“I was pregnant, I was miscarrying, I was bleeding. If I had to go from one hospital to the next trying to find one emergency room that would take me in, who knows if I would even be here today. What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are trying to do is misogynist,” admonished Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA) from the floor of the House last week.  What she’s warning against sounds impossible.  Why would a dying woman be refused life saving measures?

This scenario could not just be a horror story- it could be reality.  The Let Her Die bill (officially called the “Protect Life Act” H.R. 358), sponsored by Representative Joe Pitts (R- PA) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), seeks to do just this.  The bill would “prohibit federal funds from being used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.”  The Hyde Amendment has prohibited federal funding of abortion since 1976, so what makes this bill different?  Let Her Die allows any hospital with moral objections to abortion to deny women the procedure, even if the life of the woman is at risk.

Hospitals would be allowed to NOT save the life of a dying woman on “moral grounds”.

Such a cruel bill would never become law, right?  Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case.  Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Let Her Die bill with all Republicans except two voting for it.  That’s right, members of the United States Congress actually signed off on a law that would allow women to be denied lifesaving treatment!

Before becoming law, the bill has to be approved by the Senate, a situation that is extremely unlikely to happen.  Plus, President Obama has said he would veto the bill immediately.

As Representative Speier’s story shows, real lives are at stake.  Real women will die if this bill would become law.  Congress must realize that Let[ting] Her Die is NOT an option.

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Hannah Gordon