Abortion Obsessives: The ESEA Edition

I’m not naive about how Congressional legislation is passed: all sorts of things are tucked into bills to get them passed. But this anti-abortion section in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is a bit much (boldface mine):

It turns out that the country’s new K-12 education law, the successor to No Child Left Behind which President Obama signed on Thursday, includes language that prohibits school-based health centers from subsidizing abortions — but it has no real effect because the Public Health Service Act already includes such a ban.

The language is found in Section 8035….

Section 399Z-1 of the Health Service Act says funds awarded for a grant under the section about school-based health centers “may not be used to provide abortions.” As a result, congressional sources said, the language in the Every Student Succeeds Act was not actually necessary to ensure that public funds would not be spent in such a manner.

Why is it in the law? The sources said that it was added as a way to appease hard-line conservatives who were wary of the bill because they believe it gives the federal government too much education policy-making power, even though it strips away a good deal of the power the federal government had under No Child Left Behind and sends authority back to the states and local districts.

So this is an entirely meaningless section. Not only is it redundant, but it’s fighting a nonsense scourge–the idea that school funding would be used to perform or pay for abortions is ridiculous. It’s hard enough getting Tylenol from a school nurse. An abortion?

Believe or not, that’s not the most ridiculous thing. This is:

The original House version of the Every Student Succeeds Act did not have any reference to abortion funding, but it was added before it went to the House floor, along with other provisions, such as one that would have prohibited personnel working in school-based student health centers from even recommending to students a full range of reproductive services.

This madness was the compromise. Republicans wanted to prevent any discussion of birth control. Apparently, the Republican Party is now pro-teenage pregnancy.

We are governed by evil clowns

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1 Response to Abortion Obsessives: The ESEA Edition

  1. jrkrideau says:

    We are governed by evil clowns

    Well, perhaps, but looking at your congress it is difficult to see any ‘government’. Lots of evil clowns.
    Speaking of which have you seen http://www.wired.com/2014/09/never-touch-anything-looks-like-donald-trumps-hair/ ?
    As to the legislation, I once interviewed a political scientist who postulated that there is an urge to legislate even when the legislation is totally useless or redundant. He felt it came from the legislators desire to be seen do be doing something.

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