Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dispatches from the Womb Wars

On the Southern front those who want to socialize the womb are doing well:

La. Governor Kathleen Blanco is expected to sign a strict abortion ban into law now that the Senate has given the measure final legislative approval.
Blanco said last week that she planned to sign the bill, which would ban nearly all abortions in Louisiana if the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 abortion rights ruling is ever overturned.

Under the measure, doctors found guilty of performing abortions would face up to ten years in prison and fines of one hundred thousand dollars.

Hurricanes kill people in Louisiana, and some of the surviving victims still live in tents. But it's more urgent to make a bill criminalizing abortions even in the case of rape, and even though this law will have no impact unless and until Roe vs. Wade is overturned. But better be prepared, Louisiana? Just not in the case of hurricanes.

The state famous for its ethical politicians, Ohio, is also joining in the excitement of banning almost all abortions. They plan not to make the women seeking abortions into criminals; it's the physicians who provide abortions who will be criminals under the proposed Ohio law. Neat. The women who decide to have abortions will have to perform them on themselves. With coathangers and such.

I love the care with which this law proposal has been written. It plugs every loophole that a pregnant woman might use. Except for the coathanger loophole. But then Ohio politicians seem fairly comfortable with illegal activities. It's only the appearance of things which matters.

Some of the consequences of socializing the womb in this way are not what the anti-abortion wingnuts wish, assuming that it's fewer abortions. This Washington Post article tells one sad story of the unintended effects of all the anti-abortion activity in this country. But who knows what is unintended in these effects? I suspect that quite a few of the womb-socializers really just want to reign in all the uppity women who have stolen fertility control away from the fundamentalist radical clerics. Kirche, Küche und Kinder, you know.