Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Not Quite There...

...but close.

I'm talking about US District Judge Sam Sparks, who struck down a key provision in Texas' new law requiring doctors to perform sonograms before abortions, ruling that the measure "violates the free speech rights of both doctors and patients."

Well. Almost good. He didn't strike down the provision ENTIRELY. So doctors apparently are still required to do the sonograms. However, Judge Sparks has determined that the doctors are not required to abide by the provision that they must describe the image to the patients and requiring the women to hear the descriptions.

OK, first off. That's barbaric. And please don't come back and tell me "abortion is barbaric." Having a baby you don't WANT is barbaric. Having to listen to a doctor describe the images on a sonongram while you're laying there waiting for the perfectly legal procedure to begin? It's like a doctor telling you the exact procedure he or she will perform to take out your appendix, which is swollen and ready to burst, and when it bursts, it will spill toxic juices into your core, and those juices will affect every single organ in your body, and the entire system will be slowly and painfully poisoned. And often, there's not much they can do about it once it's burst, in spite of all the medical advances. Sometimes, even in 2011, you still die of a burst appendix.

There's "informed consent" and then there's "deliberate cruelty" - and Texas has followed too many states into the "deliberate cruelty" area when they try to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is the law of the land.

While an unwanted pregnancy isn't toxic, the woman who makes the decision to have the abortion has already gone through enough grief. She has made a difficult decision and doesn't need to be badgered by a doctor, when said doctor is performing a perfectly legal medical procedure.

So, if I get Botox, is the doctor going to make me look at pictures of botched Botox jobs? Will the doctor describe in excruciating detail what could happen if he or she didn't do her job correctly?

If I have any other perfectly legal medical procedure, I am required to sign a waiver that indicates that I have been advised of everything that could go wrong. And I've had enough surgeries to know that being knocked out could cause problems; the surgery could be complicated; the surgery could affect other things such as (in the case of my hand surgeries) future mobility, etc. All of that I know.

But the Texas law, like those other state laws that have been coming quickly across the nation, seeks to do something else. It seeks to reduce women to second-class citizenship. It seeks to deprive us of control of our own bodies. It seeks to render us "permanently labeled" and the label resembles Hester Prynne's scarlet letter.

Sparks wrote that forcing doctors to discuss the sonograms "compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree..." Well, happy day. Someone finally has figured out that not everyone sees the issue of abortion in the same way the right wing uber-nut jobs do.

It is a perfectly legal procedure. Period. It's the law of the land. And part of the Texas law that is the most distasteful (actually, ALL of it is distasteful)? In order to get out of having to listen to your doctor, you would sign a piece of paper saying your pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or that the fetus had a "irreversible abnormality."

And this paper is part of your permanent medical record. Nice, huh? Let's just call any woman who desires a perfectly legal medical procedure a slut, a whore, or any other pejorative word that demeans her own ability to make decisions about her own body.

Of course Rick Perry is very mad. The state of Texas is appealing. Perry says that "every live lost to abortion is a tragedy." Ok, where's your solution? Where's your support for the woman, who may have a child who is irreversibly damaged? (It happens -- look at the conjoined twins in Chicago recently who were born to a 20-year-old single mother -- and who lived 18 months in a hospital, at a cost of millions of dollars.) What about the woman who's had a child and is unable to support it?

Under Perry's logic, that woman should just "pull herself up and make it work" because of course he HAS no solution. There's no strong plan out there by any of the right wing uber-nut jobs to help a woman once the "fetus" is a "baby."

After it's born, they want nothing to do with the woman who had a child out of the holy state of wedlock (if that's the case). And if she's had more children than she and her husband can support because they can't get or can't afford birth control? Well, that would be THEIR problem. Not the state's. The state which is gradually stripping women of all of their human rights. The state where, if Republicans have their way, you'd have no social support system. No food stamps; no welfare; no heating assistance (it does get cold in Texas); no housing subsidies.

This is the state with the governor who wanted to secede from the Union. If this is how he plans to run the country? Go ahead and secede. We don't want you here. And women certainly don't want you in the White House. Women with brains, that is.

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