Rehberg Sets New Standard for Scumbaggery

It used to be that we thought of  a misogynist as that guy at the office who is always putting women down to feel better about himself. (After all, it is 2011.)

Apparently, no one told Republicans. They aren’t just trying to keep us down at work. They’re after our entire lives. Montana Congressman Dennis Rehberg is leading the charge–proposing legislation designed to make your life worse no matter what decade  you thought we were living in.

Congressman Rehberg is sponsoring a bill that would strip women of the ability to take personal responsibility for their own actions.  Instead, Rehberg wants to give a small group of religious extremists the ability to force their medieval beliefs into the laws of 21st century America.

Sure, this has been around for a long time. Republicans have orchestrated the defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment, opposed affirmative action, and blocked federal money for child care and numerous policies aimed at making life better for women and their families. But this is taking it to a whole new level.  Rehberg’s bill would let women die on the floor of a hospital rather than get them the abortion care they need to save their life–even if the baby is a stillborn.

The Northwest Women’s Law Center explains:

H.R. 358 makes a hospital’s  obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)  to provide stabilizing treatment to individuals in medical emergencies secondary to the  right of a hospital to refuse to provide abortion care. In practice, this means that any  hospital can refuse to perform an emergency abortion—even if a woman would die— without running afoul of the federal law designed to prevent individuals from being denied emergency medical treatment.

Consider the awful scenario this woman faced.  Pregnant with twins, she learned they had twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a condition where one twin transfers blood to the other.  Doctors gave her 36 hours to decide if she wanted to save one or lose both.  Rehberg’s bill would make that choice for her: she wouldn’t be able to start a family.

Here’s how another member of Congress described Rehberg’s bill:

“This bill goes to the farthest extreme in trying to take women down, not just a peg, but to take in shackles to some cave somewhere,” [Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.)] said. “Basically what this bill would do is say that any hospital could decline to provide services to one class of people in this country, and that one class of people are pregnant women.”

Rehberg can’t claim this is about reducing abortions.  His bill actually reduces access to birth control–the very thing that could reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and reduce the need for abortion in the first place.  Nor can he claim that this is what Montanan’s want.  Polling in the state has always shown strong support for letting women, not Congressmen, decide when and whether to have children.  Rehberg has seen the polling, so we can only conclude that this is what he really believes women deserve.



26 Comments on "Rehberg Sets New Standard for Scumbaggery"

  1. When President Obama issued his order, where was the overheated rhetoric then?

    Executive Order 13535
    Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
    Signed: March 24, 2010
    Federal Register page and date: 75 FR 15599, March 29, 2010

    Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the ‘‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’’ (Public Law 111–148), I hereby order as follows:

    Section. 1. Policy. Following the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ‘‘Act’’), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment. The purpose of this order is to establish a comprehensive, Government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal and to make certain that all relevant actors—Federal officials, State officials (including insurance regulators) and health care providers—are aware of their responsibilities, new and old. The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges. Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. 300a–7, and the Weldon Amendment, section 508(d)(1) of Public Law 111–8) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

    • As to the underlying legislation for Obama’s executive order, Tester boasts about his strong support:

      Jon strongly supported the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…

      Is this a case where a) Tester knew what he was doing, or b)didn’t know what was in the bill he takes credit for helping to pass?

    • Uh, Craig? Are you seriously attempting to take the President to task for executing the law as passed by Congress? Statute against government funding for abortion (the Hyde Amendment) well predates the ACA. If it is wailing and gnashing of teeth you missed, then you obviously skipped most discussions during the health care debate of 2009. Consider that the ‘Stupak amendment’, Ben Nelson’s gamemanship to revive it and other anti-women policy attempts were all hotly contested in the Montana online, at the time. Stupak, Nelson and others attempted to up the ante, by prohibiting private insurers who participate in the government insurance exchange program from paying for not only abortion for also contraceptive services for women. The original Stupak amendment also attempted to prohibit any government funds (or exchange serviced funds) for paying towards any procedure which terminated the life of a fetus, regardless of viability or health of the pregnant woman. It was, in part, push back from the White House (including a veto threat) that lead to the defeat of these horrible additions.

      Obama, ever the deal-maker, agreed to issue an executive order clarifying enforcement of the existing law of the land in the face of new legislation. How horrid; he agreed to do what has been done since 1976. In other words, you think liberals should be pissed at Obama for doing his job, else we’re hypocrites? I’m sorry. That’s not a newsletter to which I wish to subscribe.

      • Rod, did you read my question regarding the selective overheated rhetoric on this issue? Was “scumbaggery” or other vitriolic insults of similar sentiments aimed at Tester? Obama? I don’t recall any. I don’t see where this new legislation restricts anything beyond what Tester voted for with pride and Obama underlined with his executive order. I know the claims by both sides but they are short on facts as to what this legislation would do that is not otherwise prohibited by Obamacare.

    • Couple of things here…

      1) President Obama’s order has to do with who pays for the abortion, not whether it is performed. Further, you seem to have missed the line “except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered”. While Roe VS Wade stated quite clearly that a woman has the right to an abortion – regardless of the reason – on the grounds that a woman has the right to choose, there is nothing that says the government has to pay for it.

      2) The bill in question brought up by Cowgirl concerns the actual ability of a woman to receive an abortion – in the example, a life saving abortion. This is a HUGE difference, and one your argument flew right past in an effort to misdirect.

  2. @Craig-this blog has been the only one in the state to highlight the sexism in the affordable care act. Google much?

    • Jennifer, your sentiments are terrific but your facts are incorrect. Several blogs, and even more bloggers, in Montana have made terrific attempts to highlight not only the continuing sexism in American health care policy and legislation, but also the most loathsome attempts to worsen the situation. A probably incomplete list: Left in the West, Intelligent Discontent, Flathead Memo and 4 & 20 Blackbirds.

      • Oh, well I guess I look pretty stupid. However I stand corrected and am glad to hear it! Kudos to all of these bloggers who did so.

  3. I think any man who writes laws against woman on any scale are just scewing with womans rights period! By law we are to be treated the same as men, that doesn’t mean dictated too!

    No laws about a women’s body should ever be written and supported by men period! Let only women decide that! The laws written now by the republicans are clear violations of the civil rights act, and it goes to show that republicans are indeed cave dwelling imbeciles, and evangelical bigots who do not read the bible, but reference it to try and keep woman under subornation! FU men! Hands off our bodies we will decide what we want in life not you!

  4. meant OK FOR Corporations etc

  5. in our age of diminishing rights…
    it only makes sense an issue that should have no government play…
    gets an “executive order”…
    we were told “change” was at hand…
    the troops would be out by____…
    amelika would prosper, lead the world once again.
    we lead the world in oppression…foreign and domestic.
    there was an “executive” order to send troops to our newest battlefield in uganda…after the order for libya…after the order to “surge” afghanistan after the iraq surge.
    the “executive” order against the welfare of women falls right in with the worst medical care in the world for the dollar spent, let alone poor coverage, if any…
    we were told “reform”, and got what amounts to an “executive” order that we will all have poor, expensive coverage whether we want it or not…
    another victory for the insurance companies who clearly understand where in washing-down the money works.
    ah, but let us not get depressed about any of it…

    here’s who’s doing the voting for you in the next fling…

    but hey…
    there’s abortion to focus on.

  6. It all comes down to money, the Health Care Act got screwed up so elected officals at the Washington Level did not lose campaign funds from the health care industry. Everything is getting screwed up to protect the campaign system

  7. smacks also of ‘scum-buggery’ me thinks?

  8. The only issues before congress since it is republican controlled in congress and fillabiuster by republicans in the senate, always seem to be be social issues these days!
    When are they gonna start doing what they promised about jobs in 2010?

    Abortion control is not what broke this country! Wall street did! they walked off and now sit on 20% of the countries GDP!

    The republicans allowed that to happen on their watch, and keep fillabustering any budget, and or laws the president or the senate try to pass to save us! Hell we cant even have a pass couture vote to talk about the real issues like the jobs bill? how discouraging! We need more Democrats in office in 2012 just to stem the GOP lunacy, and get things moving in the country again!

  9. Spellchecker is off and lack of coffee! Sorry folks, but it is written well enough to get the jest across! Refueling on caffeine now!

    • Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers | October 24, 2011 9:38 PM at 9:38 PM |

      OUCH! I felt that one from here! Remind me to NEVER, repeat NEVER, mess with the attorney for Billings, one Michelle Braukman! She don’t take kindly to likes of Dopey Reeburp and wife insultin’ a lady! Better watch who you’re callin’ a LIAR there, Dopey! This woman will take your sorry ass DOWN a notch or two!

      “..Suffice it to say, I will not waste my client and the taxpayer’s resources by responding to the letter’s many inaccurate, self-serving, and unsubstantiated assertions. I likewise will not respond in kind to the public comments you made in last week’s Billings Gazette article, in essence calling me a “liar”. I do not now, nor will I ever in my practice, litigate by name-calling or making disparaging comments about or to opposing parties and attorneys.”

      It’s high noon, Dopey. Are you ready, boy? Better bring your cop body guard WITH you, son, ’cause she’s about to teach you a lesson bout messin’ with the LAW!
      I’m puttin’ my money on the legal eagle and NOT on a sorry sumbitch vulture like yourself! This shoud be good!

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