Friday Femorandum: Marco Rubio Learns that Women Aren’t Horses

How anti-choice is Florida senator and all-around bubkis Marco Rubio? So, so anti-choice, you guys! To prove just how much he hates the idea of ladies having control over their own bodies, Rubio told an anti-choice audience at the National Right to Life Convention today that banning abortion is basically the same thing as giving women the right to vote or abolishing slavery.

Also, women aren’t horses.

mad men animated GIF

Take it away, Marco! (Via Jezebel.)

Speaking to the crowd in New Orleans, he hit all the necessary notes — legal abortion is “the taking of innocent life on a massive scale”; Roe v. Wade was an “egregiously flawed Supreme Court decision”; the case for abortion rights is “indefensible.”

If an  embryo is “not a person, what is it? Because if you left it alone, that’s the only thing it can become,” he said. “It can’t develop into a pony!” Though he didn’t mention it in his speech, Rubio has supported three exceptions to making abortion illegal—in cases of rape, incest and if the mother’s life is at stake.

Once again: Cool party you got there, bros.

In legislation that Marco Rubio will definitely not be voting for, House Democrats (including several members of the Washington state delegation) introduced the EACH Woman Act this week, which would largely overturn the Hyde Amendment ban on federal funding for abortion. (Hyde bans abortion coverage for all Medicaid recipients, military personnel, and anyone else receiving federal health care coverage).

clapping animated GIF The EACH Woman Act is unlikely to pass in the current Congressional climate (Hyde being the third rail of modern-day Republican politics, as Jezebel points out) but as Slate notes, it represents a “reasonable, necessary” push back against a provision that has impacted millions of women who have health care coverage through the federal government, particularly the low-income and minority women who are most likely to be covered by Medicaid and other federal forms of insurance.

In a nod to the (sadly, not obvious to all) fact that being pro-choice means supporting the full range of reproductive health care coverage, including birth control, abortion, and healthy childbearing and parenting, Parenting magazine columnist Angela Tague raised the alarm this week about Congressional efforts to end funding for Title X, the federal family planning program.

Noting that six out of 10 women who use Title X-funded services consider it their primary form of health care, Tague argues that “cutting the Title X program is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. If this budget cut passes Congress, it will not only affect the families that desperately need the family planning assistance, but it will also mean more Medicaid funds are spent on unplanned labor and delivery costs. And who will be padding that fund? The American taxpayer.”

As a report in the New York Times highlighted Monday, a program to provide free IUDs to low-income women in Colorado has been a stunning success, lowering the teen pregnancy rate by 40 percent and the teen abortion rate by 42 percent.

personal animated GIF Naturally, enabling teens to have sex without paying a lifelong price didn’t sit well with conservative media, who had a field day trashing the program for promoting risky behavior and ignoring the heavy “emotional” consequences of not remaining abstinent until marriage, Amanda Marcotte reports at Slate. “The real issue here is that opponents of accessible birth control want to keep sex dangerous, in the hope that danger will discourage girls and women from having sex.”

Media Matters has its own fairly comprehensive roundup of right-wing reactions to the news that a similar program, this one aimed exclusively at high-school students, is working well in Seattle. The comments–from blowhards from Fox News to Breitbart–can be summarized as: “The kids are getting abortion devices without any adult supervision!!!” In the spirit of the Monday Motivation, I recommend reading the complete roundup.

In related news, the New York Times reports on a new study that concluded–no surprise–that spending on birth control by women in the US dropped by $1.4 billion in 2013, after the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The ACA requires insurers to provide all FDA-approved forms of birth control to women free of charge. However, as several reports have pointed out, insurance companies frequently have failed to provide all forms of birth control, and “grandfathered” plans and those administered by religious companies do not have to follow the mandate.


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