Another Bill in Congress Would Legally Mandate Life Begins at Fertilization, Chipping Away at Birth Control Options
In addition to the obvious goal.
Republicans in Congress are nothing if not persistent. Though it’s been tried in the past and failed, a new bill has been introduced to make it law that life begins at fertilization—a common refrain among those who are anti-choice, which would make for a terrible law.
The bill, H.R.586, currently contains no publicly available text, as that can take some time after introduction, but the introduced title of “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization” pretty much says it all. Of course, this could—aside from the obvious abortion ramifications—be used to put on the chopping block any birth control method that disrupts a fertilized egg’s ability to develop rather than necessarily blocking fertilization in the first place. It could also be used to block methods like the “morning after” pill that are meant as backups in case of initial birth control failure.
Surely, that’s what the Republican House members behind the bill have in mind, but they’ve got a long way to go to get there. The bill was introduced by Rep. Jody B. Hice of Georgia, and as Vocativ pointed out, was sponsored by 21 Representatives who are not only all Republican, but who are all men. So, why try this previously-failed method of restricting access to birth control? It’s unlikely to make its way all the way through the lawmaking process, and it would almost certainly see a difficult Supreme Court challenge if it did—though I can’t imagine it facing any threat of a veto from Donald Trump, after the “global gag rule” on abortion that he reinstated today.
Well, it seems that proponents of extreme measures like this are just feeling a little more bold under Donald Trump, who has previously said that women would have to face some form of punishment for having abortions, before walking that statement back. This new boldness is also seen in the new attempt at a “First Amendment Defense Act” that would allow discrimination against LGBTQ individuals on the basis of the discriminator’s religion (which is absurd).
Hopefully, our elected officials in Congress will put a stop to both of these measures before they actually get anywhere near becoming law and hurting anyone, but there were over 60 attempts by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act during Obama’s tenure as president. As I mentioned at the top, Republicans are persistent. It’s going to be a long four years of fighting this garbage off.
(via Bust, image via ABC)
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