Friday, April 22, 2011

But Think of the Zygote-Americans

The Guttmacher Institute tells us that forced-birthers have been very busy on the state level:
To date, legislators have introduced 916 measures related to reproductive health and rights in the 49 legislatures that have convened their regular sessions. (Louisiana’s legislature will not convene until late April.) By the end of March, seven states had enacted 15 new laws on these issues, including provisions that:
expand the pre-abortion waiting period requirement in South Dakota to make it more onerous than that in any other state, by extending the time from 24 hours to 72 hours and requiring women to obtain counseling from a crisis pregnancy center in the interim;
expand the abortion counseling requirement in South Dakota to mandate that counseling be provided in-person by the physician who will perform the abortion and that counseling include information published after 1972 on all the risk factors related to abortion complications, even if the data are scientifically flawed;
require the health departments in Utah and Virginia to develop new regulations governing abortion clinics;
revise the Utah abortion refusal clause to allow any hospital employee to refuse to “participate in any way” in an abortion;
limit abortion coverage in all private health plans in Utah, including plans that will be offered in the state’s health exchange; and
revise the Mississippi sex education law to require all school districts to provide abstinence-only sex education while permitting discussion of contraception only with prior approval from the state.
In addition to these laws, more than 120 other bills have been approved by at least one chamber of the legislature, and some interesting trends are emerging. As a whole, the proposals introduced this year are more hostile to abortion rights than in the past...
The forced-birthers love zygotes. Children? Not so much. Children are the responsibility of womenfolk and a suitable punishment for any woman who didn't keep her legs crossed. (I read that argument again quite recently and it made me wonder what the pollen in the air is which impregnates women who are not holding their legs crossed).

The effect of all these new laws is not the same on affluent women, by the way, and as most law-makers are affluent, they themselves or their wives, sisters and daughters will not be much inconvenienced. Even in the past abortion was available for those who could travel abroad, say. It is the women without much money whose lives will be affected.

Still, we are getting closer and closer to the Russian doll view of women as doll containers always potentially filled with smaller dolls just happening to reside inside the same body, and if those smaller dolls (or even potential smaller dolls) are to be given full human rights the outermost container will lose hers.