The recent number of proposed anti-abortion bills 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.”
Post natal problems aside, 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.
I know I have made my position clear here before but these kinds of bills deserve pause. Why should the pro-choice position remain the legal position? Because it recognizes that our beliefs about when life begins is extremely personal, and is based on moral and religious beliefs for many people. For this reason alone, the political sphere attempting to control what is ultimately a religious belief violates the separation of church and state, and when you look at it this way, lawmakers really have no business trying to force these kinds of laws. The pro-choice position also allows each person to make the decisions about their reproductive lives themselves, as it is very personal, and should not be controlled by anyone but whose life it involves.
Why do conservative law makers insist on pushing their beliefs and butting into people’s personal lives? Because they are resolute that they are right. Like having to go to the mat about being about whose God is the “right” God, doing whatever it takes to be right about abortion will only divide us more than we already are, and lead to even more adamant fights on based on moral righteousness. In this case, one side’s moral righteousness aims to control the lives of all women, and I for one will never accept that.