While we as a country continue to reel from the economic crisis brought on thru the greed and FU attitude of recent attempt at Presidency by Bush, the current crop of Republicans seem to think the priority to taking over the reproductive rights of half (actually more) of our population. This Republican push to remove any Federal oversight and influence thereby moving more control and legislative influence and decision-making to the States will continue to enable this sort of regressive move back to the 50’s – when men were men and women were, well, objects.
I find it hard to understand the men at the head of this battle but even more so, that there are women leading some of the legislation to further restrict women’s rights is even more difficult to understand. As I looked at a bit more detail behind the current laws and proposed laws (including those in play in my home state of Pennsylvania), it becomes very obvious that the Republican agenda has nothing to do beyond getting into women’s shorts – so to speak. When you see it all in one place and you look at the legislative vent it makes it very clear about the agenda as well as provides a good list of places not to live (Pennsylvania included). I’ve taken a stab at pulling together a quick view of everything I could find out there at the moment – can’t attest to the fact that it is all correct down to the minute nor that I didn’t miss some states out there. In any case, to me it is a sad commentary on where we are as a country today and how easy it is for some to tell others what they can and can’t do. I really thought that religious freedom when both ways – not just that we all had to follow the zealot’s rules.
Here is a quick view of things:
|Idaho||Legislation requires all women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound procedure||In Progress|
|Kansas||Bill requires women under the age of 18 to receive the explicit consent of both her parents before seeking an abortion. Exceptions will only be made in cases where “family sexual abuse is involved,” and even then women will need the approval of one parent. Additionally another law would immunize a doctor who discovers that a baby will be born with a devastating condition and deliberately withholds that information from his patient.||In Progress|
|Texas||Law mandates that women seeking abortions undergo forced ultrasounds. The provider must also display and describe the image of the ultrasound.||Law|
|Arkansas||A bill under way in the Senate that would severely limit abortion coverage under private insurance plans. If passed, would require women to purchase a special rider or policy if they ever plan to get an abortion.||In Progress|
|Oklahoma||Law requiries women not only to undergo an ultrasound before seeking an abortion but to actually be shown the ultrasound screen while a technician describes the fetus in detail||Law|
|Kentucky||Law requires women not only to undergo an ultrasound before seeking an abortion but to actually be shown the ultrasound screen while a technician describes the fetus in detail. Women also will be required to wait 24 hours before they can receive an abortion procedure.||Law|
|Nebraska||Fetal Pain Legislation – Law forbids abortion after 20 weeks||Law|
|Iowa||Fetal Pain Legislation – Law forbids abortion after 20 weeks||Law|
|Ohio||“Heartbeat Bill” which would define life as beginning at the first sign of a heartbeat, extremely early in a pregnancy, and be an effective total abortion ban.||In Progress|
|Arizona||Bill that would allow doctors to withhold information about prenatal problems if it could make the decision to have an abortion more likely.||In Progress|
|Virginia||Law requires medical providers to administer ultrasounds on women before performing abortions||Law|
|Pennsylvania||Bill would force women to undergo an ultrasound, hear the fetal heartbeat, and present images of the fetus to her abortion provider before she can get an abortion. But, the kind of ultrasound required would have to be a transvaginal ultrasound.||In Progress|
|Georgia||Bill reduces the time period for when an elective abortion can occur from about 26 weeks to 20 weeks. The bill does not make exceptions for rape or incest and says any fetus delivered after 20 weeks must be delivered in a way that tries to keep it alive.||In Progress|
|Tennessee||The bill would require the state’s health department to list a report on every abortion, including identification of the physician, and the office, clinic or hospital where it was performed, as well as the woman’s county of residence, age, race, marital status, number of prior pregnancies, prior abortions, gestational age of fetus and her pre-existing medical conditions.||In Progress|
|New Hampshire||Requires women to wait a mandatory 24 hours before having an abortion, it also requires doctors to give them false information by telling them that abortion can cause breast cancer.||In Progress|
|Florida||Imposes a 24-hour waiting period on women seeking an abortion and requiring new abortion clinics to be owned by doctors.||In Progress|
|Mississippi||Bill would effectively ban abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, and defines life as beginning at conception, which would ban many forms of contraception. The bill may also require doctors to use transvaginal ultrasounds.||In Progress|
Bill would allow a woman to view the ultrasound and have the person who may perform the abortion describe to the woman what she is seeing on the ultrasound.
Now, without casting aspersions in any particular direction, I think there are some threads that run thru the list of states in included on this list. Definitely not the list of states with the highest median income or the highest level of average education. What is most telling is generally the states you don’t find on this list.
There was some additional data I came across that I also found most interesting. A place where there are increased effort and focus on restricting women’s access to abortion thru a variety of means. Some regulations under current consideration include:
1. Law requiring advertisements for abortion services to warn patients of the health risks of terminating a pregnancy
2. Outlawing the “morning-after pill” without prescription
3. Weeklong waiting period after applying for an abortion
4. Laws to compel married women to get permission from their husbands, and minors from their parents, before undergoing abortions.
Take it as you will but I find this even more unsettling when you consider these efforts are currently underway in one of those places we have long-held in contempt – Russia.
“The best judge of whether or not a country is going to develop is how it treats its women. If it’s educating its girls, if women have equal rights, that country is going to move forward. But if women are oppressed and abused and illiterate, then they’re going to fall behind.” ~Barack Obama, Ladies’ Home Journal, September 2008