House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio personifies the battles over reproductive health care rights at home and abroad that pro-choice advocates see lying ahead in the 112th Congress, which starts in January.
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Attempts to Overturn Health Reform
On Nov. 16--the day before Republicans unanimously named him their leader in the House--Boehner filed a brief supporting a lawsuit filed by 20 state attorney generals and the National Federation of Independent Business, known as the NFLB, seeking to overturn the health care act because it requires everyone to purchase health insurance.
"I'm proud to stand with these states and the NFLB (the largest association of small businesses) on behalf of American workers in the revolt against the job-killing health care law," Boehner's brief said.
"By emphasizing economic concerns, Boehner is trying to obtain the support of House Republicans who won on a platform of increasing jobs and shrinking government," said Crane. "But Boehner's strategy will fail; the public will soon realize that his true objective is to make government small enough to fit inside our bedrooms and medicine cabinets."
Pro-choice advocates will be looking to Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats of California, for key help.
Boehner has said that the global gag rule, which restricted U.S. foreign aid to health programs that had any involvement with abortion, even just counseling, should be reinstated because taxpayers shouldn't support birth control programs. Boxer, who defeated anti-choice challenger Carly Fiorina in a tough race, is expected to lead the opposition to defeat Boehner's plan to reinstate the rule.
By a vote of 150 to 43, Pelosi was reelected leader of the Democrats in the House Nov. 16, defeating Heath Shuler of North Carolina, one of the few Democrats who voted for the Stupak amendment in 2009 and against the final version of the health care reform bill that lacked the amendment.
Shuler is the leader of the Blue Dog Democrats, a conservative coalition that voted with Republicans in the 111th Congress and lost half its membership in the House. Pelosi's progressive faction retained most of their seats.
Choice Composition of Congress
The numbers on this page are as of 6:00 pm ET on November 16, 2010. We will continue to update this page as races are called.
Choice Composition of the 112th Congress
|* Approximately six House races have not been called.
** One Senate race has not been called.
Net Change in Choice Composition Between 111th and 112th Congress
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Sharon Johnson is a New York-based freelance writer.
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