Thursday, April 03, 2008

Toothpicks! We'll need toothpicks!

Dan Gelber gets it ---
The litany of problems facing our state is well known.

We are home to the worst high school graduation rate in the nation. One in five children lacks health insurance. Homeowners are paying way more than their fair share in property taxes and are faced with property insurance rates that are spiraling out of control. Family incomes have flat lined over the last decade, and declining sales tax revenues have caused multi-billion dollar deficits in our already stretched and tattered state budget.

So what did we spend seven hours talking about today?

Limiting a woman’s right to make a choice about her body and her health care.

Why the majority of my Republican colleagues believe they know more about a woman’s health decisions than does the woman is beyond me.

Unfortunately, the Florida House, in all its Republican-controlled wisdom, did not listen and has decided that all women seeking abortions must first be required to pay for --- and view --- an ultrasound of the fetus.

To top that off, they also passed a 'fetal homicide' bill that says anyone who caused a pregnancy to be terminated by assaulting or killing a woman could be prosecuted for murdering the "unborn child" — even if they didn't know the woman was pregnant.

Sure, the first one is being touted as a way for women to obtain health care, and that last one is being touted as a way to protect unborn children from drunk drivers, but in reality both of these measures are just two more of the many insidious ways that conservatives are trying to keep from women from having sex until the men in their lives decide that it's time for them to produce heirs.


Anonymous said...

Apparently there are no companion bills in the Senate, so this is going nowhere, but that doesn't mean it isn't stupid.

What qualifies the Florida House to specify medical procedures? Have they demanded that everyone must have blood transfusions if it will save their live? No, because several religious groups object.

Frankly, I'm not crazy about ultrasound as a casual procedure, rather than a necessary diagnostic tool, because I can't believe we know that it is 100% safe.

hipparchia said...

i've seen a few 4d keepsake ultrasound videos. they're just way cool, utterly fascinating, and if a woman were at all ambivalent about having an abortion, this would certainly work well as emotional blackmail.

but yeah, just how safe such casual usage may or may not be for the fetus hasn't been established and any legislative body is way out of line forcing pregnant women and their [presumed] unborn children to be the guinea pigs for this.

i think maybe it's time we make all, and i do mean all, legislators buy their own medical malpractice insurance.

Steve Bates said...

A couple who are longtime friends of mine have a girl who is about, um, what? nine now? She's old enough that when the woman called me to let me know, we happened to be in Galveston, and I received the call thanks to my (ahem) pager.

Anyway, the couple really, really wanted this kid, and decided not to have an ultrasound after discussing the matter and deciding they intended to keep the kid even if it had severe abnormalities at birth. It didn't. The girl's a bloody musical genius, no surprise considering both parents are similarly endowed.

My point is that the mother and (presuming all kinds of good things about the relationship) the father are perfectly capable of obtaining information and making rational decisions on their own, without Republicans acting in loco parentis. (I've always thought that phrase must be Latin for "even crazier than the parents.") It's just none of the legislature's g'dam business.

hipparchia said...

... Latin for "even crazier than the parents."

you just made my entire weekend, steve, that line is a keeper.

also, the world needs more musical geniuses [and fewer authoritarian assholes] so i'm glad to hear that story.