activism, politics

Abortion Laws and Dishonesty

So conservative strategies in this country are pretty basically deceptive.

Eclectablog and RH Reality Check cover the way that Republicans in Michigan are trying to pass multiple laws to try to reduce and fight abortion… But not in any way that anyone could view as being honest or direct.

One of the laws restricts doctors from providing abortions to a nineteen-week-or-older fetus (so basically just BARELY pass the three month or first trimester mark, I imagine to try to get around the original ruling in Roe v. Wade) except in a hospital with a dedicated neonatal unit. Now, I looked on scholarly databases and online, and I’ve found no evidence that there’s any kind of health crisis or serious risk to patients from performing abortions at any clinic. There is evidence that illicit abortions can cost lives, something Republicans have never given a damn about, but certainly not any evidence that, in a developed country, you have to have an abortion in a neonatal unit.

So what’s the point?

Consider it in the context of another bill Michigan ultraconservatives want to ram through, HB 4145. That bill basically prevents “State funds or contracts” from being given to “entities” that do something as basic as refer a woman to an abortion provider for an elective abortion.

Read: They’re trying to kill Planned Parenthood.

Making women have to go into a hospital, where people might see them, in order to have a procedure they have the legal right to have is another attempt at reducing access. In some rural areas, there are no hospitals with a neonatal unit. The claimed reason for the whole neonatal unit thing is part of a law that tries to protect fetuses “born alive”. Let’s be clear: There’s no evidence that that’s happening, at all. Sure, I imagine there’s some edge cases, but there is just zero evidence that it’s a national crisis or even any kind of frequent phenomenon. I’ve certainly found no confirmed instances of it happening.

As Eclectablog points out, Planned Parenthood’s abortion referral services are not only entirely legal and are a means for a woman to be granted access to a procedure that they legally have but are also basically a tiny portion of what Planned Parenthood does. Planned Parenthood may not have the nicest origins, but what the organization does now is, well, help people plan for parenthood. That means contraception information and help, Pap tests, breast exams, and information for prospective parents.

I don’t care what someone thinks about the ethics or even the politics of abortion. It’s an acceptable argument to make that a fetus should be treated as a life. It’s even potentially acceptable, though it’s rarely an argument made with any consideration of the actual implications, to say that that life deserves protection that could arguably trump the choices of a mother to control her own body.

Of course, we have to be honest about what that means: It’s preventing someone from removing, and I know this is hard to hear but it’s utterly true, an organism inside a person that they do not want that causes serious medical problems, which is what we call “a parasite”.

Yes, an unwanted fetus is a parasite. It doesn’t matter that it has the ability to grow into a human being, as miraculous and amazing as that is. Just like someone has no right to set up shop inside your house without your consent, no matter how serious their need, no organism has the right to be inside another organism’s body, no matter how serious the need. And notice that that’s true of a full-grown adult, with all the sanctity of a human life. But I am assuming a right of bodily self-control that, while I think any civil libertarian would have to concur should be protected, is not one that is universally agreed upon.

It doesn’t matter what we think about any of this because this is just deceptive politics. It’s dishonest and it hurts women.

Republicans: Just try to get a Constitutional amendment to ban abortion. If you can’t do that, then stop trying to cheat.


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