You don’t typically think of a tax reform bill as a vehicle to push a religious agenda onto the rest of the country, but Trump’s “tax reform” bill does exactly that.
Buried deep inside the Republicans’ proposed “tax reform” bill is a provision conferring rights on “unborn children,” which the bill defines as “a child in utero…a member of the species Homo Sapiens, at any stage of development.” The provision appears on page 93 of the 429-page bill, in a section amending the rules on “529 plans,” which are tax-free investment accounts that allow families to save for a child’s college education. People have long been able to set up 529 plans for children that don’t yet exist, but changing the wording of the law intentionally enshrines recognition of the unborn into federal law, something anti-abortion activists and supporters of fetal “personhood” have long sought to do.
Trump’s tax reform bill is full of tricks
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Ohio State Senator Nina Turner has introduced a bill that would require men seeking prescription drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction to submit to a mental and physical exams to assure they have appropriate medical reasons for obtaining the drug, and they would also have to get tested for HIV. Rep. Turner says the legislature should show the same concern about men’s reproductive health as they do women’s reproductive health. The bill is part of a growing national backlash against a wave of Republican-enacted bills that restrict women’s access to reproductive health care, including safe and legal abortions. Other female legislators across the U.S. have introduced bills that focus on men’s reproductive systems, too. Oklahoma Senator Constance Johnson introduced an amendment to the state’s “Personhood” bill that would make it illegal for men to ejaculate outside of a woman’s vagina, saying such an act “shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.” Illinois House Representative Kelly Cassidy introduced an amendment to a forced ultrasound bill that would order men to watch a graphic video depicting Viagra’s side effects before they could obtain a prescription for the drug. A bill filed by Virginia State Senator Janet Howell would require men to submit to rectal exams before getting a Viagra prescription. In Georgia, a state representative introduced a bill sharply limiting men’s ability to get a vasectomy.
Source: Huffington Post, June 28, 2013
Logo of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
A religious group in Humboldt County, California is initiating a new, pro-choice grassroots movement in support of abortion rights called “40 Days of Prayer Supporting Women Everywhere.” Clergy for Choice offers a message of support for women dealing with reproductive issues, including pregnancy. A 2-page, tri-fold brochure describing the effort (pdf) says, “We are religious leaders who value all human life. We trust you to decide about your sexuality & planning your family. Humboldt County Clergy are available to talk with you about the spiritual aspects of sexuality and reproductive choice.” The back of the brochure lists daily prayers supporters are urged to make on each of the 40 days, like: Day 1: “Today we pray for women for whom pregnancy is not good news, that they know they have choices,” Day 11: “Today we pray for better access to all forms a birth control.” Day 22: “Today we pray for women in developing nations, that they may know the power of self-determination. May they have access to employment, education, birth control and abortion.”
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