Thursday, March 16, 2006

News From the Uterus Wars

First, some South Dakota politicans explain, carefully and patiently, why they had to ban all abortion except when the woman's life is at risk:

Roger Hunt, the state legislator who sponsored the bill, doesn't think there's much chance of that happening.

"A lot of this discussion about back-alley abortions are myths that were created," said Mr. Hunt, a 68-year-old Baptist lawyer, who said he's never seen reliable statistics on illegal abortions. "The fear that we're going to have women dying in coat-hanger abortions are largely figments of the imagination."

Mr. Hunt also does not think much of the complaints that the bill is too restrictive -- it would allow abortions only if the life of the mother were at risk. Doctors who perform abortions would be subject to fines of $5,000 and jail terms of up to five years.

In drafting the law, Mr. Hunt said he avoided an exception for threats to the mother's health because pro-choice advocates would seize on it to perform abortions on women with emotional, psychological or even financial problems. "It would be a barn door large enough to drive any abortion through it," he said.

The same goes for exceptions in the case of rape and incest. "Three months later, a woman could go into an abortion clinic and say she was raped," Mr. Hunt said. "Who's going to force her to prove it? It would be a fraud on the system."

Mrs. Unruh agrees. "Rape is a horrible, horrible crime, but so is an abortion," she said. "Most of the women getting abortions are not rape and incest [victims]. It's people who use it as birth control and women who are being pressured" to end their pregnancies.

Mr. Hunt has been proposing anti-abortion bills to the legislature ever since he was first elected in 1991. One bill that passed has determined that an unborn child can be a crime victim. That means if a pregnant woman is killed in a hit-and-run accident in South Dakota, the perpetrator is charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter.

Mr. Hunt even sees economic benefits from banning abortion in South Dakota, noting that there are an average of 800 of the procedures a year. If those babies had been born, the state wouldn't be facing the same demographic crisis of falling school enrolment in rural areas and economic decline, he said.

And it would be a boon to adoptive parents. "People are going to Asia, Central and South America to adopt children? Why not have them adopted here?"

Read that again, to find out what Mr. Hunt thinks about women and their suffering, and how the embryos are privileged over all that, except when they get to help the South Dakota state or the adoption industries. This is sickening stuff, medears.

Second, the state of Missouri is joining in the happy building of Talibans all across America:

An attempt to resume state spending on birth control got shot down Wednesday by House members who argued it would have amounted to an endorsement of promiscuous lifestyles.

Missouri stopped providing money for family planning and certain women's health services when Republicans gained control of both chambers of the Legislature in 2003.

But a Democratic lawmaker, in a little-noticed committee amendment, had successfully inserted language into the proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 that would have allowed part of the $9.2 million intended for "core public health functions" to go to contraception provided through public health clinics.

The House voted 96-59 to delete the funding for contraception and infertility treatments after Rep. Susan Phillips told lawmakers that anti-abortion groups such as Missouri Right to Life were opposed to the spending.

"If you hand out contraception to single women, we're saying promiscuity is OK as a state, and I am not in support of that," Phillips, R-Kansas City, said in an interview.

Banning contraception more generally is indeed in the Republican platform. Some still can't believe that. I guess they believe it when the morals and vice police comes for their own condoms.