April 28, 2016

The refusal to hold SCOTUS nominee confirmation hearings in the Republican led U.S. Senate sets a new low for these obdurate lawmakers. By pandering to the forced birthers, aka 'pro-life' zealots, they have set an historical precedent that clearly elucidates the disdain and disrespect harbored towards our twice-elected President, Barack Obama.

Republicans are launching this fight using binary tactics. First, they will tie the hands of the HHS department by blocking nominees for critical positions. Secondly, Republicans will play the religious card and pretend that the right to a safe and legal abortion is suddenly NOT settled law and the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision never really happened.

This Congress has been abysmally remiss about filling the vacancies that any president must fill. President Obama has been blockaded by the inaction of Congress whom are refusing to do their sworn duty. For one,

Democrats are crying foul over the Republican blockade of a top Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee who has been ensnared in a dispute over abortion.

Mary Wakefield’s nomination to be deputy HHS secretary, the department’s No. 2 position, was once noncontroversial, but Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee dropped her from a panel session last week to approve nominees after objections.

Republicans are delaying action on Wakefield’s nomination because they say HHS is dragging its feet on an investigation into whether California violated federal law by requiring all health insurers in the state to cover abortions, sources say. At issue is a California agency’s decision in 2014 to require all health insurers in the state to cover abortions. Republicans say that order was a clear violation of the federal Weldon Amendment, which prevents discrimination against health insurers who decline to cover abortions.

The HHS Office for Civil Rights, which is charged with enforcing the Weldon Amendment, said in December 2014 that it had opened an investigation into the state of California’s actions after the California Catholic Conference filed a complaint.

Remember that name, the Weldon Amendment. This was passed by the extremist Tea Party Congress in 2014 to chip away women's rights to end a pregnancy if she so chooses.

There have been objections to Obama's pick, Merrick Garland for numerous reasons, one being his proclivity towards sensible gun laws. But that's a distraction, as the main reason the GOP doesn't want President Obama to execute his duty to nominate someone to the Supreme Court is all about controlling women and forcing them to birth a baby, under no exceptions. Somehow they are riding this wave even though

Garland Has Never Issued An Opinion On An Abortion Case. According to an opinion piece written by Time reporter Charlotte Alter, titled "Merrick Garland: The Abortion Rights Sphinx," Garland has never issued an opinion or made a major ruling in any case related to reproductive rights or abortion.

Iowa Republican, Senator Chuck Grassley promulgates his opinion that this obnoxious, obstinate obstructionism is okay even though it is a dereliction of his Senatorial duties.

"We know if another liberal is nominated to the court, then even the reasonable restrictions on abortion that have been enacted into law — through the democratic process, I might say — these would be swept away," Grassley said.

Just as the president has a constitutional obligation to nominate new Supreme Court justices when a vacancy arises, the Senate has a duty to hold a fair hearing for said nominees. Failing to do so means the Senate Republicans have no problem ignoring the Constitution in order to ensure that abortion access isn't expanded, which is a new low.

Grassley is another tool of the forced birthers. He's legislated previously to criminalize abortion on military bases. He helped make it a criminal offense to harm a fetus, and define unborn fetuses as children for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. However, he has cut funding for the already born, another cruelty to humanity espoused by the GOP, by voting against CHIP and SNAP funding.

The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, passed first in the House and then by the Senate, brought 4 million children without health insurance eligible onto the rolls of the the State Children Health Insurance Program.

This legislation isn't some kind of entitlement to people responsible for their own economic vulnerability; no child is responsible for being born into a poor family. Far from being a gift, the CHIP program is an investment: healthy children grow up to become productive adults. Senator Grassley voted AGAINST this progressive measure.

Even though the right to refuse to perform abortions has long been part of the equation, thanks to the 1973 Church Amendment, Republicans continue to create phantom problems. This Amendment

explicitly protects individuals who object to providing abortion care based on religious beliefs or moral convictions. Similarly, no federal law requires hospitals to provide abortion services, except in a medical emergency.

The Weldon Amendment goes one step further and ties the hands of providers whose beliefs are not influenced by the forced birthers' crusade against women's reproductive freedom.

The Federal Refusal Clause (aka the Weldon Amendment) goes much further: it allows a wide range of health-care corporations—or a few board members controlling the company’s policy, whether for religious,political, or any other reasons—to prohibit doctors from providing care or giving information to their patients regardless of the individual doctor’s religion, morals, or values. In that sense, the Federal Refusal Clause actually works in some cases to trample the conscience rights of pro-choice doctors in providing care to patients who need it.

This crusade must continue because if legal abortion is outlawed, what will motivate their fanatic base to vote? The hypocrites on the right will continue to do anything they can to make it impossible for a woman to seek a safe and legal abortion procedure, and then cut any and all funding for poor children once they are born. They ironically endorse measures that make it very difficult for people to adopt, so the foster care population is alarmingly high. The Dystopian Republican ideal is a nation filled with poor, unwanted children. They really believe that basic decency and ethics can be replaced by fake Christian virtuosity, that's the ruse the GOP has embraced and always will.

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