Hey, Eve! The Mitchell Daily Republic found that ad you were talking about!
Allen Unruh, Ben Van Deest, and other Sioux Falls area Tea Partiers need you to believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a Bolshevik plot. Their ad—so bad that even conservative pundit and prof Jon Schaff calls it "absurd," "dated," and "over the top"—tells Americans that the PPACA will take their privacy away and subject them to government control.
But they aren't describing the PPACA. Their ad more accurately describes the effects of Wisconsin's authoritarian fetal protection law:
When Alicia Beltran was 12 weeks pregnant, she took herself to a health clinic about a mile from her home in Jackson, Wis., for a prenatal checkup. But what started as a routine visit ended with Beltran eventually handcuffed and shackled in government custody – and at the center of a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state’s fetal protection law [Daniella Silva, "Shackled and Pregnant: Wis. Case Challenges 'Fetal Protection' Law," NBC News, 2013.10.24].
Give your information to the doctor, end up in jail: sounds pretty Stalinesque, doesn't it, Allen?
Beltran had been hooked on Percocet. She got herself off the addiction before she went for her prenatal checkup. She gave the physician's assistant an honest account of what she'd done. Two weeks later, the cops hauled this pregnant woman out of her home and off to jail. At her first hearing, the state provided a lawyer for her fetus, but not for her.
At the center of Beltran’s case is a 1997 Wisconsin law that grants courts authority over the fetus of any pregnant woman who “habitually lacks self-control” with drugs and alcohol “to a severe degree” such that there is “substantial risk” to the unborn child. Beltran’s lawyers argue that she was not using any controlled substances at the time of her arrest [Silva, 2013.10.24].
In cases like Beltran’s, “the woman loses pretty much every constitutional right we associate with personhood,” said Lynn Paltrow, executive director of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women and a co-counsel in Beltran’s case.
Experts say that criminal prosecutions of pregnant women, as well as forced drug or psychiatric treatment, have been on the rise in recent years in cases of suspected substance abuse, especially as some states adopt laws granting rights, or “personhood,” to fetuses [Silva, 2013.10.24].
Unruh and his cohort will surely purr that laws like Wisconsin's protect innocent babies. But such laws degrade women and make it harder for women to take care of their unborn children:
For Beltran, the consequences of her case have hit hard. Her family struggled to visit her regularly during her stint at Casa Clare Women’s Facility in Appleton, Wis., a two-hour drive from her home. After being away from work for an extended period, Beltran lost her job in the food service industry, according to her lawyers. She was released earlier this month, but with the case still open, she is still at risk of being taken into custody or ordered into further treatment, Paltrow said [Silva, 2013.10.24].
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not a Marxist plot to take away your Constitutional rights. Fetal protection laws are... if you're a woman.