This week was the week for Missouri, as legislators continued to move forward on a bill that would force pregnant people to wait 72 hours after an initial appointment before they can actually obtain an abortion, a bill that could potentially drive people out of the state for pregnancy terminations.
Previously, we thought lawmakers hit a new low by comparing getting an abortion to buying a car or remodeling a house to justify their mandatory wait. That low, sadly, was actually a high point of the the entire debate as we learned that earlier the bill sponsor compared the waiting period for an abortion to having surgery on his knee.
“Next Tuesday, I’m going to see my orthopedic surgeon because I’ve been having some extended knee problems, and we’re going to get an opinion on what I should do. It would be elective surgery,” said state Senator David Sater back in January, according to Raw Story. ”And so, he will give me some time to contemplate about my decision on whether not I should have surgery or not, and we will probably make the best informed decision that we can. Having an abortion is an elective procedure, elective surgery. It’s the same thing.”
This week Slater has shot down the idea that a person impregnated by sexual assault should be allowed to bypass the wait, arguing that a pregnancy is a pregnancy, regardless of how it came about. “There has been no talk about the unborn child,” Sater said. ”Should the unborn child of rape have different rights or is less important than another unborn child? I don’t think so. I think they’re both equal.”
The state GOP is so eager to force all pregnant people — even rape victims — to remain pregnant as long as possible that they have stated they will “use extraordinary measures,” to stop any attempts to block a vote. It’s a shame the Republicans aren’t as invested in health care for the poor as they are in forcing pregnant people to give birth.
In Congress, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is very, very angry about the idea of a “Women’s History Museum,” which she claims “will enshrine the radical feminist movement.” Frankly, we could use a shrine right about now. In news only slightly less right wing crazy, a congressional candidate in Iowa compared the birth control mandate to the KKK.
Louisiana is one step closer to closing down almost all of its clinics with a new TRAP bill requiring admitting privileges and unnecessary clinic regulations. Expect a similar bill in any state that hasn’t already seen one since, as NPR notes, TRAP bills are the best device the anti-abortion movement has ever come up with to make abortion legal in name only. The Texas TRAP bill has been highly successful or is, as one headline put it, “Doing Exactly What it Was Meant To.” In other words, shut most of the clinics in the state down.
Speaking of Louisiana, anti-abortion zealots are organizing to harass the contractors building a new Planned Parenthood in New Orleans to try to convince them to leave the job.
An attempt to expand access and women’s reproductive rights in New York failed in committee by just one vote this week, a sad commentary on where women rank even in a progressive state.
Finally, in good news, NARAL’s attempt to remove deceptive crisis pregnancy center ads from the internet is moving forward, as now Yahoo has announced it will take down any ads that aren’t adhering to their standards of truth in advertising. Last week, Google announced the same. And Minnesota has once more dismissed a challenge to its rule that Medicaid must cover abortions, because government cannot interfere in a pregnant person’s decisions whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term, especially not using financial coercion.
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