Forced Ultrasound and Post-Ultrasound Waiting Period for Abortion Proposed in Tennessee – My analysis of the bill from last month.
Jim Tracy Withdraws His Ultrasound Bill – includes discussion and speculation on SJR127, the proposed state constitutional amendment that would allow more restrictions after passage and allow a total ban in the unlikely event that Roe were overturned. SJR127 going to a vote by Tennesseans in 2014, so that’s not likely to turn out well for reproductive justice in this state.
The sponsor of the forced ultrasound bill made a statement like they were withdrawing this bill in order to “focus all of our efforts on promoting its [SJR127's] passage on the 2014 ballot.” One, we expect SJR 127 to pass. Two, they probably didn’t want to distract the voting public with actual debate on a real example of how egregious the restrictions they want to use SJR 127 to enact actually are (hey, like forced medical tests!). Three, even if passed, the forced ultrasound bill might have been unconstitutional as is – until SJR 127 passes. Ugh.
Abortion Ultrasound Bill Shelved by Sponsors – let me just highlight the quote from Rep. Rick Womick:
“Given the fact that most abortion clinics in Tennessee already administer an ultrasound before performing an abortion, it only makes sense that we as legislators should be allowed to ensure that the pregnant mother is given the opportunity to see the video and hear the heartbeat,” added Representative Womick.
That is such utter bullshit. There’s a tremendous gap between “a medical provider might use their judgment that an ultrasound is needed and a woman might consent to that” and forcing all women to have them regardless as a hoop to jump through to obtain a legal medical procedure. Providers who do conduct ultrasounds right now could already offer women the chance to see/hear, whereas the forced ultrasound bill would have required them to either see it or listen to a description even if they didn’t want to – even if they were rape or incest victims, or pregnant with a desperately wanted child they were unable to carry to term. Also, somehow I doubt that when Womick refers to “the pregnant mother” he’s talking about the two thirds of women who are already mothers when they have abortions – he’s simply framing women in terms of who he thinks they should be, what they can produce, and how he’d like to legally require that production.
Sponsors of Tennessee Forced Ultrasound Bill Turn to Constitutional Amendment Instead – This is SJR 127 getting some attention from national-level coverage at a repro rights info depot. So we’ll be waiting for all y’all from away to help us defeat that next year, okay?
I just read through the CDC’s first ever report on interpersonal and sexual violence by sexual orientation, and it’s depressing as hell. I should have more info up at Our Bodies Our Blog this week.
Also at OBOS, I point to the Selling Sickness conference I would have liked to have attended, and we have a guest item on new coverage may spur younger women to use long acting contraceptives.
More forced ultrasound for abortion, this time in Indiana, for medication abortion.
A list of pro-choice films – I’ve seen If These Walls Could Talk and The Education of Shelby Knox, how about you?
More in things we already know – Morning-After Pills Don’t Cause Abortion, Studies Say.
Further evidence that you don’t actually have to know anything about women’s bodies or reproduction while you’re trying to regulate them (if you’re in government):
The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would place heavy restrictions on abortion in the state because, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R), “when a physician removes a child from a woman, that’s the largest organ in a body.”
I just…no. Buy a book. Hell, buy “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” Seriously.
Hysterical Women: A Visual History of the Vibrator at Nerve (found via Feministe)
A nice guide to women’s preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, via the National Women’s Law Center.
Racialicious has Suggestions For The Future: Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition (on cultural appropriation). Womanist Musings also looks at the issue.
Tiger Beatdown covers that gross Audi Super Bowl commercial.
This week’s title comes from the awesome afghan Aunt B of Tiny Cat Pants made for me.
Tennessee state Senator Stacey Campfield brought back the “Don’t say gay” bill to forbid teachers from discussing sexualities other than heterosexuality. He was rightfully mocked on the Colbert Report for this and other bills he’s filed. The bill (SB 234) technically forbids discussion of anything “inconsistent with natural human reproduction” – because, you know, all sex results in reproduction and all straight people are capable of reproducing. Worst, though, is that it requires teachers and school counselors who talk to a student who might be questioning their sexuality to notify the parents right away. So, good on you, Campfield, making sure K-8 students potentially get abused and/or kicked out of their homes.
I understand the sentiment (such as from LeftWingCracker) that paying any attention to Campfield distracts us from real damage our GOP-controlled legislature is doing elsewhere in less noisy ways. But I also think that fostering an environment where it’s okay to encourage counselors to snitch on kids in ways that may physically and psychologically harm them *is* real damage to our state (even if the bill doesn’t pass). Just being out there, these bills tell our vulnerable people what we think of them, and it demands objection.
Tomorrow I’ll have a post up on the forced ultrasound and waiting period bill proposed in Tennessee.
This grosses me out: Scientists Discover Children’s Cells Living in Mothers’ Brains. The way the article starts out by acting like all mothers and their children exist in some happy bubble of perfect bonding and contentment is also kinda gross.
At the Crunk Feminist Collective: Immigration Reform: What Queer & Trans Immigrants & Our Allies Need to Know
New report from the CDC (in the MMWR): Progress in Increasing Breastfeeding and Reducing Racial/Ethnic Differences — United States, 2000–2008 Births
Recent stuff at Our Bodies Our Blog (also see @oboshealth):
- Getting Personal: What It’s Really Like Living With a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) (guest blog from Jenelle Marie)
- In Armenia, Abortion Rates are High and Access to Contraception is Limited (guest blog by Taleen K. Moughamian)
- New Study Shows Excellent Outcomes in Birth Centers (from me, after a ton of discussion with the team and helpful responses from the authors)
From The Rachel Maddow Show, GOP War on Women Continues to Rage in the States.
At CureThis, something I think is really important:
Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, and the silence of healthcare providers
So, physicians in the state, especially the state’s medical association, which supposedly speaks on behalf of physicians and is vocal about the government not intruding on physicians’ rights and clinical judgment, must be up in arms, right?
There are tons of states where legislatures have or are trying to restrict abortion by intruding on medical practice, by requiring ultrasounds, biased consent, forbidding telemedicine, or other provisions. If doctors want to keep wondering why patients don’t always just trust them and take their word as shiny beacons of highly educated authority, they should remember that we saw them, when they wouldn’t stand up for us, even when not doing so affected their ability to make professional judgments. See Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health for one example of docs actually trying to do something, but these restrictions are many and widespread – individual clinicians in every state could and should be pushing back.
More on this later, but for now read Betsy Phillips at Pith.
One wonders why Tracy thinks women go to have abortions if we don’t know we’re pregnant. But this is clearly just designed to be an egregious pain in the ass of women who want to have an abortion. Tracy and the state just want to make sure we know how stupid they think we are, and how little they think of us. They also want skirt the disastrously unpopular transvaginal ultrasound legislation that caused so many headaches for Republicans when many states tried to pass it last year.
An update on the Tennessee Democratic Party (#TNDP) chair election – Roy Herron was elected, 39-27. I’m personally already sick of the explanation that if we want to “win” in Tennessee, we need to accept being “pro-life, anti-gay, and pro-gun.” Winning on those terms doesn’t sound like winning at all to, say, women, and gay people, and the folks who love them. That sounds like keeping people in power just for the sake of it, and it’s disgusting.
Some recent posts over at Our Bodies Our Blog:
- Carol Sakala with a guest item on maternity care and medicolegal liability: Fixing Persistent Liability Concerns in Maternity Care: We Can Do It!
- When Pregnancy is a Crime: Arrests, Forced Interventions in the Name of Public Health
- Roe Round-Up: Analysis on the 40th Anniversary of Legalized Abortion
National Advocates for Pregnant Women, whose director (Lynn Paltrow) is the lead author on the study of forced interventions discussed in the link above, has a lengthy post on the topic of Post-Roe v Wade and “Pro-Life” Measures.
Bill Moyers spoke to NAPW’s Lynn Paltrow, and National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health’s Jessica González-Rojas, for an episode of Moyers & Company that might be airing today where you are. Check online, too. (see also from NAPW)
To the Point (KCRW, heard on NPR) doesn’t seem to offer transcripts, but I believe it was guest James Bowman (@JamesVBowman), who, in an episode on women in combat, refused to acknowledge the possibility that women could be honorable, insisting that men historically have shown their honor through combat, while women have shown *their* honor through chastity. That sound you heard was a million women simultaneously headdesking, vomiting, and punching their computers/radios.
*Of course* Tennessee’s Diane Black is a headliner in the “March for Life.” She doesn’t speak for me, either.
Why I won’t be moving to Texas, either, part eleventy million: After Forcing Women To Drop Their Doctors, Texas Gives Them A Faulty List Of Replacements.
Libraryland nerd stuff: the copyright issues involved in the Jonathan Coulton/Glee/Baby Got Back story are complicated (but something fun to talk to the resident audio engineer about), but I think his response of releasing “a cover of Glee’s cover of my cover of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s song” is pretty clever.
And The Feminist Librarian talks about writing fan fiction, especially the sex bits. Complete with Doctor Who images.
This week’s “Edition” title is a nod to the fact that I just started watching Doctor Who for the first time ever recently (starting with Eccleston). I just finished up with the Tenth Doctor last night. It was the Ood song that really crushed me, in the end. Wept.