The GOP War on Uteri

Earlier this month, Misty wrote about a bill that had been introduced by House Republicans in my great state of Indiana, which is likely to pass and would "make most abortions illegal after 20 weeks, while current law restricts most abortions after the fetus is considered viable, generally around 24 weeks. Among its other provisions, the bill also requires abortion providers to tell patients that abortion carries risks, including the possibility of breast cancer."

So, basically a swell bill that forces doctors to lie to their patients, in addition to eroding women's legal rights, agency, and bodily autonomy.

State Democrats have unsuccessfully tried to tame the legislation with a variety of amendments, including one "which would have exempted from the bill women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom a pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm."

The author of the legislation, GOP Rep. Eric Turner, urged his colleagues to oppose that amendment, because of the "giant loophole" it creates, in his estimation.
"I don't want to disparage in any way someone who's gone through the experience of rape, incest," Turner said. "But someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they'd been raped."
Right. You know how those lying bitches are.

I'm going to go ahead and flatly say that I believe denying access to a legal medical procedure to women is so thoroughly unethical and so thoroughly breaks faith with women that even if they did have to lie to gain access to abortion, it would be entirely reasonable.

But the entire argument is a red herring in the first place. Turner's reasoning (such as it is) is based on a bullshit narrative about the abundance false rape reporting and a bullshit narrative about the legions of pregnant women with unwanted pregnancies who leave termination until 20 weeks because they're forgetful or irresponsible or indecisive or cruel.

Most pregnant people who seek terminations after 20 weeks are carrying non-viable fetuses, are themselves having a health crisis related to the pregnancy, or had to hide the pregnancy for self-protection. Homicide remains the third highest cause of death of pregnant women, and 20% of women who die while pregnant are murdered.

There are women who seek terminations after 20 weeks for whom none of the above are considerations, whose pregnancies are viable, whose health is fine, who are not pregnant as a result of rape or incest and do not fear for their lives. They are typically young and usually poor, and they tend to live in states where abortion access is severely restricted. They have to schedule time off to travel, sometimes to a different state, they have to save up money, because the government won't pay for an abortion and, if they even have insurance, it may not cover the procedure, and, if they have other children already, they have find childcare while they make an out-of-state trip for the procedure, possibly at a clinic with a long waiting list.

By the time those fucking stars align, it's pretty easy for 20 weeks to have passed. And the more advanced state of a pregnancy doesn't alter the circumstances that made termination the best option in the first place.

All of which, of course, is not a bug of anti-choice legislation, but a feature. It's designed specifically to make abortion hard to get quickly, and then close the window to force more women into missing the deadline.

Because anti-choicers know what's best for women. And that's having babies.

[Via @trustwomen.]

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