Despite months and months of promises to focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs!,” the GOP has not put forth a single bill that will create a single job. Instead, this year they are wasting their entire time as the majority in the House, as are their counterparts, the Republican minority in the Senate, by focusing on repealing every Democratic law in sight and moving forward their conservative, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-environment, anti-middle class, anti-growth agenda. First, they voted to repeal health care reform. Now, they are fighting like mad to enact strong anti-abortion legislation that will be a tax hike for many American men and women, including many gay men and lesbians across America.
Abortion has been legal in America since Roe v. Wade, January 22, 1973. The infamous Hyde Amendment, enacted in 1976, bans the use of federal funds for abortion. The end. Except the GOP refuses to believe that, and now, not only are they trying to make abortions harder to get, like trying to force women to go through waiting periods, force women to see sonograms of their unborn fetuses, force women to listen to a doctor verbally describe the fetus’ body parts, they are now trying to enact legislation that would prohibit anyone from taking the usual deductions on their income taxes for medical expenses if their insurance policy covers abortions.
Let me repeat that.
Two of the GOP bills the House will vote on, and likely pass, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” and the “Protect Life Act” (and the Senate versions, which likely will pass as well) would take away tax deductions from all taxpayers if their medical plan covers abortions. Not if they have an abortion, or visit the doctor to discuss an abortion. This would apply to all men and women, gay or straight, who are in the “unfortunate” situation of having an insurance policy that covers abortion.
So, the GOP, who claims it wants smaller government, and lower taxes, wants a government big enough to, as Rachel Maddow often says, monitor the uterus of every woman in America. Furthermore, the GOP wants to repeal health care reform, making it harder for the American people to get health insurance (never mind affordable health insurance!) and increase taxes on the American people who are lucky enough to have insurance, because their insurance policy covers abortion services.
For example, a single man who works for a company, who can only get insurance through his employer, would lose all tax deductions for any medical expenses his insurance company doesn’t pay (co-pay, deductibles, transportation, etc.) because his plan covers the women and families in his company who might want the option of having an abortion. Even in the case of incest or rape.
Nick Baumann at Mother Jones says, “the law is a sweeping attack on tax benefits and deductions that affect abortion,” ad adds that it “would, for example, forbid self-employed people from deducting abortion costs as medical expenses and would outlaw the use of funds from tax-exempt Health Savings Accounts to pay for abortions. In effect, this would raise the taxes of nearly anyone who had an abortion or purchased insurance that covered abortion.”
Now, I don’t want to make this an LGBTQ issue, but surely, as I write about LGBTQ issues, you can understand my point of view, and recognize that gay men and lesbians rarely want abortions. So this GOP anti-abortion bill is in a sense an automatic tax hike on the entire LGBTQ community.
I mention this because as it is, we are unable to access the 1138 federal benefits that our heterosexual brothers and sisters are afforded merely by virtue of their birth. Heck, we’ve been subsidizing straight marriages since the dawn of time!
Most gay men and lesbians I know are pro-choice and actively against curtailing any civil right, including abortion. Not because it affects us directly or not, but because we believe in fighting for what’s right. And we work to elect strong pro-choice Democrats who will support civil rights for all, and not “allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care to women who will die without it.” (Unlike Republicans who are generally abortion foes and don’t care about women’s rights or civil rights.)
Oh. About that whole faux “jobs” focus? How’s this for conservative spin? “I think it’s [curtailing abortion rights] completely in line with the desire to focus on jobs, because we are in a financial crisis, so this ensures that federal taxpayer funds are going to things that are important to the American people and not to something like abortion,” says Kellie Fiedorek, a staff attorney for the antiabortion organization Americans United for Life (AUL), who wants to “defund Planned Parenthood.” because defunding Planned Parenthood will… increase healthcare costs for all Americans.
The GOP doesn’t care about jobs. They don’t care about the results of their actions. They only want to further their social agenda so they can fill up their campaign war chests. And if it means increasing the taxes on the people they care about least, the LGBTQ community? Heck, that’s just a bonus for them!
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.