Several commenters have noted that calling Arizona the “worst state in the union” is kind of unfair, since a state is more than simply the sum of its legislation. As a resident of Alabama, I have to sympathize. States like Arizona (and Alabama) are, in fact, full of progressive-minded people who lack the resources to leave or just choose to stay and try to make things better. Those people deserve our support, as do the good people of
where the state House has just passed HB 954, which would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, even if she’s carrying a fetus that will ultimately be stillborn. And why not? Pigs do it all the time, says Rep. Terry England.
No, seriously, “why not” is because pigs do it all the time.
Life gives us many experiences. It gives us experience–or, I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive. Delivering pigs, dead and alive. And I want to tell you, Representative McCall, Representative Roberts, all of us–Representative Anderson–that have done that–Representative Black–that have done that, it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.
Because women are, of course, livestock, and when we see that 20-week ultrasound that shows that the fetus we’ve been doting over has anomalies incompatible with life and thus our much-wanted pregnancy will result in heartbreak, we let out a plaintive moo and then immediately begin wondering whether we’ll get alfalfa or timothy hay for dinner. There are no physical health consequences to carrying it around in one’s own personal body for as long as it chooses to hang out there. Farmer England has never seen a pig
who needed to be able to grieve or find a sense of closure or try to regain a sense of control in a body that has betrayed her. So I’m sure the rest of you will be just fine. Here, have a bucket of corn cobs.
But that’s not all. Farmer England also cares about the chickens.
You know, a few years ago, I had a young man come to me at our store. And, you know, it was when we were debating, talk about dog and hog hunting, I believe, and at that point, there was some language inserted in there that dealt with chicken fighting. And the young man called me to the side, and he said, “I want to tell you one thing.” And y’all, this is salt-of-the-earth people I’m talking about. Someone I would have never, in a hundred years, expected to tell me what he told me that day. He said, “Mr. Terry, I want to tell you something. You tell those folks down there when they quit killing babies, they can have every chicken I’ve got.”
Every chicken he has, ladies. Come on. Do it for the chickens.
There’s also TENNESSEE,
where women are free to get abortions as long as they don’t mind all their neighbors knowing about it. The state legislature’s “Life Defense Act of 2012,” less-ironically named HB 3808
would require the Department of Health to release more information on abortions, including the name of the doctor who performed the procedure and demographics about the women who received them.
“The Department of Health already collects all of the data, but they don’t publish it,” [bill sponsor Rep. Matthew Hill] said. “All we’re asking is that the data they already collect be made public.”
The data currently collected by the Department of Health follows age, race, education, and number of children and is aggregated by region. The bill requires that the data be aggregated by county, and of course no one in a small community would be able to identify an individual based on her age, race, number of children, education level, and the fact that she’s missed Bible study two weeks in a row and Shirleen saw her coming out of Dr. Finley’s office last Tuesday but she didn’t look sick.
The bill also would provide a nice, comprehensive listing of all doctors in the state who perform abortions regularly as well as physicians who end up performing abortions during the course of providing care, which is great, because doctors who perform abortions are never targeted. Or murdered.
Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life (which suggested the bill in the first place), said, “I think it’s fair for folks on both sides to see how prevalent abortion is in our counties and our communities.” Um, nuh-uh, actually.
And let’s not forget PENNSYLVANIA,
where one of the most draconian of the proposed anti-choice laws–HB 1077–would require (among other things) that a woman:
- undergo a transvaginal ultrasound;
- view the results of the ultrasound–with the ultrasound screen turned toward her face;
- receive two personalized copies of the results (one for her doctor, one suitable for framing);
- deliver one of those copies to the doctor who will be performing the abortion; and
- wait at least 24 hours between ultrasound and abortion; although
- if she waits more than 14 days between ultrasound and abortion, she has to watch a state-approved video on fetal gestation.
Well, I mean, I suppose she doesn’t have to see the results. After all, as Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said,
I don’t know how you make anybody watch, OK? Because you just have to close your eyes.
The Pennsylvania bill follows in the steps of a TEXAS “Woman’s Right to Know” ultrasound bill passed last spring with similar restrictions. (The Texas Observer has an account of one woman’s ordeal in trying to get an abortion under that law, but it’s not something to read unless you want your heart broken.) Now Texas has moved on to jettisoning all Medicaid funding for family planning. The problem there is that through the state’s new law excluding Planned Parenthood from Texas’s Medicaid Women’s Health Program, they’ve violated a Medicare rule about discriminating against qualified family planning providers and preventing women from being able to see the provider of their choice. That’s a loss of nearly 90 percent of the program’s $40 million. [h/t Doc Alpert in comments.]
There’s also COLORADO,
where the state House passed HB 1130, attaching criminal assault and homicide laws to the injury or death of any “unborn member of the species homo sapien.”
There is one more personhood amendment up for consideration–this one courtesy of SHAKESVILLE.
A person identifying as a woman and/or having a uterus shall retain all of the full, basic, and fundamental rights of a US citizen as guaranteed by the Declaration of Independence—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Congress and the States shall make no law that infringes upon a person’s life, including but not limited to access to life-saving or life-improving healthcare, and/or medicines and procedures deemed necessary or beneficial by a medical professional and/or by the person having the uterus, procurement of which shall not by denied in and of itself by the presence of a uterus. Congress and the States shall make no law that infringes upon a person’s liberty, including but not limited to autonomy over hir own body and the ability to make decisions regarding hir own healthcare. Congress and the States shall make no law that interferes with a person’s pursuit of happiness, including but not limited to access to a full spectrum of reproductive options, freedom from forcible reproduction, and the ability to make decisions regarding family planning and family resources.
If that sounds more up your alley, you can sign your name to it at Change.org.