Steve Benen: In recent months, most of the Republican efforts to limit reproductive rights have been in state legislatures, as evidenced by recent fights in Texas, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, among others.Apparently, problems like unemployment and the economy have been solved, freeing up Marco to waste everyone’s time with an abortion bill that has no hope in hell of ever becoming law. And it’s a good thing too, since these 20-week bans are extremely dangerous to women’s health. Benen quotes an Andrew Rosenthal piece on the subject:
But federal efforts on Capitol Hill haven’t faded, either. One notable Republican senator intends to take the lead.
Sen. Marco Rubio said unequivocally Wednesday that he hopes to be the lead sponsor of a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks.If this sounds familiar, there’s a good reason — Rubio first expressed an interest in this three weeks ago, though there’s been little movement since. These new comments suggest the Florida Republican intends to make this a top priority.
"If someone else would like to do it instead of me, I’m more than happy to consider it. But I’d like to be the lead sponsor," the Florida Republican said. “I feel very strongly about this issue. And I’d like to be the lead sponsor on it if we can find language that we can unify people behind."
The way the Catholic Association mentions “late-term" abortions, you might think the only women who had them were lazy and callous, just waiting around until the last second for no good reason.As bad as that is, in order to have a shadow of hope of getting anything through the Senate, Rubio would most likely have to add exceptions for rape, incest, and women’s health. This would mean that Rubio’s bill would prevent somewhere in the neighborhood of zero abortions, making what’s already a timewaster even more of one.
But as Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, told me in an email, nearly 99 percent of abortions occur before 21 weeks; abortions later on often involve rare, severe fetal abnormalities and real threats to a woman’s health. In many cases, women are facing the need to terminate a desired pregnancy, not an unwanted one.
Ms. Richards cited the case of a woman in Nebraska, Danielle Deaver, whose water broke at 22 weeks, depriving her baby of most of the amniotic fluid. “Her doctor told her that the fetus could not develop or survive," Ms. Richards said. “Despite this, she was forced to live through 10 excruciating days waiting to give birth, because her doctors feared prosecution under her state’s 20-week abortion ban."
It’s just a stunt to rehabilitate Rubio’s image with the base, who see immigration reform as some sort of betrayal. If there’s anything these Tea Party “liberty" types like more than big piles of guns, it’s oppressing women.
[photo by Gage Skidmore]