The US’s War on Women seems to be escalating by the day.
In Idaho, the Senate has just passed a bill making it mandatory for all women seeking abortion to have an ultrasound. There is no medical need for this procedure, and indeed the legislators accept this, but maintain that
I support his legislation because I believe it gives the unborn one more chance to make the case that they should live. That, to me, overrides the other concerns I might have about this bill.
These concerns include endangerment of the mother’s life should a medical emergency arise and an ultrasound would delay treatment, traumatising women who are terminating much wanted pregnancies through changes in life circumstances or discoveries of foetal abnormality, prolonging an unwanted medical condition brought about through rape or incest, and using emotional means to undermine the rational decisions of pregnant women.
Idaho is now the third state to make ultrasound mandatory, after Texas and Virginia. Indeed in Virginia they go one stage further and mandate state rape of any woman seeking an abortion, by insisting on a trans-vaginal ultrasound. The Guardian points out that this effectively makes any doctor performing the required invasive procedure automatically guilty of a sex crime. Consent to penetration plays no part in this bill and there are no exceptions for women whose pregnancy is the result of a prior non-consensual penetration. There are also no age restrictions, so the state sanctioned sexual abuse of sexually abused children is enshrined in law. Not only this – but this is America, the land of the free – so you will have to pay for your rape, unless of course you choose to be raped at one of the free rape providers funded by the anti-abortion movement and accept the accompanying torture that follows the rape.
In Tennessee, a new bill obligates the Department of Health to publish the name of the doctor performing any abortion procedure, in a country where doctors providing terminations are assassinated and regularly face violence, intimidation and death threats. Moreover the requirement to collect and publish detailed demographic data could lead to the women who are seeking procedures themselves being identified.
Meanwhile in Atlanta they have just passed a bill cutting the abortion limit by six weeks, forcing women to carry unviable pregnancies to term. But hey, lawmakers there see women as no more than livestock. Senator England, showing his compassionate side exclaimed
I’ve had the experience of delivering calves dead and alive, delivering pigs, dead and alive. And I want to tell you… all of us… that have done that… it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.
Fine words, only England, being of the bepenised human variety, has never delivered a calf, a piglet or even a baby. Only the cows and the sows do those things. This statement shows the utter contempt with which women are held - receptacles of the unborn, unworthy of a mention. Another bill in that state forbids the medical insurance provided to state employees from covering abortion procedures with one senator declaring it is
It is both morally and financially irresponsible for our state to force taxpayers
to cover the costs of a necessary medical procedure for women with an unwanted pregnancy.
In Arizona, legislation is en-route which allows employers to withdraw health insurance cover for contraceptive medication; mandates women to tell their employers why they are taking hormonal medication if they wish their treatment covered under health insurance and allows women to be fired should their employer discover that they are indeed using contraception. Even ignoring the issues around force, violence and coercion that lead to unwanted pregnancies (of which there are loads); ignoring the issues of foetal abnormalities and maternal health (again far too many to go into), not all consensual sex is performed for procreative purposes. Sex is pleasure and bonding. Without reliable contraception, pleasure is tinged with risk and bonding with potential obligation. Increasing the potential cost: emotional, practical and financial, of that pleasure and bonding undermines human relations. Rather than free and equal, they become obligated and gendered.
If all this makes you despair and think of taking your own life, if you are pregnant, make sure you do it right. For ultimately you are only a recepticle and your life is not your own to take. As Bei Bei Shau, currently imprisoned for “suicide while pregnant”, and facing a 45–65 year gaol term, discovered. Remember you are a receptacle for a collection of cells with a right to life (half of which will lose that right as soon as they themselves become receptacles). Letting women die is one thing, but god forbid these cows and sows should ever attempt such a thing themselves.