There are far too many US politicians - on both sides of the aisle - who despise equality, hate women, and have no shame in pushing legislation that would sound right at home in any of the world's worst dictatorships. Here are what two of them are doing.
Georgia Representative Bobby Franklin wants abortion classified as murder (of course), but he also wants to force the police to investigate all "miscarriages" (the antiquated term for a spontaneous abortion) to make sure that they were indeed spontaneous. From Daily Kos:
Franklin wants to create a Uterus Police to investigate miscarriages, and requires that any time a miscarriage occurs, whether in a hospital or without medical assistance, it must be reported and a fetal death certificate issued. If the cause of death is unknown, it must be investigated. If the woman can't tell how it happened, than those Uterus Police can ask family members and friends how it happened. Hospitals are required to keep records of anyone who has a spontaneous abortion and report it. ... Needless to say, there are no exceptions allowed. Not for rape victims. Not for incest victims. Not to save the life and health of the mother ...(I first saw this at Care2.)
Two weeks ago, it was reported that Franklin has filed a bill that would remove the term "victim" from rape, stalking, and domestic violence cases and replace it with "accuser". A post at Creative Loafing notes that Franklin once actually
conjured the phrase "My body, My choice" while discussing a piece of legislation he introduced that would prevent the government from making vaccinations compulsory in the event of a pandemic. Irony at its worst.Franklin is also not keen on having homosexuals in the military:
The Bible says it's a capital offense. You want someone with unrepentant criminal behavior? And it's not just that, neither should adulterers, neither should thieves, neither should a lot of things.Well, I actually agree with this. Let's have the US military conduct a rigorous weeding out of its troops by strictly applying the 10 Commandments.
Have you ever said "goddamn it"? Out! Have you ever worked on Sunday? Out! Did you ever disobey your parents? Out! Have you ever stolen anything, ever? Out! Have you ever looked at anyone else in the world who was not your wife/husband and had a sexual thought? Out! Have you ever wished you had the same cool gadget as that guy over there? Out! And even if you somehow passed the test and were sent off to fight in a war, as soon as you killed one person ... Out!
Get 'er done, Congress!
Mother Jones reports that the South Dakota GOP-dominated House of Representatives will soon vote on House Bill 1171, which is sponsored by Representative Phil Jensen. The bill would
expand the definition of "justifiable homicide" to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus - a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. ...The bill has already passed out of committee on a 9-3 party-line vote.
[The bill seeks to alter] the state's legal definition of justifiable homicide by adding language stating that a homicide is permissible if committed by a person "while resisting an attempt to harm" that person's unborn child or the unborn child of that person's spouse, partner, parent, or child. If the bill passes, it could in theory allow a woman's father, mother, son, daughter, or husband to kill anyone who tried to provide that woman an abortion - even if she wanted one.
Sara Rosenbaum, a law professor at George Washington University: "It takes my breath away. Constitutionally, a state cannot make it a crime to perform a constitutionally lawful act."
The magazine continues:
South Dakota already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, and one of the lowest abortion rates. Since 1994, there have been no providers in the state. Planned Parenthood flies a doctor in from out-of-state once a week to see patients at a Sioux Falls clinic. Women from the more remote parts of the large, rural state drive up to six hours to reach this lone clinic. And under state law women are then required to receive counseling and wait 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. [There are ongoing attempts to increase this to 72 hours. - ed.]But, remember: the procedure is still legal -- even though the state has not had anyone able to perform the procedure practicing in the state in almost 20 years. (Also, see this Common Dreams article from 2005.)
Before performing an abortion, a South Dakota doctor must offer the woman the opportunity to view a sonogram. And under a law passed in 2005, doctors are required to read a script meant to discourage women from proceeding with the abortion: "The abortion will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." Until recently, doctors also had to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she had "an existing relationship with that unborn human being" that was protected under the Constitution and state law and that abortion poses a "known medical risk" and "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide." In August 2009, a US District Court Judge threw out those portions of the script, finding them "untruthful and misleading." The state has appealed the decision.
An update to the story states that Jensen is considering adding specific protections for abortion providers to the bill. "There's no way in the world that I or any other representatives wish to see abortion doctors murdered," Jensen told the Washington Post.
Oh, my goodness gracious, no.
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