WASHINGTON—When Bush says, “I’ve earned capital in this election and I’m going to spend it for what I’ve told the people I’d spend it on,” he’s not just talking about revamping the income tax and Social Security. It’s payback time for the Christian conservatives who gave him vital votes to win the election and then go on and call the win a mandate. They want cultural changes—what Bush himself calls the “culture of life,” and that starts with women’s place in society.
The administration already has sought to limit a woman’s access to abortion and contraception; to shut up clinics, individuals, and providers of abortion around the world; and to cut funds from women’s reproductive health services.
Now it’s time for more. Here’s a partial listing put together by the Center for Reproductive Rights:
• Get rid of Roe v. Wade through new Supreme Court appointees who think like Thomas and Scalia can knock out the ruling when given the chance. Bush will also fight lawsuits challenging the partial birth abortion law.
• Promote federal statutes and regulations that use the term “unborn child” to describe the fetus—opening the prospect of murder charges against doctors and their staffs engaged in abortions and women who have them
• Push for enactment of the so-called “Child Custody Protection Act” (CCPA), which would prevent teenagers from crossing state lines to get an abortion, and once enacted, enforce it, the Center says, “with intrusive investigatory techniques such as issuing subpoenas for private medical records, and aggressively prosecuting aunts, grandmothers, religious counselors, and physicians who counsel minors or assist them in obtaining abortions”
• Deny Medicaid funding for abortions
• Place new restrictions on funding abortion in cases of incest, rape, and where a woman’s life is at stake
• Restrict access to contraception and push new legislation to withdraw contraception coverage for federal employees (including military personnel)
• Continue to deny over-the-counter status to emergency contraception claiming it amounts to an abortifacient