Arizona's new law, the so-called "Women's Health and Safety Act," supposedly falls into line with Gov. Jan Brewer's "common sense measures to protect the health of women and safeguard our most vulnerable population – the unborn." Well, Governor, you have only "won" half the battle.
By re-defining "pregnancy" to mean "calculate[d] gestational age starting with the first day of the last menstrual period," Brewer, and more specifically, the sponsor of this bill-that-became-law, Arizona State Rep. Kimberly Yee, have almost managed to classify women's menstrual periods as "potential abortions."
Where do the men figure into this equation? If women's fertility is such a concern to Brewer and Yee, then why isn't men's fertility also on the legislative chopping block? A woman produces one, maybe two, mature eggs per month. Men, on the other hand, produce mature, viable spermatazoa almost constantly!
While medical science notes that "The spermatozoa take over 70 days to develop," a man can produce between 20,000,000 and 40,000,000 viable sperm cells per ejaculation. Wow. If ONE woman's egg is a viable pregnancy, and she wastes it, then a man masturbating in the privacay of his own bathroom, is committing veritable genocide! Ranked along with the most horrible regimes of world history, that many deaths compares to the death toll during Stalin's regime in Russia (20,000,000) - or Mao Zedong's regime in China (40,000,000)!
Now, you may argue for the side of logic: that sperm alone do not constitute a pregnancy. The sperm has to join with the egg to become a pregnancy. However, if Arizona's "science" is allowed to hold sway over real science, then the woman's egg is a pregnancy for two weeks, even before it enters the uterus!
The Merck Manual (a prestigious publication used by real doctors) informs us that the "follicular phase," that 12-14 day period before the egg is released into the uterus (womb for those of us who use Biblespeak), is a veritable hive of activity in the follicles of the ovaries.
At the beginning of the follicular phase, the lining of the uterus (endometrium) is thick with fluids and nutrients designed to nourish an embryo. If no egg has been fertilized, estrogen and progesterone levels are low. As a result, the top layers of the endometrium are shed, and menstrual bleeding occurs.
About this time, the pituitary gland slightly increases its production of follicle-stimulating hormone. This hormone then stimulates the growth of 3 to 30 follicles. Each follicle contains an egg. Later in the phase, as the level of this hormone decreases, only one of these follicles (called the dominant follicle) continues to grow. It soon begins to produce estrogen, and the other stimulated follicles begin to break down.
On average, the follicular phase lasts about 13 or 14 days. Of the three phases, this phase varies the most in length. It tends to become shorter near menopause. This phase ends when the level of luteinizing hormone increases dramatically (surges). The surge results in release of the egg (ovulation).
Now, I must admit: That's a lot of big, specialized verbage in there. Here's my translation: Out of 3-30 potential eggs, only one will develop into "THE hot mama egg" that is released into the uterus when it's "go" time. However, even SHE will wither like a wallflower in there and be released in the menses, if no "pimp daddy sperm" comes to burrow into her ready waiting cell walls.
So... where did we go wrong with Ms Brewer and Ms Yee's early education? Did they lack the benefit of "home training," where mothers sit their daughters down and explain the facts of life to them? Did they get one of those religious exemptions to sit out the part of Health class, in sixth or seventh grade, where the blushing Phys Ed teachers had to try and stammer through the chapter on human reproduction? Did they skip Biology in the university and go, instead, to the "Rocks for Jocks" course? Don't get excited guys, it's not about scratching your... jock. It's what the cool kids call Geology in college, because it's supposed to be so easy that all the sports team members choose it for their 'easy A' science requirement.
Frankly, if a woman's cycle starts at the first day of her last menstrual period, there are a couple of situations that puzzle me somewhat: It is medically possible to become pregnant when one has never had a period before. What about those babies? Can they be aborted because there was no date of LMP? Something far more common, happened to me with my youngest child: I became pregnant while breastfeeding - which was a period of time in which I was NOT having menses... so... Regardless of the 13-month difference in their ages, are my youngest two girls twins, since they obviously could be traced back to the same "Date of Last Menses"? Or, perhaps the youngest was immaculately conceived and I need to let her know of her significance in world religion. I wonder if the Christians would care very much, that she is a Buddhist... hm.
When I was younger, abortion was under attack at that time as well (the 70's/80's). I remember girls that I knew who had to travel great distances to access the care they needed. I remember others who did not want to abort, or who could not afford to go to those extreme measures, and who had their babies. However, once their babies were here, they were labeled “teen moms,” or "welfare queens" and told to get a job and stop having babies. One of these girls was just 12 years old – and her son was also her half-brother. One of the teachers in the school reported the abuse and had her removed from the home.
Another of the girls I knew ended up having several children, one after the other, and even quit school to take care of them. About 13 years later, 4 of her 9 children perished in a house fire, reportedly set by the father of some of the children. Yes, that's the kind of life we want for these babies who have the "right to life." We want them to live in squalor, in the ghetto, under the constant threat of harm from domestically violent parents... because Jan Brewer and Kimberly Yee are only concerned about foetal rights – not children's rights, and most definitely not women's rights.
So... here's my question: Arizona. Now that you have made illegal every single route a woman (single OR married) has to try and be responsible and NOT have baby after baby after baby (the current law would outlaw not only the "morning after" pill, but, potentially, all other forms of "the pill"), are you going to ante up and provide free healthcare, housing, food, child care, preschool, etc. for all these babies you're insisting have the "Right" to be born? Are you going to pay for the education of their mothers so they can become contributing members of society? Are you going to invest in education so that these children are able to better themselves and escape from poverty? Are you going to invest in the development of the fathers of these children, and encourage them to either marry the moms or pay child support? Are you going to invest in jobs so that families can be self-sufficient? Or does the "personhood" of a foetus, end at the date of its birth?
I think we need to re-think these "draconian" measures that the fanatical right-to-lifers have pushed on our society. If there is indeed a “right to life” for every foetus, then there must indeed follow a right to the QUALITY of life for each child born.
Either that, or start charging men with murder for wasting their semen, when it is spilled during ‘encounters’ in which they're only interested in pleasuring themselves, rather than the "right to life" of their sperm cells.