Anti-abortion law passes, and apparently "We're ordering lobster and having a party."
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. --George Washington
South Dakota: home of Mount Rushmore and, now, an anti-abortion bill. Let's put a check next to South Dakota on my Big List of 'Not If They Paid Me to Move There' States.
The anti-abortion bill (House Bill 1215) is, as a statement by Governor Rounds states, "An Act to establish certain legislative findings, to reinstate the prohibition against certain acts causing the termination of an unborn human life, to prescribe a penalty therefore, and to provide for the implementation of such provisions under certain circumstances." He goes on to say that while he expects legal snafus to come and obstruct the start-up of this law in July, he believes that "HB 1215 will give the United States Supreme Court [an] opportunity to reconsider an earlier opinion."
Good thing we have that liberal court with a woman on i-- Oh. Wait.
Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions . . . too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery. --Thomas Jefferson
Currently in the bill abortions can be performed if the mother will die (though in that case, the doctor is to attempt to save both lives if possible). A mother's declining health is not sufficient reason, mind you. And also at this time there is no provision for the victims of rape or incest. In fact, State Senator Bill Napoli said last Friday what he considers a 'good enough' rape to allow for an abortion:
A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.
Mmmhmm. So all those nonreligious thirteen-year-old (aha, statuatory rape!) girls who were sexually molested (but, sadly, not up the ass) by adult friends, family, or internet strangers and became pregnant are just shit out of luck. Also, clearly, they will have no mental issues whatsoever. Nicely done, Mr. Napoli.
Then again, it's not as if South Dakota has been a bastion of abortion previously. According to NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, "South Dakota is perhaps the most difficult place in the country to get an abortion. There's a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory counseling to discourage the procedure. The law requires parental notification in cases where the patient is a minor. Only one clinic, Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, offers the procedure." On top of that, no local doctor practices there -- a physician from Minnesota is flown in weekly (amid, from what I can tell, rampant protesting).
The plea of good intentions is not one that can be allowed to have much weight in passing historical judgment upon a man whose wrong-headedness and distorted way of looking at things produced, or helped to produce, such incalculable evil; there is a wide political applicability in the remark attributed to a famous Texan, to the effect that he might, in the end, pardon a man who shot him on purpose, but that he would surely never forgive one who did so accidentally.--Theodore Roosevelt
But what can South Dakota be honestly expecting out of this? Will abortions miraculously Not Happen anymore? Well, legally that could happen if the Supreme Court does reverse Roe v. Wade. But what's legality got to do with it? What we'll return to is what we had before: doctors (and "doctors") performing illegal operations, at-home operations, and travel to places that do allow abortion.
I'm pro-Choice, but that doesn't mean I'm pro-abortion. I wish women weren't having as many abortions as they are. But having a law doesn't stop an action -- addressing why that action occurs will. Why do women have abortions? So that they will not give birth. So figure out why (or how) women are becoming pregnant when they don't want to be, and do something about that.
*cough Not much you can do about some things, frankly, but having access to sex education and prophylactics sure would help cough*
The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatable things, called by the same name--liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatable names—liberty and tyranny. --Abraham Lincoln
Meanwhile, the rest of the world thinks we're rather bonkers, with France taking note that the law was signed off "just two days before the celebration of International Women's Day," and Britain quoting a supporter of the bill saying, "We're ordering lobster and having a party. We are thrilled." Google News is also a hotbed of fascinating reactions to the law, including New York's Editor & Publisher writing that South Dakota's Top Paper Refuses To Editorialize On Abortion Ban, and Seattle's Post-Intelligencer reporting that [Gloria] Steinman blasts South Dakota abortion law.
Finally, since I've tapped out the presidents on Mt. Rushmore for quotes, let me sign off with this one by Sharon Presley and Robert Cooke, authors of The Right to Abortion: A Libertarian Defense. Consider it, consider your life, consider the life of your daughters, sisters, and mothers, and then -- do something about this.
In the case of an unwanted pregnancy, the existential choice for a woman is not abortion vs. no abortion, but, as [Garrett Hardin] has pointed out, abortion vs. compulsory childbearing. If others can force her to be a mother... then she is coerced into putting her body at the disposal of the fetus as if she were an unclaimed natural resource or a chattel slave.... Thus, the woman's most fundamental right of choice, the right to control her own body and happiness, is being abrogated.