Abortion. Again. Still. Always?
Curious, isn't it? Conservatives in the "tea party" and beyond are ardently committed to undoing the healthcare law that passed Congress and was signed into law by President Obama about a year ago. Watch out, they warn! It comes between doctors and patients! It takes away choice from patients! It lets politicians and bureaucrats dictate treatment! How un-American!
Well, looky here, America.
Conservative legislators in a score of states are trying to do exactly what they profess to despise: to step between doctors and female patients, to take away choice from female patients, to dictate treatment to female patients.
South Dakota's politicians are about to require women to wait 72 hours after they see a doctor before they can go ahead with an abortion. Women will have to have mandatory counseling at a crisis pregnancy clinic that, in all likelihood, is one of those places where women are only "counseled" not to have an abortion. No, no, says one influential supporter of this law. This isn't pressuring someone not to have an abortion. It's just a free second opinion!
Ohio is debating whether to prohibit women from having abortions at all if there's a detectable fetal heartbeat. And in Texas, pregnant women seeking an abortion could be required, ordered, mandated -- choose your word -- to look at fetal sonograms and listen to doctors' in-depth description of them before they would be permitted to have an abortion.
Texas GOP state Rep. Sarah Davis sees the, shall we say, inconsistency of what her fellow Republicans are trying to do. As she said in a statement, "To me, the issue at stake was not about abortion, but about the role of government in our personal lives. I was compelled to seek office following the passage of 'ObamaCare,' as I am vehemently against the government involving itself in our healthcare decisions. The Sonogram Bill does just that -- government interference with the doctor-patient relationship.''
Across the aisle there in Austin, Democratic Rep. Marisa Marquez gigged the opposition by introducing an amendment mandating that if a woman who is forced to watch a sonogram decides to go through with her pregnancy, she can get a court order to require the father to get a vasectomy -- if he's already fathered at least two other out-of-wedlock children.
As the Dallas Morning News reported, female legislators on both sides of the aisle applauded.
-- Patt Morrison