Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fighting the scourge of prenatal discrimination in Arizona


Arizona has banned abortions motivated by the race or sex of the child.

Of course this is a non-problem, but reading the text of the act (pdf), I suspect that (beyond peacocking for the base), the key clauses are those empowering the father (if married to the pregnant woman) or her parents (if a minor), to bring a civil action on behalf of the fetus to stop such abortions, or to sue abortion-providers afterwards, allowing relatives to control their womenfolk by making false claims in court. Financing such an abortion is made a criminal act.

As is usual with anti-abortion measures, the woman is subject to no penalties, even though its her evil discriminatory motives that are the point of this bill. All the penalties (up to 7 years in jail, loss of medical license, lawsuits, fines) fall on medical professionals. This is not just a thought crime, but a someone-else’s-thought crime.

Abortion-providers must sign an affidavit that they have no knowledge that a pregnant woman wants the abortion because of the fetus’s sex or race. The patient must also sign. This will either 1) encourage doctors to pry into the motivations of their patients, 2) encourage them to talk as little as possible with their patients, in case the woman says something for which the doctor may later face legal jeopardy. Either way, the doctor-patient relationship is poisoned, with doctors trying to cover their own asses rather than deal with the needs of their patients. Doctors, nurses, counselors, etc must also report any “known or suspected” sex- or race-selection motivations.

The law states, “There is no place for such discrimination and inequality in human society.” Because if there’s one thing the state of Arizona is opposed to, it’s discrimination and inequality. It adds, “The purpose of this legislation is to protect unborn children from prenatal discrimination”.

Prenatal... discrimination!

See, it’s not about banning abortion, it’s about banning discrimination. And discrimination is bad, right?

The law states: “Sex-selection and race-selection abortions are elective procedures that do not in any way implicate a woman’s health.” You could say the same thing about abortions following rape or incest – so what?

By the way, the name of this thing: “The Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011.”

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