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For people who claim to detest regulation, Republicans aren’t messing around when it comes to regulating – and over-regulating – abortion clinics.

texas women's health express

Don’t mess with Texas? Well, Texas ought not to mess with our abortion rights. All these bills, all over the country, that are being passed by right-wing anti-choicers (under the guise of looking after the health of women) have absolutely nothing to do with our health, and everything to do with driving abortion clinics out of the business of helping women. And now they’re focusing, not on health issue, but on code enforcement issues, all with the assistance and support of local communities.

Republicans couldn’t care less about women: Take Texas, where, according to Think Progress:

“. . . The modifications required for compliance with ambulatory surgical center standards would require clinics to make significant structural changes, like widened hallways and modifications to air flow patterns, that one abortion provider told RH Reality Check are ‘unwarranted’ in terms of improving the health and safety of abortion patients . . . ‘Abortion is a procedure, it’s not a surgery . . . There’s no incision made.’”

In Alabama, a bill sponsored by a female congressperson imposes tight restrictions on clinics – such as having the doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges at local hospitals – which the sponsor claims “protects the right of women having an abortion to have it in a healthy, safe environment.” Except, with the tightening restrictions, and multiple clinics being forced to shut down, the “healthy, safe environment” will soon be a back-alley hack with dirty equipment. The same laws are being passed in Mississippi, for the same reasons (and abortion doctors are being turned down for admitting privileges they need to continue to perform abortions): Denying women choice, and forcing them into unsafe, unsanitary, and deadly venues to secure a legal, safe medical procedure.

North Dakota has piled restriction upon restriction to block womens’ access to abortions. Beginning with bogus requirements for abortion doctors, to fetal heartbeat to personhood to transvaginal ultrasound requirements, North Dakota is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to deny women healthy, safe mechanisms to secure a legal abortion. And North Dakota, in the midst of its anti-female agenda, is also seeking to block access to sex ed for its most at-risk youngsters because the program is partnered with Planned Parenthood. Despite the fact that only 3% of its services are abortion-related, all these backward states share the position that Planned Parenthood is an evil, vile abortion mill, and refuse to accept that its main focus is preventive health for women and men.

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In Indiana, a woman might be forced to undergo two transvaginal ultrasounds to simply taken an RU-486 “morning after” pill. ”The provision,” as reported by Think Progress, “is included in Senate Bill 371, which also would require any clinic that dispenses the drug — known as RU-486 — to meet the same requirements as a clinic that performs surgical abortions, though physicians’ offices would be exempt . . . If the bill passes, the clinic would have to widen hallways and doorways to meet state specifications for surgery and install anesthesia, surgical and sterilization equipment.”

Showing women ultrasounds of their fetuses has proved ineffective, the notion of transvaginal ultrasounds has been rejected, and even the residents of Mississippi rejected the “personhood” amendment. But now, instead of focusing on the sinister medical side (which people largely sneer at, since women know they’re not aborting an eggplant and don’t need to see photos to be reminded of this), anti-choice states are now focusing on, literally, more concrete mechanisms, such as doorway width, hallways and equipment requirements.

It would be a beautiful thing if Republicans actually demonstrated one ounce of care about a living, breathing woman or child – but they don’t. For them, life begins at conception and ends at birth, and for them, their mission begins at denial of services and ends when women are dead from back-alley abortion clinics and self-induced abortions with coathangers. Then – and only then – will they be satisfied.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t these the same people who claim to detest over-regulation? Apparently it’s only oil spills and toxic fumes they don’t like regulated; when women die due to hypocritical Republican over-regulation, the anti-choice faction can then declare their mission a raving success.

julie driscoll

Julie Kindle
Smoking Hot Politics

Saturday, 3 March 2013