The lucky gals in Minnesota got a special break from the state legislature last week. Now both they and Arkansan women will be offered anesthesia for their fetuses if they elect to have an abortion after 20 weeks gestation.
Nobody objected, once they removed the part about it being a felony for a doctor to fail to tell a woman that the fetus she was aborting could feel pain. Bad move. This is how we got into the mess we have now in so many other sectors of our society.
It affects a very few abortions, so it should be okay. Wrong. In the grand neo-con tradition of turning a given inch into a taken mile, the righteous wrong have gotten their collective foot in the door. They will continue to nibble, pick and scratch at women’s right to choose, until they have gotten rid of it completely.
It is not that I like abortion. Nobody thinks abortion is an ideal answer for anything. But in their crusade to mind everyone’s business but their own, the Right-to-Lifers have found a way to inflict some more anguish on a woman when she is already up to her eyeballs in the stuff. There’s some real compassionate conservatism.
“We do want people to know that these are unborn children, and they can feel pain,” says Jackie Moen, of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. Someone should let Ms. Moen in on the secret: most women having abortions are feeling plenty of pain already. The fetal pain law only adds insult to injury.
The Unborn Child Pain Prevention Act is part of a larger law, the Women’s Right to Know Law. True to neo-con methods, this law is mis-named. Truth in advertising would require it to be called something like the “Our Right to Tell You Law.”
Those who do not think a woman should have the right to choose have never had to choose themselves.
The righteous wrong spend untold hours picketing family planning clinics and harassing women who come for check-ups, when they could be using their time and energies for preventing unwanted pregnancy. Not only do they not support women in what is probably the hardest decision of their lives, they will not even support women trying to keep themselves from getting into that spot. Sadly, women will continue to choose after abortion is outlawed completely, but it will kill a lot more of them than it does today.
- ► 2006 (15)