One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Illustration for article titled One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

While Spain is set to pass a bill officially legalizing abortion in spite of tremendous pressure from religious groups, our own country, where abortion is currently legal, is taking several steps in the opposite direction.

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The Arkansas Senate recently passed a bill that would make partial-birth abortion illegal, meaning that any doctor who performs such a procedure would be guilty of a felony. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe. Meanwhile, in North Dakota, the Senate recently approved a bill requiring this notice to be posted at all abortion clinic:

Notice: No one can force you to have an abortion. It is against the law for a spouse, a boyfriend, a parent, a friend, a medical care provider, or any other person to in any way force you to have an abortion.

The bill has not yet passed through the House. One wonders how long it will take, however, before the sign is amended to read, "But we can force you not to!"

In Spain, however, lawmakers are seeking to loosen a restrictive law that currently allows women to receive an abortion, but only with, as Paul Haven of the Associated Press notes, "a doctor's certification that their health - either physical or mental - would be at risk if the pregnancy was allowed to proceed." Abortions are also currently allowed in cases of rape or if the fetus is thought to be deformed in some way.

The new law would remove the need for doctor's approval and allow women to make their own choices regarding their reproductive health. Sandra Moneo, of Spain's Populist Party, disagrees with the proposed law: "Abortion is bad. It is bad for women and it is bad for society. A woman cannot have a right to something that is bad for her."

Carmen Monton of the Socialist party disagrees: "What we are talking about is for women not to face persecution when they decide about their own motherhood." Are you listening, North Dakota?

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Spain Set To Loosen Abortion Law [AP]
ND Senate Approves Abortion Clinic Signs [MSNBC]
Arkansas: Abortion Measure Passes [NYTimes]

DISCUSSION

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You know what's actually bad for women? Being told what reproduction choices they can make for themselves. That is an entirely personal and private matter the government should stay out of. Period.

I can smoke, drink, or eat crappy food if I want to. I can drive (there are accidents!), I can travel (planes crash), etc. Living has a certain amount of risk and "bad" things built in. I still get to decide what I want to do about them.

Anything that limits my or any other woman's body autonomy is bad. Stay out of it, crazy Spain lady. We're not children, we can decide for ourselves.