Anti-Choice Male Lawmakers Hope To Remove Maternity Coverage From Obamacare

Now that the GOP has control of both the House and the Senate, they are more determined than ever to rid the country of the Affordable Health Care Act. In order to do this, however, they have to submit their own plan for health care–which, so far, is not looking too good. Especially for poor people and women.

In addition to offering health care subsidies to fewer Americans by ending the Medicaid expansion and the guarantee that no one can be denied for a pre-existing condition would only apply to people who have been insured for most of their lives–the bill would also get rid of a federal provision requiring insurance companies to provide maternity coverage and give that choice to the states.

Just so you know, it is far more expensive to give birth in America than any other country on the planet. Giving birth without insurance that provides maternity coverage is pretty much financially impossible for most women in this country. Without insurance, the average is $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-Section. Even with insurance, it’s still about $3,400.

The “Patient Choice, Affordability, Responsibility, and Empowerment Act” was devised by Sen. Richard Burr (NC), Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT), and Rep. Fred Upton (MI)–all Republican, all male, all “pro-life.”

Every one of these men has a 0% rating from NARAL. Every one of them has supported and voted for and helped to enact bills that make it more difficult for women to obtain abortions.

This is why I absolutely do not believe that most “pro-lifers” actually give a fuck about the precious babies they claim to be intent on saving. Not once have I ever been given an inkling that these people even sort of care about babies once they make their exit from the womb.

I can honestly understand, on some level, why someone might be opposed to abortion. I don’t agree with it, but I can understand it.

That being said, if that were my position, you bet your ass that I would do everything possible to make giving birth and raising a child as easy on women as possible. I would not only support insurance companies covering maternity care, I would support having tax money cover all pregnancy-related expenses. I would support subsidized child-care, paid maternity/paternity leave, a higher minimum wage, free preschool, WIC, comprehensive sex education, free birth control, free condoms and literally everything that made it possible for a woman to feel like she could provide a good life for her child or to not have one in the first place.

I would go after all those things first, before I tried to make getting an abortion more difficult, because I would understand that if a woman wants an abortion, she’s going to get one whether it is safe and legal or not. Because I would want to eliminate as much of the need for it as I could rather than force women into situations where they are getting abortions by unsafe means.

As a supporter of reproductive justice, I advocate for all those things now, and those who fight against them are more often than not, quite anti-choice. Which is why, for me, this always seems like they are more about punishing women for having sex than they are about protecting all the precious little fetuses.

The only thing they ever seem advocate for, ever so snidely, is for women to just “keep their legs closed.” Which has worked oh-so-well in all the states that require abstinence education over comprehensive sex-ed. You know, except for the fact that they tend to have the highest teen pregnancy rates.

Maternity coverage isn’t just important for the women having the babies, it’s important for all of us. I don’t want women to go into debt for bringing a child into this world. I don’t want a woman to not be able to provide for the child she is having. I want every child born to not only be wanted, but to be taken care of, so that the child grows up with a better chance in life. But maybe that’s just too much to ask for these people. [ThinkProgress]