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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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47 Responses

  1. binky
    binky October 4, 2005 at 3:18 pm |

    Read further into the PDF file. It’s even highly restrictive of who counts as an acceptable married couple. It asks about whether the wife has even terminated a pregnancy, if the couple goes to church, what their values are, and makes the wife have a psycological evaluation, on the grounds of which the state (or the counsellor who does the exam) can refuse to give the permit for parenthood.

    As I was remnded by looking through Feministing’s archives, Indiana has been trying to get into the medical records of women, like Kansas. This is part of a far-reaching, comprehensive effort.

    I think we, and half the feminist bloggers, were simultaneously typing posts on this insanity. I hope the story explodes all over the place.

  2. Magnus Malmborn
    Magnus Malmborn October 4, 2005 at 3:19 pm |

    Isn’t it funny your president went all the way to Afghanistan for talibans, when all he needed to do was go to Indiana…

  3. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta October 4, 2005 at 3:43 pm |

    Isn’t it funny your president went all the way to Afghanistan for talibans, when all he needed to do was go to Indiana…

    I love the smell of hyperbole in the late afternoon. But seriously, if Indiana were just to amend the penal statute to allow for stoning to death for Class B Misdemenors, disenfranchise women, execute gays, forbid the shaving of men’s beards, and use the RCA Dome for mass executions on Peyton’s off days, you’d be totally right. It’s a slippery slope.

  4. j swift
    j swift October 4, 2005 at 3:46 pm |

    I have said it once and will say it again, the United States has been and still experiencing a shift to the right in our society. A counter-counter culture if you will. That is why we have little Ben Shapiros running around writing books, why Ayatollah Dobson has our President’s ear and his balls, why Intelligent Design is doing so swimmingly amongst the same folk who elected arguably the most incompetent President since Hoover, and why you have legislation like this even being considered.

    Welcome to the Theocratic Republic of the United States

    Everyone picked an appropriate Christian Church to attend yet?

  5. other Ryan
    other Ryan October 4, 2005 at 3:49 pm |

    Oh come on Shankar – you think criminalizing pregnancy is “American”? Given our excessive capital punishment tally alone, I think the comparision is valid – without touching on the valid anti-woman ideas our countries share.

  6. Caitlyn
    Caitlyn October 4, 2005 at 3:54 pm |

    What if the Romans had thought of this? I can see the headlines “Virgin Mary Arrested – ‘Holy Ghost’ deemed illegal method of reproduction”.

  7. binky
    binky October 4, 2005 at 4:04 pm |

    Seriously, read down into the PDF draft of the bill. Even for married couples, the bill specifies that they must provide

    “The fertility history of the intended parents, including the pregnancy history and response to pregnancy losses of the woman.”

    and

    A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents, include a description of individual participation in faith-based or church activities, hobbies, and other interests.

    This is an effort to impose an idea of who is fit to be a parent. The first to go are the “easy” ones (the single, the gay) but this bill requires a whole range of lifestyle and religious information. Why on earth would the state need that? And why would they need it from people who are getting fertility treatments, instead of just anyone who wants to get pregnant?

    And just to make sure we know what is an appropriate mechanism of getting pregnant:

    “Sexual intercourse”, for purposes of IC 31-20, means an act that includes any penetration of the female sex organ by the male sex organ.

    The upshot of this, if passed, would be to deny parenthod to singles (gay or straight) and to create one more hideous hurdle for people already going through the wringer of fertility treatments.

  8. Blue
    Blue October 4, 2005 at 4:04 pm |

    I think it is disgusting but believe that it will never make it into law as it is highly unconstitutional. If Republicans try this they will become a laughing stock and their base, which is shriveling already, will fall apart.

  9. Magnus Malmborn
    Magnus Malmborn October 4, 2005 at 4:10 pm |

    Shankar:
    I know it’s a bit over the top, but less than you imply. If you look at the attitudes rather than their effects (ie attitude towards empowered women rather than stonings) then the difference is not that large. The worldview of Pat Robertson and the average taliban is fairly similar.
    And another thing: The current administration rather see women die than give them access to sex-ed, family-planning or (safe, affordable) abortions.

  10. binky
    binky October 4, 2005 at 4:15 pm |

    Blue, you are right. This hasn’t even made it to the floor yet. One of my co-bloggers (formerly worked in “real politics”) dismissed the chances of this thing passing. While I largely agree about the chances of this bill becoming law, it’s still an incredibly blatant signal. And the attacks on reproductive freedom (and the science curriculum in public schools, for that matter) have come in steady, persistent testing of the limits at the local and state level.

  11. Shankar Gupta
    Shankar Gupta October 4, 2005 at 4:24 pm |

    Ryan-

    No, criminalizing pregnancy certainly isn’t American, and I don’t think I gave the impression in my post that I think it is, although I might’ve trivialized the matter a bit in my haste to mock Mssr. Malmborn–obviously such a law is a gross overstepping of the boundaries that any reasonable government should respect. Not to say that there are any reasonable governments out there.

    But no, I don’t agree that the comparison is valid. Here’s an AI report about womens’rights abuses in Afghanistan under the Taliban, and another about cruel and unusual punishment in general. I would link an AI report on the various abuses of the state of Indiana, but there doesn’t seem to be one.

    My point is that yes, this is bad, but the Taliban is much, much worse. So much worse, in fact, as to be off the radar. When progressives cry “Taliban,” “fascist,” and “nazi” all the time, they just end up sounding like damn fools, even when they’re on the just side of an argument.

  12. Marksman2000
    Marksman2000 October 4, 2005 at 4:33 pm |

    This legislation won’t make it into the books. But that, of course, isn’t the point. The fact that Dr. Frankenstien is even trying to create this monster is enough to make the villagers fetch their torches and pitchforks.

    I catch flak from both the right and left because of my Libertarian POV. But you see now why I want less government at all levels.

    They cannot be trusted.

  13. Lauren
    Lauren October 4, 2005 at 4:36 pm |

    Holy shit. Caitlyn, you rock.

  14. zuzu
    zuzu October 4, 2005 at 4:45 pm |

    You just know they’re itching to push single mothers off welfare rolls and into jails.

    Any chance the guy pushing this legislation has a women’s correctional facility in his district?

  15. Maureen
    Maureen October 4, 2005 at 4:48 pm |

    For those of you who’d like to contact this fine Solon:

    Sen. Patricia Miller

    (317) 232-9400
    (800) 382-9467

    I suggest using terms such as “un-American”.

  16. Maureen
    Maureen October 4, 2005 at 4:54 pm |

    Okay, her secretary got over a thousand calls from constituents (and outsiders like me) on the bill, and she’s claiming that the media’s stretching the truth of the bill. Mm-hmm. I’m just going to sit here until I see the press release.

  17. Allah
    Allah October 4, 2005 at 5:01 pm |

    Like Karol says, y’all always gotta take that step into crazy, don’t you? Blue is right: this bill, if passed, would be laughably unconstitutional. And I’m sure the GOP knows that, but has decided to float it anyway just to throw some red meat to the gay-haters and fundies in the ranks. It’s pure demagoguery. Exceedingly, embarrassingly lame.

    But of course, it’s not enough to point that out. We need the step into crazy. And so, Magnus deploys the Taliban chestnut; What She Said heralds the reinstitution of slavery in Indiana; and Jill breathlessly declares the entire pro-life movement a ploy to remake America on the model of the Handmaid’s Tale. You rightly mock people like Dobson and Robertson for demonizing the pro-choice crowd as whores and babykillers — and then you turn right around, collectively shit your pants, and demonize the pro-life crowd right back. Truly, truly outstanding.

  18. Maureen
    Maureen October 4, 2005 at 5:02 pm |

    Well, now. It looks like what the bill is really about is donor eggs/sperm, although the wording’s a bit unclear on whether a single woman could have a child with donor sperm or whether that woman’s partner could adopt that child. I’m guessing it’s all about trying to stop the gays from having children.

  19. binky
    binky October 4, 2005 at 5:06 pm |

    Not to be too contradictory, but

    (c) An unmarried person may not be an intended parent.

    seems pretty clear.

  20. Thomas
    Thomas October 4, 2005 at 5:13 pm |

    My preliminary view is that if this became law, it would get tossed as unconstitutional very quickly. The Supreme Court has long recognized that procreation is, if not so sacred that it can never be abridged, a key component of our system of ordered liberties. See Skinner v. Oklahoma ex. rel. Williamson, 316 U.S. 535 (1942)(Douglas, J., holding that Oklahoma could not sterilize “habitual criminals”).

    However, as any boxing fan knows, the most effective punches are counterpunches. When your opponents miss, they leave an opening to hit them while they are off-balance. By publicizing how draconian and openly theocratic (the court should consider the religious activities of the couple!), we highlight how crazy the wingnuts are. There are lots of straight couples in middle America who go through IVF and who already know how hard it is. They’ll see what an invasive proposal this is, and it will turn some people against the wingnuts who may be with them when the wingnuts try to sound moderate.

  21. Karen in Kalifornia
    Karen in Kalifornia October 4, 2005 at 5:35 pm |

    Nah, not necessarily repelled…heck in Italy today unmarried women cannot avail themselves to medical assisted reproduction techniques….heck, in Saudi Arabia, a woman can’t see a gynocology w/o being accompanied by her husband.

    Oh no no it can’t happen here….well wake up before it’s a nightmare we’re screaming from.

  22. The Raving Atheist
    The Raving Atheist October 4, 2005 at 6:14 pm |

    Suggesting that the view behind this legislation is typical of the pro-life movement at large is like suggesting that mainstream pro-choicers support abortion in the eight month for purely economic reasons.

    Concerns that restrictions on abortion might lead to restrictions on child-bearing has never been a real concern of the pro-choice movement, however clever an argument it seemed to be. It’s unfortunate that this completely bogus and plainly unconstitutional legislation has given you the ammo, and I won’t fault you if you milk it for all it’s worth.

    That being said, it is against the law for minors of a certain age to reproduce. The pro-choice movement supports their right to abortion without parental notice or consent. Same position on the reproductive end of things? Let’s say the girl and father are both 15.

  23. Dan
    Dan October 4, 2005 at 6:43 pm |

    “Suggesting that the view behind this legislation is typical of the pro-life movement at large is like suggesting that mainstream pro-choicers support abortion in the eight month for purely economic reasons.” Don’t be so sure. If a state passed a law banning abortion in the eighth month if the abortion were motivated solely by economic concerns, do you think that Planned Parenthood et al. would not be in court the next day seeking an injunction? How many of the people who post on this blog would support a ban on economically motived abortions at eight months? Raise your hands.

  24. Dan
    Dan October 4, 2005 at 6:56 pm |

    Planned Parenthood and NARAL crowd have never seen an abortion law that they have liked — never. Take for example what happened when legislation was introduced that would have protected a child born alive when an abortion was botched. What did NARAL do? Came out against. Yep, that’s right, according to NARAL, even if the child was born it should be killed if it the mother had marked it for abortion.

  25. Amanda Marcotte
    Amanda Marcotte October 4, 2005 at 7:09 pm |

    As for poorer people, I did notice that the law was very specific about the sperm delivery system being the penis-in-vagina method. So home insemination via turkey baster is outlawed, though god only knows how they think they’re gonna enforce that.

    Next law–it’s illegal to pull out and come on her belly.

  26. Jill
    Jill October 4, 2005 at 7:14 pm |

    That being said, it is against the law for minors of a certain age to reproduce.

    I’m sorry, which law would that be? There are laws against engaging in certain types of sexual behavior with a person who is under a certain age; notably, those laws often get tossed out if that person is married. But as far as I know, there is no law saying, “Minors cannot have babies.” It’s likely the policy of most fertility clinics that people must be 18 to use their services, but is it endoded in law? (I really don’t know. It very well might be).

    However, from a legal standpoint, age is a very different category from marital status. Certain types of discrimination — i.e., not letting a certain group vote — are acceptable based on one’s age. This isn’t the case for martial status, not by any stretch.

    Concerns that restrictions on abortion might lead to restrictions on child-bearing has never been a real concern of the pro-choice movement, however clever an argument it seemed to be.

    That’s actually completely untrue. It’s been the pro-choice side that has fought for things like the right to use IVF; it’s pro-choice human rights organizations that are battling China’s one-child policy. Being pro-choice is about being against any sort of government intrustion into reproduction. Go browse some blogs right now — I imagine you’ll find a lot of pro-choice blogs that are covering this and not a lot of “pro-life” ones.

    Finally, my point wasn’t that this legislation is a cornerstone of the anti-choice movement; however, controlling women’s bodies is such a cornerstone, and that’s what this legislation is about.

  27. Auguste
    Auguste October 4, 2005 at 7:35 pm |

    Only somewhat unrelated to this – and tying in the whole “learn how to do it” thread over at Pandagon – is the fact that, apparently, at my moderately conservative Christian college, there was more than one freshman woman who was afraid she might get pregnant via oral sex.

    Maybe this law is just a really, really twisted form of sex education.

  28. The Heretik
    The Heretik October 4, 2005 at 8:20 pm |

    LADIES NIGHT AT LEFTY’S LOUNGE

    THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW for Ladies Night at Lefty’s Lounge. Since yesterday there has been a lot of talk about a woman who is a lawyer who may or may not be the next Supreme Court Justice

  29. The Raving Atheist
    The Raving Atheist October 4, 2005 at 11:01 pm |

    Dan: I was being facetious.

    Jill:

    (1) A 15 year old girl cannot lawfully make the “choice” to reproduce by having sex with her boyfriend. Her parents could lawfully stop her, as could the police if they were alerted to the situation. And obviously no fertility clinic could lawfully impregnate her. Yes, marriage in some states would permit her to consummate and procreate, but that is precisely what you object to about this law: it requires marriage as a prerequiste to reproduction.

    My point was that the pro-choice view is that she should be permitted to choose to terminate the pregnancy without state or parental interference, but has no right to initiate the pregnancy. Clearly she doesn’t have full “choice” as to her reproductive rights.

    As to discrimination based on marital status, there are an endless series of hardships imposed on people who are merely shacking up as opposed to married. Regardless of sexual orientation, singles don’t get the same tax, insurance, inheritance and other benefits married couples do.

    (2) I’m not familiar with the pro-choice movement’s role with respect to IVF, but I’m not aware that the procedure was ever subject to governmental restriction as was abortion. Yes, there is societal opposition to various reproductive technologies, mostly by idiots who believe in God (oops, sorry Jill), but I don’t know that there’s been any significant legislative action to ban them. My point was that when pro-choicers make the argument about how fair they because they support the right to have a child as strongly as they do the right to abort, it’s a bit disingenuous because the government has never placed significant obstacles to childbirth and of course has never forced an abortion on anyone. The “I don’t think the government should stop a woman from having an abortion or force her to have one’ simply presents a false dichotomy.

    Also, with respect to Planned Parenthood, the reproductive end of things is largely window dressing. The number of fertility treatments and adoptions they handle is miniscule compared to the number of abortions. I agree that recently (as highlighted by the latest March for Women’s Lives) there’s been a push to broaden the focus from abortion to other reproductive issues.

    To backtrack a bit, it might be interesting to know PP’s position on offering fertility treatments to 15 year old girls, assuming they’re legal. If she’s mature enough to make the decision to terminate the pregnancy without notice or consent, is she mature enough to create it? I suspect not, because PP required parental consent for women under 18 to enter their poster contest celebrating abortion.

    (3) As to China, I suppose you’ll contest the facts here, but PP does seem, at least indirectly, to be supporting the forced abortion machinery there.

  30. Looking For Sam
    Looking For Sam October 4, 2005 at 11:22 pm |

    You Are Not Authorized To Reproduce

    Orwell’s imagination was far too limited when he wrote Animal House and 1984. If he had taken his scenario of an overly burdensome and intrusive Big Brother to its logical conclusion, he might have envisioned something like this…

  31. karpad
    karpad October 5, 2005 at 12:03 am |

    Orwell’s imagination was far too limited when he wrote Animal House and 1984.

    I’m sorry, but that is the most funny freudian slip I’ve seen in a while. Bluto represents the rebellious proletariat, and Wormer is obviously the oppressive force, using double secret probation to oppress the masses, but in the end, the poor acheive triumph, liberty, but not prosperity.

  32. The Heretik
    The Heretik October 5, 2005 at 12:08 am |

    A HANDMAID’S JOB

    And Within The Tribe of the Uteri a cry went up when the prophecy of Atwood might come true. Now it came to pass in Indiana, which the Peni claim as a confederate state of Penistan whereas the Uteri

  33. Darleen
    Darleen October 5, 2005 at 12:28 am |

    Did anyone actually take the time to read the .pdf of the proposed law?

    It doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    More or less, it is putting artificial reproduction where only one or NONE of the two parents involved are not genetically connected to the child on the same footing as adoption. It is NOT outlawing “unwed motherhood.”

    One can reasonably disagree with the state of Indiana’s tightening of the requirement when dealing with things like donor eggs, donor embryos, but after all the horror cases of genetic moms vs gestational moms, it seems Indianna is trying to head these things off by setting up the parameters of who are/are not parents in these specific situations. Or..if you read page 8 and pages 16, 17 it appears that Indianna is trying to avoid baby buying.

    Obviously the poster at Booman didn’t read the .pdf either. When something looks too outregeous, one ought to go to the source document.

    SHEESH.

  34. bmused (but not by this)
    bmused (but not by this) October 5, 2005 at 12:30 am |

    …And we continue hurtling toward A Handmaid’s Tale

    I have to agree with other commenters I’ve read today that this smells an awful lot like a setup for a test case to determine the new Supremes’ willingness to overturn Griswold v. CT.

    Let us pray that they won’t. (Pun absolutely intended.)

  35. moonbatty  » Blog Archive   » How Does This Make Sense?

    [...] Indiana are up to. Yep, you now need a license in order to have permission to reproduce. Illegal Reproduction Allllmost sounds like a good idea, eh? Keeps th [...]

  36. Auguste
    Auguste October 5, 2005 at 2:12 am |

    And how about this?

    A judge in Texas has banned a teenage drug offender from having sex as part of her probation, as long as she is living with her parents and attending school.

  37. BOPnews
    BOPnews October 5, 2005 at 3:53 am |

    (Straight White Christian) Married Couples Only

    Indiana Republicans are drafting a bill to criminalize unauthorized reproduction. Yes. Read that again slowly. The Indiana GOP wants you to apply to the state for permission to reproduce. Married couples only need apply. The law is not only absurdly …

  38. Ledasmom
    Ledasmom October 5, 2005 at 5:28 am |

    Dan: “Take for example what happened when legislation was introduced that would have protected a child born alive when an abortion was botched. What did NARAL do? Came out against. Yep, that’s right, according to NARAL, even if the child was born it should be killed if it the mother had marked it for abortion.”
    Dan, if I remember correctly (and I’m sure someone will correct me if I don’t), the Born Alive blah blah act required that everything possible be done to sustain life in a child born alive after attempted abortion. Those who are familiar with the normal outcome after very premature births could tell you why eliminating discretion might not be a good idea.

  39. Ian Welsh
    Ian Welsh October 5, 2005 at 7:30 am |

    Hahahaha. Unconstitutional is what the Supreme Court says it is.

    Count your votes very carefully. I count 4 pretty sure to say it’s constitutional (assuming Mier gets in). That’s not much margin, and I ain’t sure about at least one of the others.

    The idea isn’t to get it struck down, the idea is to use it to reverse precedent.

  40. Thomas
    Thomas October 5, 2005 at 9:32 am |

    Dan, as Ledasmom points out, you mischaracterize the law. The problem is, our side is so used to your side lying and mischaracterizing things that every law you guys are for, we assume the worst. Take this “partial birth” terminology and the acts that adopt it — most of them seem deliberately drafted to be broader that the “intact dilation and extraction” procedure that you people get so upset about. We think those bills are a trojan horse, designed to eliminate many more procedures. And you don’t help your case with TRAP restrictions that attempt to make abortion services uneconomical so there’s no clinic; subpoenaing medical records under false pretenses in a transparent attempt to find an example that you can claim is a frivolous late-term abortion, etc.

    The simple truth is, there is no middle ground. Even people who are willing to give ground on some issues (I’m not one of them; I’m for abortion on demand without apology) think your side is way too far in the grasp of fundamentalist extremists to make a deal with.

  41. Noli Irritare Leones  » Blog Archive   » That draconian fertility law in Indiana

    [...] American Taliban, or about slavery, nor did I mention the Handmaid’s Tale once. The feminist blogosphere in general has been more sharply critical. In f [...]

  42. The Raving Atheist
    The Raving Atheist October 5, 2005 at 10:18 am |

    The problem is, our side is so used to your side lying and mischaracterizing things that every law you guys are for, we assume the worst.

    The laws say whatever they say, so you can just read them instead of relying on our second-hand lying. Usually the problem with them is they make no exception for the life or health of the mother, which is of course crazy.

    (I think the problem with the pro-choice side is that they’re too honest and don’t lie enough. For example, NARAL’s TV ad opposing John Roberts didn’t use the word “abortion” once. I agree that the debate is, as the ad said, all about “privacy” and not really the killing of fetuses. If NARAL had lied and said that the right to kill a fetus was its main concern, people would have been very angry at the prospect of Roberts taking away that right.)

    Take this “partial birth” terminology . . .

    I agree it’s mainly a crock to get people upset. The primary concern of mainstream anti-abortionists are the vast majority of abortions that take place in the first trimester, not relatively rare medically necessary ones occuring later. Those are also the main concern of the pro-choice side, although they do a similar thing by pretending abortion is primarily about the relatively rare “hard” cases (rape, incest, life-threatening).

    We think those bills are a trojan horse, designed to eliminate many more procedures.

    Agreed.

    And you don’t help your case with TRAP restrictions that attempt to make abortion services uneconomical so there’s no clinic.

    Actually, these DO help our case to the extent they’re upheld. But you see a lot of that sort of stuff in laws that make otherwise legal stuff (cigarettes, alcohol) hard to get by imposing silly regulations and taxes.

    subpoenaing medical records under false pretenses in a transparent attempt to find an example that you can claim is a frivolous late-term abortion, etc.

    Even under Roe v Wade the state can forbid medically unnecessary third trimester abortions, so it’s not necessarily friviolous. Again, while obvioulsy most women wouldn’t get an abortion that late frivolously, some do flush their newborns down toilets or kill them later after birth.

    The simple truth is, there is no middle ground.

    Agreed.

    Even people who are willing to give ground on some issues (I’m not one of them; I’m for abortion on demand without apology)

    Ohhhhhhhh you sound like a very bad person.

    think your side is way too far in the grasp of fundamentalist extremists to make a deal with.

    I’m not in the grasp of those who would make no exceptions for life or heath. I think you’re on the fundamentalist side of pro-choiceism, though (note that nobody else raised their hand on Dan’s question about support for economically motivated late-term abortions).

  43. BOPnews
    BOPnews October 5, 2005 at 10:27 am |

    (Don’t Look At) The Plan Behind the Curtain

    The Republicans’ goals for this bill (henceforth to be known as the Turkey Baster Bill), however, are far greater than just assaults on civil and reproductive rights. In this second post, we will examine the how this bill exemplifies Republican wedge …

  44. karpad
    karpad October 5, 2005 at 10:32 am |

    Hahahaha. Unconstitutional is what the Supreme Court says it is.

    remember “conservative” doesn’t mean “religious right wingnut”

    You wouldn’t even keep Scalia and Thomas on this. let’s review just what this law violates: Equal protection clause, precident on medical privacy, and the right against self-incrimination (as the only way it could possibly be enforced is state compelled testimony on how a pregnancy came about. either that, or they would have to attach a presumption of guilt and force them to prove otherwise, also unconstitutional.)

    trust me, Small government “original intent” type conservatives HATE people passing unenforcable laws that violate the constitution. It won’t ever get out of the State House. they’re just bring up the idea to score cheap points with narrow minded constituants.

  45. Kathryn Cramer
    Kathryn Cramer October 5, 2005 at 10:51 am |

    Never mind that this is evil, wrong, and dangerous, these people seem completely innocent of the reproductive habits of the class able to make large contributions of political parties. And I think that’s just too funny.

  46. ginmar
    ginmar October 5, 2005 at 8:34 pm |

    The measure’s been withdrawn. Seems they didn’t anticipate the amount of flack they got.

  47. Lauren
    Lauren October 5, 2005 at 8:37 pm |

    Shit, I just posted on it. Good timing!

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