Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Meanwhile, in Nebraska and Oklahoma

In Nebraska, almost all abortions will be illegal after twenty weeks:

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed two abortion-related bills into law April 13. One requires screening of women seeking abortions. The other bans most abortions after 20 weeks because they cause pain to fetuses.

What provoked the Abortion Pain Prevention Act's introduction two months ago was the stated intention of Nebraska abortionist Leroy Carhart to step into the role of Dr. George Tiller, the late-term abortion specialist murdered last year, and serve the national market for late-term abortions from his clinic in Bellevue, Neb.

The Nebraska Legislature's speaker, Mike Flood, got the ball rolling when he learned of Carhart's plans, says Julie Schmit-Albin, executive director of Nebraska Right to Life. Flood approached Nebraska Right to Life looking for draft legislation.

The Nebraska Catholic Conference provided Flood support for the second bill, which requires physicians to screen women seeking an abortion to help avoid any post-abortion complications — mental or physical. Both bills passed by a 44-5 margin.

Note that the above quote is from a Catholic source.

What is the new evidence concerning fetal pain? I'm not sure if there is any:

What new scientific evidence did Nebraska's legislature look to? In accordance with regular legislative practice, all testimony on the bill was heard by a small fraction of the 44 lawmakers who ultimately voted for it. Two witnesses testified on the topic of fetal pain. One was an expert in pain management and anesthesiology who admitted he had no personal experience treating or studying fetuses. The second was a pain expert who had administered fetal anesthesia in a neonatal intensive care unit, but only starting at 23 weeks. He also asserted that "life begins at conception" according to his "religious viewpoint" and his "maker." (This same doctor, venturing far beyond his apparent medical expertise, spontaneously volunteered that electroshock therapy to induce a grand mal seizure should be the preferred treatment over abortion for a suicidal woman 20 or more weeks pregnant.) It can hardly be said that Nebraska lawmakers learned of some new and authoritative evidence on fetal pain.

Reading about forced birth laws does make me see how very apt that term I prefer: "forced birth" is. Note that a woman's mental health will be screened for abortion but not for going on with the pregnancy. She might be out of her mind but nobody cares about that as long as there is no abortion.

And in Oklahoma the forced birthers have also been active:

The Oklahoma House voted overwhelmingly Monday to override vetoes of two restrictive abortion measures Gov. Brad Henry has called unconstitutional intrusions into citizens' private lives and decisions.

The Senate was expected to follow suit Tuesday, after which the bills would become law.

One of the measures requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion. The other prohibits pregnant women from seeking damages if physicians withhold information or provide inaccurate information about their pregnancy.

Supporters said the second measure was aimed at preventing women from discriminating against fetuses with disabilities. The votes were 81-14 and 84-12.

You can now lie to pregnant women in Oklahoma! They are unimportant in the scale of things. In fact, they are mere vessels and vessels don't have to be told the truth.

I understand that all these examples are part of the current forced-birth approach: Make abortion impossible to obtain everywhere even if it is still theoretically legal. But they also tell us how women are viewed in Nebraska and Oklahoma and that is with contempt.