Tuesday, 10 May 2011

How to Ban Abortion

Fetus fetishists have have pulled off a brilliant ploy in South Dakota.
While abortion providers and patients have kept on keeping on in the face of ever-tightening restrictions---demonstrating the power of the demand for this service---South Dakota may have just managed to ban abortion without actually banning abortion outright. . . .

How did South Dakota do it? The new law requires women seeking abortion to speak to the doctor, then wait 72 hours, then get counseled at an anti-choice propaganda station called a “crisis pregnancy center,” only after which would she be allowed to obtain an abortion. This law received quite a bit of attention for overt misogyny inherent in the implication that women are too stupid to be aware of what they’re asking for when they seek abortion, or that women are so ignorant and incurious that they can’t be expected to have considered anti-choice arguments unless forced. But it’s looking like this law may do more than that, and may actually make abortion impossible to get in South Dakota.

This works in two ways. Right away, it was clear that the 72-hour waiting period was an attempt to force the sole abortion provider in the state, a Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls, to drop the service. The doctor that performs abortions flies in to provide the service, and this requirement is obviously intended to push out any doctor who doesn’t work full time at the clinic by making the travel requirements onerous.

The “counseling” requirement seemed more condescending than truly burdensome at first, though it is true that many women seeking abortion really don’t have the flexible schedule to work in a few hours to be hectored by anti-choicers before obtaining their abortion, which pushes this requirement from being irritating and sexist to being truly an obstacle. But recent news indicates that something more devious is likely going on. As Robin Marty reported last week, not a single crisis pregnancy center has agreed to counsel patients seeking abortion so that those patients can fill their requirements to get their abortions. Not even the centers that lobbied to get the requirement pushed through. Without centers willing to say they saw the patients seeking abortion, patients could be caught in a red tape nightmare that makes getting abortions impossible.

I mean, really, you gotta admire the chutzpah. Lobby to force women to submit to a session of lies, manipulation, and guilt-tripping, then refuse to do it.
The Alpha Center, which lobbied for passage of the new law, also is undecided about whether it will register with the state.

Leslee Unruh, president and co-founder of the Sioux Falls nonprofit agency that counsels women against abortion, said the decision to register will be up to the board of directors, who meet this month.

"They haven't met yet, and those are big decisions," she said. "Maybe, maybe not. I'm not sure."

Congratulations, South Dakota, you've outdone South Carolina, where fake clinics are also used to harass women seeking abortions.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest that this restriction is unconstitutional under RvW, but not likely to be found as such by current SCOTUS. Would need to wait until the balance gets tipped one more in favor of a solid pro-choice judge, then challenge the law and see what happens

Rob F said...

The people who passed this bill, which contains an indvidual mandate to visit fake clinics, undoubtyedly also believe that the federal health care reform bill, which contains an individual mandate, is unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

I can see this kind of crap coming here, through that new religious freedom ministry,

Anonymous said...

Well this is a golden opportunity to set up a fake fake clinic and get money from the state for doing it.

Uncommoner said...

This is frankly disgusting. Denying necessary health care to women is an obscenity and one more reason to loathe religious fundamentalists.

As though I needed one.

So how does Planned Parenthood go about setting up one of these counselling centers in Sioux Falls? Say, at the Clinic, where they can kill two birds with one stone?

fern hill said...

@ Anonymous and Uncommoner: Yes, setting up'fake fake clinics' is an excellent idea.

Beijing York said...

Planned Parenthood would have to set up arms-length counseling clinics with a cloying, dog whistle names like "Second Thoughts Clinic" or "First Touch Services".

JJ said...

That's right, you don't need to change any laws to keep women from exercising their RIGHT to reproductive choice: all you have to do is make it so inaccessible that it might as well be illegal. (With the state's financial assistance, of course. Gotta love these "small government" socon initiatives.)

But I like the idea of setting up fake fake clinics with dogwhistle names. I'd call mine the "Bursting With Abundant Shrieking Life" Ultrapregnancy Center. Or maybe "Brainless Blastocysts-R-Us".

Beijing York said...

Hahahaha JJ! I knew you would come up with some great brands.

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