by Shaker Harmony, a radical Hoosier fighting the Conservative Legislation Lab on the ground.
[Content Note: Hostility to agency; coercion.]
Here in Indiana, there is an amusement park called Indiana Beach. Their tag line is "There's more than corn in Indiana." I used to joke that they meant soy beans and basketball players. Increasingly, however, that "more" is becoming a willingness to persecute and prosecute pregnant people for their personal choices.
This week the focus is on pregnant drug users. Indiana's Attorney General Greg Zoeller is concerned about fetuses exposed to narcotics while in the womb. Well, actually, he seems to be concerned about the fact that it cost Indiana's hospitals $30 million to treat these babies in 2011. Regardless of the true nature of his concern, the fact is that Zoeller is calling on the state legislature to Do Something About It.
That something, as you might have guessed, is drug screens! Yes, they are considering drug screening every pregnant person in the state. Supposedly, it's only one of the options they are considering, but the fact that it's on the table at all is appalling to me. Here in Indiana, we are pressing fast forward to the day when we legally strip personhood from actual living, breathing people, to give it to fetuses.
AG Zoeller is not answering the tweets I sent him yesterday (imagine that), but there is another way to contact him! Tomorrow he will be a guest on PI Live. PI Live is a show that is done by the Palladium-Item (the local newspaper in Richmond, IN) and WCTV (Richmond's public access television stations). It will air live on TV in Richmond, but will also stream live on the web. Zoeller will be on the second segment of the show to discuss school resource officers, but they will be taking additional questions from live chat, and phone calls, emails, and tweets made in advance of the show.
The show can be streamed on the web at WCTV's website. Go to the broadcast tab and click Channel 11. However, Eric Marsh, WCTV's executive director, told me that streaming it from the Palladium-Item's site will be more friendly to Apple devices. That's also where you can chat live during the show to ask your questions.
In advance, you can email questions to Dale McConnaughay (the editor in charge of the show) at email@example.com, call them in at (765) 973-4456, or tweet them to @pi_news using the hashtag #pilive.
If you feel comfortable using your teaspoon in any of these ways, I would really appreciate it. Indiana has a Republican governor and a Republican supermajority in both legislative houses. Our best bet to stop things is before they become a bill to be voted on. These people aren't used to hearing "NO" very often. Those of us who are willing to stand up and say it have to be extra loud.
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Many thanks go to: Liss for inviting me to guest post, my friend Natalie (@NaptownNat) who shared the original story with me, and Eric Marsh (who also happens to be my father) for giving me the heads up about tomorrow's show and for being committed to using his platform to connect people to their government.