Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On "Personhood"...

I'm about to violate my own rule and chat about politics for a bit.  Because recent events have me more than just a little spun up and I find myself in desperate need of venting.

There are currently a number of bills sitting on our governor's desk awaiting his signature to be signed into Law.

One is a request to throw out the current "one gun purchase a month" law.  Fair enough.  I think it's been proven time and time again that the only ones who feel like their 2nd Amendment toes are being trod on are the law abiding, responsible gun owners.  Let them purchase as many guns as they want, when they want.  But don't call me naive and ignorant because I refuse to own a handgun.

The other bill (HB-1) is full of lots of pretty big words but it boils down to this:

A person is a person no matter how small.

Bill SB 484 goes hand in hand with it:

A woman seeking an abortion must first have a trans-vaginal ultrasound to determine the age of person she's wishing to do away with.

The members of our state government pushing the "Personhood" bill will tell you that religious beliefs have nothing to do with their views.  And yet the arguments they use to prove that life begins at conception are riddled with verses from the Bible and references to God and the miracle of a child.  Hypocritical and unconstitutional.  Never a good combination.

The same law makers will also tell you that it is not their intention to limit or do away with legal abortions or limit contraceptives in any way.  They are merely seeking to establish a way of protecting a baby from late term abortions as well as having a law in place that allows prosecution of someone who harms a pregnant woman and either endangers or kills her unborn child.

Good intentions.  But short sighted and ignorant.

At the least, the bill is a crack in the wall of legalized abortion.  At the most, it will work to abolish most forms of contraception.

I believe that life begins at conception.  I believe the use of abortion as birth control is morally and ethically wrong.  

Regardless of my own beliefs, abortion is legal in this country.  The government forcing its way into my bedroom, into my marriage, into my uterus is not.  I took an oath once to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  I will continue to do so.

Bill HB-1 states that life begins at conception, thereby granting two cells the label and protection of Personhood.  Again...good intentions.

I have gone through multiple lost pregnancies.  Tiny little people who, through no fault of my own,  never stood a chance.  We mourned those losses even though, for the most part, we never even knew they existed until my own body aborted them on its own.  

Deaths of infants and children while in the care of parents or caregivers are investigated for foul play or negligence.  

Here's the slippery slope...if the babies I lost at five, six and eight weeks pregnant were granted Personhood would I be subjected to a negligence inquiry? Would, on top of the grief of losing an unborn child, my actions during those weeks be questioned? Could I be prosecuted for involuntary manslaughter because my body terminated a pregnancy all on its own? Extreme? Maybe.  We only need to look at the massive number of gun laws in place to see what happens when good intentions go awry.  

The other bill requires that a woman receive an ultrasound prior to her abortion.  Not a non-invasive "jelly on the belly" ultrasound--but a trans-vaginal ultrasound.  Whether she consents to the procedure or not.  The stated purpose is to establish age of the fetus and eliminate accidental late term abortions. 

Slippery slope number two.  And a little graphic.  Sorry.  Because of having a chunk of my cervix removed years ago and also of the high risk nature of both of my full term pregnancies I received ultrasounds at 5 weeks gestation.  Trans-vaginal ultrasounds.  As a coping mechanism we irreverently dubbed them "dildo cams".   Even the ultrasound technician was sensitive to the invasive nature of that particular test.  She had me guide the ultrasound wand in before taking over.  The procedure itself was painful, uncomfortable and had the potential to be humiliating.  The reward was seeing the flicker of a heartbeat on a blip that was just a little bigger than a grain of rice.   

However, to require that particular procedure, with or without consent,  prior to an abortion is nothing more than a means of subjecting the woman to humiliation and emotional distress.  They know they're pregnant.  They don't want see the heartbeat.  There's no medical reason why the procedure is necessary. 

To preform a trans-vaginal ultrasound without consent is rape.  

Due to my "mature maternal age" while pregnant with the wee girlie, I was advised to undergo extra testing in order to determine and monitor the health of the baby.  We consented to the tests that did not put either of us at risk.  We also consented to the extra tests in order to avoid any surprises, we wanted to be prepared for any health issues that might be found.  One of the tests was an ultrasound at 12 weeks gestation.  It was a non-invasive belly ultrasound and a perfectly formed, perfectly healthy baby showed up on the screen--already bouncing and twirling.  

Pregnancy termination after 14 weeks gestation is considered late term or partial birth abortions.

For our law makers to state that a trans-vaginal ultrasound is the only way to determine early stage pregnancy shows their ignorance on the subject as well as their lack of respect for the female body.  It also shows their true agenda in clear light.  

Over a thousand women, as well as a large number of men, showed up at our state government building yesterday to protest these bills.  Pro-life and Pro-choice supporters stood side by side and in solidarity against it.  That in itself should show how poorly these bills were thought out.  The author of the "Personhood" bill, Bob Marshall, is running for the GOP slot in the US Senate this November.  Given how he's just managed to piss off almost every woman in the state, I don't think he needs to start packing.

And for Mr. Santorum who wishes to do away with prenatal care as a whole...Rick, you ignorant, self-righteous twit.  Do you have any idea how many millions of lives--both born and unborn--prenatal care has saved?!  If you were to read the Constitution you would know that women now have the right to vote.  And you won't be getting mine.

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." ~ uncredited New York Times reporter, 1938


Suburbia said...

That's all really scary Dori and I completely agree with you. When will women's voices count int the world?

BunnyO said...

You hit it out of the park on this one. Although I am not familiar with the bill, I wholeheartedly agree when you say that the procedure is humiliating and is emotionally distressing!! The girl who lived next door to me got pregnant at 15 and her parents took her out of state to a clinic which FORCED this on her for her abortion. It didn't take long for her to get pregnant again, and due to the humiliation and fear from the previous procedure, she hid the pregnancy until she was almost 8 months along. Her parents AGAIN took her out of state, where they forced her to have a late-term, partial birth abortion. I will never ever forget her telling me about that procedure when we were kids. It was the most inhumane thing I have ever heard of. It scarred her for the rest of her days. She actually managed to hide a third pregnancy to term at 16, kept the baby- but unfortunately died of a drug overdose at 22. Sad all the way around.