Zombie SD Abortion Ban Done with Legislators, Moving on to Citizens’ Brains

Dear Leslee Unruh,

Why, exactly, do you hate women so much? What did a vagina, yours or someone else’s, ever do to you? Did your uterus really piss you off at some point? Did some lady give you a nasty look as a child? What is it about the XX chromosome that makes you want to punish as many human beings carrying it around as you possibly can?

No, really, I have to know. What is it about yourself and the rest of us that makes you spend your every waking moment, every single breath you get on this earth, trying to make sure that people with similar biological makeup live a miserable, oppressed, torturous existence?

What is it? And once you figure it out, please get yourself some fucking therapy and leave the rest of us alone.

I’ve written about the zombie South Dakota abortion ban before. For those of you out there who think that maybe, just maybe, Leslee Unruh actually does think that she’s doing something good, that she really is stupid enough to believe that making the autonomous decision to have an abortion is more damaging to a woman than forcing her to give birth to an infant she does not want or cannot afford, for those of you who think that she’s just a woman ridiculous enough to think that an embryo deserves more rights than the born human being carrying it, and really she just loves embryo-babies so much that she can’t control herself . . . you’re wrong. This woman hates women. I don’t know how she feels about babies. I have an inkling that she couldn’t give a shit less about them, but maybe she loves them and even intends to start adopting them from the orphanages she sees as a fair “compromise” on abortion for everyone involved. It doesn’t matter. Because the fact remains that she hates women, and so does her ilk.

How do I know that? Because I’ve read the text of the new abortion ban legislation she’s gleefully shoving on the South Dakota ballot this November (pdf).

This time, the lovely abortion ban that was resoundingly rejected by voters in 2006, includes an exception for health, rape and incest. Here is what must happen to satisfy the rape exception (emphasis mine):

(1) Advise the woman that a report of the rape or incest must be made, and prior to performing the abortion shall report the rape or incest immediately by telephone or otherwise to the state’s attorney or law enforcement of the county in which the rape or incest occurred, or, if the location is unknown, to the state’s attorney or law enforcement of the county in which the report is made to the physician. The report shall include the name, address, and date of birth of the woman, and, to the best of the woman’s ability, the date or dates of the reported rape or incest, the location where it occurred, and either the name and address of the perpetrator, if known, or, if not known, a description of the perpetrator and, in the case of incest, a description of the relationship between the pregnant woman and the perpetrator;

(2) Obtain the woman’s consent to collect a buccal or other biological sample from the woman, and a tissue sample from the remains of the embryo or fetus, each sufficient to perform forensic DNA analysis. The physician shall collect, secure, clearly label, and refrigerate the samples, and within twenty-four hours arrange with law enforcement to transfer custody of the samples;

(3) Provide the woman with the phone numbers and addresses of counseling services qualified in counseling victims of rape and incest in the area of her residence and also in the area in which the procedure is performed;

(4) Document all the actions taken pursuant to this section and maintain copies of all the documents and consents as part of the woman’s permanent medical records.

Read it carefully. Let it sink in. And then try to tell yourself that anyone who does not hate women could have possibly written it, or could read and fully understand it only to show it profuse support. If you are able to delude yourself that badly, you may need some medical help. If not, it might just depress you enough to seek out a psychiatrist’s couch anyway.

This is some evil shit. I can’t even think of a word other than “evil” that is apt. In order to qualify for a rape exception, a woman must file a police report. (Because otherwise every woman who wanted an abortion would be told quietly by the doctor to say that she was raped, and this is why abortion bans with rape exceptions are not only ideologically unsound on every level by also completely unworkable in the real world.) A police report that includes all of her personal information, the personal information of her rapist, and that will be forever kept in her permanent medical records. If the abortion ban passes, a woman in South Dakota would have to report her rape to the police in order to receive a specific form of after-rape medical care.

Because fuck women who do not want to file a police report. Fuck women who, for whatever understandable reason, don’t want “my dad raped me” to jump off the page at every doctor she has for the rest of her life. Fuck women who have already made up their minds to not report, have had several weeks or months of distance only to find out that things can indeed get worse, and don’t want to be subjected to even more torture. Fuck women who fear violent retaliation. Fuck the fact that no person should ever be required to talk to police before receiving medical care, or give a DNA sample for a routine medical procedure, and I’m that pretty sure this is some kind of violation of human rights. Fuck all of that. The “pro-lifers” behind this shit can pretend to feel “compassionate” towards the rape victims — after proving with their first attempt at this legislation that they actually don’t — but not so much that they’re willing to risk letting through one of those irresponsible sluts who had consensual S-E-X and is utterly desperate to have an abortion without traveling out of state or puncturing her uterus.

Disgusting. Appalling. Vile. Terrifying. Inexcusable.

But you know what? I’m sticking with evil.

Here’s the framing you’ll actually hear in the media, though: what the people behind this bill want is to prevent female suffering. See:

(3) That submitting to an abortion subjects the pregnant woman to significant psychological and physical health risks, and that in the majority of cases there is neither the typical physician-patient relationship nor sufficient counseling between a pregnant woman contemplating submitting to an abortion and the physician who performs the abortion;
(4) That a pregnant woman possesses certain intrinsic rights which enjoy affirmative protection under the Constitution of the United States, and under the Constitution and laws of the State of South Dakota, and that among these rights are the fundamental right of the pregnant woman to her relationship with her child, and her fundamental right to make decisions that advance the well-being and welfare of her child;

I’ll let you pick apart the mind-numbing irony of (4) on your own, I just couldn’t resist including it. I’m interested in (3). The “abortion hurts women” crap.

Clearly, the last thing that the “raped women can only abort their rapist’s fetus once they grovel in front of me and beg forgiveness over having been born with a working female reproductive system in a misogynist world” crowd would want is for women to feel emotional stress. The suffering of women would also be the last desires of the “women should die of perforated uteruses if they want to control their own bodies” crowd and the “so what if she kills herself, I guess she should have kept her legs shut” crowd. They don’t want women to suffer. Now it makes sense.

I don’t know what offends me more: that anti-choicers expect people to believe they care about women, or that people apparently actually do believe that anti-choicers care about women.

I wrote another post today on this same exact subject that is more polite and coherent (I know, it’s weird huh?) over at the Planned Parenthood Rochester/Syracuse blog Sex. Justice. Change. Check that out for the rational, fuck-free version of my thoughts.

0 thoughts on “Zombie SD Abortion Ban Done with Legislators, Moving on to Citizens’ Brains

  1. Jackie

    Thank you. That is the best post I have read (on any pro-women blog) about the vile nature of the anti-choice crowd. We need to frame discussion with anti-choices with your logic in order to win this argument. America is a really, really scary country.

    Reply
  2. patrick

    Who wants the polite and reasoned post. Cheers Cara, give em’ hell! Thanks for help keeping the world up to date on the evil shit the fundies and Cons are up to.

    Reply
  3. Feminist Avatar

    You know what get’s me is if this was really about the rights of a baby, there could be no exception for rape or incest. You couldn’t justify (what you believe to be) murder because of what somebody else (the father) had done. This can only be about controlling women.

    Reply
  4. Thealogian

    The sad thing is that the clause that demands the reporting of a rape could easily become the cable news talking point of the Bill. Something like, “In today’s You Decide Poll: Do you think that all rapes should be mandated to be reported?” Then, not only is the onus on women in terms of (as you aptly characterized it: beg men for forgiveness for being born with working reproductive organs) to get abortion related medical services, but then if they failed to report the rape “in time” they could face further blame, either by being denied abortion rights or being fined/jailed for not reporting a crime. That could totally happen in this Gilead of the Pro-Life establishment’s wet dreams.

    Oh, and to answer your question as to why Unruh hates women so much? Because if she hates us enough, she will become an honorary man and profit financially/in matters of Republiscum esteem plus she’ll get to go to Heaven and continue to please the Patriarchy ad infinitum.

    Reply
  5. Kristen

    “Fuck women who have already made up their minds to not report, have had several weeks or months of distance only to find out that things can indeed get worse, and don’t want to be subjected to even more torture.”

    This is the part that just rips my guts out on a personal level. Of the more than 10 women who I was close enough to that I knew that they had been raped, only two reported. (I’ve told the story before of what happened to one of them.) So many people don’t understand how traumatic rape is and how the victim may not be thinking rationally (although, I’d argue that not reporting can be a rational decision).

    My own dear husband, who is as progressive a man as I have ever met, didn’t understand this either when we first met. He thought the natural reaction would be anger and couldn’t understand why women didn’t immediately go to the police, didn’t try to prevent this from happening to someone else. My first reaction was to bludgeon him into submission – intellectually of course, but with particularly stubborn men that doesn’t quite work.

    So, the next day I took him with me to a rape crisis center a friend of mine ran. I didn’t say a word, didn’t frame it, didn’t intellectualize it…just told him to hand out drinks and check on supplies. After dinner that night, he just sort of sat there for a while smoking and said that he was wrong (minor miracle).

    The experience made me wonder how different the world might be if everyone had to spend a day working in a homeless shelter, a rape crisis center, a domestic violence center, etc.

    If you see these women (and some men), hear their pain, listen to their story…how can you possibly envision something to cause them more pain and more suffering?

    Oh, yeah, I forgot…like you said…evil.

    Reply
  6. Ladylike

    Not that it would ever change the minds of anti-choicers, since they don’t actually care if the ‘information’ they spread has any factual basis, but I’d really like to hear what they would say to a woman like me, whose abortion was about as psychologically and physically harmful as breathing, and in fact relieved serious medical problems caused by the pregnancy (being so sick I lost 10 pounds in 8 days, being so physically weak that I couldn’t stand up for more than 5 minutes and not being able to ingest anything aside from Pedilyte -not even water- and that doesn’t even include the psychological harm of being so sick).

    Evil barely begins to describe these people.

    Reply
  7. Kristen

    Ladylike,

    IME they would probably say that it was “God’s will” or some asinine shit like that. To which I would respond…then god is an evil, sadistic bastard.

    I’m very sorry you were so sick and I hope (*fingers crossed*) your suffering wasn’t compounded by stupid people or regulations interfering with your decision.

    Reply
  8. Ladylike

    Luckily I live in Canada, so my abortion was actually covered by our healthcare system. I also had support from friends and my boyfriend, and a job that let me take over two weeks off while sick.

    The only part of the entire experience that was bad at all was the pregnancy itself.

    Reply
  9. konstanze

    That submitting to an abortion subjects the pregnant woman to significant psychological and physical health risks

    This pisses me off every time I see it. It’s so infantilizing–can you imagine men having to go through this spiel for any surgery?

    Reply
  10. Trina

    I found that line quoted above most interesting, the notion of a woman “submitting” to an abortion. My Webster’s defines “submit” as 1) to commit to the discretion or decision of another or others; 2) yield, surrender. Just another oh-so-subtle reminder that the anti-choicers think women have no say in what happens to them, whether they’re being “forced” to have an abortion or forced to not have one.

    Reply
  11. Robert

    “Swearing is the language of the ignorant.” It seems like you live this out. What is so wrong with the bill. You attack people that are pro-life and you think you are the only right opinion. Why? This is the United States and you probably think that everyone should have the right to choose whichever way they want but you attack people for having a pro-life opinion. That is the problem with Democrats and the whole pro-choice side, you think you are the only opinion.
    Unborn infants are people because they have heart beat. Why do we say that it is murder to kill a born person who has a similar heart beat to that of the unborn yet you say it’s ok to kill an unborn baby? You all need to check your ethics.

    I know you’ll probably have a f*** this f*** that response to this but just think about how right you make me sound when you do that.

    Reply
  12. Cara Post author

    Hey folks, did you know that I have an opinion and that I think that my opinion is the only right opinion? Also, I think that my opinion is the right opinion and every other opinion is the wrong opinion and that my opinion is right. Just in case Robert wasn’t clear enough.

    I don’t say it’s murder to kill a born person because of their heartbeat, I say that it’s wrong to kill a person because they 1. have cognitive brain function 2. can live on their own and 3. if they do need outside support for life, it does not impose upon anyone else’s physical human rights. If the only way for born people to live was to hook them up to other people and have them share nutrients, choices regarding exercise, food, alcohol or drugs, etc., I’d say that every person who is a candidate for acting as a life support should be allowed to choose whether or not they want to take on that role. Including you.

    Of course, if you read the post, you’d know what I think what is “so wrong” with the bill. But instead the word “fuck” just made you clutch your pearls so automatically that your reading comprehension was effected. Maybe you should try to tune the word out and read it again? Or just not comment on things that you can’t even bother to read?

    But you clearly don’t even comprehend that if my imposing my opinion on everyone — which I’m not, since I’ve never forced nor ever advocated forcing a woman to get an abortion, and the idea frankly makes me ill — is wrong, that you imposing your opinion on everyone else with a law is even more wrong. What with it being a lot harder to ignore a law than to ignore my opinion. So I don’t exactly have high hopes for you.

    Reply
  13. Robert

    “I say that it’s wrong to kill a person because they 1. have cognitive brain function 2. can live on their own and 3. if they do need outside support for life”
    Poor Cara. The above is quoted from your response to my post. Many people in antiquity would agree with your opinion about it being ok to kill people without cognitive brain function, who cannot live on their own and who need life support to live, but their last names were Hitler and Hussein. Or did you not realize what you were saying? What about the mentally retarded? Since you say it is only wrong to kill, “…a person because they 1. have cognitive brain function 2. can live on their own and 3. if they do need outside support for life.” you must think it is ok to kill the mentally retarded?
    If you say it is ok then you put yourself right there with Adolf but if you do not, you must also consider that killing unborn babies is wrong too.

    Just a question: Do you even live in SD? If so, then keep on muttering your opinion all you want but if not, stay away from talking about our laws. I’m sick of people from outside SD trying to influence those of us who live there. It is our law and our choice.

    Reply
  14. Cara Post author

    Gee Robert, thanks for selectively quoting what I said and leaving off the very important part that came afterwards: “3. if they do need outside support for life, it does not impose upon anyone else’s physical human rights. If the only way for born people to live was to hook them up to other people and have them share nutrients, choices regarding exercise, food, alcohol or drugs, etc., I’d say that every person who is a candidate for acting as a life support should be allowed to choose whether or not they want to take on that role. Including you.” Notice how #2 and #3 are the exact same fucking thing unless you provide the rest? Furthermore dumbass, those with mental disability to have cognitive brain function. Cognitive brain function refers to the ability to know, reason and understand. Failing to know, reason and understand in the same way that you do or at the same level that you does not erase their ability to know, reason and understand. Oh, and I never said that a person had to meet all three characteristics; my point was that until the very latest stages of pregnancy, a fetus fails to meet any of them.

    Clearly, though, you’re only here to slander. If you want to pull out Godwin’s Law and make yourself look like a moron, be my guest. But don’t be surprised when we only ignore and laugh at you.

    p.s. I know that for you, it’s really hard to care about anyone not living in your own backyard (and if that person is female, even then), but some of us do actually care about people who aren’t sitting right in front of us, including even those who are in South Dakota. Though I do find your decision to use the word “choice” in a way that seems entirely devoid of irony to be absolutely hilarious.

    Reply
  15. Robert

    Name calling? That’s real mature. You did sound like a Nazi, you can quote Godwin’s Law if you want to, but you did sound like one. I realize that you weren’t saying that a candidate had to meet all three.
    This will be my last post on here, which you should be happy about, because you can just have comments from people that agree with you. I just thought a different point of view would do you some good but it is obvious that you would rather stay close-minded and go on thinking of an unborn child as just another thing to get rid of rather than an actual human being.

    I hope that you don’t fall back on name calling in all your arguments, it makes you seem quite unintelligent.

    Reply
  16. Cara Post author

    Right, you compare me twice to Hitler, once to Saddam Hussein, say that I promote murder and that I think it’s okay to kill those with disabilities. Clearly, I’m the one who shut down discussion by calling you a dumbass after you had done all of those things. Poor baby. *rolls eyes*

    Reply
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