18 Jun 2010

Whilst I'm sure most Americans are intelligent, right-thinking people...

...the mind simply boggles at the actions of US law-makers. The latest piece of jaw-droppingly misogynistic legislation hails from Louisiana, where it has recently become part of state law that women seeking an abortion must undergo an ultrasound scan first. Even more depressingly, perhaps, than the nakedly woman-hating law itself, is the fact it was brought in by a female senator - a Democrat as well! - who claimed the law 'empowered women'. And even worse than that, the bill passed with absolutely zero opposition from the 78 other members of the state house.

Words. Fail. Me.

If I were a woman living in Louisiana right now, I'd be packing my bags and heading for the border, as I don't think the state can make it any clearer just how much contempt it has for women and their autonomy. Never mind that the sheer cost of an ultrasound, thanks to the American health 'system', will put abortion out of the reach of many low-income women. Never mind the nauseating implication that if a woman realises that what she's aborting 'looks like a baby', she'll suddenly start cooing and decided she couldn't possibly murder that cute prawn-shaped thing on the screen. What is most despicable about this piece of legislation is its total undermining of a woman's right to choose, its attempt to put conditions on a medical procedure which SHOULD and MUST be available on demand and without apology, if we can ever claim that women are truly treated equally in society.

My painfully right-wing uncle started spouting off recently about how 'the measure of a civilised society is how it treats its most weak and vulnerable members, and you can't get any more vulnerable than the unborn foetus'. He didn't seem to consider the vulnerability of the 9 year old raped by a family member (a true case which occurred in Brazil), or any other woman carrying an unwanted pregnancy, for that matter. Much like the ultrasound process, which neatly removes the mother from the pregnancy scenario and makes it all about the 'baby' (NOTE quote marks - to me, it's a zygote, embryo or foetus, NOT a baby), my uncle seemed to have entirely forgotten that the unborn are housed within a WOMAN. A person. A living, breathing, already-existing full human being. It always seems very easy for a man to be pro-life, doesn't it? I wonder how pro-life my uncle would be if laws suddenly started telling him he couldn't have his cancerous liver removed, 'because it's a living organism'. An early-stage pregnancy is probably technically less of a developed organism than a liver, so that seems a fair comparison to me. Something tells me he wouldn't stand for it. But telling women they've got to endure a pregnancy because they're less important than a clump of cells? No probs, because it's all about the ickle ba-ba at the end of the day.

At least some commentators on the Louisiana legislation got right to the point:

"One sentence into this article, and i am already filled with rage.
Hey, darlin'! i know your daddy raped you, but are you SUUUURE you don't wanna have his baby? You'll go to Hell if you don't! Think about it, and let us know!"

"Pregnant women aren't mothers. They're pregnant women."

"Let's be plain. This is NOT a bill that "empowers" women. No one is dumb enough to believe that. This is a bill that presumes women are too frail and stupid to have realized what they are about to participate in."

"Jeez...why don't they also require the woman to frame the ultrasound picture and hang it over her fireplace..."

Refreshingly, the majority of comments were in this vein and socked it to the occasional (all male, from what I could see) pro-lifer who put their two-bibles' worth in. If so many American men and women can see this legislation for the vile piece of woman-hating it is, why can't US state government do the same?

1 comment:

Alex said...

Abortion should be mandatory.
All members of the public should be taking contraceptives - women on the implant, and men on the new man pill.
If you want to reproduce, you need to work hard to get a licence - in the same way as you need a licence to look after rare animals. You need to prove you can afford it, want the child in the first place and also attend parenting lessons.
Either that, or a two child policy should be enforced. There are far too many people. STOP HAVING KIDS YOU FUCKERS!

Lots of love,

Alex