Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Last Gasp of the Columbian Mammoth

I don't want to suggest that making the Columbian Mammoth the state fossil wasn't a hard fought victory; after all, it came to having to decide once and for all whether the earth is 6,000 years old.  But we managed a compromise between religion and science and we can rest easy about our State Fossil.  Which thankfully continues to make science in this great state a matter of opinion.

But still on the horizon are some horrendous and stinky bills, that are being pushed through in the last weeks of the session.  This week coming up are anti-abortion bills that masquerade as anything from protecting women from assault to protecting 20-week-old fetuses from feeling pain that they are physiologically incapable of feeling.  And just added to the roster is a bill that would add regulations to birth centers that would restrict the practice of midwives.  And another bill proposes to protect the rights of public schools to display religious symbols that represent holidays, once again keeping Christmas safe.

So here is a brief rundown:

In the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee, Thursday 4/10, 9:30, 407 Gressette:
S 83 is the personhood bill, stating that life begins at fertilization. 
S 457 is pretty much the same nonsense, as far as I can tell. 
S 527 pretends that it wants to protect pregnant women from violence by allowing them use deadly force against an assailant.  THE TRICK IS THAT THE FETUS IS DEFINED AS AN UNBORN CHILD, WHICH SETS THE PRECEDENT FOR PERSONHOOD IF PASSED.  Nice try, sleazoids.
 Subcommittee members are:   Campsen (ch), Hutto, Gregory, Allen, Hembree.

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Also in the Senate, the Medical Affairs Subcommittee Wednesday, 4/9, at 9 a.m., will hear debate on H 4223.  This is the 20-week abortion ban, falsely called the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act."  THIS BILL HAS PASSED THE HOUSE.  It is crucial that we be heard in the Senate on this bill.  Members of the subcommittee are:  Ray Cleary (ch), Hutto, Bright, Tom Davis, Kevin Johnson.

* * * * *

H 4458 will be heard by the House Committee on Education and Public Works.  This bill, which goes by the inoffensive title of "Winter Holidays" opens the door to religious symbolism in public schools, pretending that all religions would get equal representation, and that this is for the purpose of education rather than indoctrination.  This meeting will be held on Wednesday, 4/9.

* * * * *

H 5002 is a late-to-the-party attempt to restrict midwives through "accreditation" and "addressing professional requirements for staff members (at birth centers) who provide patient care."  You can't convince me that this doesn't also have an anti-abortion/contraception hidden agenda, although I can't prove it.

* * * * *

At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, I am going to end with some potentially good news.

H 3435, the Comprehensive Health Education Act, has had its first reading on the House floor and could be called up for a vote as early as Tuesday.  This bill proposes upgrading school standards for health education to "medically accurate."  This is a good thing, and it seems to have a bit of momentum.  Which means you should call your legislators in the House and give them that little extra encouragement to vote yes, and bring our health education system out of the Stone Age, which is even older than the age of our State Fossil.

Finally, I would like to apologize for any errors.  I find this whole process terrible confusing, and wonder if that is part of the grand plan.

1 comment:

  1. Good one, Alice! I've never been able to figure out whether the obfuscation of legislation and politicians was a deliberate effort to confuse, or irrefutable evidence of cluelessness. I'm inclined to go with the latter.