Idaho Republican House Panel Votes To Oppose Contraception, Senate Panel Votes To Support Anti-Abortion Bill

Idaho Republicans are joining the war against women. A House panel has voted to oppose President Obama’s contraception coverage mandate and a Senate panel has voted in support of a bill that will force women to get an ultrasound before they can get an abortion.

According to the Idaho Statesman, “the House State Affairs Committee voted 11-3 Tuesday to pass a nonbinding resolution calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to reject the federal Health and Human Services rule requiring coverage of preventive services, including contraception and sterilization,” claiming that such a mandate violates moral and religious freedom. In other words, Idaho Republicans think women protecting themselves from getting pregnant during sex and regulating their periods is evil so they voted to reject the contraception mandate and used a ridiculous excuse to do so.

To add insult to injury, Idaho Senate Republicans were also busy rolling back women’s rights. A Senate panel voted 7-2 to pass an anti-abortion bill that would force women to undergo an ultrasound before she could obtain an abortion. The Idaho Statesman reports that “Under Idaho’s measure, a doctor performing an abortion would have to conduct an ultrasound examination. Women would be given the option of viewing the fetal ultrasound image and listening to a fetal heartbeat. But they could decline by initialing a release form.”

The bill is sponsored by Republican state Senator Chuck Winder, whose bill originally required women to have a transvaginal ultrasound but has since been taken out. Despite that change, the bill may still require a transvaginal ultrasound because only an invasive ultrasound can give an accurate picture of a fetus in the first trimester. The bill also doesn’t make exceptions for women who need an emergency abortion or women who are raped.

Republicans in Idaho have joined many other conservative controlled states in declaring war against the fairer sex. They not only want to keep women from accessing contraceptives, they want to force women to carry babies to term when they get pregnant because of that lack of access. Even women who are raped are basically getting raped again, this time by the state. It also makes the cost of getting an abortion more expensive, so essentially, Republicans are levying taxes on women.

To put it bluntly, Republicans have no business violating the private lives of women. Health decisions should only be between a woman and her doctor, but as portrayed in the Doonesbury comic strip this week, Republicans want to be in the room too so they can humiliate women who have a hard enough time making the choice to have an abortion as it is. This goes directly against their claim to be the party of small government that stays out of our lives. But since Republicans insist that women should be forced to get unnecessary procedures before getting the one she wants or needs, I suggest that legislatures start passing bills that require men who seek Viagra and other treatments for erectile dysfunction to undergo a cystoscopy which is performed by sticking a pencil width tube up the penis. Usually, this is done to check for urinary and bladder issues but I think it should now be required for erectile dysfuction treatments as well. I also think male Republican legislators should have to go through this procedure before they are allowed to submit bills regulating the health and sex lives of women. And let’s force them to have the invasive procedure done without anesthesia. This way, Republicans can feel the government inside them while they are writhing in agony. Sounds fair to me.