So Republicans dropped the shiny object of redefining rape from H.R. 3, the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which would be more aptly named the "Punish Women for Having Sex Act." But they created a new one, added to the language of Rep. Joe Pitts' (R-PA) H.R. 358, the "Protect Life Act," which would amend the Affordable Care Act.
The new language, according to NARAL, "allow hospitals to refuse to provide abortion care when necessary to save a woman’s life." NARAL's Nancy Keenan said:
"Anti-choice politicians have gone from redefining rape to denying abortion care to women who will die without it.... When it comes to attacking women's freedom and privacy, these politicians know no bounds. This debate is just getting started. Any member of Congress who has signed his or her name to this agenda must be held accountable for such extreme attacks against women's reproductive-health services."
For more on the bill, see RH Reality Check, which sums it up succinctly: "Protecting Life? New Bill Says Its OK to Let Women Die." It also provides the disquieting news that 100 members of Congress are sponsoring it, including a handful of Democrats (Jerry Costello [IL-12], Mark Critz [PA-12], Daniel Lipinski [IL-3], Mike Ross [AR-4], and Heath Shuler [NC-11]). This changes the existing law which requires emergency room doctors save every patient, regardless of status or ability to pay. If their status is pregnant, they can die.
This could affect women who have had miscarriages, because often the treatment post-miscarriage is the same procedure as an abortion, and who could be in danger of serious infections or other complications without the intervention. It could affect women who fully intended to carry their pregnancies to term, but who had life-threatening complications. They could be refused a life-saving procedure. In some jurisdictions, that would probably be considered negligent homicide. But since a pregnant woman somehow magically loses her personhood and becomes nothing more than the vessel holding the sacred fetus in the minds of these "pro-life" monsters, they don't see it that way.
What's not clear yet is whether the GOP is going to hold the threat of H.R. 358 out as a potential amendment to H.R. 3, another red herring for the pro-women's lives groups to have to fight against and to set up some kind of heinous "compromise." They will push this envelope as far as they can to see the core of their "incredibly invasive and far-reaching divide and conquer weapon" prevail.