Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Ascendancy of the Fundamentalists

They are beginning to ask for the rewards that they expect from Bush after November 2. I don't believe that they earn any such rewards, but they sure disagree on this:

WASHINGTON, Saturday, Nov. 20 - House and Senate negotiators have tucked a potentially far-reaching anti-abortion provision into a $388 billion must-pass spending bill, complicating plans for Congress to wrap up its business and adjourn for the year.
The provision may be an early indication of the growing political muscle of social conservatives who provided crucial support for Republican candidates, including President Bush, in the election.
House officials said Saturday morning that the final details of the spending measure were worked out before midnight and that the bill was filed for the House vote on Saturday.
The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.

The bill is expected to pass with the provision intact. I have blogged in the past about the conscience clause that allows health care providers to refuse to perform abortions, and how some pro-lifers are trying to argue that the same conscience clause should apply to the refusal to prescribe or dispense the contraceptive pill (which they regard an abortifacient without having any evidence on this). Well, now all these refuseniks can get paid for the time they have spent saying no, I guess.

The ones that will suffer are the poor women. The Republican party will keep on slashing everything about abortions except the right of wealthy women to have them. The wealthy can keep their abortions well hidden from the public (or fundamentalist) eye.

I wonder what the fundies will demand when they've gotten their pound of women's flesh by banning abortions. Probably a ban on contraceptives in general or maybe a law which makes men the legal guardians of women or something. You know, a gentler, kinder Talibanization.