The Senate's New 142-Page Healthcare Bill Very Literally Leaves Women Out

Cue the Handmaid's Tale comparisons.

The Senate's new healthcare bill is 142 pages long and outlines Republicans' plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (known, colloquially, as Obamacare). As Quartz reports, however, there are some noteworthy omissions from the bill—like the word "women," which literally isn't used once.

The bill was drafted by 13 senators—all of whom were white, male, and Republican.

"We have no interest in playing the games of identity politics, that's not what this is about; it's about getting a job done," a GOP aide said in response to criticism about the makeup of the group. "We'll work with any member of any background who wants to pass a health reform bill that will reduce premiums and take away the burdens that Obamacare inflicted...To reduce this to gender, race or geography misses the more important point of the diverse segments of the conference the group represents on policy—from members who support Medicaid expansion, to those opposed to it, to those who have called for long term full repeal."

While the word "woman" does appear a handful of times (three, to be exact) in the bill, it's only in relation to abortion and state's abilities to require Medicaid recipients to be working in order to receive "medical assistance" from the government (pregnant women and women who have given birth in the last 60 days would be exempt from such work requirements).

Furthermore, as Quartz notes, the word "mother" appears in the bill only twice, with both mentions relating to abortion.

On page 8, the bill explicitly disqualifies any plan that provides abortions (except in limited, pre-approved circumstances) from coverage under the act:

Then, on page 9, "mother" gets another mention in a passage reiterating the definition of "qualified health plans" under the bill as not including those that cover most abortions:

The word "abortion," on the other hand, actually appears more than the words "woman," "women," and "mother" combined—11 times in total.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reportedly pressing for a vote on the bill as early as next week, according to CNN.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.