Instead of focusing on job creation, congressional Republicans have spent their time passing socially conservative legislation like the “Let Women Die” bill that would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to deny women life-saving abortion procedures.
Now Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of the most die-hard anti-choice lawmakers, has jumped on the bandwagon by sneaking a radical anti-abortion amendment onto a completely unrelated piece of legislation. DeMint’s amendment would ban women and their doctors from discussing abortion over the Internet:
Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.
Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said DeMint is essentially mandating “an abortion-only version of Skype.” She points out that a woman with high-risk pregnancy talking to her doctor through video conferencing would have to somehow switch to a separate communications system if abortion came up at all. “It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor,” Keenan said.
DeMint’s bill is yet another Republican attempt to circumvent women’s constitutional right to an abortion by essentially outlawing doctors from discussing that option with their patients. These so-called “small government” conservatives have no problem inserting government into private conversations between women and their doctors.
To add insult to injury, DeMint’s underhanded method is to shoehorn this attack on women’s privacy onto an unrelated bill — an insidious effort to push his agenda while avoiding public scrutiny.