Photo by MontageMan
Leslee Unruh and her merry band of totalitarian terrorist masters are back with a new, and improved, plan intended to make pregnant women wards of the State. [Tormenting the people of South Dakota is just an added bonus.]
The comrades have collected nearly 50,000 signatures to place the Orwellian An Act to Protect the Lives of Unborn Children, and the Interests and Health of Pregnant Mothers, by Prohibiting Abortions Except in Cases Where the Mother’s Life or Health is at Risk, and in Cases of Rape and Incest (.pdf) initiative on the Nov. 4 South Dakota ballot.
As a rule, when a piece of legislation claims to "protect" your interests and health you need to promptly head for the hills and find a suitable cave to hang out in, secure in the knowledge that the intent of such a law is to inflict as much damage on you as a mob of your fellow citizens can get away with.
Exhibit A, the proposed South Dakota initiative and the 9 ways it "protects" the interests and health of pregnant women:
1) Creates a make–believe biology.
The initiative decrees fertilization as the start of a pregnancy and a fetus as being separate from his or her mother, as a matter of scientific and biological fact [uterine wall, placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic membranes be damned].
Of note, the initiative defines "pregnant" as having a living unborn child within the pregnant woman’s body, throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages of the unborn child from fertilization to full gestation and child birth, and "unborn child" (and "unborn human being") as an individual living member of the species homo sapiens throughout the entire embryonic and fetal ages from fertilization to full gestation and childbirth (emphasis mine).
This means that patients with a Fetal Demise In Utero or those with a blighted ovum or a molar pregnancy are not, in fact, pregnant. Heh, let's see these patients try to get an abortion, seeing how they're not even pregnant to begin with.
I mock but I shouldn't. Other than cases of rape or incest, this initiative only allows abortions for patients in danger of death or organ failure. Which means women who, say, miscarry but are not yet acutely hemorrhaging or those who are not fortunate enough to present with a ruptured ectopic will simply have to wait a bit until their condition destabilizes enough to put them in the "at death's door/danger of imminent organ failure" category. There's just nothing funny about debasing people in need of medical care!
Fortunately, the initiative actually prohibits abortions even for those patients on the brink of death or organ failure, so it's not like the stable patients have that much to complain about. More on that in a bit.
2) Bans all birth control.
Nothing in section 2 of this Act prohibits the prescription, sale, use, or administration of a contraceptive medicine, drug, substance or device, if prescribed, sold, used, or administered prior to the time when it could be determined that the woman is pregnant through conventional medical testing, and if the contraceptive measure is prescribed or sold in accordance with manufacturer instructions.
So, the use of birth control is allowed only if prescribed, sold, used, or administered prior to the time when it could be determined that the woman is pregnant through conventional medical testing. Since a determination of pregnancy can be made at any time in a woman's cycle, this effectively bans the use of birth control.
As an added bonus, the prescribed or sold in accordance with manufacturer instructions requirement bans the off-label use of birth control.
Let's hear it for birth control, the first class of drugs ever to be legislated out of use and off-label use simultaneously!
3) Enacts into law the basic Communist principle that [female] individuals must exist for the sake of the State.
This initiative is a veritable ode to the glory of collectivism and the power of the State. A few morsels.
It's a legitimate exercise of the state’s power to protect the life of all human beings within the state. Hear this future inhabitants of a totalitarian U.S. of A., having the State prohibit you from driving a car, or enlisting in the military, or having unprotected intercourse, or crossing the street without looking both ways is a legitimate exercise of the State's power.
The funny thing [in a demented way] is that, since having an abortion protects your life when compared to carrying a pregnancy to term, under this provision State-mandated forced abortions represent a legitimate exercise of State power. You know, just like in China. [I told you Leslee Unruh is a stinking closeted Communist.]
Then there's this:
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;
Really, there's an intrinsic, constitutionally protected right to have a relationship with your child? What happens if the kid doesn't want to have anything to do with you? Does the child get jail time or just a fine for violating your fundamental right?
Back to reality, some pregnant women's relationship with their pregnancy is negative and a termination, either therapeutic or elective, is an intrinsic part of that relationship. Other pregnant women are indifferent, while still others are happy to be pregnant and look forward to carrying the pregnancy to term. Also, a frequent reason why women who have children elect to abort is in order to better care for their existing children or because they've determined that their childbearing is completed. In other words, a pregnant woman's right to decide to terminate her pregnancy advances the well-being and welfare of her child/children. Not that any of this matters one bit, of course.
In Leslee Unruh and her masters' vision of Communist America, like in any good totalitarian society, it is the State's function to specify the exact type of relationship one citizen is permitted to have with another or, for that matter, with products of conception, and to dictate the exact nature of an individual's decisions in order to "protect" the individual from herself.
Finally, we have:
The state has a right and duty to protect the life of the unborn child, and to protect the life, health, and well-being of any pregnant woman within its jurisdiction, and it is therefore necessary to reasonably balance these interests to allow abortions only in certain circumstances which are set forth within this Act;
So, the STATE has rights (and its duty is to protect the wants and needs of all the citizens within its jurisdiction), but individual women, and for that matter products of conception, have interests. Well, no wonder then that, according to this initiative, the State has a right and duty not to allow women to come into contact with any males for the duration of pregnancy (.pdf), the right and duty to enforce the daily consumption of crackers and ginger ale, and the right and duty to mandate the wearing of comfy shoes.
4) Declares pregnant women incapable of consent and abortions significantly unsafe.
The text dealing with the ability of pregnant women to consent and with the safety of abortion is such an exquisite piece of propaganda it's worthy of worship. It simply removes reality/science as the basis for the practice of medicine (emphasis mine):
[S]ubmitting 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;
The reality that pregnant women are capable of consent isn't even considered; it's simply poofed out of existence. This removes one of the obstacles to making women wards of the State.
If pregnant women lack the ability to consent (because that's what you've decided you need in order to accomplish your goal), then you can justify having the State step in and making medical decisions for them. [Funny how this inability to consent only afflicts women who want to have an abortion, but never women who want to carry to term. Where's the State when you need it to step in and force a pregnant woman to abort since she's not capable of consenting to being submitted to the responsibility of parenthood?]
The other obstacle to making women wards of the State, the fact that having an abortion is very safe, safer than continuing the pregnancy, is simply lied out of the way.
If abortion is found [to] actually be dangerous to health of women, there is just cause for governments to regulate or prohibit abortion in order to protect their citizens. Since the exact opposite is true and abortion has been found not to be dangerous to the health of women, in order to justify having the State prohibit a safe and effective medical procedure you have to lie and legislate science out of the way.
5) Creates a privileged class of people under the law.
[A]ny person who knowingly performs any procedure upon a pregnant woman...with the intent of causing the termination of the life of an unborn human being, is guilty of performing an illegal abortion, which is a Class 4 felony.
Nothing in this Act subjects the pregnant woman upon whom any abortion is performed or attempted to any criminal conviction and penalty for an unlawful abortion.
This provision of the initiative seriously undermines our system of justice [you know, how you do when your goal is to bring Communism to the U.S.].
It creates a privileged class of citizens -- pregnant women who attempt to/perform an abortion upon themselves -- who, by virtue of the state of the lining of one of their internal organs, are not subject to any criminal conviction for performing an abortion. All others who perform an abortion are guilty of a Class 4 felony.
Hey, who needs lawyers or due process when a pregnant uterus is all that's needed to be immune from prosecution.
6) Requires government documentation and a DNA sample as preconditions to obtaining medical care.
The initiative forbids victims of rape or incest from obtaining proper medical care until, and unless, they've 1) filed a report with the authorities, a report that 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, and 2) consented to a forensic exam by their physician-cum-CSI-employee who's 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.
There's also a 20 wks EGA cut-off, 'cause as we all know, at the 20 wks mark, pregnancies as a result of rape and incest magically morph into pregnancies as a result of parthenogenesis.
The depravity of the nearly 50,000 people who have affixed their signature to this petition is stunning. Not satisfied with asking the State to only allow pregnant women to get proper medical care if, and only if, they've been assaulted or are at death's door, they go that extra step and scrape the bottom of the abyss.
If I could afford it I'd take some time off, go to South Dakota, contact each and every signatory and ask that they sign a petition forbidding victims of car accidents and muggings to get medical care without first obtaining proper documentation from the authorities and agreeing to inclusion in a governmental DNA database.
The good news is that the petition assures assault victims that no report of rape or incest made under this Act may provide the basis for any criminal prosecution against the woman making such a report and that [n]o woman making a report of incest who is eligible to obtain a legal abortion under...this Act may be prosecuted for the sexual conduct resulting in the pregnancy.
That is, of course, as long as the report is a good faith report (emphasis mine).
Who gets to define "good faith" and what criteria are used for the definition are left to the imagination. Because what better way to occupy your mind after you've been assaulted and you have to file a report with the authorities and submit to a forensic exam, just so that you can obtain medical care, than to ponder if your report will be deemed a "good faith" one by some nebulous authority using some unspecified criteria? [Ah, the exquisite joy of living in constant fear and uncertainty that can only be experienced to its fullest by living in a totalitarian state!]
7) Defines incest based on the victim's age.
Incest is defined as an act of sexual penetration...in which the woman was less than eighteen years of age at the time of sexual penetration. Now, it's possible that there's some legal principle that I'm not familiar with, but I don't see why a father having sex with his 18 yo, 20 yo, or even older daughter no longer constitutes incest. Is it something along the line of "if you're an adult it's assumed you've consented to the incest so obtaining permission to
8) Prohibits performing an abortion if the abortion will terminate the pregnancy.
Bwahahahahaha; sorry, I just had to get that out of my system.
The only way an abortion performed to avert the death of the pregnant woman or because there is a serious risk of a substantial and irreversible impairment of the functioning of a major bodily organ or system of the pregnant woman is allowed is if the physician make[s] reasonable medical efforts under the circumstances to preserve...the life of her unborn child in a manner consistent with accepted standards of medical practice.
Now those are some standards of medical practice I, for one, can hardly wait to peruse, which I plan to do as soon as they're legislated into existence: Techniques to Terminate a Pregnancy Without Actually, You Know, Terminating a Pregnancy.
Of note, no such requirement exists when an abortion is performed in cases of rape or incest. I guess when the practice of medicine is based on Teh Ick Factor, it turns out that some unborn children are just ickier than others.
9) Mandates submission of the patient's medical history to the Department of Health and makes her medical record available on demand.
'Cause being on the brink of death or being assaulted is just not enough. Once you have an abortion the State and the Leslee Unruh comrade troops just need to keep an eye on you to insure that 1) they can use your medical history at their discretion, and 2) you don't make a habit out of bringing yourself to the brink of death or subjecting yourself to rape.
So there you have it. If legislation allowing only those at death's door to get medical care, banning birth control, requiring a police report and a DNA sample as prerequisites to access medical care, and forbidding an abortion if the abortion terminates the pregnancy isn't meant to PROTECT the interests and health of pregnant women I don't know what is.