This is Rep. Ray Salva, Missouri Democrat. An early supporter of John Edwards, the Catholic and lifetime Missouri resident is a member of the Optimist's Club and known to be a friend of the environment, the homeless and the eroding middle-class. But we write about him for a much more baffling reason: his addition of an amendment to a statehouse anti-methamphetamine bill. The bill was your typical "make buying Sudafed a pain in the ass" measure. But Salva's amendment would do something entirely unrelated: it would add mifepristone, the RU-486 abortion pill, to the state's list of Schedule 1 Controlled Substances, the list where substances find themselves if they have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. "What other drug could be more harmful (than one that takes) a life?" It's not a bad question: Salva, no stranger to substance abuse, was arrested for drunk driving last February; surely the sort of behavior that could wind up taking a human life.

But enough of that; here we have a man, not a closeted gay Bible-thumping Evangelical career fearmonger but a middle-of-the-road retiree clearly realistic enough about the abortion debate not to let it steer his presidential vote away from a pro-choice candidate, exploiting the very weakest opportunity to pass an unconstitutional law because that's just how nuts people get over the abortion debate.


Anyway, I direct your attention to it not because I think it will pass, but because I truly wonder: why don't middle-of-the-road Catholics just go ahead and embrace the abortion pill already?

If you think abortion is wrong — not "murderous" enough to let it eclipse all other policies guiding your political decisions, perhaps, but not a good thing — shouldn't you look at RU-486, sort of like the Plan B "Morning After" pill, as a form of harm reduction? I know lots of Catholics (sigh) who privately do. It is generally only approved for the first seven weeks of pregnancy, before the whole "beating heart" thing, before the ultrasound looks like anything but a mess of cells, before the embryo even technically can claim the designation "fetus." But beyond that, pill abortions, performed at home without anesthesia, suck. They're personal. They hurt. Sometimes like hell. You bleed for a week, or longer. Look it up on the internet: women invariably describe them as "emotional." They are. If you're down for feeling a sense of loss about the whole thing, if you're at all reflective, if you — fuck, if you want to atone, you know, go ahead, it's your call — it's totally the way to go. And most importantly, once you've had one, you don't really want to do it again. (Not that you ever do, really.) I'm not saying anyone should feel this way about the choice to have an abortion. But a lot of us do. So why should we be treated like we're trying to score hallucinogens?

Missouri House Adds Abortion To Restrictive List [Kansas City Star]