What Kind of America Is This?
Liz from I Speak of Dreams alerted me to Blog for Choice Day, a call to, and I paraphrase, flood the blogosphere with pro-choice posts on January 22nd, the 33th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
Initially I wasn't going to post anything because I have little to add to the discussion. As long as it's accepted [to my dismay] that politicians, government bureaucrats, and lawyers, in consultation with assorted power-hungry fundamentalists, get to decide what happens to a patient's internal organs, I think the battle has already been lost.
Furthermore, while the various efforts--marches, petitions, public statements, blog posts--to raise public awareness of the issues at hand by people who think female patients should be allowed to make their own medical decisions are commendable, I don't think they are very effective. Granted, the enormity of the negative impact of female patients losing the ability to have a say in what happens to their health and their life is difficult to convey in the abstract. Difficult, but not impossible. For example, here's a more realistic alternative. Regardless of your gender, beliefs, thirst for power, etc., next time you have to consent to a medical procedure, 1) refuse to sign the consent, and 2) insist that your doctor only perform the procedure after contacting your local politician and securing his/her permission. This should help put some things in perspective. As would complications from a septic abortion--the great clarifier. But I digress.
Let me just leave you with this. Based on historical data, the most likely scenario is this. Once the State prohibits legal elective abortion, there will be a short-lived decrease in the number of legal abortions. The number of all abortions will then increase dramatically, eventually stabilizing at the higher level. This will happen via an increase in both the number of illegal abortions, as well as "spontaneous" abortions. ["Spontaneous" as in, for those fortunate enough to have resources/access there will be an unobtrusive, private meeting with a medical professional where certain meds will be administered, followed by the official ER visit, and a totally legal and respectable diagnosis of "spontaneous" abortion.]
In order to insure that female patients of reproductive age do not make their own medical decisions, the State will need to police this patient population, and, ironically, some of their partners. Here's the enforcement model:
[T]he legal age for marriage was lowered to fifteen years for women, and additional taxes were levied on childless individuals over twenty-five years of age. Monthly gynecological examinations for all women of childbearing age were instituted, even for pubescent girls, to identify pregnancies in the earliest stages and to monitor pregnant women to ensure that their pregnancies came to term. Miscarriages were to be investigated and illegal abortions prosecuted, resulting in prison terms of one year for the women concerned and up to five years for doctors and other medical personnel performing the procedure. Doctors and nurses involved in gynecology came under increasing pressure, especially after 1985, when "demographic command units" were set up to ensure that all women were gynecologically examined at their place of work. These units not only monitored pregnancies and ensured deliveries but also investigated childless women and couples, asked detailed questions about their sex lives and the general health of their reproductive systems, and recommended treatment for infertility.
Bottom line: Even the Communists, the garbage stuck to the bottom of humanity's drain, never pretended that prohibiting women to make their own medical decisions was anything other than a coerced sacrifice to the altar of state ideology. If, in today's America, we reach a point where not only are female patients, and their families, subject to communist policies, but the policies are implemented under the guise of noble intentions and consequences [not only is the loss of control over your internal organs for your own good and you must accept it, you must also appreciate, and be thankful for, it], one must ask: What kind of America is this?