Republicans in North Carolina are pushing a bill aimed at placing unnecessary restrictions on doctors who provide abortion services, and women are not happy about it.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that the bill, known as SB 308, requires “doctors who provide abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital. The bill also would require any physician performing an abortion to remain with the patient through the entire procedure and recovery period.”
SB 308 is sponsored by Republican state Senator Warren Daniel who says the bill is merely an attempt to make abortion safer for women. The problem is that the bill appears to be similar to a law in Mississippi that is threatening to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. That law also requires doctors who perform abortion services to gain admitting privileges to a local hospital. The doctors have made several attempts to gain such privileges but have been refused by every hospital. The same situation is feared by women in North Carolina and they’re doing something about it.
The Journal also reported on rally near the legislature in which approximately 200 women showed up to protest the bill. One of them, 21 year old student Hannah Osborne, spoke to the crowd during the event and gave a rousing defense of a woman’s right to choose.
“Choosing birth control, abstinence, abortion, pregnancy or adoption should be my choice,” Osborne declared. “To say someone else is better fit to make decisions concerning my body and my life undermines my education, insults my intelligence and mocks my citizenship.”
Fellow attendee Wanda Schrader, 67, fought for the right to choose 40 years ago along with millions of others and she also opposes the current war Republicans have declared on abortion rights and says that the country is going backward and is starting to resemble Third World countries.
“It’s just awful to me to see things get turned back like they’re doing it,” Schrader said. “It kind of frightens me what’s happening to women in this world right now. And we think that’s going on in the Third World countries. Well, guess what? Not even. It’s right here in America.”
Governor Pat McCrory has promised not to sign any new abortion restriction. But since when has a promise from a Republican meant anything as of late, especially in a time when conservatives are primarying Republicans who stand up against the insane extreme positions of the right-wing?
North Carolina isn’t the only red state making efforts to kill women’s reproductive rights. Besides the aforementioned Mississippi, the states of Arkansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alabama, and Kansas are all trying to roll back abortion rights despite the unconstitutionality of their efforts. But women aren’t stupid. They clearly understand that GOP lawmakers are trying to dictate what health choices they can make about their own bodies. In recent years, Republicans have introduced laws attacking clinics, forcing women to undergo invasive transvaginal probes, and allowing pharmacists and doctors to lie to women about abortion and to deny them contraception. Republicans have moved so far to the extreme that they even oppose abortion for rape and incest victims, thus forcing raped women and children to carry rape pregnancies against their will.
Such efforts are only angering women, both young and elderly, and such anger is hurting Republican lawmakers across the country. A wide gender gap helped propel President Obama and many Democrats to victory in the 2012 Election, and with 2014 on the horizon women seem poised to punish state and federal GOP politicians even further. Women have made similar protests in other states. Women in neighboring Virginia held a huge protest against the GOP war on women last spring. Women’s rights may be unimportant in the minds of Republicans, but women still hold their rights very dear to them. It was only 40 years ago that women gained the right to determine their own reproductive health. If Republicans think they can just strip women of these rights that women like Wanda Schrader fought hard to gain, they are perilously mistaken.