What has happened to the rights of women under our current health care system? The House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday aptly named Protect a Life (HR358)The bill proposes to amend the health care law to prevent federal funding for health care plans that provide abortion services to women. It prohibits women from using tax subsidies acquired through the Affordable Care Act to pay for health insurance that covers abortion. The bill would allow health care providers the right to refuse performing an abortion if it violated their personal beliefs. Here’s the clincher: it also makes is legal for hospitals to deny abortions to women with life-threatening pregnancies.

Could the Republicans be suggesting that women have numerous children in this economic climate? The cost of having children is unbearably high; now factor in the current high cost of living and high unemployment rate.  As it is pregnant women are fighting their own battle against insurance companies about these exorbitant costs. Some have bought supplemental insurance just to cover the costs that their insurance doesn’t cover. Women who do not have insurance in place prior to getting pregnant find it really difficult to obtain health insurance because their pregnancy is deemed a “pre-existing” condition. The costs associated with having a pre-existing condition such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and “pregnancy” are really high. People with these conditions are considered high risk and insurance companies are legally allowed to deny their claims if they want, and they do.

Luckily for women in the United States, the bill probably won’t make it through the Senate; where the Democrats are the majority. The Obama Administration has stated that if it did, the president would veto it. It’s a constant battle to be a woman in this health care system. There had to be Supreme Court ruling allowing us to legally have an abortion, now insurance companies regard pregnant women high-risk and deny them. As if we haven’t had enough yet, the Republicans want to stop women from having abortions through their health care providers. “The legislation is a “savage” attempt to withhold health care for women,” Nancy Pelosi stated after the bill was passed. She isn’t the only woman to feel that way; there will be more to follow. There have been too many attempts to eradicate our reproductive rights. I have to wonder when does it stop?

Rep. Speier in opposition of HR358

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