The latest iteration of abortion rights fuckery occurred in Wisconsin on Friday when a new state law making it harder for women to obtain non-surgical abortions took effect. Wisconsin follows Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Arizona as the latest state to interfere with women's reproductive rights in a move critics are calling an unnecessary government intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship.
The new law, according to Reuters, requires women to visit a doctor at least three times before having a drug-induced abortion, forces physicians to play Sherlock Holmes and somehow use their deductive faculties to determine if their female patients are being coerced into having abortions, and prohibits women and doctors from communicating via webcam during medical abortions. For self-described proponents of government so small it couldn't possibly write pension checks for its sundry public workers, state Republicans have certainly increased the government's ability to meddle in an entirely intimate situation, which amounts to hypocrisy so epic it should be directed by James Cameron.
The unnervingly ambitious Coercive and Web Cam Abortion Prevention Act, signed by Governor Scott Walker earlier this month, imposes criminal penalties on physicians who violate the law. Chief executive of Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Teri Huyck has criticized the law for being "ambiguous and difficult to interpret," saying that it poses a significant risk to doctors and interferes with the confidential doctor-patient relationship. "The added risks," said Huyck, "of felony penalties for physicians who provide medication abortion are unnecessary and intended to threaten a physician's ability to provide women with medication abortion." About a quarter of abortions in Wisconsin are induced with medication that a doctor can prescribe during the first nine weeks of pregnancy, and though Planned Parenthood has decided to suspend medical abortions at least until Wisconsin recalls a governor that often seems drunk with power (or just straight-up drunk), the organization says it will continue to provide surgical abortions.
Wisconsin Right to Life — cash prizes for anyone who can guess what they do — has, without a hint of irony, supported Planned Parenthood's decision to suspend medical abortions, saying that the move would reduce the number of abortions statewide. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Medical society has petitioned Walker to veto the bill, echoing Huyck that it "directly infringes on the special and private relationship between the patient and physician." Although there's always an outside chance that Walker will eat a piece of moldy cheese and go on a vision quest into Canada where his spirit animal (a beaver) tells him that he's done the people of Wisconsin a grave disservice and that he must fix all the damage he's done, that probably won't happen. At least not before the good and reasonable residents of the Dairy State send him out to pasture, where he'll be tasked with delivering healthy calves for the rest of what would have been his term as governor.