You know, 2008 just keeps getting more and more interesting. It seems like some are hoping that Missouri can succeed where South Dakota failed in 2006 and are proposing a ballot initiative that would outlaw abortion.
The proposal would require doctors to extensively review the medical literature on abortion and investigate each patient’s background and lifestyle. It would require doctors to certify that the abortion was better for the woman than a full-term pregnancy.
See, at first it just sounds like a horrid little law that will draw an arbitrary line between “good” and “bad” abortions. But it’s worse than that.
Peter Brownlie, president of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said Thursday that the proposal appears to interfere with the way doctors practice medicine and present information to their patients.
“It looks very clearly to be a ban on abortion, with the only exception being a threat to the life of the mother,” Brownlie said. “It’s a pretty extreme measure.”
The proposal is backed by the Elliot Institute, a group from Springfield, Ill., that has fought abortion rights and research on early stem cells.
The group, which filed the proposal Nov. 6, would have to gather a minimum of about 90,000 signatures to qualify for the ballot in November 2008.
The proposal, which is known as the “Prevention of Coerced and Unsafe Abortion Act,” would require the doctor to certify that an abortion was necessary to avert the woman’s imminent death or irreversible disability. Or the doctor would have to document that carrying the fetus to term would be more dangerous than the combination of nearly every conceivable risk associated with abortion.
Those risks include every “psychological, emotional, demographic or situational” risk that has been found associated with abortion in any study published in a peer-reviewed journal. Doctors would have to determine how every such risk applied to the patient and present the patient with an evaluation of every positive and negative determination.
Failure to do so would allow a woman who later regretted the abortion to sue the doctor and receive up to $10,000 for each risk the doctor failed to include in the determination. The woman would be allowed to sue for the wrongful death of her fetus and could bring suit up to two years “after the date the woman has recovered from any psychological complications” from the abortion.
The language reflects the viewpoint of the Elliot Institute, which endorses the idea that abortion causes long-term physical, psychological and emotional problems.
Its Web site features articles claiming abortion leads to infertility, bad parenting of future children and mental illness. Other articles are about women who regret the abortions they underwent after they were impregnated through rape and incest.
Yup. It’s yet another abortion ban bill that places all of the liability on abortion providers and portrays the women who have abortions as innocent, confused, coerced little girls. It puts on a happy “we care about women” face, while simultaneously every single word that comes out of the mouths of its supporters shows just how much they truly do hate women and the fact that they ever have the opportunity to make a single choice all on their own — especially if it’s a choice to not have a child, because every woman must want a baby, even if its father is her rapist. And if she doesn’t, well I guess that she just deserves the punishment for being such a flawed and failed female. Clearly, these people are impossible to reason with.
Of course, we can’t expect the Kansas City Star to point out the facts — that most women experience no significant physical or emotional trauma after abortion and the likelihood of postpartum depression after giving birth seems to be greater.
I would certainly like to believe that if the people of South Dakota have enough common sense to reject this kind of shit, then the people of Missouri will, too. But with other problems in Missouri regarding reproductive rights, I could be slightly more confident. Will they get the 90,000 signatures? It’s really not that many. And then, like it always does, it will become a competition of funds.
A presidential race, a Senate up for grabs, potential abortion ban bills on the ballot along with ballot measures to give Constitutional rights to fertilized eggs . . . 2008, I’m not sure that we’re ready for you, yet.