Right-Wing Policy Makers Attack Health Care Reform, But Embrace Mandatory Ultrasounds for Women

March 23, 2012

by Jeremy Leaming

As the Obama administration and supporters of its landmark health care reform law take note of the law’s anniversary – enacted two years ago today – Timothy Egan takes a look at the state lawmakers opposing the law who have found some health care regulation they can support.

Earlier this week this blog noted Idaho’s efforts to join a slew of other states that have enacted laws requiring women to undergo invasive ultrasounds and hear government propaganda before obtaining abortions. During the state senate’s consideration of the bill Sen. Chuck Winder in responding to the fact that the legislation did not contain exceptions for victims of rape or incest suggested that women have difficult determining when they’ve been raped.

“I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue,” Winder said, “that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was the pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly cause by rape.”

In a piece called “The Church Lady State,” for The New York Times Egan takes right-wing policy makers to task for their efforts to micromanage sex lives of Americans. He notes the Tea Party grumblings over Obama’s Affordable Care Act and other regulations, such as those promoting energy conservation, and says none compare to what “your freedom-hating Republican Party has been doing across the land to restrict individual liberty.”

Egan continues:

They want the state to follow you into the bedroom, the bathroom and beyond. They think you’re too stupid to know what to do with your own body, too ignorant to understand what your doctors tell you and too lazy to be trusted in a job without being subject to random drug testing. Your body is the government’s business.

The “church lady state,” or Idaho, however, is on the verge of enacting an even more stringent ultrasound law than those passed in Virginia or Texas, he notes. It “would subject many women to invasive, trans-vaginal inspections.”

As noted frequently on this blog, former U.S. Solicitor General Walter General has nailed the hypocrisy of those lawmakers who obsessively blast the Affordable Care Act, but embrace heavy-handed regulations of abortions for women.

It is “really ironic and disturbing to hear that liberty lecture come from people talking about [a] government takeover of medical care, many of whom would legislate the imposition upon women of unnecessary waiting periods, government scripted lectures, compulsory sonogram viewings, and government mandated unsafe medical procedures,” Dellinger said at the 2011 ACS National Convention.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, as TPM reports, is celebrating the two-year anniversary of the law. Obama adviser David Axelrod today urged progressives to embrace “Obamacare,” a term typically used derisively by opponents of the law.

“[N]ext time you hear someone railing against Obamacare, remember what they’re actually saying they want to take away,” he said. “And, today, stand with me in saying, ‘Hell, yeah, I’m for Obamacare.’”

Next week the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the challenges brought by several states and individuals against the constitutionality of the law. Check out the ACSblog online symposium covering the arguments in the case.

[imag via United States Government Work]