Dem: House GOP 'misogynist' for bringing up abortion bill

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) on Thursday charged House Republicans of misogynous motives in bringing up a bill that seeks to limit federal funding for abortion.

"What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are attempting to do is misogynist," Speier said on the House floor. "It is absolutely misogynist."

"This bill goes to the farthest extreme in trying to take women down, not just a peg, but to take in shackles to some cave somewhere," Speier said. "Basically what this bill would do is say that any hospital could decline to provide services to one class of people in this country, and that one class of people are pregnant women."

ADVERTISEMENT
The bill, H.R. 358, would amend last year's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to ensure no federal funds could be used for abortion, and also prevent them from funding healthcare plans that offer abortion coverage. Republicans say this change is needed because PPACA was not approved with this condition, and that it is not an extreme condition because other federal programs have faced this condition for decades.

Still, Democrats have argued throughout the day that the bill would significantly limit abortion services for women, and would go further by allowing hospitals to deny services for women seeking treatments related to abortion, such as those who need help in the case of miscarriages.

Speier recounted how she was pregnant and miscarrying, and said she would have been in serious jeopardy if this bill were in place at that time. "If I had to go from hospital to the next trying to find one emergency room that would take me in, who knows if I would even be here today," she said.

Shortly after noon, Democrats raised a point of order against the bill, a move they acknowledged was partly meant to protest the bill further. The House quickly overrode the point of order by voice vote, after which members started debate on the rule for the bill.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said the point of order was meritless and meant to give Democrats more time to attack the bill, which she said was not extreme.

"H.R. 358 takes away no protections from women in this country, it takes away no rights of women, it is not extreme," she said. "Seventy-seven percent of the people in this country are opposed to taxpayer funding for abortions."