too wish I did (and that I could fix it!).

    Does your rep ever have meetings near enough to you so that you can attend? If so, you could ask him in person.

    It’s quite easy to attend meetings with my rep, but then his district includes Seattle, where I and most of his constituents live. It’s not so easy in less urban districts.

  4. Rrr says

    I’m starting to wonder, is there any way to propose a similar Bill that permits health care professionals to refuse to save the life of any politician who has ever sponsored and/or not actively countered such a law against protecting actually viable lives of actual pregnant mothers? Such people seem to be oh so very preoccupied with the abstracts of the sanctity of life, but maybe they would think thrice if it was their own precious breathing soul on the line? How many other (innocent) lives had they put in the balance? Quid pro quo.

    Yes, I realize this cuts very close to the Palin sniperscope campaign that almost turned out to blow the head off another Senator not so long ago, if my memory serves, and for which Sarah made a rather weak notpology. And that moron actually did kill a couple of inocuous bystanders, including a child. Goose hunt good for ganders?

    Probably a good idea to stay out of teh Usas for a while, huh. Like other Fascist states one wants to avoid.

  5. says

    Not all that close, though, because these politicians really are legalizing deliberately letting women die for “religious” reasons. It’s so astonishing that I haven’t completely taken it in yet – I keep being surprised all over again. Legislators voted to let hospitals refuse to save women’s lives. Really. In my country. Two months ago.

  6. Chiral says

    I didn’t even think to look and see if there were any public meetings. There is one in January, but there’s no indication of whether or not it’s the sort where you can ask unscreened questions. He is a Republican, after all.

    However, I don’t think I can do it myself. I get panic attacks just going to the grocery store and public speaking scares me so much that I’ve passed out trying to give presentations before. I feel awful saying that. It’s so important, but I don’t think I’d actually end up doing any good by trying to go. I’d probably either get too scared to even speak up or just end up babbling incoherently at him and end up a complete mess for a month.

    I’m somewhat connected with the local Planned Parenthood. I think I’ll contact them and see if there are already plans to have some people go ask some questions and, if there aren’t, I’ll offer to do what I can to organize some.

  7. ema says

    Oddly enough, Pitts says the conscience provision is redundant, as it’s simply “preserving the same rights that medical professionals have had for decades.”

    This is utter nonsense. It’s illegal for hospitals/physicians to turn away pregnant patients who are in distress. For non-emergency cases, physicians can refuse to treat but the hospital still has to provide coverage.

  8. Riptide says

    So…let me get this straight. We have a “national coalition” of woman-haters who want to force women to stay pregnant long enough to develop a fetal heartbeat before pregnancy. In all 50 states. Right?

    And at least ONE state I know of has successfully criminalized abortion after the development of a fetal heartbeat. Right?

    What. The. Fuck. Over?

  9. says

    These new regulations are only the most recent salvo of brutality toward pregnant women. If you do a Google search on forced C-sections, you’ll find some incredibly horrific tales of women literally being strapped to tables and having the surgery forced on them. One woman had her newborn infant taken from her by the hospital on the grounds that her refusal of the surgery constituted child endangerment.

    And then there’s Angela Carder.

    Found this while I was looking around too.

    I cannot fathom how they can claim this bullshit is based on their religious beliefs. At all.

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