When Roe vs. Wade was struck down, the Right cheered, the libertarians nodded thoughtfully, and the Left went into a full on panic.
The Right said that abortions were originally meant to be safe, but infrequent. The exception and never the rule. An abortion takes a life, even if it is a “potential” life, and that should be thought through very seriously before going forward. With the advent of “abortion on demand,” things got out of control and there was so much push that we had some people advocating for “post birth abortions.”
The Left said that abortions belonged to all women, that it should never be questioned, and that a woman is not a walking incubator. Abortion gives power to a woman, so she can’t be trapped in a relationship, can’t be forced into child care that she’s either unable or unwilling to provide. When and how abortions are done should be the discussion of women, and men ought be excluded.
I’m left enough to say that I believe it’s important to have a certain level of abortion available to women. There are simply too many situations where pregnancy is used as a cudgel to beat women down, even today, that I’m unwilling to even contemplate taking it away entirely. There are also just too many times when extenuating circumstances get in the way.
Today, I learned about a group of court cases challenging the abortion laws in Idaho, Tennessee, and Oklahoma. I’ll let you read the legalese yourself; I know you’re all capable of that. I’ll provide the “feels” for you.
The lady from Idaho was happily 20 weeks pregnant when she found out her unborn child had fetal abnormalities that would preclude it from life. The abnormalities meant that the child would not survive the birth, or in the extremely rare chance that it did, it would suffocate to death very soon after. She wanted to abort, because at 20 weeks, the child doesn’t feel anything. Neural pathways don’t, to our knowledge, pass along pain signals that early in gestation. At the moment of birth, though, the child would suffer, and horribly. She was denied that abortion, because Idaho only provides abortion under one exception: the life of the mother is in immanent danger. Her life was not in danger at all. No danger to the mom, no abortion. She, luckily, had the means to leave the state to have the child terminated peacefully, thanks to friends and family and a go fund me.
The woman from Tennessee had a terminally deformed unborn child that was also very much wanted. She also suffered from pre-eclampsia, a very life threatening disease related to pregnancy. Tennessee apparently doesn’t allow termination even when the mother’s life is in danger, as she was told she was in danger of a stroke. She was forced to wait to go into labor, which happened at 31 weeks. She didn’t have the financial ability to leave the state to have an abortion done. She’s still dealing with the medical aftermath of the medical problems that happened because of the pregnancy.
The woman from Oklahoma is a bit different, in that she had a molar pregnancy (which is never viable), and the doctors refused to do a termination because at the time she came in, her life was not “in immanent danger.” The hospital made her go sit in the parking lot until she got “closer to death” so they could intervene. She’s also suing the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital, because there are Federal laws that require hospitals to stabilize patience in life threatening conditions. The hospital’s legal team ruled that it would be less damaging to the hospital if the woman died, rather than the fetus (my words, not theirs).
I’ve talked abortion a few times on here. I’m talking about this now, because this is exactly the kind of thing that I was terrified was going to happen. The three cases above were abortions yes, because anytime a fetus is removed from the body, that’s abortion. It’s taking a life. Killing a potential baby. But all three cases deal with unborn children that would never have survived. The states involved (in two cases, and the hospital in the third) decided that the infant’s life was more important than the woman’s. And that’s wrong. There is no way in which that is right, not even a little bit.
Then there’s this problem, which is hindering the interstate travel of citizens of the United States. Gollad County, Texas, joins another two (not mentioned in the article) in prohibiting women going to get abortions from travelling through their area. If the women do (and these are counties on the edges of Texas, with major highways running through them, meaning people pretty much have to travel through the county somewhere in order to get out of state), the people who aided them can go to jail. And I quote,
“In addition to prohibiting elective abortions and the aiding or abetting of elective abortions within the unincorporated area of Goliad County, the ordinance also prohibits the performing of elective abortion and the aiding or abetting of an elective abortion performed on a resident of the unincorporated area of Goliad County “regardless of the location of the abortion, regardless of the law in the jurisdiction where the abortion occurred, and regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion was performed or induced on a resident of the unincorporated area of Golliad County.”
So if you give a ride to a friend and they don’t tell you why they want to visit someplace out of state, and it turns out after the fact that they got an abortion, you can be prosecuted. I mean, what the hell? What happened to “let the states decide”? They enacted laws in Texas, and women obeyed them and went elsewhere. Now they’re being prosecuted for doing that.
It’s too far. This is NOT “letting the states decide.” It’s stopping sovereign citizens from travelling freely within this damn country. It’s not legal.
I’m all for finding a good middle ground for abortion. I love AWA’s statement that it should be legal and infrequent. It should be largely used in cases like the above ones, where the babies have no chance of any kind of life, and what little they had would be quite literal torture. Anything past 12 weeks should definitely involve a hospital and not “just” a clinic, and it should involve counselling, too. Anything past 20 weeks should be only in dire cases where the baby would not survive or would survive in pain, or the mother’s life is at stake. But I’m also very much against throwing away a woman’s life for a potential life, even if the potential life is viable. Abortion is NOT birth control, and should not be treated that way, but neither do I think a woman should have to come up with a laundry list of reasons some male feels is valid, in order to get an early abortion or Plan B.
Here’s the thing, though. If you want to lower abortion rates, you pretty much have to raise birth control rates. And that is not what we’re seeing happen. In states that have more restrictive abortion laws, women seem to be having more trouble getting birth control. I won’t say it’s outright banned, but the numbers are plummeting. That is exactly the opposite of what should be happening. The fact that it isn’t should be making everyone, and especially those on the Right, question why.
The stories I hear, which I can’t confirm or deny, are that doctors are having a hard time getting birth control. They prescribe it, but there seems to be problems with delivery of birth control to the southern states. That issue does not seem to be happening in northern states. The Left focuses on the issue that Planned Parenthood was “thrown out” of southern states. I could not care less about that. You don’t have to go to PP to get low cost birth control; most pharmacies have it, many clinics, almost all Urgent Cares. Except in the south, apparently. While I’m definitely hearing this from strangers, random “people on the internet,” I’m also hearing it from people that I know, that I trust to give me factual information. The medications that made for safe and easy very early abortions (Plan B, etc) have been banned in a few states.
I believe it’s 11 states currently have “restrictive” access to abortion. Louisiana, for instance, “…prohibits abortion, even to save the life of the mother, and defines the moment of conception to be contact between a spermatozoan and an ovum.” By that definition, the only birth control that’s legal is a condom. IUDs, the Pill, foams and gels, Norplant… all these can allow the touch of a sperm to an egg, and therefore that’s “conception” per Louisiana. If they were to use the law in that way, it would mean someone taking the Pill could be charged with a ten year prison sentence and a $100,000 max fine.
People on the Left made dire predictions when Roe vs Wade toppled, and I said wait and see. It should cause a better law to come into being, and I still hope that’s the case, because even for those who are 100% pro abortion, it was a shitty law. But too many of the “extreme” predictions made by the Left are starting to come true, and it’s not because they’re being forced by the Left. Only a small number of these stories make it into the news. Too many women, myself included, hear horror stories from our friends in restrictive states, and how things are looking more and more horrid.
I’m tired of hearing, “Oh, but it’s the pendulum.” When I try to say that about gun control (which, btw, you should all know I have a problem with… I am NOT for gun control, by any stretch) I’m told it’s apples and oranges. There’s no pendulum for gun control, but there is for abortion and other “liberal” causes. I also hear people I love and trust on the Right saying, “Hey, that travel thing is wrong, and I stand against it,” and a number of other comforting things. But I do NOT see it being written about by anyone on the Right. The only voices I hear on the Right, at the moment, are the ones that scare the bejeezus out of me. And if that’s all I’m hearing, when I’m actively looking for things to hold onto in a situation that has me nervous, how much less is a person on the Left seeing?
I don’t want to hear about extenuating circumstances. I want to hear about how if a person’s private life (and when we’re talking birth control rather than abortion, there is only one life involved, so it should not even be a question) is their own. I want to hear about how people are going to fight to get birth control into these states that are having mysterious shortages and problems. I want to see Plan B made available again. I want to see the RIGHT of people to interstate travel restored and protected once more. And I want to see the people I trust to uphold the Constitution, doing so.
who is just a wee bit grumpy this morning