I checked. The last time I mentioned abortion in this blog was in 2009. And THAT was about its representation on television.
I wouldn’t have taken it on now except for the fact that the perpetrators of recent laws weren’t just confused about what exactly their bills do — “they were proud of their cluelessness.” As a New York Times opinion piece noted, America’s Leaders Need Sex Ed. “For those who want to regulate women’s bodies, ignorance has been no obstacle.”
Oh, and there’s right to privacy angle too.
In Georgia, the six-week law is scheduled to go into effect in January 2020. women who terminate their pregnancies would receive life in prison. This law would also criminalize healthcare providers, like doctors and nurses, providing the procedure.
Moreover, Georgians who seek abortions outside of the state may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Anyone who helps the pregnant person complete the journey, such as by driving them to a clinic, may also be charged with conspiracy.
“And a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct—say, using drugs while pregnant—would be liable for second-degree murder” Exactly how is this latter provision supposed to work?
Roughly 15 to 20 percent of all pregnancies in the United States end in miscarriage, “defined as the loss of a fetus before the 20th week. The majority of miscarriages occur within the first seven weeks of pregnancy.” A woman having a miscarriage is supposed to suffer the additional stress of proving – to whom, and how? – that she didn’t have a drink after dinner?
The US Supreme Court held in Roe v. Wade, and elsewhere, that the Due Process clause of the US Constitution includes a certain amount to privacy. And this right should mean that the government should not intrude in such delicate affairs.
The Georgia law also bestows personhood to a fetus, “entitled to all the protection of all the laws of Georgia.” That means they’re counted in the Census? If they’re American citizens, they can’t be deported if mom is there illegally, I presume. All sorts of legal landmines there.
Alabama did Georgia one better. Their law, going into effect in six months, would effectively ban abortion in the state. It criminalizes the procedure for doctors who provide them, and they could face up to 99 years in prison. The legislation doesn’t include an exception for cases of rape or incest.
The hypocrisy is strong. As reported in Newsweek, AL “State Senator Linda Coleman-Madison proposed an amendment to the bill that would require the state to provide free prenatal and medical care for mothers who had been denied an abortion by the new law. Her amendment was struck down by a vote of 23-6.
“‘The sin to me is bringing a child into this world and not taking care of them,” Coleman-Madison said. “The sin for me is that this state does not provide adequate care. We don’t provide education. And then when the child is born and we know that mother is indigent and she cannot take care of that child, we don’t provide any support systems for that mother.”
Here’s NOT a surprise: States with the worst anti-abortion laws also have the worst infant mortality rates.
A friend asked an interesting question: Women have used the seeds from Daucus carota, commonly known as wild carrot or Queen Anne’s lace, for centuries as a contraceptive. “The earliest written reference dates back to the late 5th or 4th century B.C. appearing in a work written by Hippocrates.”
If Queen Anne’s lace is used after intercourse – as a morning-after pill, essentially – how would the laws deal with that, since pregnancy would not yet be confirmable? This is also relevant to other birth control methods, notably the IUD.
It’s not just the South doing stupid stuff. In April, Ohio also passed a bill that would ban abortion at as early as six weeks. Now, the Ohio state House is considering a bill that would limit health insurance coverage for abortion services and also bar coverage for many forms of birth control.
GOPUSA notes that such “bills have almost no chance of surviving the inevitable lower-court challenges, but that’s the point. Republican lawmakers are spoiling for a legal fight, hoping that their state’s pro-life bill will become the vehicle for the high court’s 5-4 conservative majority to put the brakes on Roe.
Yet, only 18 percent of Americans believe abortion should be illegal in all instances, according to a Gallup poll. Nearly six in 10 Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to Pew.
In response: #YouKnowMe: an online movement in which thousands of woman have come forward to put a human face to the figure that one in four women get an abortion in their lifetimes.