by Pam Zubeck
UPDATE: If you want to put your pen where your mouth is against this bill, here's a link to sign a petition.
Three Colorado congressmen, all Republicans, are among 173 co-sponsors of controversial House Bill 3 that would ban the use of federal funds for nearly all abortions and redefine rape for the purposes of abortion access. The bill would allow an abortion at taxpayer expense only for "forcible" sexual assault, meaning that abortions would be denied unless the sexual assault was accompanied by violence.
The three are the 5th Congressional District's Doug Lamborn, Cory Gardner of District 4 and Mike Coffman of District 6.
Naturally, Right to Life groups support the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, while choice advocates oppose it. Currently, Medicaid dollars can be spent for abortions for women who were raped, victims of incest or whose health or life is at risk without an abortion.
TPM website reports that the Center For Reproductive Rights says 7.4 million women of child-bearing age are covered by Medicaid, but in 2006, Medicaid covered only 85 abortions for women who fell into one of the three eligibility categories.
Mother Jones magazine noted the new bill would exclude women who had nonconsensual sex while drugged, in cases of incest in which the victim is under the age of 18 and statutory rape.
"For example," writes Mother Jones, "If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion."
TPM also reports the bill would "make it harder for women to obtain abortion coverage from their private insurance companies by eliminating tax exemptions for employers or individuals who purchase health insurance plans that offer coverage for abortion."
Lamborn's website states:
Human life begins at fertilization and should end in natural death. Congressman Lamborn’s legislative record reflects his unwavering dedication to protecting the sanctity of human life from the unborn to the elderly, the terminally ill, and all whose lives are threatened by euthanasia.
During the first session of the 110th Congress, he cosponsored several pieces of legislation including the Right to Life Act, the Parental Notification and Intervention Act of 2007, and the Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act of 2007 to promote a culture of life.