“Patient safety”, “caring for Virginians”, “doing what’s right for Virginians”, these are a few of the phrases that the Virginia Republican Party has used to encroach upon the rights of women and potentially stall the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. But the party has cried wolf too many times for Virginians to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt, and in the case of women’s rights and the legal right to abortion, there is clearly a disconnect between the GOP’s caring pronouncements and the facts.
It’s difficult to say whether or not Virginian Republicans actually believe what they say about “patient safety” or “doing what’s right for Virginians.” Most likely, it’s a mixed bag of cynical Republican politicians whose only objective is restricting the rights of women and federal health care and true believers in their protective roles as state policymakers. In the end, it doesn’t make much of a difference because the final result is the same.
The irony of the VA GOP’s efforts to limit the ability of women to undergo abortions and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) falls along two lines. In regards to the latter, the irony is obvious. The ACA will be bringing uninsured Virginians under its umbrella, benefiting many Virginians who have been denied or have not been able to afford health care. In addition, over 100,000 small businesses could benefit from a new small business tax credit. And the GOP wants to stop all of this from happening!
In the case of abortions and “patient safety,” Virginia released a list of locations that women can undergo free ultrasounds, locations that may not even meet the criteria of the new ultrasound abortion law. Thus, women attempting to undergo abortions may be tricked into thinking they are abiding by the law of Virginia while in fact they aren’t.
The GOP bag of tricks is almost as large as their lack of concern for anyone or anything but their own political careers. As Virginians continue to beat back their hypocrisy, we have to imagine that history will judge these individuals as being the terrible human beings that they really are. Terrible because they are willing to trade the lives and happiness of others to meet their own ideological ends. Happy Independence Day!