What's Scariest About Pro-Life Bills
By lauracarroll on April 02, 2011
The recent number of anti-abortion bills proposed by conservative Congress members is alarming. Not only does the House want to go after all funding for Planned Parenthood even though by law no government funds can be used for abortions services already, but some state lawmakers are introducing some scary bills when it comes to women retaining control of their reproductive lives.
Take South Dakota. In March Governor Daugaard signed a law requiring women to have “dissuasive” counseling and have to wait three days before they can have an abortion—the longest of any state law. In Arizona, the Senate passed a bill that forbids a doctor to perform an abortion based on the race or sex of the fetus (several other states have similar bills). And in Florida, before a woman can have an abortion she’d have to have an ultrasound, and in some states with similar proposed bills, would also require her to look at the ultrasound before she had the abortion.
Other states want to go further when it comes to forcing a pro-life agenda onto women. Ohio has proposed a bill that would prohibit abortion if there was a detectable fetal heartbeat. And Georgia wants to make “prenatal murder” a felony punishable under homicide law. Many legal experts believe if this kind of bill passes, it will open up a can of worms for making miscarriage a crime.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is proud to have passed six pro-life bills already and claims Mississippi is “the safest state in America for an unborn child.” What he doesn’t say is that it is the unsafest state for a child once it is out of the womb: the state has the highest mortality rate for children. As Jon Stewart recently said, Mississippi can say it is the “proud home of the biggest discrepancy between pre and post natal health.”
What’s scariest about these kinds of proposed bills? If states are successful in making it harder and harder for women to make what is a private, personal decision on their own terms, in effect it means that the pro-life agenda is in legal operation even with the existence of Roe v Wade. And more state laws like these will strengthen the pro-life agenda to ultimately go after Roe v Wade itself.
The pro-life position is more than just about abortion. It is a position that takes away a woman’s legal right to decide whether to have a child. No matter how a woman gets to the decisions she needs to make about becoming a mother or not, no one else or law should take that fundamental personal right away. And these kind of proposed bills aim to chip, chip away at that right.
Childfree author of Families of Two
blogging at La Vie Childfree http://lauracarroll.com