Monday, June 15, 2015

Conferencing on Abortion in SC

So, if tomorrow's conference committee does not agree to the proposed amendments on H 3114, that damned twenty-week abortion ban, it won't go away.  I can't promise you that your action will send it to the garbage pile where it belongs.  But if we can get enough of the six senators and representatives on the committee to refuse to go along with the bill, it will be done till next legislative session.

Even more important, we will have sent a strong message to the right wingnuts who believe government should be controlling women's medical decisions.  We will be telling them that we will not be bullied, that reasonable and concerned legislators will not compromise away our rights and our daughters' rights, and our families' rights.

This bill is not about whether a fetus can feel pain, because if it was about that, it would have gone away as soon as the real medical experts weighed in.  It is not about God's plan, and although most of the legislators have been careful not to talk about religion, since we still have the pretense of separation of church and state, "testimony" has been more about presuming to know God's plan than medical science.

The bill is not about defending life, because the very same people who are trying to push this bill through are the ones who believe guns should not be regulated, taxes should not pay to help children of the poor receive medical care or even adequate nutrition, and parents are not entitled to the kind of living wage that would allow them to care for their children.

This bill is about control and punishment.  It is about people who obsess about sex and can only deal with that obsession by seeking to control and punish others.  And it is about people who continue, in the 21st century, to blame women for seeking independence and -- worse -- pleasure.

I was not happy with the amendment that was added in the Senate that would allow exceptions for rape, incest, severe fetal abnormalities and the health of the woman.  Because basically that becomes a law that allows women to do what they have been able to do freely since Roe v. Wade, because it is their right.  The fact that some legislators believe that it is their prerogative to turn this right into a law means that women and doctors must now submit to control by government.  It is a manipulation to impose guilt and pain on women, to force doctors to focus on providing proof to the state rather than give their best medical care, unfettered by regulation.  Hmph.  And these are the people who whine about regulation for everything from weapons to pollution.

What is worse is that fools like Lee Bright and Wendy Nanney just can't abide by women getting away with having sex and being able to get an abortion under any circumstances.  Smarmy people who believe they have God's ear thinking that a woman should be forced to carry a pregnancy that was forced on her.  People who believe they represent "family values" when they force a woman to carry a fetus that may be stillborn or only live hours or days.  And forced to pay the exorbitant medical bills, and worse, forced to take care away from their families in order to carry a fetus that is unlikely to survive.

Harsh, isn't it?  I believe this is why we on the pro-choice side are not as loud and persistent as those who are working so hard to curtail our liberties.  But if we don't speak out, yet again, it is our right to determine our own path that will be taken away from us.  Doctors who perform abortions will be hounded until they decide it is too costly, emotionally as well as financially, to practice.  Our daughters may in the not too distant future be looking at the back alley and coat-hangar decisions that were tearing us apart up until 1973.

So let me ask you one more time to contact these members of the conference committee:

Rep. Robert Ridgeway

Sen. Raymond Cleary

Sen. Brad Hutto

Sen. Katrina Shealy

We are anticipating that these are the committee members who are likely to be more rational and receptive to our call for reason in this matter.

I have sent the following email to each:

At twenty weeks, few women seek an abortion.  Those that do are likely to be making this decision because their health is at stake, or they have learned that the fetus has severe abnormalities.  Some women or girls have been raped, and yes, it may take this long for them to come to terms with this tragic situation. 
It is wrong to force a woman to carry to term a pregnancy that may be so severely deformed that it will be stillborn or only live minutes or days.  It is not for the government, but only for the woman with her physician's medical expertise to come to a decision.  The harm that is done by forcing this path onto a woman and her family is unconscionable.
Please do not allow H 3114 to pass without the exceptions that were added to the Senate version of this bill.

To Senator Brad Hutto, I included the following:
I believe this bill is unnecessary and an insult to the rights of women to medical privacy and freedom.  

I urge you to call or write (or both) each member of this committee, which meets Tuesday at 10.  This may be our last chance to give our crucial input to this horrible bill.

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