Sunday, March 06, 2005

South Dakota

Via Now What, this article on three mindbending reproductive health bills from South Dakota:

Three anti-abortion bills cleared the state Senate on Monday, including one that would boost requirements on doctors who do abortions and another that would ban most abortions in South Dakota if the U.S. Supreme Court ever allows states to do so.


HB1166, passed 24-10 for relay to the governor, would require doctors to inform pregnant women in writing and in person, no later than two hours before abortions, that the procedure will end the lives of humans and terminate a constitutional relationship women have with their unborn children.

Off to a good start: commit malpractice, and practice a profession you know nothing about without a license. There is no way to know if an embryo/fetus will be born alive. Telling a patient you know that, by informing her that the procedure will end the lives of humans, is a deliberate lie. Not exactly the standard of care, I should think, even in S. Dakota. It's possible I dozed off during the constitutional relationships class in school, but I would've remembered getting a dual medical/law degree. Doctors are not qualified to practice law, and terminating a constitutional relationship is a legal matter, not a medical one.

Women also would have to be told that some people die during abortions, and the procedure can lead to depression and increased risk of suicide.

Women could not get abortions unless they signed statements to indicate that they had been given all of the required information. The legislation also would define a human to include the unborn during the entire embryonic and fetal stages.

Thankfully, S. Dakota legislators have no compunction about practicing medicine. How else would we ever know the morbidity/mortality associated with a procedure, not to mention what a proper surgical consent should contain? I mean, just when it comes to making terms up, if we didn't have the legislators who'd be responsible for that portion of the consent--the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, a random person off the street?


There are about 800 abortions each year in South Dakota, and women who have the procedure must be made to understand that they are victims, too, he [Sen. Lee Schoenbeck] said.

"This is designed to try and minimize the consequences," Schoenbeck said.

Since women are so feeble minded that they can't figure out on their own when they're being victimized, it's just invaluable that Sen. Schoenbeck will *make* them understand what's good for them. Now if we could only get the Senator to keep women from bumping into walls we'd be all set.

HB1249, which would automatically ban most abortions in South Dakota if the U.S. Supreme Court ever reverses its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision ... would provide an abortion exception only if a woman's life is in danger.

Well, the good news is that with the freedom movements sweeping through the area, and the U.S. army amassed in the vicinity, hopefully, the place will open up to democracy soon, and women will be able to have access to proper medical care even in that part of the world. Oh, sorry, I got confused by the would provide an abortion exception only if a woman's life is in danger part. For a moment there I thought we were talking about abortions in Iran. You know, the country were it's illegal for women to have abortions, unless they can prove that the child is putting their own life in danger...


Senators rejected attempts to make exceptions for the health of women, in cases where the fetus has died or there is little likelihood of the fetus surviving after birth, and in instances or rape and incest.

It is unacceptable to take the life of the unborn in any of those circumstances, said opponents of those failed amendments.

New motto for the S. Dakota legislators "We legislate to emulate Iran." Alternatively, "If the fetus has died, what's the point of keeping the woman alive?"


Adding an exception for the health of a woman would provide a vague loophole for abortions, said Sen. Jay Duenwald, R-Hoven. "Health means anything that you can think of."

Unlike the made up "the unborn", a woman's health and risk of death are clearly abstract, and quite fuzzy concepts.

Adelstein [Sen. Stan Adelstein, R-Rapid City] offered the amendment that would have allowed exceptions in cases of rape. Women who have been victimized should not be made to give birth to the offspring of rapists, he said.

"It is still wrong," Hansen [Sen. Tom Hansen, R-Huron] responded.

Doctors can tell with certainty if defects or diseases will cause death of a child within a few days of birth, and women should not be forced to carry those fetuses to term, said Sen. Tom Dempster, R-Sioux Falls, who offered the amendment to allow abortions in those instances.

"Let's not make this tragedy worse than it already is," he said. "This is an act of compassion."

Again, Hansen refused to make a concession, urging his colleagues to reject Dempster's amendment.

"Even if it only lasts a few hours, I think that the parent still deserves the opportunity to love that baby," Hansen said.

Between Sen. Dempster's magnanimity in not forcing women to carry a nonviable fetus to term, and Sen. Hansen telling them what/when/why/how to think and feel, the women of S. Dakota are all taken care of. Ah, the benefits of being perpetually infantilized!

The third bill, HB1233, would require a comprehensive study of abortion and a report by Dec. 1 to the Legislature and governor. Bartling [Sen. Julie Bartling, D-Burke] said 32 years have passed since the U.S. Supreme Court decided abortion is legal, and much has changed in terms of medicine and science in that period.

A thorough study could help lay the groundwork for an eventual ban on abortions, she said.

The second I finished reading this, alarm bells went off. The "new medical evidence" language was used by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge Edith H. Jones [scroll down]. This judge was involved with Norma McCorvey ("Jane Roe") and her request to the Supreme Court to overturn its landmark decision that legalized abortion. As a rule, I have little use for conspiracy theories but, in this case, the coordination is a bit too obvious. It would be most interesting to find out who's behind this effort--who comes up with these talking points?

Bottom line: Just because you're a woman, what's best for you shouldn't be decided for you. It should be decided by you.

Just to refresh your memory, here are some of the bills we've already discussed, [Most certainly not an exhaustive review of reproductive health bills. After all, so many politicians, so little time to legislate people's lives.]:


Bill S 3: the Prohibition on "Partial-Birth Abortions". (More here, and here.)

Roe v Wade

Church Amendment 42 U.S.C. 300a-7

Coats 42 U.S.C. 238n

Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) or HR 3664: refusal-to-treat law.

2005 Appropriations bill (HR 5006)

Weldon Amendment [page 99] (More here, here, and here.)

The White House's 5 step guide to reducing the number of abortions:

1) Refuse to perform the procedure (.pdf)

2) Suspend availability of medical abortion drugs. (companion bills HR 3453) and S 1930).

3) The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act. (More here.)

4) Have the Department of Justice subpoenas the medical records of women who undergo abortions, and find out the names of all medical personnel trained to perform surgical abortions, and of all persons who have started using and teaching it.

5) Object to the declaration put forward by the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (Beijing +10). (More here.)

[More on bills related to reproductive health issues introduced in state legislatures in 2003 here. And a good resource of international data for evaluation of abortion services here.]


Commentary on a minor's request to bypass the state's parental-notification law in order to have an abortion.


SB 1052: protection of "unborn children".


Senate Bill 77 and House Bill 197 would require physicians to give women seeking abortion information on the medical risks of abortion, the probable gestational age and development of a fetus, fetal pain and alternatives to abortion, including adoption. It would require women to wait 24 hours after receiving the information before proceeding with an abortion. The bill also would require that only a parent or legal guardian be notified when a minor younger than 18 seeks an abortion.

Senate Bill 93: outlaw abortion in Georgia, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Refusal-to-treat bill.


House Bill 2088 (.pdf): AN ACT concerning crimes and punishment; relating to giving birth without medical assistance. (More here.)

State Attorney General Kline's secret inquisition of women's medical records. (More here.)


HB1677: have a miscarriage, call the police.

HB 1807: Providing birth control to minor in certain circumstances; penalty. (More here, and here.)


AB 67: a refusal-to-treat bill. (More here.)


At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Egad...WTF is going on these days?

(don't answer, that's rhetorical LOL)

Ms. X

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

While I can at least follow the logic behind the rest of the bill (despite finding it incorrect and disturbing) I am really failing to understand why anyone would want to outlaw "abortion" in cases where the fetus has DIED. If it's dead, it's so clearly not a human life I don't even know what to say. And how horrible to make a woman who's lost her pregnancy wait for the dead fetus to be expelled on its own, with the additional risk of infection.

At 3:36 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Women also would have to be told that some people die during abortions, and the procedure can lead to depression and increased risk of suicide.Are they going to tell them the same thing about pregnancy?

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anne said...

Women also would have to be told that some people die during abortions, and the procedure can lead to depression and increased risk of suicide. Are they going to tell them the same thing about pregnancy?

good point. and while they're at it, they should point out at the leading cause of death of pregnant women is physical abuse by men.

it's actually safer to have an abortion than to not have an abortion. but these lawmakers seem hellbent on changing that.

At 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your comments below reveal your ignorance. If an abortion doesn't end the life of a human being, what life does it end? It certainly ends a human life. Telling a pregnant woman that the abortion she is about to undergo WILL kill a human being, does not imply any knowlege of the future outcome past this point. Where in all of this do you read that a practitioner must tell the woman the child would most definately be born alive? Besides the fact, that MOST babies are born alive. As for your disdain with the verbage that would require a practitioner to inform a woman of the fact that she will be terminating her constitutional right to a relationship with her child, what law school did you go to? Physicians are required to inform their patients of their right to privacy regarding their medical records and procedures, and guess what?,those physicians aren't licensed to practice law either.

And this blows my mind: It's actually safer to get an abortion than not to have an abortion?!!!!!? What percentage of pregnant women are murdered or abused by men? Compare that to the percentage of women who are injured during or after an abortion. Not to mention the percentage of women who suffer post abortion depression and increase in breast cancer. Abortion is on it's way out. Get used to it. Women never should have had the right to kill their children. They will soon lose that right. Murder is murder. At no stage of a human being's life should they be considered expendable. Abortion is a barbaric act, legalized under a false and ignorant ideaology. We know better now. Get with it, slow poke.

At 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a decent dialogue on Constitutional issues around abortion, a road less traveled is the view highlighted be Joseph Farah. Consider how 'posterity' fits into the Constitution, look up the definition, and the definition of the words used to define 'posterity', etc... You might be surprised to consider what the founders of our Constitution had envisioned.

I feel a need to apologize to all women out there, but you have been brought up since Roe v. Wade in the presence of much smoke and many mirrors. Roe v. Wade was a decision based upon an individuals right to privacy, not a woman's right to choose. Unfortunately, as a result to focus on the fabricated Constitutional right of women to choose vs. the actual right to privacy, groups such as gays and lesbians now struggle. Imagine, had Roe v. Wade been celebrated for its true rights, groups mentioned may have ridden the coat tails to their deserved right of privacy.

For the medical doctors out there, discuss where in the stage of development the cerebral cortex is developed. Share in your discussions the relationship of the cerebral cortex and the sensation of pain. Successful studies have shown that fish do not sense pain as a result of not having a cerebral cortex.

The information I've suggested is for you to consume on your own, draw your own conclusions. I challenge all of us, as responsible individuals to pursue the answers to my points (and to develop your own questions around the status quo). I tend to look at viewpoints throughout history as learning opportunities, specifically viewpoints throughout American history; the Declaration of Independence, women's sufferage, slavery, equal rights... I apply abortion to each of these viewpoints, I find myself on the side of the Declaration of Independence, I support women's rights, I am against slavery, and i strongly support equal rights... So, I have done my research and I conclude that I am against abortion, and am proud of my consistant beliefs!


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