by Swami Stream (Away)
My mother wrote me an email saying she had not heard about the redefintion of abortion I mentioned yesterday. I did a search of her hometown paper and sure enough there was no mention of this at all.
So, in case others have not seen this written in any local papers or discussed on local news, here are some links:
US News and World Report
Wall Street Journal
Madison Capital Times
I think this is a purely political ploy to try and put the Democrats in a bind. I do not really think that this draft will be put into effect because there is a likelihood that the Republicans could get burned by this also.
Now it is a ‘draft’ but it can be implemented in two months simply by the Executive branch. The alteration in the definition in abortion (i.e. that it applies to any procedure or drug that affects a fertilized egg, either pre or post implantation) means that things like in vitro fertilization or other areas of fertilization research would fall under that definition. Once the definition is in Federal regulations, it can be expanded to cover other areas than just the moral compunction of medical workers.
So that is a worry (i.e. the slippery slope argument). IANAL but it would seem to me that it would prevent a hospital from firing, and perhaps any civil suit against, a doctor who refused to deal with an ectopic pregnancy.
There is no clause in the draft about the life of the mother. A pregnant woman could present to an emergency room with blood loss and possible rupture of the Fallopian Tubes due to an ectopic pregnancy, and a doctor would be able to refuse help due to their religious views. And the hospital could not fire them.
The only way to prevent this regulation from going into effect is for Congress to pass legislation to stop it. But that would require Congress to make a decision on abortion during an election year. Which is what I believe the point really is.
It is a red meat issue for the fundamentalists. It can be an tough issue for many Democrats to come out against during an election. It diverts attention from some difficult issues for Republicans. It makes the Democrats look weak.
Looks like a standard political ploy (and I do not mean that there is then something especially wrong with this Administration because of that. ANY political party plays these sorts of political games. It has been going on since Machiavelli). Nothing will really come out of it. There is no way the Republicans will really attempt to undermine the use of contraception. That would lose them too many votes. They just want to make the Democrats look bad.
So, at the moment, I do not worry about it too much. I think it is a political move by the White House to try and put Democrats in a political bind. I mean, how did this draft document get leaked to the press? Usually when a leak does not come from the Administration, they really raise a fuss.
I personally think that this particular ploy may have been overplayed it a bit. I think that redefining contraception as abortion can also rile up a lot of women. Many Democrats can use this as red meat to their base. When Pelosi put up her response to the draft on her Senate Website, the server crashed because so many people tried to access it!
In fact, the Administration has been a little quiet about this recently. The original report came out 2 weeks ago. We may not hear much more about it now. Perhaps the focus groups did not provide good news about this particular issue for the Republicans.