Friday, November 02, 2007

Anti-Woman Bills from the Anti-Choice Brigade

Even before most legislative sessions have started, the anti-choice brigade continues to push for absurd legislation that takes away women’s rights. They are drafting bills and drawing up plans to push during the next legislative session. Will nothing stop these people from throwing women’s rights out the window? And just what exactly are they up to? Here are snippets from just a few states.


The Colorado Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision later this month that would give fertilized eggs the same constitutional rights as minors and adults. Their obvious intent is to prevent abortions because legal rights would be given from the moment of fertilization, according to NARAL Colorado.

The consequences of this bill would not only affect a woman’s right to choose, but would prohibit birth control, and restricts in-vitro fertilization. The 2008 ballot initiative is not for “equal rights of eggs,” but rather its purpose is to strip away women’s rights, and restrict them from making their own choices when it comes to their health care.


In Arizona anti-choice opponents are looking for tougher restrictions on abortion clinics. They hope to mirror Missouri laws that would have medical regulations similar to outpatient surgical facilities. Anti-choice lawmakers say the requirements, which include larger hallways, emergency resuscitation equipment and high ceilings, are for the protection of women, because the clinics would be up to standard health facility standards. Other requirements include changing the staffing and record-keeping procedures.

Bridget Daly, the spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Central Arizona, says that clinics already abide by State laws and always put patient safety first. So what’s with all the laws? Anti-choice opponents are only interested in pushing their own personal agenda, not really about the safety of women. This law is another installment of restrictions on women’s rights.


Governor Matt Blunt has put together a task force to examine how abortions affect women. The kicker? All the members, including Mr. Blunt himself, are anti-choice. Seems a little fishy to us. What’s worse is that they are using taxpayers’ money to fund this group. The Governor’s Task Force on the Impact of Abortion on Women is not a wide-open question to Blunt. He hopes to find information that will lower the number of abortions, and somehow benefit the anti-choice supporters. In other words, the task force is unlikely to conclude that having an abortion can be beneficial for a woman’s health.

The group’s main goal is to investigate the physical, social, emotional and economic effects of abortion. So how is the group going to report this “truthful, honest information?” We have a feeling the task force is going to turn the other cheek when they find that valid scientific studies have already documented that abortion is safe and does not affect a woman’s long-term psychological health. What the anti-choice zealots do not understand is that not having access to safe and legal abortions may cause worse effects on women’s health.


The Ohio anti-choice brigade is looking to pass laws that would force women to look at sonograms before choosing to have an abortion. Many clinics already have this option, including the Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio, which says they are remaining neutral on the bill because it is “already telling clinics to do what they do already.” The anti-choice people hope this law will help women change their minds. Richard Land, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commissioner, who popularized the plan, said that “people would be much more reticent to abort babies because they would be forced to confront the evident humanity of the baby from very early gestation onward. Pregnant mothers who see their babies on sonograms are far more likely to carry their babies to term.”

This proposition assumes that most women have no idea what they are going to do when they go into an abortion clinic. Not only does it infantilize women, but it also makes women feel guilty when they are already in a tough situation. If the law makes it mandatory for women to have sonograms before their abortion, it makes it worse for those women. Just like abortion, viewing a sonogram should be a choice made by the woman and her physician, not the government.

It may be hard to believe, but anti-choice opponents are coming up with even more absurd laws to push back women’s rights. As the upcoming legislative sessions start across the county, we need to prepare to fight against these bills that could hinder our right to choose.

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