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New Anti-Abortion Legislation Poll

Posted by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 10:27 AM
  • 2 Replies



Question: Do you agree with the new legislation??



No it just needs a bit more adjustment

Absolutely not


Only group members can vote in this poll.

Total Votes: 5

View Results


Posted Oct. 19, 2011

Interview with Sarah Lipton-Lubet, policy counsel, American Civil Liberties Union, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


The U.S. House of Representatives just passed another in a series of anti-abortion bills that has been characterized by women's and civil liberties groups as one of the most extreme yet from the Republican-controlled body. The measure would allow hospitals to deny life-saving care to women in need of emergency abortion services. It would also deny women insurance coverage for abortion services under the new health care system, taking away insurance coverage that millions of women already have. According to the American Journal of Public Health, Catholic hospitals already have a history of ignoring their obligation to provide emergency care that may involve performing abortions. In 1979, an Arizona bishop excommunicated a nun who authorized an abortion procedure for a woman who otherwise might have died of pulmonary hypertension at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix.

The main sponsor of the bill was Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., who was a co-sponsor of anti-abortion legislation known as the Stupak-Pitts amendment to President Obama's health care reform legislation. Pitt’s bill, HR 358, the Protect Life Act, passed in the House by a large majority – 251 to 172 – and now goes to the Senate.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Sarah Lipton-Lubet, policy counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. She describes what the bill would do and explains why the ACLU is involved in opposing the measure.

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:It's one in a line of anti-choice measures that the anti-choice leadership of the House has been pushing in an unrelenting fashion this year. But this bill in particular is both unprecedented and unconscionable. It literally puts women's lives on the line in a way we haven't seen before.

BETWEEN THE LINES:What are some examples of what would happen if this bill were to pass?

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:Current law requires that patients in medical emergiences receive appropriate medical treatment, including abortion care if that's what is medically indicated for them. And this bill – the so-called Protect Life Act, actually threatens women's lives – it would allow a hospital to ignore those essential emergency protections. So that means taht a women could show up at a hospital, mid-emergency, her health and/or her life under serious threat. The care that she needs is an emergency termination of her pregnancy. Her treating physician knows that's the care that she needs, wants to provide that care, and the hospital could say no.

BETWEEN THE LINES:Is this different than what Catholic hospitals do now?

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:This bill is designed to give license to those practices, which are currently not permitted.

BETWEEN THE LINES:And what do you think its chances are in the Senate?

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:We certainly hope that outrageous legislation like this wouldn't get a minute of time in the Senate. But it shouldn't have come to the House floor in the first place. It's insulting to women and to their families and it would be almost unbelievable if the threat to women weren't so real.

BETWEEN THE LINES:Has Obama spoken out on this yet? I imagine he would veto it if it got to his desk.

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:The administration issued a veto threat.

BETWEEN THE LINES:Sarah Lipton-Lubet, I first heard about this bill not from my usual sources, like NARAL Pro Choice America, the National Organization for Women or Planned Parenthood, but from the ACLU. How does abortion fit into the ACLU's mission?

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:For decades, ACLU has been centrally involved in the pro-choice movement. We've been involved in litigation in almost every case having to do with reproductive rights that's come before the Supreme Court, and we're actively involved in D.C. trying to protect the right to privacy that protects women's access to abortion care and, in particular, when it comes to institutions refusing to provide appropriate medical care or information on religious grounds. About a year ago, you may recall the story of a woman in Arizona, the mother of several children, who had a life-threatening condition, was at a Catholic-affiliated hospital. The ethics board there permitted her to have the abortion care she needed to protect her life, and as a result of that the staff that signed that approval was demoted and the hospital lost its Catholic status. Well, that was a story that got some national attention, and in the wake of that, the ACLU reached out to the Department of Health and Human Services to file a complaint and say, "Department of Health and Human Services, you need to make sure that hospitals are informed of their obligations under emergency care laws, such as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, you need to make sure that hospitals are following these protections and giving women the care that they need."

BETWEEN THE LINES:There's another major problem with this legislation regarding insurance coverage of abortion. It's the reappearance of the infamous Stupak amendment that was defeated before Obama's health care reform passed.

SARAH LIPTON-LUBET:In addition to creating this dangerous loophole in emergency protection laws, this bill would effectively eliminate insurance coverage for abortion in plans sold on the new marketplaces created by health care reform. Most private insurance plans already cover abortion care – the standard of care – and this would result in depriving millions of women of the coverage they already have.

For more information on the ACLU, visit To contact NARAL’s Washington, D.C. office call (202) 973-3000 or visit their website at

by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 10:27 AM
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by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 10:32 AM
So stupid. I don't want to live in a country where I couldn't be saved if I needed it.

We are getting dangerously close to losing a good lot of our rights, and its sad.

I hope things like this continue to fail.
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by on Nov. 9, 2011 at 1:17 PM

 One of the scariest parts of this new legislation, IMO, aside from not giving life-saving treatment to the mom, is the threat to those TTC. Some of the grey areas of this new legislation include terminology of treatment to a fertalized egg. So those going through invitro might have trouble freezing their fertilized eggs or even choosing to disregard unhealthy looking eggs......that is terrible IMO, quite aside from the threat to a persons right to choose treatment for their own body.

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