I haven’t posted about the efforts by the right-wing reactionaries to relegate women’s health care back into second class citizenship in a while. It’s important to keep these issues in the spotlight, so I felt it’s high time we round up the latest news on GOP’s nationwide effort to nibble away at the constitutional right for women to seek an abortion.
First up, Kansas where Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law a bill that allows pharmacists to opt out of dispensing drugs they think would cause an early termination in a woman’s pregnancy:
Called the Heath Care Rights of Conscience Act, the new law will bar anyone from being required to prescribe or administer a drug they “reasonably believe” might result in the termination of a pregnancy. The law was signed Monday. Critics say the law will open the door for a pharmacist to refuse a request for something like the “morning-after” pill, which the Mayo Clinic says can prevent or delay ovulation, block fertilization or keep a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus.
They argued that the law puts pharmacists and physicians in a position to refuse birth control and that it will affect many women, especially those in small towns and rural communities since the health provider wouldn’t be required to provide a referral somewhere else. Abortion opponents said the bill is a narrow upgrade of a 1969 Kansas law that said no one should be required to perform or participate in abortion procedures.
Yet another unfunded government mandate…Who would measure the viability of one’s reason, in this specific case? Why should women have to leave in the hands of their pharmacist whether they should have access to adequate reproductive health, including the morning after pill?
Next is Mississippi, which is always full of surprises. Republican State Rep. Bubba Carpenter is a-okay with the health dangers lurking for women who perform self-induced abortions with coat hangers. No. Joke.
It’s going to be challenged, of course, in the Supreme Court and all — but literally, we stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi, legally, without having to– Roe vs. Wade. So we’ve done that. I was proud of it. The governor signed it into law. And of course, there you have the other side. They’re like, ‘Well, the poor pitiful women that can’t afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger. That’s what we’ve learned over and over and over.’
But hey, you have to have moral values. You have to start somewhere, and that’s what we’ve decided to do. This became law and the governor signed it, and I think for one time, we were first in the nation in the state of Mississippi.
Yes, let’s allow women to utilize coat hangers to induce abortions if it’s in the name of starting somewhere. Let’s allow women to risk developing the numerous health complications with performing at-home pregnancy terminations. If it’s for the greater good and if it’s part of an effort to implement statewide moral values, then why not? A couple thousand deaths from complications of using coat hangers won’t hurt anyone.
Can someone please inform this asshat that the U.S. Constitution actually liberates women from using dangerous tools to terminate a pregnancy? Can someone please inform this asshat that self-induced abortions would actually be detrimental to the state as it would most likely cause a serious public health crisis? The reproductive health of women in Mississippi and across this country is much more worthy than resorting to self-induced abortions in poorly lit alleys, sketchy doctors’ offices or a woman’s home.
A judge in Oklahoma has tossed out the state’s law that would put restrictions on drugs used to induce abortions.
The court found that House Bill 1970 is “an unconstitutional law in violation of the fundamental rights of women to privacy and bodily integrity,” guaranteed by the Oklahoma Constitution, according to an order issued Friday.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice and Reproductive Services in Tulsa challenged the law. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the measure into law on May 11, 2011.
It was put on hold pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
The court found that the measure’s requirements were “so completely at odds with the standard that governs the practice of medicine that it can serve no purpose other than to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to punish and discriminate against those women who do.”
The opinion said that a state regulation that puts a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion creates on an undue burden on her ability to make that decision.
The due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution protects the right to terminate pregnancy as a fundamental right, the opinion said.
One can only hope other judges will see through these Republican-led, thinly veiled attempts to roll back women’s
reproductive rights and access back into the pre-Roe v. Wade Era.
Not to be out done, Arizona continues to make a name for itself in the social issues arena:
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has put an end to tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood by signing a bill that she says closes loopholes for funding abortions.
The bill, known as the “Whole Woman’s Health Funding Priority Act,” tightens existing state regulations and prevents any government entity — city, county or state — from giving money to an organization that offers family planning that may indirectly fund abortions.
It “closes loopholes in order to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to fund abortions, whether directly or indirectly,” Brewer said in a statement Friday after she signed the bill.
Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature passed other reproductive healthcare bills during a 116-day session that ended Thursday.
Brewer signed a bill last month banning most abortions after 20 weeks.
“Planned Parenthood’s abortion-centered business model does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) in a statement for the Susan B. Anthony List, an advocacy group opposed to abortions.
However, Arizona already bans providing tax dollars for abortion unless the mother’s life is at stake and Planned Parenthood argues that the bill essentially stifles healthcare for women on Medicaid.
“The problem is the state does not actually contract with Planned Parenthood or any healthcare providers,” Bryan Howard, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood Arizona, told the Los Angeles Times in a telephone interview Saturday.
Feel free to drop your knowledge of other Republican-led states using their power to make our uteri the top priority for government regulation.