Friday, April 8, 2016
So the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, signed into law an anti-abortion bill known as HB1337. Sigh. I've pasted the requirements of the bill below for your reading displeasure. The toughest part for me is the requirement that the mother listen to the heartbeat of the unborn: Provides that informed consent for an abortion must be obtained in a private setting. Provides that a pregnant woman considering an abortion must be given the opportunity to view the fetal ultrasound imaging and hear the auscultation of the fetal heart tone at least 18 hours before the abortion is performed and at the same time that informed consent is obtained.
That is shameful emotional manipulation. The government cannot and should not and must not be allowed to con a woman in accepting a pregnancy she cannot afford, having a child conceived from an act of rape or other sexual violations, or the myriad of other reasons women choose (see that word?) to terminate a pregnancy.
You have no right. You have no right to tell me what I can and cannot do in a situation where I have to make a terrible decision by making sure to up the terrible-ante through emotional means. How awful to make me, force me, to hear the unborn's heartbeat to ensure I provide "informed consent" so I know I'm killing a baby? Because I didn't already know that? Because I'm trying to distance myself from this so I don't fall apart and die from this choice I am making?
Women are outraged and decided to attack with snark. The FB page Periods for Pence was created with one of the earliest posts on March 28 providing the justification: Fertilized eggs can be expelled during a woman's period without a woman even knowing that she might have had the potential blastocyst in her. Therefore, any period could potentially be a miscarriage without knowledge. I would certainly hate for any of my fellow Hoosier women to be at risk of penalty if they do not "properly dispose" of this or report it. Just to cover our bases, perhaps we should make sure to contact Governor Pence's office to report our periods. We wouldn't want him thinking that THOUSANDS OF HOOSIER WOMEN A DAY are trying to hide anything, would we? We can ALL CALL HIM AT 317-232-4567. REPORT THOSE PERIODS! You should really let him know, since he's so concerned. It will only take a few minutes of your day, but it lets them face an undue and unjust burden, for a change!
So women from all over the United States are calling the Governor's office to inform him how this month's periods are going. It's rough going for the phone-answerers in Pence's office. The office has actually directed callers to Rep. Casey Cox's office as he authored the bill. I'd love to know how and why Cox decided he had a place in the collective uterus of Indiana. I don't know why there is this overwhelming need to legislate women's choices. It's more than telling me what to do with my body. It is telling me what choice I HAVE to make. We're no longer in a time where women have to use abortion as a form of birth control. But women make this choice for reasons that are incredibly personal and painful and sometimes hopeless. I'm sorry, but a white, wealthy male in a government office is never ever ever going to understand that.
Abortion. Requires the state department of health to develop certain information concerning perinatal hospice care. Requires physicians to provide information about perinatal hospice care to a pregnant woman who is considering an abortion because the unborn child has been diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly. Requires documentation as a matter of informed consent to an abortion that the pregnant woman received the required information about perinatal hospice care. Provides that the gender of the fetus and the medical indication by diagnosis code for the fetus and the mother must be reported on the pregnancy termination form for an early pre-viability termination. Prohibits a person from performing an abortion if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because of: (1) the race, color, national origin, ancestry, or sex of the fetus; or (2) a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability. Provides for disciplinary sanctions and civil liability for wrongful death if a person knowingly or intentionally performs a sex selective abortion or an abortion conducted because of a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of Down syndrome or any other disability. Provides that informed consent for an abortion must be obtained in a private setting. Provides that a pregnant woman considering an abortion must be given the opportunity to view the fetal ultrasound imaging and hear the auscultation of the fetal heart tone at least 18 hours before the abortion is performed and at the same time that informed consent is obtained. Provides that a written agreement between a physician performing an abortion and a physician who has written admitting privileges at a hospital in the county or contiguous county concerning the management of possible complications of the services must be renewed annually. Requires the state department of health (state department) to submit copies of admitting privileges and written agreements between physicians to other hospitals in the county and contiguous counties where abortions are performed. Requires that certain forms must include lines for the signature of the physician or other provider and the professional credentials of the physician or other provider. Provides that a person who knowingly transports an aborted fetus into, or out of, Indiana commits a Class A misdemeanor, unless the aborted fetus is transported for the sole purpose of final disposition. Provides that a miscarried or aborted fetus must be interred or cremated by a facility having possession of the remains. Requires a person or facility having possession of a miscarried or aborted fetus to ensure that the miscarried fetus or aborted fetus is preserved until final disposition occurs. Specifies that: (1) a person is not required to designated a name for the miscarried or aborted fetus; and (2) information submitted with respect to the disposition of a miscarried or aborted fetus that may be used to identify the parent or parents of a miscarried fetus or a pregnant who had an abortion is confidential and must be redacted from any public records maintained under the burial permit law. Specifies that miscarried and aborted fetuses may be cremated by simultaneous cremation. Excludes the final disposition of a miscarried or aborted fetus from the law governing the treatment of infectious or pathological waste. Makes conforming changes. Provides that the performance of an abortion solely because of the race, color, sex, disability, national origin, or ancestry of the fetus or a violation of certain statutes protecting the right of conscience regarding abortion is a discriminatory practice for purposes of the civil rights law. Defines fetal tissue. Prohibits an individual from acquiring, receiving, selling, or transferring fetal tissue. Makes it a Level 5 felony to unlawfully: (1) transfer; and (2) collect fetal tissue. Establishes an exemption for the criminal penalty of unlawful use of an embryo if the transfer or receipt of a fetus was requested in writing by a biological parent for purposes of an autopsy.