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Eric Cantor (R-VA) speaks at the Values Voter Summit, 2011.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor

Republicans must really, really want to distract voters from the economy, given how hard they're trying to change the subject to abortion, abortion, abortion, and also abortion. The March for Life is an annual event, which they're frantically trying to wring as much out of as they can. Then there's the proposed RNC resolution encouraging Republican candidates to talk about abortion more. Most of all, though, there's the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

There are already sharp limits on anything that could be construed as government funding for abortion. But this bill takes it the next step: It would ban medical-expense tax deductions for abortion, allowing exceptions only for rape, incest, and protecting the woman's life. It's so extreme it could lead to rape victims being audited by the IRS to be sure they weren't getting a prohibited tax subsidy. During a male-dominated House committee hearing on the bill, Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler tried to substitute a bill that would really protect women's and fetal health: the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. But his effort was voted down, and:

I am proud to announce that next week, the House will vote once and for all to end taxpayer funding for abortions. #MarchForLife
@GOPLeader
That's right. Rather than passing a bill that would require employers to make reasonable accommodations to protect the health of pregnant women, Republicans are going to pass a bill (in the House, anyway) that would audit rape victims. They're going to focus on raising taxes on people who get medical care they don't like rather than protecting the jobs of pregnant women like the Walmart worker fired for carrying a water bottle or the hospital cleaner who was forced onto unpaid leave rather than being allowed a lifting restriction. Or the Albertsons worker whose baby was born prematurely and died after the mother's request—backed up by doctors' notes—for light duty was turned down and after she was told to keep working despite being in pain. For these women, Republicans have nothing, not even as the fig leaf preserving the notion that life and women's health are what motivates their latest anti-abortion push.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 11:29 AM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, Pro Choice, This Week in the War on Women, and Daily Kos.

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