Congress Debates "Let Women Die" Act, Known as Stupak on Steroids: Take Action Now!

Today's installment of the War on Women is brought to you by Congressman Joe Pitts, whose HR 358 is finally being debated in the House this week. The bill is an extreme and sweeping anti-abortion measure that would decimate insurance coverage for abortion and gamble with women's lives. It's so drastic that it's been nicknamed the "let women die" act.

At Jezebel, Erin Gloria Ryan explains why this title is totally apt (emphases mine):

The bill has been lovingly nicknamed the "Let Women Die" act, asit would allow hospitals that receive federal funds but are opposed to abortions turn a woman seeking an abortion away in all circumstances, even if an abortion would save her life. It also proposes to outlaw any federal funds from going to health plans that cover any abortion services. Finally, it would make it impossible to block federal funds from going to health organizations that don't support abortion rights, hence the hospitals' freedom to "Protect Life" by refusing to perform a procedure that might save a woman's life. HR 358 was penned Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican and a vocal member of the House's Pro-Life Caucus. For those of you keeping score at home, Joe Pitts does not have a uterus.

Back when it was introduced in February, a spokesperson for Pitts was asked about the "Embryos Before Hoes" aspects of the bill. His spokesperson told Talking Points Memo that the bill isn't newly killing women, its simply reinforces hospitals' already-existing rights to refuse to save them.

Embryos before hoes indeed.

This is just the beginning of a new spate of anti-women laws that are being introduced in congress this fall. It's crucial to take action now before these new efforts regain momentum.

Here are action pages at the National Network of Abortion Funds and NARAL, both of which succinctly summarize the problematic aspects of the bill. Call your elected officials and circulate widely!

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at October 12, 2011, 7:24am

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