Selective support for states’ rights


Following up on a segment from last night’s show, House Republicans continue to demonstrate their laser-like focus on jobs and the economy by introducing more anti-abortion bills, including Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) “Stop Abortion Funding in Multi-state Exchange Plans Act.”

Under Akin’s bill, the government would have to ensure that “no multi-State qualified health plan offered in an Exchange provides coverage of abortion.” Similar to federal funding limitations, the bill allows exemptions to this policy only for rape or incest, or if the life of the mother would be in danger without the procedure.

The bill, H.R. 4971, also includes language that prevents states from pre-empting the law.

Of course it does. The party that’s eager to return more power to states would make sure that state flexibility in this area doesn’t exist.

At the same time, as Nick Baumann reports, there’s also Rep. Todd Rokita’s (R-Ind.) “State Health Flexibility Act,” which would “force 17 states, including California, Massachusetts, and New York, to either discontinue programs that help low-income women pay for abortions, or spend a lot more money to purchase new insurance plans for those women.”

Requiring states to purchase separate abortion-only plans “would be a change and one that would be harmful to women in those states,” [Judy Waxman, the vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center] says, noting that the current structure has stood for decades without interference from Republican or Democratic administrations.

Just so we’re clear, Republican lawmakers get pretty annoyed when their critics say they’re too focused on undermining women’s rights, and get even more annoyed at the notion of federal mandates that require states to take actions they do not wish to take.

And yet, here we are.

War onWomen

Selective support for states' rights