Sunday, March 25, 2018

Low-Hanging Fruit



Two years ago, Irin Carmon was understandably alarmed because women had been prosecuted for alleged violation of anti-abortion statues. In Indiana, Purvis Patell was charged by prosecutors with feticide after ordering abortion pills online."  In Tennessee, Anna Yocca had "used a coat hanger to try to induce an abortion and later gave birth to a living chiled." And in Pennsylvania, Jennifer Whalenn was prosecuted "for ordering pills online so her sixteen year old daughter could end her pregnancy."

As the use of online telemedicine service to obtain an abortion grows- as it has in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland- the issue of punishing women who undergo the procedure will take on added importance.

For now, however, a much more common assault on women is the continuing effort to undermine Roe vs. Wade. Rewire explains that, in the large and politically pivotal state of Ohio (video below from 9/17 at abortion clinic)

Republicans are once again proposing an unconstitutional ban on abortion care, as lawmakers have introduced a bill that would lead to the “abolition of abortion in the state of Ohio.”

The bill is part of a trend among GOP state lawmakers to pass legislation that would challenge the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, with the goal of creating a case allowing the Supreme Court to revisit legal protections for abortion care.

Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, said in a statement that the legislation is part of an effort by “anti-choice extremists” to target Roe....

HB 565, sponsored by state Reps. Ron Hood (R-Ashville) and A. Nino Vitale (R-Urbana), would prohibit the termination of a pregnancy by “any method, including, but not limited to, chemical methods, medical methods, and surgical methods.”

A further problem persists, one in which Republicans who insist that abortion is killing insist on holding one group of individuals responsible while the other is held blameless:

The GOP bill would allow physicians and those who undergo the common medical procedure to be charged with murder, which is punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty. The lawmakers circulated a co-sponsor request for the bill in September, in which they criticized the legislation for passing abortion restrictions as “regulating evil” and that it was time to “abolish abortion in its entirety.”

Deadset against abortion rights and intent on ending the alleged "evil" of reproductive freedom forever, these legislators are terrified to hold women accountable while they are anxious to prosecute the doctor. If abortion is abolished, they believe, only pro-choice individuals will weep because they have substituted their judgement for the the professional judgement of an individual physician. However, even in one instance blaming  a woman for pursuing, paying for, and welcoming a "murder" would shock the public conscience.

Opposition to abortion would dwindle and their bad intentions would backfire.  There would be a significant upsurge in support for the right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy.

That leaves the pro-forced birth crowd in the philosophically untenable position of wishing to enshrine in statute a procedure as constituting murder, and simultaneously giving a pass to the murderer.  It isn't logically coherent, it isn't honest, but it is cowardly.









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