Mike Stark of Firedoglake visited a Town Hall meeting in Virginia, and spoke with a man who said,
I can think of nothing worse than to have these people in here who believe in abortion raising a child. That is the scariest thing in my life.
Stark interprets this to mean "he thinks you can't be a good parent or love your kids if you are pro-choice," but that's actually somewhat generous given the next thing the guy says:
There's millions of kids killed every year, and if they weren't they'd be sitting in here saying, "give me healthcare."
His point isn't that pro-choice people can't love their kids, it's that they'll turn their kids into greedy little socialists. To him, asking for healthcare is an unreasonable, even childish demand, one so dangerous that people who would make it shouldn't reproduce. Whether or not you think a person's political views affect their parenting skills (and I'd argue that if those views include, say, homophobia, they do), making decisions about who should have kids should never be part of the debate.
A little less surprising than the Democrats-should-abort screed, but no less upsetting, in the news that a federal judge has upheld a South Dakota law that requires doctors to tell women that abortion "will terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being." The law requires that this and six other points of varying veracity be included in a written statement given to each pregnant woman so she can give "informed consent." To her credit, Judge Karen Schreier struck down two of the points — doctors won't be required to tell women "that the pregnant woman has an existing relationship with that unborn human being and that the relationship enjoys protection under the United States Constitution and under the laws of South Dakota" or that they face "increased risk of suicide ideation and suicide" if they go through with an abortion. She also ruled that doctors must use the term "human being" in "a biological sense and not an ideological one" — but it's not clear what that means.
The question of at what point a fetus becomes a human being is obviously still a contentious one, and it's not clear how telling a woman that what she's carrying is human "in a biological sense" (or whole, separate, unique, or living, the first two of which are definitely debatable) is going to make her more informed. It's not as though women think they're aborting sheep fetuses or something. Of course, the law is pretty transparent — it's not really about informing women, it's about making them feel guilty so they don't have abortions. Leslee Unruh, founder of a crisis pregnancy center in Sioux Falls that campaigned in favor of the bill, says the ruling is "a huge, fatal blow" to abortion. She adds, "This is the unraveling of Roe."
Cara of The Curvature prefers the term "Death by a Thousand Cuts" for attempts by Unruh and others to chip away at abortion rights in South Dakota. She points out another bill, SB92, which would require that abortion providers set aside two hours for each patient to discuss the procedure on the day before it is performed — even if the patient waives the consultation or doesn't show up. Since South Dakota has only one abortion clinic, which can only perform abortions once a week because providers must be flown in from out of state, the two-hour rule would likely further restrict abortion access in South Dakota. Cara believes this is intentional. The South Dakota legislature is saying, she writes,
if you want to keep providing abortions, we're going to make it a hell of a lot more expensive for you. You're going to have to take more flights. You're going to have to charge more. You're almost certainly going to have to perform abortions on more than one day every week. And we're going to waste every single second of your time that we can.
Unfortunately, that's what the "human being" explanation sounds like too — an insult to women's intelligence, and a waste of their time.
Abortion Debate Solved, Teabag Style [Firedoglake]
Both Sides Claim Victory In Ruling Over Abortion Law [AP, via NYT]
South Dakota Fails In Abortion Ban; Attempts Death By A Thousand Cuts [The Curvature]