At around 5 a.m. this morning, the final version of an omnibus spending bill to keep the government operating was posted on the House web site. It contains an anti-abortion provision that has far-reaching implications. There's already an exception written into federal health-care law that allows Catholic doctors and hospitals to refuse to give information or counseling on abortion to women patients. But the new provision stuck onto the omnibus spending bill would extend that right of refusal to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers. (NYTimes coverage here.)
It's part of an overall campaign to shut down avenues to information, as a necessary step to shutting down the procedure itself. Done according to that old saying, "An ignorant woman is a joy forever!"
Republican Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine said yesterday that the proposed law is "a bad provision" that would "adversely affect reproductive health access for women across the country." She added, "It is an ill-advised policy that is clearly harmful to women."
But it's Senator Barbara Boxer who has vowed to use the ineffable rules of the Senate to block passage of this little jewel. Please write Senator Boxer and encourage her in her obstructionism. (You'll have to register on her site to send an e-mail.) Thank God she's got the balls to stand up!