A recent ruling issued in the Carhart v. Ashcroft case,
concluded that the Federal Abortion ban which congress passed
and President Bush signed last October, is unconstitutional
and cannot be enforced. Although this ruling was favorable
to women, it “will not stop President Bush, his administration,
and his extremist allies in Congress from continuing their
anti-choice agenda,” Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned
Parent Action Fund, said.
Since his first term began, Bush has been trying to ban abortion
and has signed a law that bans these procedures with no consideration
for women’s health. This action will block abortion rights
for women that are young, poor, or work for the United States
government, including military women. His proposed Human Life
Amendment will give personhood to the fertilized egg, banning
abortion for a woman in as early as a 12 to 15 week pregnancy.
In addition, Bush also opposes emergency contraceptives, also
known as Plan B, and access to common contraception.
In a new poll regarding women‘s right to choose, the Planned
Parenthood Action Fund, a branch of the Planned Parenthood Federation
of America, reported that 73 percent of Republicans believe that
women should have the right to choose, not the government.
While also opposing sex education, Bush’s budget for 2005
for “abstinence-only” programs is $273 million. And
even though a Republican-led Congress approved funding for the
United Nations Population Fund, Bush eliminated that funding,
which could have helped prevent an annual 800,000 induced abortions,
4,700 maternal deaths and 77,000 infant and child deaths, said
PPAF’s Gloria Steinem.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists also
opposes the ban. On Apr. 23, for the first time in a presidential
race, the PPAF endorsed a candidate for president—John
Kerry. On July 6, the US Newswire reported that Kerry’s
running mate, John Edwards, also pro-choice, marked the 30th
anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade. “The
right to choose is not just about a woman’s privacy. It’s
also about [her] equality and her personal dignity—her
inalienable right to stand as a proud and independent equal in
our society. The right to choose is an essential ingredient in
the full equality of women” he said.
Besides banning abortion, Bush also wants to enforce the Patriot
Act, which will allow the government access to Americans’ health
records. It will even be against the law for health professionals
to inform people about government requests for their health records.
Attorney General John Ashcroft unsuccessfully tried to invade
medical privacy by trying to obtain confidential medical records
of women who had abortions in response to efforts of those blocking
Atthe Republican convention, Laura Bush, presented him as a
man that would support women, “a champion of Afghan and Iraqi
women,” as Steinem put it, but how can American, women
especially, vote for a man that is personally attacking their
basic right to choose?
The PPFA is an independent, nonprofit organization which “recognizes
the importance of educating voters about where their candidates
stand on reproductive health care.”