Today, a House Ways and Means subcommittee is holding a hearing on H.R.3, the dangerous "Stupak on Steroids" bill introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.).
Ways and Means is the third committee in the U.S. House of Representatives to hold a hearing on an anti-choice bill in less than six weeks. The Judiciary Committee already held a hearing on H.R.3, the "Stupak on Steroids" bill, and voted to advance it.
H.R.3 manipulates the tax code to advance an extreme anti-choice agenda, and would force millions of small businesses to pay taxes on their health-insurance benefits if they offer their employees a plan that includes abortion care.
Even Grover Norquist, president of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, expressed his concern that H.R.3 would "mask a net tax increase."
At the Judiciary Committee hearing, pro-choice representatives offered 15 amendments to the bill to ensure that women would retain their ability to access critical care. The committee's anti-choice majority rejected all 15.
The Energy and Commerce Committee also held a hearing on and voted to advance H.R.358, which was introduced by Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania. H.R.358 would allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion careeven when it's necessary to save a woman's life!
In addition, last month the House passed a budget bill that proposes to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood and the Title X family-planning program, threatening to take away millions of Americans' access to birth control, cancer screenings, Pap smears, and other basic health care.
I wish I could say I was surprised by these politicians' behavior. But members of the anti-choice House leadership have made it clear that they're more interested in placating their rabid, right-wing base than in focusing on Americans' priorities.
What these politicians may have overlooked is that their overreaching has galvanized America's pro-choice majority. Since November, we have sent 311,000 messages to Congress in opposition to the extreme anti-choice agenda. And in just the last few weeks, we've added an average of nearly 1,000 new names a day to our activist network.
On Thursday, April 7, we, the people, are taking our voices to Washington for a 5,000-person pro-choice lobby day with Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations. Join us there!
If your representative is pro-choice, your activism will inspire him or her to speak out for choice on the floor of the House.
If your representative is anti-choice, he or she needs to know that a vote for the War on Women will not be forgotten in 2012!
We're arranging buses in several cities, and we'll give you all the training and materials you need. You'll get to meet other pro-choice activists and make a direct impact in stopping the War on Women.
NARAL Pro-Choice America is fighting each day to ensure that women and their doctors -- not politicians -- decide what's best for women's health and privacy. We need your help! Join us on April 7 in Washington, D.C. Stand up for women by stopping the war on their reproductive health and privacy.
Follow Nancy Keenan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NARAL