Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Do We Live In The Deep South?

There has been a rash of anti-choice legislation introduced into the Connecticut House and Senate and they makes us sound more like a conservative state from the deep south.

While I was at the "Women's March on Hartford, CT: in solidarity with Washington" on Saturday one of the speakers mentioned anti-women legislation that was introduced here in Connecticut so I researched the bills.

Three of them are the same and they require parental notification (HB 5566, SB 321, SB 324) before a minor can terminate a pregnancy. The other bill requires an unnecessary ultrasound to be done before an abortion (SB 330).

At first thought you might think what is wrong about notifying parents before a medical procedure is done on a minor?

Well what happens if incest or rape?

What happens if the parents become violent or abusive?

Those were the first two questions that I thought about when I read the proposed bills and then I thought deeper about it and the more that I thought the more I realized that these bill are just down right punitive and try to put roadblocks in the person’s way and to increase the cost.

The next thing that I thought about is that parental notification might drive someone to have a backroom abortion without trained medical personnel present. I am old enough to remember before Roe v. Wade all the news articles about women dying in backroom abortions. The ones who could afford it took “a little vacation” to a foreign country but those who couldn’t found someone who would do it. Usually it wasn’t in a medical facility but rather in someone’s dirty apartment.

What would happen if one parent is missing? Suppose that the parents are divorced, what happens then? Could one parent blackmail the other in order to get them to sign the consent? “You want me to sign, well agree to cutting the child support payments.”

In addition abortion rates are dropping nationwide for various reasons a new study reported by Guttmacher Institute,
Health care increased, abortion rates declined
By Wendy Holdren Register-Herald Reporter
January 22, 2017

The abortion rate in the U.S. has hit a historic low — 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 in 2014 — a statistic many believe was reached though increased access to health care and contraception.

Since 2011, after the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare) was signed into law, the abortion rate has declined 14 percent in all regions of the U.S.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, West Virginia likewise experienced a 14 percent decline in its abortion rate — down to six abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 2014.

With the passage of the ACA, women could not be denied coverage or charged more just because of their gender. And as the uninsured rate declined, so did the rate of abortions.

According to U.S. Health and Human Services, the uninsured rate among women ages 18 to 64 decreased from 19.4 percent to 10.8 percent between 2010 and 2015. The number of abortions in 2013 and 2014 dropped below 1 million for the first time since 1975.
I can see only negative thing for a parental notification law. Wouldn’t it be better to teach safe sex before a pregnancy? Or have better access to contraceptives?

The bill requiring an ultrasound is called “AN ACT REQUIRING AN ULTRASOUND PROCEDURE PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF A PREGNANCY” and all it is, is a placeholder, it statement of purpose is “To ensure the health and well-being of an individual who decides to terminate a pregnancy.” So we don’t know much about what they are going to fill in when and if there is a hearing on the bill in the Public Health Committee.

My thoughts are, isn’t it better to let the doctor decide if an ultrasound is required rather than forcing a woman to an unnecessary medical procedure? This will hit low income women and those without insurance the worst. The only purpose of this bill it to put a roadblock in the way of a women’s right to control their own body.

We just had an election this past November and if you remember the Republicans said it was about jobs, the economy and making Connecticut a “business friendly” state and what was someone of the first bills that they introduce? Four anti-abortion bills!

I call that “bait and switch.”

Update January 29, 2017:

The Hartford Courant just had an editorial about these bills. One of the things that the editorial point out was,
Counselors For Girls
In Connecticut, abortions for girls under 17 are rare — just 2 percent of the total. Most girls seeking abortion do have a trusted adult counseling them. The few who don't are, by law, given professional counsel and offered alternatives to abortion.

Connecticut has had a mandatory counseling law for girls under 16 seeking abortions since 1990, passed that year with the blessing of the Pro-Life Council of Connecticut and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford.

The law requires a doctor or counselor —psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, ordained member of the clergy and the like — to explain the alternatives to abortion in clear, understandable language. Those alternatives include details on no-cost adoptions and lists of local and national adoption agencies.

Counselors are also required, by law, to talk with the girl about involving her parents in her decision and to explain how that might be in her best interest.

They must let the girl know she can change her mind about the abortion at any time.

They must also report to authorities any signs of abuse.

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