694! No, no that’s not the number of miles from my house to the wonderfully overpriced world of Disney or even the number of dollars in my sad bank account. The Guttmacher Institute released a report on Thursday that states 694 bills focusing on women’s bodies, how they get pregnant or if she chooses to terminate the pregnancy have been introduced in state legislatures. Just in 2013.
A new report released on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute takes a comprehensive look at how the War on Women has continued past the election cycle and into 2013. It shows that the new legislatures across the country are still very much dedicated to restricting sex education, availability of medication, and abortion access for women. Indeed, 47 percent of the 694 provisions were directly related to abortion.
You heard that right, 694 times in three months, states have sought to pass unconstitutional
pro-life pro-fetus, anti-woman laws.
Here are some examples:
- Kansas is set to enact a law, H.B. 2253, that defines life “at the moment of fertilization,” forces abortion providers to supply women with a list of abortion alternatives and prevents abortion providers from receiving tax credits or state funds.
- Oklahoma State Rep. Mike Reynolds (R-Oklahoma City) introduced H.R. 1029, a fetal “personhood” bill.
- Mississippi’s H.B.1196 , a “fetal heartbeat bill” would require abortion doctors to look for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion even if that means forcing the woman to submit to an invasive transvaginal ultrasound. If a heartbeat is detected the doctor is prohibited from performing an abortion.
- North Dakota passed two of the strictest abortion bills in the country and has all but made abortion illegal in the state. One bill H.B. 1456 is much like Mississippi’s bill except that it subjects doctors that perform an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected to a fine or up to five years in prison. The other bill, H.B. 1305 would not only ban women from having an abortion based on gender selection but also bans them from receiving an abortion if the fetus is found to have a birth defect, such as Down Syndrome.
Not only are Republicans continuing to systematically attack woman and their reproductive rights, but they are passing bills that they will have to defend. It’s painfully ironic that the party that screams our country is broke continues to pass laws that will require thousands and thousands, sometimes millions, of dollars to defend in federal court. How thoughtful of them to put their constituents tax dollars to such good work. I mean, that money could be used for rebuilding infrastructure and providing the people of their states with jobs; However, who needs a job when you have an ideology to defend?! It’s also ironic that the party of “small government” and “constitutional rights” continues to pass laws that trample all over the rights of everyone that is not a white, wealthy, straight male. I suppose the rules that apply to the rest of us, in terms of the Constitution, do not apply to them. They must be puuurtttyyy special.
Furthermore, having an abortion is not something that a woman strives for. It is not something that is taken lightly. I know a great number of women, including myself, that have had abortions for a number of reasons and not one of those women did it because it was fun. We didn’t say, “Ahhhhh, today looks like a good day to terminate a pregnancy” or make a list of life goals and fit an abortion in there between graduating high school and going to college. It disgusts me that the Republican party and religious right not only seek to take our rights women away but also stigmatize us. I had an abortion when I was a 17 year old senior in high school and as I walked into the clinic I was called every name imaginable by a group of abortion protesters holding signs with pictures of dead fetuses on them.
So what will the Republican party do next? Are they going to introduce bills that force us to wear a ‘M’ for murderer on our chests? Would anyone be surprised?