Moderation in the Pursuit of Women’s Rights is NO Virtue

A great new article in Quartz puts the lie to the naive assumption that Ohio is a midwestern bastion of moderation with a reasonable and centrist governor in John Kasich. Even “Middle America” is a fringe swampland inhabited by cold-blooded monsters when it comes to abortion rights–because women’s issues are considered a specialty niche where otherwise “moderate” politicians can indulge their hidden extremists tendencies.

Deep red states like Alabama and Oklahoma get a reputation for being festering misogynistic sinkholes where reproductive rights go to die, mostly because that’s what they are. But it doesn’t mean that “moderate” states like Ohio or even solidly blue states aren’t home to some of the same anti-woman, anti-choice tendencies.

Ohio lawmakers just sent a bill to Kasich for signature that would essentially ban abortion after 6 weeks. And since it’s almost impossible to realize the need for an abortion and arrange for one in that time frame, Ohio is virtually making abortion impossible to obtain.

There’s a sordid history of Ohio meddling in reproductive rights. They were the first state to ban the so-called “partial birth” abortions (which don’t actually exist). The state also requires unnecessary ultrasounds, a 24-hour waiting period, and parental consent. And waiting in the wings are perennial attempts to pass one of those macabre fetal burial bills.

Ohio is Mississippi without the BBQ.

And their “moderate” posterboy Governor John Kasich is Mike Pence on Just For Men. NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio called him “if not the worst—among the worst of anti-choice governors in this country’s history.” The number of clinics in Ohio went from 16 to 8 under his watch. And he cheered as he watched.

You never know where the next threat to abortion rights will come from. That’s why Lady Parts Justice League watches all 50 states, 24/7, to let you know when you’re being fucked with.

Heartland of Darkness

A lawmaker with a history of violence against women is behind what conservatives falsely call a “fetal heartbeat” bill passed by the Ohio legislature–a bill that is actually an underhanded method to ban abortions after six weeks. And that’s a virtual ban on all abortions.   

That’s one AWFUL bill, and one AWFUL human being. First, the bill…

The proposed new law would ban all abortions after what the authors of the bill call a “fetal heartbeat’ can be detected. What the authors of this bill consider a fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks, although it’s something that can also be detected in a petri dish. “Fetal heartbeat” is one of those fake emotional buzzwords that anti-choice types love to throw out, like “personhood” and “snowflake babies.”

More importantly, many women don’t know they’re even pregnant until after six weeks–meaning that this bill gives them no choice whatsoever except to carry the pregnancy to term.

Further, the only way to detect this so-called heartbeat that early in pregnancy is with a transvaginal ultrasound. So Ohio has effectively passed a mandatory transvaginal ultrasound bill as well. And of course, there are no exceptions for rape or incest. WHAT? You were expecting one tiny ray of compassion?

The bill is clearly unconstitutional… for now. The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot ban abortion before fetal viability, which generally occurs around 24 to 28 weeks. But the big question is the viability of a rational Supreme Court. PRESIDENT TRUMP (and I CAPS YELLED that to motivate you!) will be reshaping the Court, and it’s going to be a twisted monstrosity.

Ohio Senate President Keith Faber put it this way: “A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic.” We’ll put it this way–THIS IS FUCKED UP.   

Now the slimeball behind the bill… in 2011, the wife of Ohio State Senator Kris Jordan called 911 to report her husband was “pushing her around and throwing things.” The Senator told police “She got a little upset. Girls do that.” Although she declined to press charges, his wife told cops “This is not new. He’s done this numerous times” and mentioned that he keeps 10 to 15 unloaded guns around the house.

Well now Senator Kris Jordan has found a way to perpetrate violence against all the women of Ohio. His bill is waiting for Governor John Kasich to sign it–and it probably won’t have to wait long.

Ohio Gets Medieval with Women’s Health

 

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Imagine a world where the state forces doctors to use outdated methods, putting patients at increased risk. There’s a name for such a place–Ohio. Or Texas. Or North Dakota.

All of those states have laws that force doctors to use strict FDA guidelines when administering the “abortion pill” drugs for a medical abortion. A quick look at the states doing this will tell you that it’s not about keeping women safe–it’s about making medical abortion more of a hassle to obtain. And they don’t care if women suffer as a result.

As an excellent New York Times op-ed explains, the FDA guidelines are severely out of date, which is not unusual. As new data becomes available, dosages and procedures are tweaked and improved. Doctors simply prescribe the medicines “off label,” or differing from the FDA guidelines. Over 20% of prescriptions in the US are off-label. What is unusual is a state passing a law that forces doctors to ignore medical advances and do things the old, more difficult, and more dangerous way. Thanks, Ohio!  

“Abortion pill” medical abortions are an awesome step forward for women. There are serious problems in fewer than 1 in 300 cases. Only 5% of women getting a medical abortion even need any kind of treatment follow-up. But after Ohio passed their retro-medical law, that 5% became 14%. The problems created by the law made the percentage of medication abortions plummet from 22% to 5% in one study. For Ohio anti-abortion nuts, that’s Mission Accomplished.
Fortunately, the FDA has since updated their guidelines, but Ohio will still lag behind with any new improvements until they ditch their bogus law. Tell Ohio to quit forcing doctors to practice medieval medicine.

Casket Case

POD_front_021716Anti-abortion lunatics love to take a routine practice and make it seem like some kind of ghoulish sacrament when applied to abortion. They did it when they described the conventional practice of donating fetal tissue as “selling baby parts.” They do it when they refer to any abortion performed after the first trimester as “partial birth.” And now they’re doing it again with Trash Laws.

 

We’ve discussed TRAP laws before which cover the broad spectrum of unnecessary laws and regulations designed to force abortion clinics to close. Trash Laws specifically complicate the disposal of fetal tissue as a way of making it impossible to perform abortions.

 

For example, a bill that is right now working its way through the Indiana legislature would mandate that all fetal tissue remains be either cremated or interred. So if the uninsured cost of your medical procedure doesn’t break you, maybe the cost of the funeral and burial for a dollop of tissue will do the trick. I’m sure you could get Rick Santorum to deliver a very stirring eulogy for a reasonable fee.   

 

In Ohio, a proposed bill would require women to designate “burial or cremation of fetal remains,” with the costs passed on to the clinics, vastly increasing the expense of abortion services. Ohio State Rep. Robert McColley isn’t sure “whether there would be specific cemeteries for the bodies or places where cremains could be spread.” But wouldn’t it be nice to have picnics in the cemetery where your former fetus is spending eternity?

 

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine pulled the old “hate and switch” again when he described the standard thermal treatment of biowaste as “steam cooking fetuses.” Don’t forget the wasabi sauce, Mike.

 

And what would an anti-abortion assault be without fear-mongering? Cue Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter, who said, “We fear Indiana’s current law allowing aborted babies to be treated as medical waste is making Indiana a magnet for fetal disposal.” For the record, there is no evidence that the Hoosier State is being inundated with aborted fetuses. You can still visit Muncie without being knee-deep in medical gore.

 

It’s all part of the long term right wing plan to make abortion more difficult and to humanize fetal tissue as part of their “personhood” push. And if we let them get away with it, they’ll end up dancing on the grave of reproductive rights.