People seeking abortions may only think about their decisions on business days, according to South Dakota

In the chip-chip-chip fight to render Roe a meaningless statute by eroding access to abortion services until we have the right, but not the ability, to access it, waiting periods have been a core piece of the movement.  Force people to make two visits to the clinic, which makes it harder for people who don't live near the clinic, which very few people do at this point what with absurd over-zoning and regulation forcing clinics out of business.  Force people to have to arrange rides, time off work, childcare, or missing class not once, but twice, possibly missing out on an extra day's pay in the process.  Make the whole thing drag a little more and hope that some of them tip over into the 2nd trimester while they have to wait, so that it becomes even more difficult, costly, and time-consuming to get that abortion.  And do it all under the plausible deniability of "we just want to make sure you don't do something you'll regret!  We are helping by making sure you take lots...of...time...to think about this (because we assume you haven't already thought about this, because if you had, obviously you wouldn't have decided to do it, Q.E.D.)."

And last year, if you'll recall, South Dakota made infamy by insitituting the longest waiting period thus far, at 72 hours (most states that have it are 24 hours, though I think there might be a couple 48s). 

Not satisfied with that, they're now trying to make those 72 hours stretch  e v e n   f u r t h e r  by specifying that they mean 72 hours, not including weekends and holidays.


So...if the ostensible point of waiting periods is about making sure pregnant people SIT DOWN AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING YOU FILTHY BABY-MURDERING WHORE take enough time to come to a reasonable decision so they don't do anything they'll later regret...what does it matter which days the sit-and-think period encompasses?  Are people incapable of considering serious, life-altering decisions* on their days off?**  If anything, I'd think that'd be when people have more time and leisure to consider major issues, when they're not busy taking care of work, kids, and/or school obligations.

It all makes perfect sense when you know what's really going on, whisper-thin veil of concern for pregnant people aside, but usually they try a little harder to hold on to that veil.  When they start proposing restrictions that no longer make even surface sense with their supposed reasoning, they're beginning to risk more people figuring out what's actually happening.  Which suggests two very scary possibilities, to me.  Either they really do believe that people won't notice, that the average public isn't paying enough attention to catch the disconnect and suss out their real motivation (and what scares me here is the possibility that they're right) - or they are so confident in their political power after all the gerrymandering bullshit of late that they don't care how it looks, they're sure it'll go through anyway, and that's all that matters to them.

Like I said.  Scary possibilities.

*It's a serious, life-altering decision for some, but not for all; I phrase it this way because that's the framing that always surrounds this issue when we talk waiting periods.
**Not that weekends and holidays are everyone's days off, though a lot of people forget that.  Retail and food service don't stop for holidays and weekends.  And considering that it's low-income people, like those who work retail and service industry jobs, who are generally most affected by abortion restrictions, it sort of makes this doubly shitty by imposing a more or less irrelevant concept of "non-work days" on the people it's enforced against.


Sonneillon said...

Every time I turn around there's some new fuckery going on with these motherfuckers.  Seriously, I don't even... every single one of them should be hooked up to that labor simulation machine and forced to stay on it for a full eight hours.  And then reminded that some women stay in labor for days.

Jadelyn said...

I know.  Every time they pull some new absurdity like this, I'm all "o.O well now I've seen it all."  And then a few days, weeks, months - in a bad day, hours - later, something new comes up and leaves me going o.O all over again.  If it weren't a horrible attack on the basic personhood and rights of so many people including myself, I'd almost be impressed with their never-ending creativity.


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