A Bad Day to be Pro-Choice

It seems today is a bad day to be pro-choice, if you value your sanity. The news is not good.

So Utah is criminalizing miscarriages, and Florida is trying to outright challenge Roe v Wade by banning abortion entirely. Scary shit.

The first bill, in Utah, attempts to punish pregnant women who "arrange illegal abortions", including defining "reckless behavior leading to miscarriage" as an illegal abortion. Which basically ends up meaning, anytime a pregnant woman miscarries, everything she has done during her pregnancy is up for debate and, if it's arbitrarily decided to be "reckless" - which is a frighteningly low threshold - she can be prosecuted for murder. Say a pregnant woman gets in a car accident and it's determined the accident was her fault. She can be charged with murder. Or a woman in a domestic-abuse situation, who does not leave her abuser and miscarries as a result of the violence against her. Under this bill, SHE can be charged with murder, not the abuser who beat her until she miscarried.

And how about this hypothetical (which may not be so hypothetical; I could see myself choosing this course if I were stuck in that situation, and I'm pretty sure I'm not unique in that): a woman is pregnant, wanting to abort, early first trimester. There is no clinic nearby which provides abortion. She does not have access to transportation to get herself to a clinic which does, and she cannot afford an abortion even if she could get to a clinic. She's frightened and desperate, so she decides to induce a miscarriage. If she were found out, this law would punish her, not for having terminated her pregnancy (the bill specifically does not affect legally-obtained abortions, i.e. those performed by physicians in a clinic setting) but for the sole fact that she did so outside of a doctor's office. What the hell?

Then there's the Florida bill. It's a complete ban on abortion, no exceptions for rape and incest - which is fucking coldhearted, but at least they're being consistent; if a fetus is a life, shouldn't matter the source, I suppose - and an exception for maternal mortality, but only with two doctors signing off. No exceptions for maternal health, mind you. If having that baby will blind you and ruin your digestive tract and leave you with diabetes, well, too fucking bad. Shouldn't have spread your legs, then, should you? That'll teach you to have sex.

The thing that's getting me about the Florida bill, though, is some weird inconsistency. Here's what the link above says about the bill's provisions:

Among the bill’s major provisions:

- Makes induced abortions illegal and punishable by up to life in prison

- Allows doctors and hospital to refuse to provide abortion services.

- Continues judicial bypass that allows minors to seek a judge’s order instead of telling a parent or guardian.

- Prohibits abortions resulting from pregnancies involving rape or incest.

- Requires a second physician to sign-off on the procedure when a doctor believes an abortion was medically necessary to save the life of the mother.

- Requires women to receive information on adoption as an abortion alternative

Wait. So it makes abortions illegal. But it also "allows" hospitals to refuse to provide abortion services. Wouldn't they be *required* to refuse to provide those services, given that if the bill passes, they will be illegal? It also has a judicial bypass option for minors...again, isn't abortion supposed to be illegal anyway, so then what do they need a judicial bypass for? And the last one is my favorite. If abortion is made illegal except for maternal mortality reasons, then, uh...why would they need to be giving women adoption information as an "abortion alternative"? If the only circumstances under which a woman may obtain an abortion is if her very life is at risk, why the hell would adoption information change her mind? "Having this baby will kill you, two doctors say so...but still, please think of the children! Give it up for adoption instead!"

Can anybody explain why they have added this stuff to a bill which is supposed to criminalize the entire act anyway? It seems strangely inconsistent, even for the pro-forced-birth crowd's usual level of idiocy.

We are deep in the backlash, it seems. But remember, in the immortal words of Mohatma Gandhi: first they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then...you win. We're in the fighting phase. And that means the win is soon to come.

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