While legislators, humanitarian workers, and economists across the world have been working tirelessly for the past months to minimize the impact of the Coronavirus on both human life and the economy, Republicans have taken the opportunity to once again further their anti-reproductive rights agenda.
It began in mid-March when legislators debated and fought for a coronavirus relief package which included: free virus testing and paid sick leave. However, the Republicans could not leave well enough alone. Republicans believe that a stipulation in the House bill that required the government to reimburse private laboratories doing coronavirus testing could overturn the Hyde Amendment.
In order to ensure that did not happen, anti-choice legislators empathetically argued for the inclusion of language in the bill which would reconfirm the principles of the Hyde Amendment. After numerous debates and go rounds, Congress finally approved a historic stimulus package for Americans to help negate the negative economic consequences of the Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the fight against women’s reproductive access in the midst of the pandemic was far from over.
Now, Republican Governors in 4 states—Ohio, Texas, Alabama and Iowa are using the argument that abortion s are not medically necessary procedures, and therefore should be halted along with other elective surgeries such as tummy tucks until the crisis is controlled. It is too early to tell what impact the Coronavirus would have on the fetus of an infected woman, but it is safe to assume that Republican law makers would move mountains to ensure an exposed woman could not obtain a safe and legal abortion during these troubling times.
When Republicans argue “abortion stops a beating heart” they are not concerned about saving a human life, but rather controlling women.
It is absolutely disgraceful that the Republican party continues to take advantage of a public health crisis to promote their anti-reproductive rights agenda on women. They assume people are distracted and will not notice it. We are here to tell them we are paying attention, we will call them out, and we will not tolerate it.