Exhibit A: "Informed" Consent, or "Whose information are we offering here?"
A so-called "informed consent" bill is introduced by an anti-choice legislator in Guam. Reproductive justice advocates know these bills are purely propaganda, designed to emotionalize the pregnancy and try to turn women away from abortion. Sure enough, the original form of the bill requires women be told the "gestational age, anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus, as well as of the medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care," plus a video describing "the unborn child" and information on agencies offering "abortion alternatives". Other legislators, however, got their hands on the bill during the amendments process, and the finished version instead requires that the woman be given information including "the name of the physician who will perform the abortion, the medical risks associated with carrying the child to term, the need for anti-Rh immune globulin therapy, and the consequences of refusing the therapy." You know. Actual, relevant information on carrying a pregnancy to term.
The legislator who originally introduced the bill is having a tantrum now, saying "...after further review of the bill in its final form, I realized this potential law may encourage abortions. ... This one-sided presentation no longer protects Guam's future children." So, acknowledging that there are physical risks associated with carrying a pregnancy to term and giving birth = encouraging abortions, and we can't have that...but downplaying those risks and editorializing about the "unborn child" in a blatant, outright attempt to encourage giving birth is perfectly fine? Look, sir, your bill was clearly intended to influence women's decisions about their pregnancies in the first place. You have no leg to stand on here, just because you're upset that it might influence them in the other direction than what you wanted. If you don't want women influenced in a way you don't like, don't try to step in and influence them your way, either, because this is what you open the door to: equal-opportunity influencing. Which, let's face it: that's not what you hypocrites want.
But back to this whole idea of "informed consent". Pregnancy *has* risks. That is solid, undeniable, medically-established FACT. First-trimester abortion (which is when some 98% of all abortions take place) is, statistically speaking, safer than giving birth at full term. Anti-choicers claim to want to "inform" women, but when it comes to giving them actual information about the risks of pregnancy and childbirth, they want to cover up all the negative information and portray it as a win-win situation. How could this be said to be about information at all, at that point? It's not. It's about deception and influence and controlling women to do what they want us to do. Period the end. So they don't like *actual* informed consent requirements, because they're afraid of what women will do if they're actually given information and space to make their own decisions.
Exhibit B: Clinic Regulations, or "We are rubber, you are glue, attempts to regulate us bounce off of us and stick to you!"
Last month, a bill passed the Michigan Senate, regulating how clinics which perform abortions dispose of the products of conception. Based on an unfounded accusation that someone found fetal remains in a dumpster behind a clinic (although police investigations over a period of 8 months found no such remains, and what the hell were they doing going through the dumpster anyway?), the bill would require clinics to bury or cremate fetal remains, and would mean fetal remains are no longer classified as "products of conception" along with the placenta and other tissues.
Simultaneously, over this past year anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" in Baltimore and NYC have been screaming bloody murder about "violations" of their First Amendment rights, because of bills being debated/passed that would require them to display signs openly admitting that they do not provide or refer for abortion or contraceptive services, and advertising whether or not there is any medically-licensed staff on-site.
What's wrong with this picture?
Seriously. Anti-choice CPCs, generally staffed only by volunteers, which are well-documented to lie, pressure, manipulate, and threaten women into keeping their pregnancies, throw tantrums worthy of a spoiled 4-year-old being denied hir favorite toy at the idea of being subject to any kind of truth-in-advertising regulations, while the same anti-choice legislators who support those CPCs will happily regulate every possible aspect of a *real* clinic's functioning they can get their hands on, from record-keeping to scripting their counseling sessions to which kinds of ultrasounds they must offer on what kind of equipment and, now, how they dispose of medical waste. (Yes, antis, pregnancy tissue, including the fetal remains, are medical waste, same as tissue remnants from any surgical procedure. So are your tonsils. Get over it.)
Have these idiots even noticed what gigantic, flaming hypocrites they all are? Do they even care, at this point? Or are they so far gone in their war on women's autonomy that they will ignore any contradiction and go to any lengths, no matter how irrational, to further their ultimate goal of total control over women's sexuality and reproductive rights?
This, by the way? Is why common-ground approaches are doomed to fail. You can't compromise with this kind of shit. Attempts to do so will only give them more ground, and they will *never* be satisfied. I thought we would have learned this by now.