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41 Years After Roe v. Wade, Here Are a Few Reminders of What Abortion Is Not

41 Years After Roe v. Wade, Here Are a Few Reminders of What Abortion Is Not

Today, the reproductive rights activists across the country are celebrating the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the legal decision that made abortion a legal right in every state, without any restriction prior to the viability of the fetus. From the moment that decision was announced, abortion opponents have urged politicians to restrict that right via legislative means, passing regulations, restrictions and bans meant to whittle away that right and try to overturn the decision itself.

In many states, politicians have been all too willing to help. They have proposed expensive, medically unnecessary clinic and doctor regulations, onerous waiting periods and pre-procedure lectures and ultrasounds, and unconstitutional bans limiting the time limit in which a pregnant person can have an abortion, despite the Roe ruling.

Some of these bills have been introduced on their own, by those who have been upfront about their desire to restrict the right to choose. Others, not so much. They issue has been tucked into must pass bills, bundled into an omnibus or slid into unrelated legislation.

Today’s anniversary should serve as a reminder for anti-choice legislature: abortion is a legal right. And here’s a reminder of what abortion is not:

Abortion is not a form of domestic violence. A Kentucky senator anxious to force the legislature to vote on a 20 week abortion ban has tacked it onto a bill regarding domestic violence,†saying, “The most brutal form of domestic violence is the violence against unborn children, and this particular bill would prohibit abortions after the fetus feels pain, which is 20 weeks and older.” Besides being medically untrue, it’s a huge insult to those who have experienced domestic violence. Then again, considering how hard the GOP worked nationally to block the reauthorization of VAWA (the Violence Against Women Act) this attitude shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Abortion is not making motorcycle riding dangerous. North Carolina legislators desperate to get an omnibus bill that among other things would give the Board of Health power to write clinic regulations that could potentially close every abortion provider tried tucking the law into a bill outlawing “sharia law.” But when that didn’t work, they stripped out a “motorcycle safety” bill and passed it through that. Because, helmets?

Abortion is not a cause of pre-term birth. If shutting down abortion clinics as a way to make motorcycle riding safer wasn’t confusing enough, the state also proposed legislation to teach students common preventable causes of preterm birth, such as smoking, doing drugs and abortion. Except abortion doesn’t cause preterm birth. Perhaps the people behind the science on that one should wear their helmets more often when they ride.

Abortion is not a state budgetary line item. Ohio doesn’t provide any state funding to abortion clinics, allow state Medicaid recipients to use their insurance to pay for terminations, or in any other way have anything to do with abortion services. That didn’t stop the GOP from putting a number of abortion restrictions into the state budget, a massive hundreds of pages long document. Included in those restrictions were mandatory ultrasounds and the power for the medical board to start drawing up reasons to close clinics one by one via lack of transfer agreements, which could no longer be provided by any publicly funded hospital. Since it didn’t have any bearing on the budget, there was absolutely no reason that Republican Governor John Kasich couldn’t use his veto power to remove those restrictions from the budget. But he didn’t. Now, yet another clinic in the state is closing.

Abortion is not a child homicide. Mississippi has done a number of things to try to end abortion in the state, including shutting down the state’s only clinic by requiring admitting privileges for the doctors at the clinic, knowing no local hospital would offer them. But the state also came close to being the first to ban abortion at the point in which a fetal heartbeat could be detected, by tacking it onto a “child homicide“†bill. The bill never made it out of committee.

Abortion is not a circus. Taking abortion bills onto unrelated issues is an age old process. When Minnesota couldn’t manage to get abortion restrictions out of Democratic committees, the Republicans did a little maneuvering to get them free. In 2003, they placed a so-called “informed consent” and waiting period bill, the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” onto a bill that was eliminating an old law that said you couldn’t hold a circus within 18 days of the state fair.†Once the bill was free of committee, it then received a full vote and passed both chambers of the legislature. Included in that bill? A then mostly unheard of claim that fetuses could feel pain at 20 weeks, so if an abortion is done later than that, a pregnant person should be offered anesthetic for the fetus. That claim became the basis of today’s plethora of “fetal pain bills.”

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5:15PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

It's NOT ''just'' the US ''religious right." Take a look at Islamic countries...the way women are treated is appalling! Everything about their lives is strictly controlled.

1:01PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

I just watched a documentary on the Nazis and it was chilling similar to what the GOP/Religious Right is doing in the U.S.
One race (or religion) is superior to all others and “the unsuitable” (considered inferior) must be wiped out.
We must deny historical and scientific fact and twist the truth to fit our agenda.
Control these and you control the people: marriage, breeding, sexuality, money.
They truly believe they are saving the human race, and if you believe that strongly you don’t stop.

12:47PM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Pam writes: That and, in the case of abortion, scientific research PROVES a fetus isn't that ''precious little chubby bayyyyyybeeeeee" that the right-to-life MOB loves to depict!

In fact, science in general puts the lie to all those old myths about floods, arks, 900-year-old men, Ezekiel's wheel, mysterious partings of a sea, etc.

I agree Pam, fewer young people are buying these stories as a worthy cause for acceptance of the Abrahamic belief system. Science and history have proven so much of the claims made as patently false that the weight of such claims is flimsy at best. The indoctrination of young children is perhaps dropping off in many ways. While there are still sectarian schools (and by some accounts public schools) teaching this nonsense, fewer people are perhaps sending their children to them. The young people, perhaps are taught more critical thinking skills and rational thinking philosophy’s so that when faced with these mythical tales are able to process them through these lenses and discount them as true or valid.

Further, if any of them do read this old text, they will have found so many contradictions as to consider it a useless belief system borne of Iron Age thinking which is no longer relevant in today’s world.

Green Stars to Brian for his post.

10:58AM PST on Jan 26, 2014

Republicans claim to care about the life of the unborn, but they could care less about the poor. Republicans want to eliminate the minimum wage, so our workers live in poverty, and require food stamps, which we pay for through our taxes. Republicans give corporate welfare to corporations, so they can avoid paying their fare share of taxes, while corporations are making record profits. Republicans have no problem sending our young to die in wars that are based on lies, while they profit off no bid contracts, from companies like Dick Chaney's Halliburton. Republicans could care less about the people dying of cancer from the nefarious chemical pesticide industry, that poisons our vegetables, and meat. The GOP could care less about our people getting raped, and killed in our nefarious private for profit prisons, as long as they get a cut of the profits. Big oil, coal, and natural gas pollute and destroy our environment causing many deaths, but that is fine with republicans, because they get paid a lot of money from the dirty fossil fuel industry. Republicans could care less about the sanctity of life. All republicans care about in money, and serving their corporate masters. ,

9:34PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Michael..."This movement towards agnosticism and atheism is probably growing in part due to the over the fence evangelical claims, and because of the silence on the part of other christian folk who don’t call an end to the formers nonsense."

+++++++++++++ That and, in the case of abortion, scientific research PROVES a fetus isn't that ''precious little chubby bayyyyyybeeeeee" that the right-to-life MOB loves to depict!

In fact, science in general puts the lie to all those old myths about floods, arks, 900-year-old men, Ezekiel's wheel, mysterious partings of a sea, etc.

6:36PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Keep it safe and legal!

1:34PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

There are those who feel they are dogooders. They are not. They are among the herd of who knows what (certainly not caring people) who want to take away all women's rights (thank heavens the right to vote is in the Constitution). The want women to become brood mares and nothing else except for housekeepers. We should have kid after kid and stay in the kitchen barefoot, do all the house work, run the children everywhere and still be available for sex on demand. It is time the "dogooders" stepped in and became people. They should be the ones who take on the care, raising and costs of children that women are being forced to have. They should be the ones running the kids around, pay for their schooling and their lives, with all costs, after they get out of school.

12:34PM PST on Jan 25, 2014

BTW for those interested, here is a link to the petition site for the ACLU regarding the net neutrality issue.

https://www.aclu.org/secure/FCC_preserve_net_neutrality?ms=oth_acluaction_netneutrality_140124_taf

In order to boost their profits, Internet Service Providers like Verizon and Comcast can now charge websites extra fees to send us their content at a faster speed. And nothing is stopping them from blocking content they don’t like altogether.

In this unregulated environment, the Internet may quickly be sold to the highest bidder, chilling the free speech we now enjoy online.


The good news is that the court’s ruling left the door open for the FCC to fix all of this by reclassifying broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service:

Sign the petition now telling the FCC to keep the Internet open and defend ‘net neutrality’.

11:18AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

I too find hope in the ever growing numbers of people who are reporting themselves as non-believers.

This movement towards agnosticism and atheism is probably growing in part due to the over the fence evangelical claims, and because of the silence on the part of other christian folk who don’t call an end to the formers nonsense.

11:13AM PST on Jan 25, 2014

Right Pam, I find hope in that too. I am worried about this net neutrality thing though.

I stopped relying on regular news media for information about these subjects as they are not presented there but are found on the net.

In this age of technology, information helping our movement away from theism or deism is key. Since it doesn't appear on any news stations, it helps to have alternative sources. Local news stations often report on news with comments that support these belief systems, at least it supports the Abrahamic ones.

And while it isn't necessary, as I became an atheist without the internet, it sure helps.

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