Books & Review | Cole Garner Hill
Updated: Aug 21, 2012 02:59 PM EDT

Paul Ryan

Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Ryan raises his arms during his speech at campaign stop at Lakewood High School in Lakewood. (Photo : Reuters)

Since the controversy broke of republican representative Todd Akin's statements surrounding "legitimate rape," republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign has worked over time to distance itself from it calling Akin's comments, "insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly wrong." And the reason behind his uncharacteristically direct political stance on the issue is sadly obvious: His new running mate, Paul Ryan, disagrees.

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In fact, in 2011 the Wisconsin state representative co-sponsored The Hyde Amendment, or the "No Tax Payer For Abortion Act," with Todd Akin. A bill that sought to redefine what "rape" means, permanently prevent any future federal funding for abortion, and penalize any private citizen who aids in, facilitates, or has an abortion through imposing immense federal taxes, except cases involving minors. The original version would have narrowed that exception to cases of "forcible rape," though that definition was removed after much dissent.

According to dissenting opinions on the bill, "The goal of [this] is to make abortion completely unavailable even when paid for with purely private, non-Federal funds. [The bill] does this by, among other things, imposing an unprecedented tax penalty on individuals and businesses who use their own money to pay for abortion or to purchase insurance that would cover abortion. To the extent that individuals and businesses seek to avoid [the bill's] penalty on insurance by purchasing insurance that excludes abortion coverage, any resulting costs for abortion-related medical care will be borne entirely by women and their families out-of-pocket."

"This is not codification of existing law... [This bill] is a radical departure from current tax treatment of medical expenses and insurance coverage; and it is not justifiable, nor necessary to prevent Federal funding of abortion. [This bill] changes existing law in other ways that will further harm women's health and place their lives at risk. For example, as interpreted by its key sponsors, section 311 of the bill would elevate a broad right to refuse to provide abortion-related care above the fundamental obligation to provide life-saving care. "

Further, the bill would provide unprecedented protection for anyone who refuses to provide abortion-related care and would elevate the right to refuse care over the obligation to provide life-saving care.

"Section 303 of the bill will impose an unprecedented penalty-in the form of a tax increase-on the use of private money to pay for abortion or insurance that would cover abortion. Section 303 is not about Federal money. It is about the Federal Government penalizing individuals, families, and businesses when they make a particular, constitutionally protected, health care choice that some Members of Congress oppose. Section 303 of H.R. 3 has absolutely no corollary in existing law. It is a completely novel and untested use of the Internal Revenue Code."

Just for fun, read along below for a few of the organizations that opposed the bill.

"Abortion Care Network, Advocates for Youth, Alliance for Justice, American Nurses Association (ANA), American Civil Liberties Union, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Humanist Association, American Medical Student Association (AMSA), American Medical Women's Association, American Public Health Association, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Association of American Women (AAUW), Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP), Black Women's Health Imperative, Catholics for Choice, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), Center for Reproductive Rights, Center for Women Policy Studies, EngenderHealth, EQUAL Health Network, Feminist Majority Foundation, Guttmacher Institute, Human Rights Campaign, International Planned Parenthood Federation-Western Hemisphere Region, Ipas, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, Medical Students for Choice, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Abortion Federation, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF), National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health (NPWH), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), National Council of Jewish Women, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, National Health Law Program, National Institute for Reproductive Health, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Network of Abortion Funds, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Conference Committee, National Women's Health Network, National Women's Law Center, People For the American Way, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Connection, Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Religious Institute, Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), Third Way, Union for Reform Judaism, United Church of Christ ..." 

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