Sunday, July 20, 2008

This Week in Reproductive Justice

Woman charged in unborn baby's death

Police in Florence, Alabama have accused a 30-year-old woman of manslaughter, alleging she cut the umbilical cord of her seven month fetus in utero, causing its death. Comments at Feministing explain why that's a pretty fishy allegation--mostly that it's pretty gosh darn hard to reach inside your uterus with an object sharp enough to sever an umbilical cord, actually find said umbilical cord, and cut it without shredding your insides.

Police, however, say that the evidence is "overwhelming"--apparently, the fact that the fetus was born with a severed umbilical cord is evidence enough--and have not attempted to discover if the woman had, you know, "help". As Jill at Feministing points out, this is just another example of the criminalization of pregnant women who don't spend their entire day sitting at home calculating how much folic acid they've consumed that day.

Ruling Gives South Dakota Doctors a Script to Read

A script, that is, for women seeking abortions. Doctors must tell women seeking abortions that a fetus is "a whole, separate, unique living human being," and that "abortion increases the risk of suicide ideation and suicide," and they are to tell her this no earlier than two hours before the procedure.

Naturally, it really drives me batty when pro-lifers assume that women get abortions because they don't realize that abortions kill their babies.

For the record, as of 2005, 98% of South Dakota counties had no abortion provider, and 78% of South Dakota's women lived in a county with no provider. There are two--count 'em, TWO--abortion providers in the whole state of South Dakota.

It's not like pregnant women are just walking down the street and see an abortion clinic and go, oh hey! An abortion! Cool! The decision requires thought, planning, and lots of emotional turmoil. We should really stop treating women like idiots.

In case you were wondering, Alabama also has pretty restricted access to abortion clinics--there are 13 in the state, and about 93% of counties have none. (Incidentally, Minnesota is actually worse than Alabama, with just 11 providers in 5% of counties.)

So, John McCain, you have eight really awkward seconds to figure out how to assure that women have access to reproductive health services. Ready...go!

1 comment:

showmeyourwits said...

Jill! Great post; I didn't know you blogged here. (Correction, I didn't know this existed.)

That SD script is very, very troubling. It's also, even from a non-partisan standpoint, pretty fucking confusing, as this article details.