Just when I’d recovered from reading about the Georgia Republican state representative who compared women to cows and pigs [TP] and advocated a bill forbidding the termination of a pregnancy in which the fetus was no longer viable (stillborn), then I find there is Tennessee House Bill 3808, which would publicize the names of women who have pregnancies terminated. This after, the Republican controlled Arizona Legislature considered a bill to strip all funding from Planned Parenthood because 3% of the organization’s services involve abortion. [TP] Never mind that Texas has forfeited Medicaid funding for women’s health care because Planned Parenthood does offer pregnancy termination. [TP] No matter that 97% of what the organization does for 130,000 low income women in the Lone Star State doesn’t involve abortion. A Pennsylvania governor told women to “close their eyes” if they didn’t like an invasive ultrasound procedure for which they had not given consent. Virginia made transvaginal ultrasound a nationally recognized term. But wait please, it does get worse.
There’s Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder (R-Boise) with this commentary:
In his closing debate in favor of SB 1387, Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, said, “This bill does not require a trans-vaginal exam. … It leaves that up to the patient and the physician to make that determination.” He said, “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”
Really? Was it “Truly caused by a rape?” As if a woman doesn’t know when sexual intercourse isn’t consensual? As in, maybe “she asked for it?” As if she needs to reveal intimate information about “her marriage” to a physician? Would it matter if “hubby liked it rough?” Would it matter if she was wearing something “provocative?” How much information should the doctor require in order to determine if a rape has occurred? The Idaho ultrasound bill may indeed pass: “The state Senate voted 23 to 12 to pass the controversial ultrasound bill on Monday, with all seven Democrats and five Republicans against it. The Republican-controlled House is also expected to pass the measure.” [HuffPo]
UPDATE: And now we have an Alaska male legislator rattling on about how if a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy she must get the written permission from the father. [TP]
To call all these instances a “War on Women” may be too trite or convenient, this may not be a “war” other than in terms of a consistent assault by an organized force on an identified enemy — what this does appear to be is an elevation of some of the rather more base and degrading attitudes toward women into statute. Who espouses views of women so debased as to believe that a woman’s word that she has been raped can be discounted in a doctor’s office? Who believes that a woman’s health might not be impaired if she is required to carry a dead fetus to term? Who believes that it is acceptable to deprive a man of his daughter, a husband of his wife, a brother of his sister, or a child of its mother just to preserve the potential life of a fetus?
I do, and will, accept the “pro-life” contention that every life is precious. However, until the movement demands more support for social services to assist families in need, more support for the institutions which tend to the care and nurturing of children, more support for a living wage for every American worker so children can be properly cared for, more support for public schools and the children enrolled in them, and more support for family planning and sex education; and, when those demands are as vocal, strident, and loud, as the anti-abortion/contraception voices among us now — maybe then I’ll believe they are sincere. Until then, I reserve the right to ask, “Who raises boys like that?”