Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Another attempt to limit freedom of choice

From the Michigan chapter of the ACLU: The Michigan Right to Life folk are hoping to create another hurdle for women attempting to exercise their constitutionally protected right to decide whether to bear children.

This time it’s House Bills 5879-5883 and Senate Bills 1177-1181: “Battered Women Endangerment.“ If passed, the new law would require the medical practitioner to perform yet another screening where the patient would be asked to sign more documents maintaining that she is not being coerced or intimidated into having an abortion. Well-established medical ethical procedures and codes of professional behavior require physicians to ensure their patients have an opportunity to make intelligent decisions. This requires that all patients receive factual information on the risks and benefits of a given medical procedure, and that with the relevant information, the patient has the legal right to withhold or withdraw her consent to an abortion at any time prior to the performance of the procedure

The sponsors of the bills, their hearts beating with newly-discovered sympathy, are suddenly concerned about victims of domestic violence being coerced by their partners into having abortions. The woman would be required to wait an additional 24-hours before having the abortion, thus giving her time to (apparently) stand up to her abuser and state that she, by God, is having this baby! (Can’t you hear the music now? “What a difference a daaaay maaaaakes, twenty-foooour little hoooours.”)

No woman should be coerced into having, or not having, an abortion. The sponsors of the bills, of course, see the various road blocks they have set up not as coercion, but protection. Not protection for the mother (“She deserves to be pregnant if she was catting around, or got herself raped!“); but protection for the dear, sweet, innocent little “pre-born” human who is about to be aborted. Of course what happened to the fetus during gestation or what will happen to the baby after it is born is of no concern for these folk.

This curious and sudden concern expressed in the House bills comes after the legislature has neglected to increase funding for domestic violence shelters for 15 years, and after years of reductions of state funds for health care for women and children, and repeated efforts to eliminate funds for programs that would prevent unintended pregnancies.

This is just the latest in the cynical attempts by the Right to Life control women while at the same time trying to sound like they are just working to protect them. Can you say “hypocritical?”

Call Bill Caul and tell him to vote against HB 5879-5883. His numbers are: Fax: 517-373-5491
Phone: 517-373-1789. Call Alan Cropsey By Phone: (517) 373-3760. Toll Free 866-305-2133.Fax: (517) 373-8661

While you’re at it, ask them how many programs they have sponsored or voted for that provide pre-natal care to poor mothers, or shelters for victims of domestic violence; resources to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and resources for post-natal care for mothers and infants; adequate medical care for children, and publicly funded programs food and shelter for the infants and families of the poor.


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