…That’s the strategy of many state-based anti-choice advocates when it comes to undermining Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Conn., and women’s reproductive rights all together. Waiting periods, very biased so-called “counseling” sessions, parental consent/notification, physicians being legally forced to tell false information to their patients about abortion and other reproductive health issues, and bullshit ‘women’s right to know’ bills–assuming that women are too stupid to research information on abortion and their reproductive health all on their own, and they need big strong anti-choice male politicians to do it for them. And the list of restrictions goes on.
But these advocates also insist that state lawmakers “protect” pharmacists who get their jollies from imposing their anti-women-having-sex-for-pleasure-rather-than-babymaking-dogma on women, seeking to have their contraception prescriptions re-filled. Then there’s abstinence-only “education“–we already know about that. So what’s the point of Roe v. Wade and Griswold v. Conn. if fanatical anti-choice ideologues and their allies in political office will just pass laws undermining them all willy-nilly? (well I know the point of Roe and Griswold and we still them to be upheld by the courts, but I’m just being sarcastic and rhetorical)
This article from Planned Parenthood details the toll all of these anti-choice legislations and tactics have taken on women’s reproductive rights, and it even reminds us the tenuousness of women’s reproductive freedom in this country. Also remembering that in other countries such as in Africa and South America, some women there practically have almost zero reproductive rights, or control over their reproductive destinies. But that certainly does not mean that American women should just ‘shut-up, take it, and be thankful,’ though others would say and think to the contrary. Yes, “thankful” that our reproductive freedom hangs in the balance with a few votes, vague and easily misconstrued words in the Constitution, and a male-dominated government.
[…]It was then, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, that the Supreme Court ruled that individual state governments could pass laws that restricted abortions within state boundaries. Abortions would still be legal, but states now had a significant say in the circumstances under which they could be performed.
In recent years, laws requiring mandatory delay periods before an abortion may be performed, coupled with biased, scripted anti-choice “counseling” sessions, have proven especially popular among anti-choice state lawmakers. Such laws, which prohibit women from obtaining abortions until after they’ve listened to a state-mandated lecture and waited anywhere from one to three days, are currently in effect in about half the states.
Increasing Costs and Risks
Pennsylvania is just one of several states where these laws are currently in effect. Because more than 80 percent of counties offer no abortion services at all, most women must travel a significant distance just to reach a provider.
Upon arrival, women must listen to a lecture that includes information about potential medical-assistance benefits for birthing and neonatal care, agencies offering alternatives to abortion, and state-prepared materials graphically describing the “unborn child” and outlining the “possible detrimental psychological effects of abortion.”
After the lecture, women are forced to wait at least 24 hours before they can get an abortion. If the clinic has room in its schedule, the woman may finally receive an abortion when the 24-hour waiting period is up.[…]
A Private Matter
[…]”These laws are insulting to women,” says PPSP’s Steinberg. “They assume that women haven’t thought about what they want to do with their pregnancy until they walk into the clinic, when most women have been thinking about it since after they missed their period, or longer.”
Bill Crowden, associate director of Planned Parenthood of Waco/Central Texas. “These women don’t decide to have an abortion overnight,” says Crowden. “They’ve thought about it, and by the time they come to us they tend to know what they want. The law makes things complicated and inconvenient. But it’s not changing any minds.”
State governments continue to consider and pass mandatory delay and counseling laws at an alarming rate. In 2004, 25 states considered 130 such measures. Among the measures calling for counseling sessions, 30 included recommendations that health care providers warn women of a potential link between abortion and breast cancer … a link rejected by mainstream medical authorities.
On June 28, 2005, the Rhode Island State Senate approved by a vote of 27-9 the so-called “Women’s Right to Know Act,” which imposes a 24-hour mandatory delay between the time a woman is presented with abortion-related information and the time an abortion may be performed. A proposed amendment to the bill, providing an exception to the 24-hour delay in cases of rape or incest, was rejected.
A Small Victory
Better news comes from South Dakota, where on June 30 a federal district court preliminarily enjoined a law … before it took effect … that would have required doctors to provide women with medically inaccurate information prior to receiving an abortion. Among other false, misleading, and blatantly anti-choice information, the law would have compelled doctors … in violation of their First Amendment rights … to tell women that abortion increases the risk of suicide.
Of course, victories like this are scarce when it comes to biased counseling and mandatory delay laws. But that doesn’t diminish the resolve of providers to expand access to reproductive health services … in fact, it only strengthens it.
And we know that Roberts will be confirmed but everyone is speculating as to exactly how many Dems will vote for him, and what will be the split (if any–I doubt there will be a split, sigh). Then we get another anti-choice nominee from Bush–joy, it just never ends. As for the Roberts hearings for today, he claimed that nothing in his past record and opinions as a judge suggests that he is an ideologue. Well when edited enough before going in front of the committee of course they’re not. And when asked about them, you can just spin them any way you damn well please or refuse to answer for them all together. As already mentioned it’s called the ‘Judicial Fifth’, and he and any judicial nominee has a right to invoke it.
**UPDATE!**: NARAL Pro-Choice America’s release for Day Four of the Roberts hearings.
I sat in on hearing in Massachusetts for a “Women’s Right To Know” bill. It was later sent off to study, which means for the time being, it’s dead. The usual fundies spoke in favor of the bill. A few women who had abortions 20 or so years ago also spoke about how they think the abortion ruined their lives. One woman blamed the downfall of her marriage on her abortion. These women were already in troubled marriages and relationships, and they couldn’t see that it was their partner’s alcoholism and other problems that lead to the relationships breaking up. If those women would have had their babies, things probably would have just been worse for them. The anti-choice crowd fed their shame and convinced them to speak out in support of the bill. I don’t know what’s worse – attempting to pass bills like these that harm women, or using women for political means.
NARAL makes much of Roberts’ refusal to directly answer whether or not he’d vote to uphold or strike down Roe vs. Wade. Have any nominees directly answered that question since the Supremes made that decision?
When you get right down to it, Roe vs. Wade was based on a pretty sketchy interpretation of the Constitution. What the Supremes do, they can undo. If abortion-rights supporters want a guarantee of continued access to abortion, they need to get a constitutional amendment passed to that effect.
I have to laugh at the whole concept of a “right to privacy”, anyway. Think about what happens to your personal information that you’ve given to Company A so they can serve you that they turn right around and sell to Company B. Consider that if you use a wireless phone at home, anyone can sit outside your house, find your channel and listen to your conversation quite legally, because you have no presumption of privacy in such a case? Nowhere else that I know of is a right to privacy assumed absent a specific law granting it in a certain circumstance.
The right to buy, possess and use birth control comes immediately to mind.
The right to make medical decisions as well.
But hey, we’re just things that hold wombs and don’t count.
Amp and Sheelzebub, I don’t understand your responses. There are specific laws granting privacy in medical matters. For which I thank God, but wait until DNA testing can start to reveal conditions you are predisposed to and the insurance companies want to see them. Ah, but I digress. What I’m talking about here is situations where there is no right to privacy explicitly granted by law, such as was the case prior to Roe vs. Wade in the various states that forbade abortion or restricted it. In those cases, neither those states nor Federal law recognized any right to privacy that included the decision and action of having an abortion until the Supremes said it did.
What I’m talking about is that given a situation where there is no such law explicitly granting a right to privacy (such as the two I pointed out in my previous post), the courts tend to decide that you have NO right to privacy, even though the Supremes seem to think that there is such a right enshrined in the Constitution. If the Constitution truly has the right to privacy written in it, why isn’t it generally applicable?
I’ll let Sheelzebub defend her point. My point was that the right to use birth control is a right of privacy that the Supreme Court has found exists, even lacking specific laws saying so. What don’t you understand about that?
Amp, I was unaware that the Supreme Court had so held. Was this in the absence of affirmative law (or in the presence of law that denied such a right)?
I certainly believe that there should be a right to privacy. What I question (and I have not read Roe vs. Wade, I have only seen analyses of it from the usual advocacy groups on both sides) is whether or not that’s explictly in the Constitution, and if not whether the Supremes exceeded their authority in saying it does. And I see that there are various instances where I would presume that I have a right to privacy, but that I don’t according to how the law is currently being interpreted. I’m wondering why the right exists in some instances and not in others. I’m wondering why, if this is a civil right, the right to privacy hasn’t been extended to all such cases by the Supremes.
And finally, I wonder whether the right for one or two people to privacy gives them control when there is a potentially 3rd person involved. I realize that opens up the entire topic of abortion rights, and I don’t want to get into that here. My point is that the concept of a “right to privacy” seems to be quite shaky from the viewpoint of how unevenly I observe it to be applied, and that shakiness seems to be a point from which abortion rights opponents might successfully lead an attack on it at the level of the SCOTUS.
The right to privacy exists. It does not mean what the S.C. believes it to.
Fetuses have a right to privacy. To violate this right is a fatal assault.
As for Griswold, listen: People who want to avoid unintended pregnancies are as likely to be male as female. People who want a pregnancy not wished by their partner are as likely to be female as male. People who believe that they were put on this earth to pop out infants are as likely to be very poor as very wealthy. People who believe that the rights of women depend on the jurisprudence of private plastic instruments may find the point much more difficult to defend than in 1964, when the equality of women was more in question generally.
Imagine a society where men and women have equal rights and fifteen kids. Which is more important? Go ask your mom and dad.
Don’t be an ass. To the degree that it lives, it lives inside a woman. It cannot live without a living woman. Are you arguing that fetuses appear to spontaneously generate along the roadside in random clusters, like weeds ? Or do you propose teleporting them out of unwilling women and into jars ? I’m sure you could arrange for them to have much more in the way of “privacy” at that point.
Which is all apropos of– what, exactly ? At the end of the day, women are the ones who must carry and birth babies. Are you about to burst into song ? Please warn me so I can bolt. Your writing skills here don’t bode well for any lyrical tendencies you might possess.
People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.
What would those be ? Speculums ? Vibrators ? Recorders ? For the love of NOTA, could you please locate a point and get to it ? I have absolutely no clue what you’re going on about, and I’ll wager that I’m not the only one whose confused.
[snicker] Sure. When did that magical transformation happen ? Before or after we cured world hunger and put solar panels on everybody’s house for free ?
My mother is probably still asleep at this hour, and I’m afraid my Dad can’t be reached at this point without the assistance of a spirit medium. At any rate, I’m pretty sure they’d find your question as bewildering and nonsensical as I do.
FC, your posts should come with subtitles.