09 March 2006

Callous Ignorance: The South Dakota Legislature Story

(Graphic courtesy EKO in the comments at Kos)

The repugnance of this bill has been well-known since its proposal in the state legislature. However, it wasn't until being signed into law that its breathtaking cruelty was revealed to be matched only by its stupidity.
CHICAGO (AFP) - The governor of the US state of South Dakota signed a near blanket ban on abortion, including in rape cases, launching a major challenge to a landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made the procedure legal.

The bill signed by Republican Governor Mike Rounds makes it illegal to terminate a pregnancy except in rare cases when it may be necessary to save the mother's life.

It grants no allowances for women who have been raped or are victims of incest. It provides for criminal charges against doctors who perform abortion. It also prohibits the sale of emergency contraception and asserts that life begins at fertilization.

Rounds described the law as a "direct challenge" to the Roe versus Wade decision of 1973, in which the US Supreme Court ruled that bans on abortion violated a woman's constitutional right to privacy.
Tacking on the prohibition of emergency contraception was a nice touch. Considering some types of EC are virtually identical to otherwise readily available birth control pills, how do you propose banning the sale of one, but not the other? Certainly, it won't be long before how many/what type to take in order to achieve the same effect becomes common knowledge, like this. Anyone think that people who believe rape victims should be denied abortions would even blink at outlawing these legal drugs as a result?

As bad as that is, the assertion that life begins at fertilization really shows you the type of deep thinking that went into this nasty piece of legislation. By that virtue, every clinic and hospital that does fertility therapy will need to be carefully policed, lest they illegally dispose of any blastulae who, according to the law, have already begun their lives.

Felonious defrosting: coming soon, to a viciously backward state legislature near you.

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