Anti-Abortion Laws: Big Brother’s Invasion of Women’s Rights

In the days leading to the November mid-term elections, the highly charged issues were government intervention in health care (ObamaCare), the soaring fiscal debt and the lack of jobs. Republicans promised that their  first priorities were jobs, jobs and jobs. Next they would tackle health care by introducing a better plan for Americans.  In the time that they have been in office, the only decisive action is —- against women. The fundamentalist fervor in State Legislatures and the US House is focused on controlling women’s bodies and their lives. The attacks against women have reached new lows and are echoes of the repressions in third world countries.
In the US House, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) included in his No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion (H.R. 3) a provision about “forcible” rape – clearly changing the definition of rape. The outcry was so loud and Jon Stewart so belittling that he promised to removed the term. To date the language remains – is this another empty Republican promise? To make his bill even more dangerous to women he included the same provision that is in H.R. 358, The Protect Life Bill introduced by Representative Joe Pitts (R-PA). This provision says that if a pregnant woman comes to a hospital and is in danger of dying due to medical complication, a hospital can refuse treatment if the treatment would destroy the fetus while saving the mother. To restate this – a fetus is more important than the woman. It is okay to kill the woman. Her life is forfeit, not worth saving. The protected life in this bill is not for the woman. (As an aside, since 1986 all hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding have been bound to provide care in the case of life or death situations regardless of ability to pay and other factors, under EMTALA.)

In state after state, legislators are writing bills that are end runs
around the current federal law regarding abortion rights. Abortions are legal procedures, a fact that is overlooked by many. Below are a few of the proposed or passed laws.
In Ohio, the Heartbeat Bill uses the first sign of a fetal heartbeat as the cut off time for abortions. Since a heartbeat may be detected as early as 18 days, this bill effectively outlaws abortion in Ohio. If this passes, expect other state legislators to introduce this bill.

In Texas, anti-abortion legislation is being expedited by Republican Governor Rick Perry. One of the three bills in the pipeline requires not only that a woman must have an ultrasound, she must have it at least 2 hours before a planned abortion. The physician must describe the image and she must listen to the heartbeat. There is no concern here that a woman has made her decision and it is not the responsibility of the government to force her to change. The paternalistic attitude toward women has its roots in the belief that women cannot make responsible choices, their only worth and duty is to bear children and raise them.

In Kentucky, a woman must have an ultrasound and if she elects not to view it, a technician must describe it to her. She then has to wait 24 hours before having the legal procedure.

In Idaho, recently a pharmacist refused to fill a prescription because he thought it was for post-abortion care. This was ruled to be legal based on his not having to give medicine that is against his conscience. The fact that the woman could bleed to death was not considered a matter of conscience.

 In Arkansas, a bill is being proposed to limit (prevent) abortion coverage in private insurance plans. In fact, blocking insurance coverage for abortion is being discussed through out the country and in some of the bills in the US House. The intent is to make it impossible for women to have  insurance coverage for abortion even in private plans.

 Controlling women’s bodies and minds is the real agenda of the 2011 elected Republicans. These draconian laws should not even be discussed in the 21st Century America.  For a party that screams about Big Brother, government coming between a doctor and patient, death panels and the right of an individual to bear arms, these attacks on women are the ultimate in hypocrisy. The ultrasounds, the determination of viability, the 100% intervention between a doctor and a patient are glaring examples of a party that wants to force its beliefs on women. Forcing a woman to undergo a procedure like an ultrasound is a violation of her rights. Forcing her to view and/or listen to a description is not only a violation of her rights but sadistic. Forcing a woman to die rather then give her life-saving treatment is murder. Forcing a woman to bear a child she cannot care for is Big Brother in 2011.

 Silence is unacceptable. The outrage against the forcible rape language may have caused Rep. Smith to change his language. The outrage at all of these laws must be loud and persuasive. Please contact your elected representatives.

Please join JAC in Washington May 5 as we visit our elected representatives and let them know we are watching and expect them to support our rights. We will not accept Big Brother in 2011.

Gail Yamner, President

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  • freetobe

    All of which I am doing and have signed so many I can’t keep track anymore so I sign them twice! I put them on facebook. The response on facebook has been meager. I guess because most my friends are gamers or animal rights activists or just dear old friends not online much.

    I think we need to do what Egypt is doing. We need a 10 million woman march not just for reproductive rights but EQUAL rights. For full protection from the insane people in this country who want to live in the days of Paul Revere!

    March for the passage of the ERA. It is pathetic that this country is so far behind in so many ways. I have to blame the GOP they are afraid to try anything new or that promises a better future. They just want to feel safe in all those piles of money from their corporate sponsors the real enemy behind all of this corruption.


  • rebellious-grrl

    Couldn’t agree with you more. I also think we need to encourage Republican legislators like Lisa Shepperson (R) and Sue Wallis (R) from Wyoming who argued against big government and against anti-abortion legislation.

    From the Rachel Maddow show,
    STATE REP. LISA SHEPPERSON ®, WYOMING:  When I go to the doctor, it is the most private thing you can imagine.  I want myself, I want my husband, and I want my doctor there.  And I don‘t want any government.

    STATE REP. SUE WALLIS ®, WYOMING:  What this bill does is say that, as a woman, that I‘m not smart enough to know the decision that I‘m making — that somehow the state is required in this particular decision where they are required in no other medical decision.

    Speaking of Egypt. I am inspired by the Egyptian protesters, especially the Egyptian feminists that have been leading the fight. I have more ideas on this and will try to post more later but I have to check out Al Jazeera English for a while. I believe it will take more than petitions. We DO need a 10 million woman march.

    Thanks Freetobe!

  • ahunt
  • freetobe

    I have another idea as well. In another country recently the women decided to boycott sex to get a bill passed in their government. It worked! I guess the pressure was too much for the poor boys !!! Idea anyway!

    ahunt this article is scary  “probably” Obama would veto? OMG and then their is the issue of the independents. Which way they will go. They did say we need to make such a stink that the bill never reaches the senate for a vote and that a dozen democrats (which will have to go) had co-sponsored as well as almost 200 co-sponsors are these people all insane?

    They want to end contraception in a world with almost 7 billion people????

    What am I missing here? Contraception PREVENTS abortion I am so confused are these people on drugs??? Why do they hate women so much. My god this will take us back to biblical times. I am freaking out right now. Sorry!

    As a woman who has been on my own for over 20 years and no longer in reproductive age but with a daughter whom I would like to see grow up in a non-sexist world this is frightening!!!! I wonder if they will go for property rights and the vote?

    Firearms are starting to look better and better to me because I will die before they take my home away and force me into some horrible marriage! Yes this is what goes through my mind every day. What next?

  • goatini

    Topical in 411 BC, topical today!