Abortion: Could GOP Bill Prevent Rape Victims From Accessing Emergency Contraception?
The full draft proposal, on view below, defines "specified medical procedures or research" as "abortion, abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, sterilization which is not medically necessary, assisted reproduction, human cloning, human embryonic stem-cell research, human somatic cell nuclear transfer, fetal tissue research, and nontherapeutic fetal experimentation."
To pro-choice advocates pushing against the GOP bill, which has come up in various forms in the past, it's clear that this would allow medical professionals to deny basic services that women, by law, are entitled to -- even emergency contraception in instances of rape.
"Honestly, this is exacerbating," Pamela Sumners, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, tells Daily RFT. "Maybe you got raped and you live in Randolph County and nobody there is dispensing emergency contraception to you or even offering it. You've got to go fifty miles away and what if your car is broken down? Here you are and you don't even have a referral to a pharmacy that dispenses emergency contraception."
via Pamela Sumners.
She says, "These ideas that people have that somebody's abstract, theological view trumps actual human beings on earth, it just baffles me that anybody thinks that this is what Christ wants."
Sumners says that this bill seems perhaps more expansive than similar proposals in the past, but adds, "I'm never surprised by anything anymore.... I really think this is simply scoring political points on the cheap and getting your right-to-life rating."
Pro-choice advocates also argue that the bill threatens to limit basic services for women facing serious health risks or even death in certain cases.
In his testimony sent to us yesterday, Jones pushes back against critics, saying that they don't understand the bill and are spreading misinformation:
I would challenge those who decided to do fear-mongering on this floor instead of inquiring of me to inquire of me and I'll explain the bill to you, because you obviously haven't read it. For those who inquired of me, I explained...and I clarified every single provision to any member who was opposed to this bill and they pretty much said, 'Okay, I understand now.' ... The issue of emergency is fully covered in this bill. No one who is in an emergency situation will have this bill applied to them. Throw the bill out. It will not apply. Emergency contraception also will not apply. That was the crux of the fear-mongering I heard on this bill. It's simply not the facts of the bill.
Continue for a full draft of the bill and for commentary from Planned Parenthood.