Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent out a questionable fundraising email on behalf of the DNC Friday night accusing Republicans in the 113th Congress of trying to “ban all abortions.”
While the Democrat’s inaccurate claim that the Republican Party wants to “ban all abortions even in cases of rape and incest” is not noteworthy to anyone who paid any attention to the 2012 election, the timing of Wasserman Schultz’s email should be.
In the email the Florida Congresswoman claims that, “Republicans in Congress have already introduced several bills to limit a woman’s ability to make her own health decisions — all in the first 48 hours of the new session.”
Wasserman Schultz is referring to the two days that the brand new Congress was in session last week – Thursday and Friday. She goes on to claim that in that amount of time the GOP has already introduced legislation to:
– Block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds for family planning
– Ban all abortions even in cases of rape and incest, and possibly go as far as banning some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization
– Repeal Obamacare
Considering that Congress was out of session this entire week and said bills would have had to have been filed more than a week ago on Thursday or Friday, it’s curious that the DNC is sending out the email now.
If “Republicans in Congress” had introduced a bill to “ban all abortions,” the only bill outlined in the email that could ostensibly fall under the category of limiting “a woman’s ability to make her own health decisions,” such a bill would have been national news when it was filed. A simple Google search on the topic brings up no recent results. Furthermore, pro-choice Democrats, including progressive activist group Emily’s List, would have been up in arms. But at a press conference on Monday, Emily’s List made no mention of such a bill, making the likelihood of its existence even slimmer.
So while it’s possible that “Republicans in Congress” did in fact introduce a bill to”ban all abortions” last week, for obvious reasons, including the fact that the DNC waited until just before close of business on a Friday to send out the email, it’s highly unlikely Wasserman Schultz’s statement was true.
UPDATE: It appears that Wasserman-Schultz is referring to HR 23, a personhood bill that aims “To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization.” Think Progress has a good post (good as in easy to understand) addressing similar legislation that breaks down the liberal interpretation of such bills. The legislation in question does not specifically mention rape or incest (or the health of the mother for that matter) one way or the other. Notably, the legislation in no way addresses contraception. No where in the bill is contraception indirectly or directly mentioned. The bill only deals with abortion. Contraception prevents pregnancy; abortion ends pregnancy. There’s no “possibly” about it. The legislation would not, in fact, ban contraception.
Read the full text of the email below.