Last updated on 2011.03.01
HB 1217 passed Senate Health and Human Services Monday on a 6&ndash1 vote. This bill, which fights coercive abortion not by punishing coercers but by subjecting women to more coercion, is another brick in the wall Rep. Roger Hunt, Leslee Unruh, and other activists want to erect not simply between women and abortion, but more importantly, between women and their doctors, between women and their health choices, and ultimately, between women and their status as equal citizens under the law. (Or, if you ask Rep. Brian C. Liss, this bill is a brick in our wall of defense against China.)
In the interest of philosophical consistency, I propose the following amendments to HB 1217:
Section 12: That chapter 34-23A be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
Research shows pregnancy increases women's risk for numerous physical and psychological problems. To ensure that women have all the information about these significant risks before pregnancy, any woman seeking to engage in pregnancy-commencing activities must
- wait 72 hours from the time she requests that procedure from an inseminating party to the time of insemination;
- attend counseling at a certified pre-pregnancy care center whose principal mission is to dissuade women from incurring the risks of pregnancy
- provide the inseminating party with a written statement that she has obtained counseling from a pre-pregnancy care center and understands all the risks pregnancy poses to her health and to her maternal relationship with any current children.
Inseminating a woman without complying with the requirements of this section constitutes a Class 6 felony.
Section 13: That chapter 34-23A be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
Given the state's interest in protecting the relationship between a father and his child, any man who has conceived a child that is currently in utero must wait 72 hours before engaging in any activity that poses a risk of terminating that relationship. Such activities include but are not limited to
- joining the military;
- driving an automobile;
- hunting (risk of accidental shooting or trampling by moose);
- drinking alcohol;
- drinking alcohol while ice-fishing;
- looking at other women.
During the 72-hour waiting period, the man must submit to counseling by someone who certifies that he/she will try to talk the man out of doing what he wants to do.
Section 14: That chapter 34-23A be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:If a pregnant woman requires medical treatment to protect her relationship with her unborn child, the state may force any suitable citizen to donate blood, bone marrow, a kidney, or any other transferrable bodily fluids, tissues, or organs to support the health of that woman.
If we can't round up support for those amendments, perhaps we can tack this simpler amendment onto HB 1217:
Section 15: That chapter 34-23A be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:Felony for reproductive coercion: Attempting to coerce any woman in any decision related to reproduction is a Class 6 felony. This includes anybody who asks, "Gee, when are you two going to get with it and have more kids?"
Or maybe instead of going down this very dark road, we could avoid complications, and a big lawsuit, and the endangerment of women's Constitutional rights by simply acknowledging that we can't outlaw every behavior we find morally troubling. We can't paint all women as thoughtless, helpless wards of the state. And we can't force a woman to submit her body to the service of another human being, not even to the fetus in her womb.