The Republican war on women continues

As was to be expected, the Hobby Lobby case was just the beginning. The infamous verdict by the US Supreme Court in that case that for-profit companies need not comply with the Obamacare provisions that their health insurance companies cover birth control if they have religious objections laid the groundwork for further conservative assaults on women’s health and reproductive rights.

The District of Columbia passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act (RHNDA) that protects D.C. employees from discrimination in the workplace based on their personal reproductive health care decisions such as whether to use birth control or fertility treatments, whether to terminate a pregnancy, or whether to start a family while unmarried.

But under the peculiar system that exists, the US Congress has 30 days during which they can disapprove laws enacted by the District of Columbia. On April 30, the US House of Representatives passed a bill H.J. Res. 43 that overturns that local law. 225 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted in favor of this appalling bill. It thus allows an employer in DC to fire anyone who makes any one of those decisions

The bill now goes to the senate. If it passes there I expect it to be vetoed by president Obama. It does not seem likely that there are enough votes to override the veto but the very fact that this awful bill passed the House is a sign of how anti-women’s rights the Republican party is.


  1. sqlrob says

    The bill now goes to the senate. If it passes there I expect it to be vetoed by president Obama.

    I don’t. Not because he wouldn’t, but because he can’t. This is purely a congressional matter for DC, it won’t go to his desk.

  2. Some Old Programmer says

    Ed Brayton states that this bill seems to be not subject to presidential approval/veto.

    It now goes to the Senate and if it passes there, President Obama will not have the chance to veto it because the Constitution gives Congress control over Washington, DC, not the president.

  3. lanir says

    This is in fact exactly the sort of thing the Republicans want in their war on women. They want to enable discrimination on the basis of fluffy headed nonsense they think is whispered in their ear from their invisible sky friend who hates everyone except for them.

    What they really don’t want is to have to stand up and do the things this implies they want to such as push for prison sentences for women who have a pregnancy terminated. A lot of the populist Republican issues are dog-chasing-car issues like that. If they actually caught it…

  4. Chiroptera says

    Article 1, Section 7:
    “Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.”

    Key word: Every.

    In the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8), the clauses specifying the authority of the US government is often worded, “Congress shall have the power to…,” but that is simply to emphasize that laws must originate and pass Congress; the President still needs to sign off on anything that needs to be passed by both Houses. This may be what is causing some confusion.

  5. sqlrob says

    @Chiroptera: You’re right, Ed (and me) are wrong.

    It doesn’t look like a veto, so much as a “don’t sign”. At least this doesn’t mention a veto.

  6. Chiroptera says

    sqlrob, #5:

    Am I? I wasn’t sure whether there was some arcane point of Constitutional law that I was unaware of.

    On the one hand, I’m disappointed that I didn’t learn something new.

    On the other hand, fuck the House Republicans.

  7. says

    From what I can tell, when Congress passed the District of Columbia Home Rule Act in 1973 (which was signed by the President at that time, so that’s where the President’s signature comes in), it includes a provision that Congress can disapprove of anything the DC Council does with a Joint Congressional Resolution. I don’t think the Constitutionality of doing it this way has been questioned (or at least overthrown). Thus, I’m pretty sure this goes through if the Senate concurs.

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