Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
When they are not wasting time on meaningless symbolic votes to repeal "ObamaCare" for the 39th time to give every member of their caucus a chance to vote against it, they are wasting their time on other meaningless symbolic votes to appease the crazy base, like this.
On Tuesday, House Republicans wasted the day approving the most restrictive
anti-abortion bill considered in Congress in the last decade, the unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban bill sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. U.S.
House passes bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of
The House approved legislation Tuesday that would ban abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy, the most sweeping abortion restriction to pass any chamber of Congress in a decade. The vote was 228 to 196.
For those of you scoring this bill, six Republicans voted against it, and six Democrats voted for it — Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL 3), Jim Matheson (D-UT 4), Mike McIntyre (D-NC 7), Collin Peterson (D-MN 7), and Nick Rahall (D-WV 3) — canceling each other out.
Under the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, abortions
can be performed until the point when an individual doctor determines a
fetus’s viability, which is generally defined as up to 24 weeks of
gestation. After that point, the government can prohibit the procedure
as long as it provides sufficient safeguards for the mother’s health and
* * *
Tuesday’s vote marks the first time Congress has voted to redefine the point where a fetus becomes viable [in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the real reason for doing this.]
Last-minute changes to the bill sparked divisions within the GOP, as
well as public controversy over how rape should be defined. The House
Judiciary Committee rejected an attempt last week to provide exemptions
in the cases of rape and incest; during the debate, Rep. Franks said “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.”
Afterward, GOP leaders amended the bill to make exceptions if a woman is
raped and reports it within 48 hours, or if a minor is the victim of
incest. That prompted Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) to remove his name as
co-sponsor, saying he was “extremely disappointed that House Republican
leadership chose to include language to subject some unborn children to
needless pain and suffering.”
In other words, Rep. Broun, a general practice M.D., and God save us, is running for the Senate in Georgia, believes that victims of rape and incest should have to bear their rapist's baby, no exceptions, to punish the victim who has been sexually violated by a rapist. And rest assured Broun's only concern is in utero — the life that rapist's baby can expect to endure after birth is of no concern to him.
And then there were these words of wisdom (sic) from a guy who, swear to God, claims to be an Ob-Gyn M.D., Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX). Texas Congressman: Masturbating Fetuses Prove Need for Abortion Ban:
“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are
purposeful,” said Burgess, a former OB/GYN. “They stroke their face. If
they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If
they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to believe that they could feel
Actually, no "doctor," if that's what you are. You are wrong. Comments by Rep. Michael Burgess About Fetuses Masturbating Not Based in Science, Doctors Say:
Burgess's argument isn't based in science, doctors say.
"We certainly can see a movement of a fetus during that time, but in
terms of any knowledge about pleasure or pain – there are no data to
assess," says Jeanne Conry, president of the American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a professional association for OB/GYNs.
"We don't know enough about the biology and the science."
Any media reports on masturbation by fetuses can almost exclusively be traced back to a single letter
written by two OB/GYNs in Italy in 1996 and published in the American
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The letter related an anecdote in
which the two doctors had "recently observed a female fetus at 32 weeks
gestation touching the vulva with the fingers of the right hand" before
the female fetus experienced prolonged spasms, and "finally…relaxed
Conry said it was wrong to "base science on single observations."
"For whatever reason in our country when it comes to abortion we make
statements based not on the science but based on observations and on
emotion," she said.
Or based on religious dogma that members of Congress seek to impose on members of other religious faiths, or people of no religious faith, in violation of the First Amendment.
This bill is DOA in the Senate, and in the extremely unlikely event that it ever sees the light of day again, President Obama has promised to veto it.
So why bother? As Steve Benen explained in When 'satisfying vocal elements' is all that matters:
Because, as the New York Times reported,
"Republican leaders acknowledge that its purpose is to satisfy vocal
elements of their base." And apparently, that's all that matters — the
base is a beast that must be fed, even if it's a pointless vanity
exercise, and even if it undermines the party's interests.
So how's that GOP rebranding working out for ya? It's the same old crazy base trying to subjugate women to second-class citizen status, whose constitutional rights are abrogated from the moment of conception until child birth, a deprivation of constitutional rights that no man would ever face.
And another thing: Congress only has a limited number of hours to do the people's business on necessary appropriations and substantive legislation that can actually pass. Every hour that the TanMan and his Tea-Publican Congress continue to waste on these neaningless symbolic votes to appease the crazy base is time they are wasting from actually doing the people's business. This is a reckless and irresponsible failure of governance. This is the real scandal.