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South Dakota Moves to Ban Abortion
February 23, 2006 3:02 AM   Subscribe

Newsfilter: On Wednesday, the South Dakota state Senate voted, 23 to 12, to criminalize abortion. The new law makes it a felony for doctors to perform the procedure, except to save the life of a woman. "'The momentum for a change in the national policy on abortion is going to come in the not-too-distant future,' said Rep. Roger W. Hunt, a Republican who sponsored the bill. To his delight, abortion opponents succeeded in defeating all amendments designed to mitigate the ban, including exceptions in the case of rape or incest or the health of the woman. Hunt said that such "special circumstances" would have diluted the bill and its impact on the national scene."
posted by milquetoast (184 comments total)

 
Can I get an amen?
posted by beerbajay at 3:29 AM on February 23, 2006


Well, fuck that!
posted by slater at 3:29 AM on February 23, 2006


Here is the text of the bill as introduced in the house. The bill is HB 1215.
posted by beerbajay at 3:37 AM on February 23, 2006


This'll teach them Feminazis: it's not your womb, it's God's womb.

Despite the womanly curves, not in danger of becoming pregnant -->

Yes, Rep. Hunt is so against abortion that he recently
....proposed a measure (HB1217) that would provide guidelines for school districts to create a sex education curriculum that would focus on abstinence. If passed, the measure would require schools that offer sex education classes not to promote or provide information about the use of contraceptive drugs, devices or methods.
So I guess Rep. Hunt's calculus is abstinence IS BETTER THAN abortion IS BETTER THAN condoms or birth-control pills. How many unwanted children has Hunt adopted, anyway?

Hey Matt, I tried to float the picture left, but it looks like you filter out style directives in comments. How about fixing your stylesheet to float images and flow text around them?
posted by orthogonality at 3:38 AM on February 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


And here is the Senate roll call vote.

Oh and here are the Senate's changes, which are minor.
posted by beerbajay at 3:39 AM on February 23, 2006


I still say that laws criminalizing abortion, besides being ineffective, are inherently wrong because they only criminalize one specific example of a person refusing to provide life support using their body. Only women can incubate a fetus, but there are myriad other circumstances in which a person's body can be used to provide life support for others.

If they are really about a culture of life, shouldn't the anti-abortionists be trying to pass laws mandating blood donation (for you rare blood types, excessive, potentially health damaging blood donations)? Shouldn't they be trying to pass laws mandating that everyone be screened to determine if their organs can benefit people who need organs donated, and then mandate that their organs be harvested? Both circumstances are analogous to pregnancy, at least from a biological standpoint.

But somehow they're only interested in forcing *women* to provide unwilling life support to a third party....

Also, I can't help but notice that not a single one of those creeps seems interested in taking the only approach proven to reduce abortions: increase sex-ed and make contraception universally available and free. Abortions aren't stopped by outlawing them, they're stopped when no one has an unwanted pregnancy.
posted by sotonohito at 3:41 AM on February 23, 2006


Everyone seeme to be sure that SCOTUS will overturn RvW. I'm not so sure. That doesn't mean that I think it won't happen. I'm just not certain that it will. If not, then this law won't survive scrutiny.

At any rate, I'm among the heretic pro-choicers who believe that sorting this out through the democratic process is better than relying on RvW.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:55 AM on February 23, 2006


Rep. Hunt seems to think that South Dakota has much to teach the rest of the nation, especially, no doubt, the large urban population centers. Does the term "delusions of grandeur" spring to anyone else's mind?
posted by telstar at 4:02 AM on February 23, 2006


I think we're about to move into an era of patchwork abortion laws. Women with enough money will travel to coastal states where they can get a safe and legal abortion, and poor women in central states will buy RU-486 on the street.
posted by Jatayu das at 4:07 AM on February 23, 2006


South Dakota just voted itself back into the coathanger-in-a-back-alley era. Way to go, progress!
posted by mrbill at 4:14 AM on February 23, 2006


Let me remind you all that it's not too late to flee to Canada. You can sleep on my couch until you find your own place.
posted by neek at 4:22 AM on February 23, 2006


Women with enough money will travel to coastal states where they can get a safe and legal abortion, and poor women in central states will buy RU-486 on the street.

and all of them, and thier partners-in-copulation, will continue to be careless numbfucks for getting pregnant unintentionally in an age of ubiquitous birth control.
posted by quonsar at 4:25 AM on February 23, 2006


.
posted by The White Hat at 4:36 AM on February 23, 2006


Despite the womanly curves, not in danger of becoming pregnant

Ha!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:42 AM on February 23, 2006


I've become numb to this; at this point, if you want the right to choose, yet are dumb enough to stay in a place like South Dakota- much less if you're a young woman of child-bearing age- well, to heck with you and your kids-to-be. SD is a shithole, as is much of the US: it's a whole lot of shitty shitsville from sea to shining sea, with only a few lonely bright spots of urban relief. That well known photo of North America at night is as much a roadmap for modern people to get the hell out of the dark and come into the light- if you lack the sense to do that, then there may be a Darwin Award in your future.

I'm sorry, it's terribly callous but I just can't say I'll feel bad for any women who die of back-alley abortions in South Dakota, because they'd have to be apparently ignorant of the fact there is a WHOLE WORLD OUT THERE that wouldn't force you into such desperate circumstances. At a certain point you have to own your own life, and can't claim that the system, or some domineering individual, "forced" you to do anything if you weren't actually chained inside a room. The women you may pity are not so ignorant they don't know this has been coming down the pipeline for some time now, and the women of South Dakota either agree with these laws, or have had plenty of time to move to Seattle or San Francisco or Chicago or New York or any number of places that are actually liveable.


And never, ever, ever, ever say it's about money: Greyhound can put you anywhere in the entire USA for the price of one or two shift's worth of tips. When I was 19, I managed to get from semi-rural New Hampshire to Seattle in 5 days with nothing left but $150 in my pocket and a duffel bag of clothes, and I've never looked back. I've been down and up and down and up over the last 11 years, but I'm still surviving and my life is- for all its flaws- immeasurably better than it'd have been if I was still living in crappy ol' Merrimack, with nothing better to do than hanging out in the Burger King parking lot off the Everett Turnpike.
posted by hincandenza at 4:47 AM on February 23, 2006


I second the 'why do I have a bad feeling about this thread?' comment.

I suppose it's better to laugh then cry about the news, but really all I wanna do is cry. Dakota stuck in the 1950s?
posted by Sijeka at 4:49 AM on February 23, 2006


Just in case you were looking for another reason to leave South Dakota.
posted by sfts2 at 4:50 AM on February 23, 2006


I've become numb to this; at this point, if you want the right to choose, yet are dumb enough to stay in a place like South Dakota- much less if you're a young woman of child-bearing age- well, to heck with you and your kids-to-be.

Wow, just wow... I was right to have a bad feeling about this thread, I suppose. This is so simplistic.
posted by Sijeka at 4:51 AM on February 23, 2006



... oh, and, hincandenza? Use a little imagination. You have clearly given no serious thought to the situation that young pregnant women are in. If you had, you might have imagined what it felt like -- how limited your options seem. You might have realized that it's a big enough leap for a 15 year old (or 17 year old) girl to go to one of those many free clinics that are obviously littering the South Dakota landscape, without expecting her to run away from home to New York (which might be the closest place she could get a legal abortion, at this rate).
posted by lodurr at 4:58 AM on February 23, 2006


quonsar: ... careless numbfucks for getting pregnant unintentionally in an age of ubiquitous birth control.

That's just quonsar being "provocative", right? Because at first blush, seems clear to me that it's one of the stupider comments in this thread. (And you know why it's such a really stupid comment? Because it's such a really obviously stupid comment.)*

Then again, I ought to just get used to the fact that the world is full of people who never bother to really stretch their imagination enough to think about how the world might seem to people who are, oh, I don't know, not yet grown up, or, hey, how about, who have been intimidated or indoctrinated? But hey, we've all got "free choice", right? (Including, presumably, the choice to use or not use our imaginations....)

--
*10 points to the first caller who identifies the film; extra points for the actor and the situation....

posted by lodurr at 5:05 AM on February 23, 2006


Lets not lose sight of the fact that The SD House has already passed a slightly different version of this legislation. Although the linked article notes that "The House must decide whether to accept changes made by the Senate, which passed its version 23-12" there is no real reason to believe that this won't pass again in the house.

NARAL

Planned Parenthood of South Dakota
posted by anastasiav at 5:12 AM on February 23, 2006


I guess a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood, ACLU, doctors and women against the State of South Dakota is next, then. Unless the courts expedite things, it will take a year or more to get all the way to the SCOTUS. So even if SCOTUS doesn't overturn Roe, it will be many months before people can get legal abortions in SoDak.

For the religious conservatives, they will likely consider this a victory even so, as perhaps thousands of abortions may have been deterred in the interim. And if the new SCOTUS overturns the law, then they win big. So, for them, it's win-win.

Frankly, given the US' majority support for choice, if SCOTUS overturns Roe, you will see the pro-life Republican party become an irrelevance in many states. But I doubt it'll happen. SCOTUS can easily hollow out Roe, bit by bit, without overturning it entirely, as I think they are about to do with the PBA ban law under review later this year.
posted by darkstar at 5:16 AM on February 23, 2006


*And if the new SCOTUS overturns the law Roe, then they win big.
posted by darkstar at 5:17 AM on February 23, 2006


Cool. I am so looking forward to the day when the US fractures and the rich cosmpolitan bits of it (i.e. the coasts and maybe Austin) normalise relations with the the rest of the world while the heartland becomes something like Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale.
posted by rhymer at 5:19 AM on February 23, 2006


darkstar, that's a good point: The law, while clearly countrary in part to earlier SCOTUS rulings, will stand until it is successfully challenged -- and then, if it has been carefully written, will not be wholly overturned. SD will have succeeded not only in banning abortion for a year or more (an unqualified "good" in the minds of people like Hunt), but they will end the day with a strong anti-abortion law. Which you can bet they'll find ways to shore up once the SCOTUS ruling comes down.
posted by lodurr at 5:21 AM on February 23, 2006


Hey lodurr, take a good hard look at my wrists. Take a close look at my forehead. You see any motherfucking stigmata there? See any crown of thorns atop my head? No? That's because I'm not the motherfucking messiah. None of this is my problem, it's their problem, and I'm just goddamned tired of feeling bad for people who keep making stupid fucking choices, or create stupid fucking societies. I'm tired for feeling bad for Americans who live in these refuse dumps, knowing that most of them voted for Bush and between the backyard fucking wrestling and setting themselves on fire for our Youtubean entertainment, I say go fuck 'em. Welcome to a culture of personal responsibility: Americans are getting the government they deserve!

I refute every moral lesson my parents ever taught me about how I somehow "owe" the world something simply for not being a complete fucking retard. The only thing I owe is to myself- because our entire country is going down hill fast- to accumulate as much fucking cash as I can in my life and build up walls both literal and figurative to protect myself from the violent and simpleminded. I don't have the energy anymore to keep feeling bad for, or empathizing with, people who are this. freakin'. idiotic. South Dakota is running itself into the pits, and the worse they get the more any remaining intelligent people will leave, which will further run that wintry cesspool into the ground. And fuckin' good riddance, I say, in all the blood and pain and anguish that will mean to personal lives as that state is in its death throes.

At least some people in South Dakota and other flyover shitholes are doing something about it (quote below from Wikipedia entry on South Dakota). I'd note that the entire present population of South Dakota is only three quarters of a million, so that rural flight is certainly of significance:
"Rural flight"

South Dakota, in common with five other Midwest states (Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Iowa), are feeling the brunt of falling populations. 89% of the total number of cities in those states have fewer than 3000 people; hundreds have fewer than 1000. Between 1996 and 2004 almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six states. "Rural flight" as it is called has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers
So, do I feel bad for an adult female in South Dakota? Not in the slightest- get out, lady, or live in that hellhole. Many of her neighbors have realized that the Rep. Hunts are psychotic demon spawn, and gotten the hell out of crazy town. Do I feel bad for underage teenager? A little, but I realize now that's a weakness, a weakness that makes me feel I somehow have to "solve" this, or "fret" about it. No. No. No. I am not a teenager, I am not a women, I do not live in South Dakota. I'll take care of my own, worry about things local to myself, but let those fucktards rot in hell and let their next generation rot away in some trailer park with a bunch of mewling misbegotten spawn dragging them down.

You can't save everyone- again, I'll point you to my lack of stigmata or any water/wine parlour tricks to explain why this is not my problem. My whole life I believed that it was my duty as a compassionate human being to consider how tough it would be for other people, to contemplate the many facets of human suffering and understand that even when there's choice, there's often little choice but to get swept up in the tide of larger forces. Intellectually I still understand that, lodurr, I'm just too tired to do that any more. I'm tired of being one of the apparently few smart people, who are in such majority here at Metafilter but such a rarity elsewhere, who have figured out that actions have consequences. It's like watching children repeatedly put their hands on a hot stove. At a certain point you just give up, and hope that the motherfuckers burn themselves but good.

As rhymer notes, let them have their Gilead, let them have their Atwoodean dystopias. I know enough to keep running till I die, staying the hell away from such places.
posted by hincandenza at 5:21 AM on February 23, 2006


I've become numb to this; at this point, if you want the right to choose, yet are dumb enough to stay in a place like South Dakota- much less if you're a young woman of child-bearing age- well, to heck with you and your kids-to-be.

and all of them, and thier partners-in-copulation, will continue to be careless numbfucks for getting pregnant unintentionally in an age of ubiquitous birth control.

Wow, talk about empathy! Do you guys actually move about in the real world or do you sit in a closet all day basking in your monitor's blue glow?
posted by Otis at 5:22 AM on February 23, 2006


hincandenza - ever tried to live on a Rapid City Wal-mart salary in Manhattan?

darkstar - Actually, all PP has to do is file suit in the US District Court. Since they are bound by Supreme Court precedent, the district court will immediately grant a temporary restraining order against enforcement of the law followed by a permanent injunction. The actual shelf life of this law will be about 48 hours. So it will be life as usual until the case goes back up to SCOTUS (assuming that they grant cert in the first place, which is not a given.)
posted by Saucy Intruder at 5:30 AM on February 23, 2006


The course of civilization is not smooth.

America isn't a struggling civilization like India, which, while many may argue it, seems to have benefited from a short period of tyrannical British rule.

America isn't a totalitarian Fascist religious regime like Iran, regardless of what some may think, and SD is an example of representative government.

...and hincandenza... well... its my hope that you find something to fight for besides yourself someday... you can't solve it, you can't save everyone... but can believe in something more than what you build with your own hands.
posted by ewkpates at 5:30 AM on February 23, 2006


Bite me Otis- I've had plenty of empathy over the years for people in many situations I may never be in, but as I've explained at length above it's too fucking tiring to keep doing it. Guess you're too blinded by your own monitor's irridescence to read the comments I posted.
posted by hincandenza at 5:30 AM on February 23, 2006


The other cool thing about a bifurcated or trifurctaed US is that the real americans/heartland/willing Wla*Mart slaves will be poorer than Paraguay in a generation.

Of course, they will still have most of the nukes, but let's face it, with only creation 101 available most college, they're unlikely to have the expertise to launch the amageddon they so dearly crave.
posted by rhymer at 5:31 AM on February 23, 2006


Let's get this right on up to Scalito ASAP, huh? That is the purpose of this bill, isn't it? To challenge Roe I mean.

All uteruses are now property of the state ( in SD)!
posted by nofundy at 5:33 AM on February 23, 2006


Golly, hincandenza, you're sure one strong and righteous character -- lack of empathy is just so sexy.

FWIW: I never asked your heart to bleed. I just asked you to exercise a little imagination before you spill venom on people whose situation you've clearly made no effort to understand. (And your pantomime of effort aside, I still see no indication that you've actually made that effort.)
posted by lodurr at 5:40 AM on February 23, 2006


hincandenza, you have no idea what this next year might bring you. I'm not wishing this on you by any means -- but just imagine -- a bad car accident, a job loss, an apartment or house burning down, an abusive relationship, identity theft, a stroke, a brutal assault -- any combination or all of the above might just lead you into a situation where you will be on your knees, begging for sympathy and pity and help from your fellow citizens. And I hope we'll be there for you. Right now you are doing fine, through whatever combination of luck, genetics, and hard work. Next year or five years from now, you might not be.
posted by jfwlucy at 5:41 AM on February 23, 2006


Saucy, thats right...I'd momentarily forgotten about the injunction likelihood.

Hincandenza, fatigue will make you say and do things you don't really mean. In this case, I'm tending to believe that the moral outrage fatigue is leading you to give in to that temptation that we all probably sometimes have to just say "aw, screw it/them, I can't deal with this any more."

Not trying to dismiss what you're saying, since I believe I understand where you're coming from. I've had similar, fleeting feelings, as I say. I'm just choosing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're just reacting with a little temporary PTSD from the battle we're all in to try to safeguard sanity from the people that would want us to live and love under a 13th Century mindset.

Take a breath, go take a walk and enjoy the beautiful outdoors -- the struggle will still be here when you get back and we need you.

*hugs hincandenza*
posted by darkstar at 5:41 AM on February 23, 2006


hincandenza,
I read your comments and I comprehended them just perfectly. You are saying that people fighting for the right to choose in the place where they live, are just "dumb" for staying there. You know, people don't choose where they are born and many times there are circumstances beyond their control that might prevent them from picking up and moving wherever the fuck they want to at a drop of a hat. I'm sorry you are too "tired" to see that.
posted by Otis at 5:42 AM on February 23, 2006


I guess a lawsuit by Planned Parenthood, ACLU, doctors and women against the State of South Dakota is next, then.

Yep, and that's exactly the point. Hunt is betting that there are five against Rv.W now, or that Stephens will die and be replaced by another version of Scalito.

The moment Rv.W is overturned, legislation to ban abortion completely will hit the floor of the house. The idea that without Rv.W, abortion will be left to the states is silly. Abortion will be outlawed, by the federal government, within one week of Rv.W being overturned -- and you can bet that the GOP will go nuclear over it.

Thanks, Senate Dems!
posted by eriko at 5:44 AM on February 23, 2006


Hincandenza -- There may be a correlation between our country going downhill fast and those walls you want to build. I mean, I certainly understand your point, and I myself left the US last year to look for opportunities elsewhere. But that straw girl in SD who's not as resourceful or smart (or however one may stereotype her) as some still deserves equal protection under the law, and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It strikes me that "rural flight" may have an analogue in the flight of creative, idealistic, young people away from politics -- leaving the machinery of our country in the hands of such dangerous idealogues as Hunt and company. But I have little purchase here; I left too. So it goes.
posted by milquetoast at 5:45 AM on February 23, 2006


I hope that Hunt and all others like him are truly going to show the moral constancy of tier argument by adopting two or three babies at least one of which is going to suffer form fetal alcohol syndrome or heroin addiction.
posted by ob at 5:49 AM on February 23, 2006


Otis, you're missing the point: They still have freedom of choice, no matter what their circumstances are. Just like you can choose to eat, or not. (Until they get a court order and start force feeding you, of course...but I digress...) It's basic Libertarian logic (though, note, I'm not accusing hincandenza of being a Libertarian -- I've learned at least not to levy that insult lightly).

This logic leads to some real revelations if you think it through. posted by lodurr at 5:51 AM on February 23, 2006


The moment Rv.W is overturned, legislation to ban abortion completely will hit the floor of the house. The idea that without Rv.W, abortion will be left to the states is silly.

Damn right -- that's one of the most dangerous warm-fuzzy assumptions that pro-choicers are making here, that Congress would automatically defer to states' rights if Roe were overturned.

As of now, there is not majority support for a total abortion ban, if such were ruled constitutional, but there are enough people who are willing to concede "abortion is icky" or that it should be "safe, legal and rare" that some pretty atrocious legislation could still get through. Think no abortions after the first trimester, think waiting periods, think spousal/parental notification, think lack of exceptions for health/life of the mother.
posted by rkent at 6:02 AM on February 23, 2006


America isn't a struggling civilization like India, which, while many may argue it, seems to have benefited from a short period of tyrannical British rule.

America isn't a totalitarian Fascist religious regime like Iran, regardless of what some may think, and SD is an example of representative government.


What are you basing either of those derails on? How exactly did India benefit from the British being tyrannically? How is an elected government, albeit a conservative and fanatically religious one, a "totalitarian fascist" regime? If it is then how is the elected, conservative, fanatically religious Senate of SD different?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:03 AM on February 23, 2006


hincandenza: nice attitude. As you point out, it's real easy for someone to just pick up and leave, it doesn't cost much to move out. Using your "reasoning", in 20 years when all these babies born to those who don't are adults, they'll figure out the same thing you did. Only they'll be even less educated, and have even less to lose when they move to the city. When they find they can't get a job, I guess they'll just disappear right? I guess it won't be your problem though, because you'll just look the other way as your getting robbed for drug money.

I see this as something that ends up costing me in the long run. At some point there will be a bunch of these rural town babies that if they don't turn to crime, will be more than happy to ask for a handout from the government. That's just how it impacts me though.

The abortion issue is an invention of the conservatives trying to force their moral code of sexual relationships on people. It works by telling women that if you have sex, you better be willing to have a baby too. Notice how there's no incentive for the men to be equally punished for their loose sexual actions.

As Kudos said, abortions for all, tiny flags for everyone else
posted by inthe80s at 6:04 AM on February 23, 2006


lodurr: 28 days later. Cillian Murphy to Brendan Gleeson, whose character wants to drive his taxi through a tunnel as the fastest way out of the 'zombie' infested London. (You sub "stupid comment" for "shit idea".)
posted by biffa at 6:09 AM on February 23, 2006


Hincandenza's solipsistic rants are a nicely encapsulated illustration of how these laws get passed in the first place.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 6:09 AM on February 23, 2006


MetaFilter: I'm not the motherfucking messiah
posted by matteo at 6:14 AM on February 23, 2006


15 points to biffa! (Damn, I don't know why I love that movie so much. Cillian Murphy was so....creepy...even then, even when he was playing a "good guy".)
posted by lodurr at 6:15 AM on February 23, 2006


It seems that what some people are saying is that, if you're too stupid to a) vote for someone other than Bush AND b) live in a state as backwards as South Dakota, you deserve to not be able to get abortions/to get pregnant.

Why? Because you have an average/slightly below average IQ? Possibly because you have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, because your parents made the same mistake you did? Because you grew up with a different Mother Culture whispering in your ear than I did? Why, if democracy* is supposed to protect everyone, are we making exceptions for people who acted in stupid ways, or who don't know better? Why, in a culture that is overwhelmingly more and more anti-education, are we punishing those who don't have access to certain resources and knowledge? "Oh noes, the stupid people suck, and we're so much better! Ah-hah, enjoy yourselves, United States of Jesusland!" Fuck that. Like it or hate it, the people in South Dakota are our brothers and sisters, and we fight for them, too.

*Yeah, I know. I watched Iron-Jawed Angels last night, so I feel soapboxy.
posted by kalimac at 6:32 AM on February 23, 2006


Damn, guess I won't be going through with that move to South Dakota

....wait...nevermind.
posted by rollbiz at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2006


hincandenza : "I've become numb to this; at this point, if you want the right to choose, yet are dumb enough to stay in a place like South Dakota- much less if you're a young woman of child-bearing age- well, to heck with you and your kids-to-be. SD is a shithole, as is much of the US"

At this point there must be a paragraph like this for each American state in Mefi archives. Just in the last few months I remember seeing the ones for Kansas (two or three times), Ohio and Texas. if someone cares to locate them all we could have a canonical list and just point to them when necessary and create the ones that are missing (I really don't recall seeing the ones about Delaware or Rhode Island).
posted by nkyad at 6:33 AM on February 23, 2006


Hincandenza's solipsistic rants are a nicely encapsulated illustration of how these laws get passed in the first place.

Please explain how that works. I was under the impression that authoritarian fundie nutjobs passed authoritarian fundie nutjob laws because, you know, that's what they want.

While everyone is jumping all over hincandenza, he makes a basically valid point. Well-meaning liberals are really going to have to stop trying to save the Below Average IQ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome states from themselves for a couple of decades and let this play out. Sometimes tough love is the only solution.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:37 AM on February 23, 2006


When Roe goes down so does a point of leverage for the religious right. Let this issue go to the states. Dems will gain locally and nationally, true conservatives will reemerge and the religious right will be marginalized.
posted by mania at 6:42 AM on February 23, 2006


>it's not too late to flee to Canada

..and bring those big juicy American wallets with you.
posted by CynicalKnight at 6:45 AM on February 23, 2006


Prediction: The district court will find this law unconstitutional, the 8th Cir. will affirm, and the Supreme Court will deny cert.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:48 AM on February 23, 2006


"To his delight, abortion opponents succeeded in defeating all amendments designed to mitigate the ban, including exceptions in the case of rape or incest or the health of the woman. Hunt said that such "special circumstances" would have diluted the bill and its impact on the national scene."

RAGE.

I am not happy. At all. NOT a good way to start my day. Don't get me wrong, I am pro-choice. But, I am responsible pro-choice - meaning only that women should consider other options before having an abortion, but are in NO way prevented from having one in any circumstance. The stipulations above are just a TINY reason why I support the pro-choice movement. I don't understand this at all. If a woman is raped, or if there is incest, or if the child is too young to BARE a child without dying in the process... WHAT THE HELL IS THE PROBLEM WITH PRESERVING THE LIFE OF THE WOMAN!? Don't these people have an inkling of common sense?! I don't care about friggin politics, this is a case of decency!!! I hope to enter med school this fall, and, as such, I believe in the preservation of life. Preserving the life of a woman who is living and healthy is WAY more important than keeping the child.

Goddamnit, why do I get the feeling that if these people got their way they would just have women with the mental capacity of 2 year olds just for breeding purposes.

"It is the time for the South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the lives and rights of unborn children,"

One more thing. To become an instant citizen of the USA, don't you have to be BORN here?

I will now start taking suggestions on which country is best to expatriate to.
posted by Doorstop at 6:48 AM on February 23, 2006


Please explain how that works. I was under the impression that authoritarian fundie nutjobs passed authoritarian fundie nutjob laws because, you know, that's what they want.

Solipsism is an essential part of passing these laws, I believe. When you can look at others and feel the emotional disconnection that allows you to disregard them as people, even a little bit, laws like this are practically inevitable. It's when it happens in the electorate that it becomes institutionalized.

I don't see how 'tough love' defined as 'let them all go to hell' is going to work. Letting this 'play out' doesn't negatively affect the lawmakers or those who share their views and vote them in, so how does that help?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 6:50 AM on February 23, 2006


Hey, we may not be on the coast (well, we are on the coast of Lake Michigan), but don't forget the Chicago area in the rich cosmopolitan group. : )

The moment Rv.W is overturned, legislation to ban abortion completely will hit the floor of the house. The idea that without Rv.W, abortion will be left to the states is silly. Abortion will be outlawed, by the federal government, within one week of Rv.W being overturned -- and you can bet that the GOP will go nuclear over it.

I have a feeling that Eriko is right on the money here, unfortunately.
posted by SisterHavana at 6:52 AM on February 23, 2006


On another note, can liberals PLEASE start having some more kids so that these idiot laws DON'T get passed and that INTELLIGENT individuals start repopulating our nation!? ....please?
posted by Doorstop at 6:53 AM on February 23, 2006


The only thing I owe is to myself- because our entire country is going down hill fast- to accumulate as much fucking cash as I can in my life and build up walls both literal and figurative to protect myself from the violent and simpleminded.

Great idea! But wait... my tax dollars won't be going to supporting all these unwanted children, will they?

Aw, fuck.
posted by fungible at 6:58 AM on February 23, 2006


I have never really understood the exceptions for rape and incest. Preserving the life of the mother is easy as you are balancing one life against another so even right to lifers can get behind this idea, at least logically. Emotionally they still have issues. However, why should rape or incest matter to a right to lifer? Once there is life inside the womb shouldn't it be protected no matter the method of its conception (from the right to lifers' point of view)? Pro-choicers always seem amazed that these minimal provisions are missing from anti-abortion bills such as in this one. Of course the pro-choicers are typically against any bill which could incorporate these exceptions given what these bills attempt to ban. Since neither right to lifers nor pro-choicers have use for these two exceptions, where did they come from and why are they still talked about? Perhaps the right to life crowd fears crime and incest even more than it desires to protect life and the pro-choice crowd just uses that against them. If life is really sacred then its protection should trump such lesser moral issues as rape and incest, no? Yet the right to life crowd sometimes caves here.
posted by caddis at 6:58 AM on February 23, 2006


caddis, incest leads to genetics defects. rape leads to psychological and physical trauma - especially if the woman is MADE to go through with the pregnancy - essentially it CONTINUES to give power tothe rapist AFTER he has committed the crime. think about those exceptions again.
posted by Doorstop at 7:01 AM on February 23, 2006


Dipsomaniac : "Letting this 'play out' doesn't negatively affect the lawmakers or those who share their views and vote them in, so how does that help?"

The working hypothesis is that letting this play out to its logical end will affect the lawmakers and their voter in a very negative way in the long run by the way of brain-drain, less external investment, less jobs hence unemployment, poverty, etc. When they reach the XIV or XIII century, economic and culturewise, the voters will then rise, take down the tyrants and bring their states back to the 21st century.
posted by nkyad at 7:01 AM on February 23, 2006


oh, sorry, misread. I don't think they're caving in this instant, caddis.
posted by Doorstop at 7:02 AM on February 23, 2006


I think y'all sensitive types are being a tad insensitive to Hincandenza. I took his point quite well, ergo, if stupid fucks in the Bible Belt elect assholes like this guys, then game over.

It's like I don't feel as bad for the pro-war/pro-bush military families who lose a loved one in the war. It's what you wanted, it's what you asked for. And you got it. I don't ask for anyone to cry for me while I eat ice cream. And I love ice cream.

If people don't like their government, assumedly they'll organize, get out the vote and run these jowlocrats out on a rail. If not, then they don't get abortion. Or health care, or what ever else we might think they need for a healthy society. We can't really do anything, because I'm sure they'd look a this conversation and dismiss the most of us as east/west coast liberal types. And the for'ners? Hell, we had to save their asses in WWII if I remember correc'ly.

But as an aside, I think this whole abortion thing is a losing proposition for the Republicans anyway. A great number of Republicans are basically fiscal conservatives that really couldn't give a shit about social issues like gays in the military or abortion. And a lot of Republican women are pro-abortion, and they see it as inextricably tied to their own status as full class citizens. I was surprised when I marched for abortion rights under Bush I, how many of the women on the bus to Washington D.C. were republicans.

My point? I think that while the Bible Belt is a big part of the current Republican power base, going overboard on eliminating abortion may lose them their perhaps more important coastal not-so-liberals-- you know, the ones that actually contribute more than $500 to a campaign, and host whitebread and cheese socials in their back yards.

That's assuming they haven't already lost the country on the UAE/ports deal. 'Cause let's face it, if the Dem's can't win on that issue alone--the USA needs a new party.
posted by illovich at 7:03 AM on February 23, 2006


When you can look at others and feel the emotional disconnection that allows you to disregard them as people, even a little bit, laws like this are practically inevitable.

I'm sure the sponsors of the bill would say that when it comes to the unborn, "the emotional disconnection that allows you to disregard them as people" is what makes laws like Roe v. Wade inevitable.

Letting this 'play out' doesn't negatively affect the lawmakers or those who share their views and vote them in

By definition, "those who share their views and vote them in" are the majority in South Dakota. Who are you to protect the majority from themselves?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:03 AM on February 23, 2006


I have never really understood the exceptions for rape and incest.

The constitutionally required exception is for the life and the health of the mother. The Supreme Court has consistently required that health include psychological health, which is arguably the basis for the rape and incest exceptions.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:05 AM on February 23, 2006


illovich, it depends on whether you believe abortion to be a civil liberty or something of that sort. the people of SD certainly didn't unanimously vote in the 23 people who voted in favor of this bill, so there are some unrepresented people here who are getting shafted. Legitimately shafted or unjustly shafted? I think that's more open to debate than you suggest.
posted by rxrfrx at 7:06 AM on February 23, 2006


I have never really understood the exceptions for rape and incest.

Nobody can honestly say that in addition to being physically and mentally violated, a raped woman should be forced to support, birth, and raise (or give away) a child.

A related question: if a woman is prevented from aborting a child conceived by rape, can she sue the rapist for damages relating to her suffering in gestation?
posted by rxrfrx at 7:08 AM on February 23, 2006


Off-topic: America isn't a struggling civilization like India, which, while many may argue it, seems to have benefited from a short period of tyrannical British rule.

Are you fucking kidding me?
posted by chunking express at 7:11 AM on February 23, 2006


illovich, don't you think that maybe if these republicans were ALL about the fiscal conservativism and DON'T care about social issues, that they would just become Libertarians? I would PREFER that. Seriously, the sooner we get the Republicans out of office and start getting 3rd party candidates in is the day I start feeling beter about our government.
posted by Doorstop at 7:11 AM on February 23, 2006


INDIA is NOT really struggling. Read the news.
posted by Doorstop at 7:14 AM on February 23, 2006


Everyone seeme to be sure that SCOTUS will overturn RvW. I'm not so sure. That doesn't mean that I think it won't happen. I'm just not certain that it will. If not, then this law won't survive scrutiny.

"survive scrutiny"? Interesting euphemism. The law is illegal (or unconstitutional) on it's face, and even the authors know that. It's a test of the new court. I'm just worried that some abortion providers will stop providing them, as if their cases don't stand up, they'll be off to the clink for however long.

I think we're about to move into an era of patchwork abortion laws. Women with enough money will travel to coastal states where they can get a safe and legal abortion, and poor women in central states will buy RU-486 on the street.

RU-486 doesn't actually cause an abortion. Although I wonder if chemical do-it-yourself miscarriage kits are in the works. Buy it from your local "alternative chemist".

and all of them, and their partners-in-copulation, will continue to be careless numbfucks for getting pregnant unintentionally in an age of ubiquitous birth control.

Yes, and we all know careless numbfucks make the best coerced parents.

At least some people in South Dakota and other flyover shitholes

It's not a binary difference between Seattle and Clinton, IA. There are tons of nice, moderately sized cities in the "heartland". The approval rating for bush in Iowa is 39% right now. Plenty of Liberals around here. Our current governor ran a "scare" ad pointing how his opponent was pro-life on the last night before the election (after promising several times not to run negative ads, then not run any negative ads any more. Awesome). Gore won Iowa in 2000, and bush only won by 10,000 votes. Now Iowa is called a "red" state, wtf. It's always been a swing state.

Anyway.
posted by delmoi at 7:14 AM on February 23, 2006


Republican Sen. Tom Dempster of Sioux Falls said, "This bill ends up being cold, indifferent and as hostile as any great prairie blizzard that this state has ever seen.'

Democrat Sen. Julie Bartling of Burke said the time is right for the ban on abortion.

“In my opinion, it is the time for this South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the rights and lives of unborn children,” she said during the Senate's debate. “There is a movement across this country of the wishes to save and protect the lives of unborn children.”

posted by jperkins at 7:15 AM on February 23, 2006


Nobody can honestly say that in addition to being physically and mentally violated, a raped woman should be forced to support, birth, and raise (or give away) a child.

To a right to lifer the balance is between a life and a woman's suffering and they will choose life every time. My point is that to a purist right to lifer these exceptions seem invalid and to a pro-choicer they are unneeded as there should be no restriction.

A related question: if a woman is prevented from aborting a child conceived by rape, can she sue the rapist for damages relating to her suffering in gestation?

Oh I think so, and child support too.
posted by caddis at 7:16 AM on February 23, 2006


at this point, if you want the right to choose, yet are dumb enough to stay in a place like South Dakota- much less if you're a young woman of child-bearing age- well, to heck with you and your kids-to-be. [...] And never, ever, ever, ever say it's about money: Greyhound can put you anywhere in the entire USA for the price of one or two shift's worth of tips. - hincandenza

The math doesn't work quite so well if you've already got 3 kids and you need to take them with you.
posted by raedyn at 7:18 AM on February 23, 2006


I'm incredibly saddened by this turn of events.
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:18 AM on February 23, 2006


Doorstop: I will now start taking suggestions on which country is best to expatriate to.

Here in Toronto, we have the Bay Centre for Birth Control. Among other things, "the clinic provides counselling for women with unwanted pregnancies and information about different abortion options. They also provide full medical care for women who choose to have an abortion, including post abortion follow up and counselling. The Centre can refer you to private gynaecologists or free standing abortion clinics." Did I mention that we have public health care?

Before abortion was legal, hospitals in Chicago had entire wings devoted to trying to save women dying of botched back-alley abortions. Scary.

Also interesting: The Last Abortion Clinic by Frontline
posted by heatherann at 7:18 AM on February 23, 2006


Yeah, but teens can't vote until they're 18, so the people who shouldn't be having children the most (from an economic and personal development/maturity perspective) will be the ones forced into having them. Which brings me back to the point I wanted to make: progressives need to start calling this law and other laws like it the Forced Childbirth Act. Reclaim the Frame (and your uterus)!
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2006


Who are you to protect the majority from themselves?

How about protecting the minority from the majority? Hell, how about protecting rights from the majority?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 7:27 AM on February 23, 2006


The South Dakota Task Force to Study Abortion, whose members were mostly against abortion, issued a report [PDF] last month (summary of recommendations). The report recommends abstinence education and "says that contraception-based sex ed sends the message to youth that they are incapable of controlling themselves and their emotions, and because of their inability to exercise self-discipline, they must have contraception," even though "the abortion task force points out in its report that it was not mandated to make recommendations about sex education." Planned Parenthood says the report was altered between when it was approved and when it was sent to the legislature.

One of the recommendations is to "require that the South Dakota Vital Statistics include disclosure of all facilities that perform abortions in South Dakota as well as the number of abortions performed per year at each facility." That'll be easy, since according to the AlterNet article, there's one facility.

Shortly after the report was released two South Dakota legislators introduced competing measures for setting sex education standards. The South Dakota Senate rejected the bill "that sought to require that schools provide sex education covering a wide range of subjects, including abstinence and contraception." Meanwhile the South Dakota House approved a ban on contraceptives.

To become an instant citizen of the USA, don't you have to be BORN here?

According to the 14th Amendment, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:33 AM on February 23, 2006


Yeah, umm...I'm actually, literally moving to Canada. Everybody else, be sure to turn the lights off and lock the door.
posted by 235w103 at 7:34 AM on February 23, 2006


kirkaracha, thanks. I just wanted to make the emphasis on being BORNclear though. :)
posted by Doorstop at 7:40 AM on February 23, 2006


caddis, incest leads to genetics defects. rape leads to psychological and physical trauma - especially if the woman is MADE to go through with the pregnancy - essentially it CONTINUES to give power tothe rapist AFTER he has committed the crime. think about those exceptions again.

The genetic defects caused by one generation of incest are not that bad. It's only really a problem when you do it again and again. First Cousin incest only has a slightly higher probability of birth defects then normal people, much less then the chance of a defect if the mother in is in her 30s or 40s.

As far as rape goes, well, having a child when you're not ready can be pretty psychologically damaging as well. If the fetus is a life, it's still a life if the father was a rapist. I don't think you would be supporting infanticide in cases of rape, so if the two are morally equivalent (which is what some people believe) then exception in the case of rape would be as bad as infanticide in the case of rape.
posted by delmoi at 7:40 AM on February 23, 2006


.
posted by dios at 7:48 AM on February 23, 2006


And to make it complete, HB 1217:

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to provide for the clarification of sexual abstinence instruction.
Section 3. That chapter 13-33 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
The instruction of sexual abstinence shall teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the responsible and only effective method of eliminating the risk of unplanned or out-of-wedlock pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases or infections. The instruction shall also teach that it is the expected standard for students to abstain from sexual activity until they are married.
The instruction of sexual abstinence may not include models of instruction based on risk reduction encouraging, promoting, and providing instruction in the use of contraceptive drugs, devices, or methods.


Primary Sponsor: Senator Julie Bartling, Democrat.

And since it hasn't been said just yet:
WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
SOUTH DAKOTA?!?
posted by grabbingsand at 7:50 AM on February 23, 2006


kirkaracha (quoting the un-funny report) : "contraception-based sex ed sends the message to youth that they are incapable of controlling themselves and their emotions, and because of their inability to exercise self-discipline, they must have contraception"

Now, that sentence requires you to begin with the idea the sole reason young people have sex is because they are "incapable of controlling themselves and their emotions" and can't "exercise self-discipline". Funny fundie nutjobs, have they ever considered the idea that sex is good?

Yes, I know, pleasure in general and sex in particular is SINFUL and will land you in HELL. That's what is most disgusting about these people, they never manage to keep their superstitions to themselves, they must damage the most people they can with their hatred for happiness, always.
posted by nkyad at 7:51 AM on February 23, 2006


The moment Rv.W is overturned, legislation to ban abortion completely will hit the floor of the house. The idea that without Rv.W, abortion will be left to the states is silly.

Absolutely. This Congress would undoubtedly ram through a full abortion ban without blinking. However, there is absolutely no chance that this Congress will be the one in session when a hypothetical Roe overturn occurs. So if you really care about this issue, vote single-issue and give generously to the campaigns of pro-choice candidates both within and outside your state.

Secondly, it's entirely consistent to be anti-abortion and yet pro-states-rights enough to see that there's really no place for an abortion ban at a federal level. I could easily see a court overturning Roe then turning right around and overturning a federal ban. The best the anti-abortion movement can hope for from the federal government long-term is 1. no abortion under Medicaid and 2. penalties for performing or offering to perform abortions in states other than your own. An abortion ban does not enjoy the same weird legal elevation that the DEA uses to excuse its existence - the wholesale abortion trade is not substantially interstate.

Third, access to abortion is popular enough that even if a federal abortion ban passed, it would certainly spell the end of the Permanent Majority, and probably wouldn't even last long enought to come up to the high court anyway.

On the DEA, it's a good thing there's federal control of drugs. Because if people could actually get their hands on drugs, society would fall apart. Heh. The point I'm making here is that even with a federal ban on abortion, safe abortion is not going away. It'll be more expensive, and certainly harder to get in regions where it's considered socially unacceptable - South Dakota included. But the idea that Roe is the only thing at this point standing between us and theocratic oppression of womanhood is as tiresome as it is overblown. Way too much effort goes into defending a decision that even its proponents recognize is on shaky legal ground. Way too much political ground has been compromised or just given away in its defense. If this law starts us on the path to a lower-energy, democratic decision on abortion rights, then I welcome it.

(Though I admit it does help that South Dakota is a Bob-forsaken wasteland...)
posted by Vetinari at 7:52 AM on February 23, 2006


Please explain how that works.

Gladly. Here's a typical chain of events:
  1. People decide not to care about how things work in their neighborhood, and fix problem by moving to better neighborhood;
  2. old neighborhood goes to shit;
  3. old neighborhood goes so badly to shit that even the "idiots" move to the better neighborhood, brinding their "idiotic" attitudes with them;
  4. people decide not to care about how things work in their neighborhood, and fix problem by moving to better neighborhood.
  5. Lather, rinse, repeat
posted by lodurr at 7:55 AM on February 23, 2006


It's an eight-hour drive from South Dakota to Winnipeg. If I knew of an organization who would help women with the costs involved to get there, I'd donate.
posted by solid-one-love at 7:56 AM on February 23, 2006


It's an eight-hour drive from South Dakota to Winnipeg. If I knew of an organization who would help women with the costs involved to get there, I'd donate.

Then you'll end up with pregnant women leaving and un-pregnant women coming back and you KNOW that SD will be tracking that sort of thing. All this 'protecting the rights of the fetus' is easy to extend to monitoring pregnant women. The CIANA bill is a first step toward that.

Plus, with the new Harper government, I wouldn't be surprised to see new restrictions on abortion providers in Canada.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:03 AM on February 23, 2006


"On another note, can liberals PLEASE start having some more kids so that these idiot laws DON'T get passed and that INTELLIGENT individuals start repopulating our nation!? ....please?" -- Oh, sure, Doorstop -- because everyone knows that children always have exactly the same political views as their parents and never, ever rebel or learn to think for themselves.
posted by jfwlucy at 8:05 AM on February 23, 2006


meh, i know they DON'T, but quite frankly, I'm hoping for KNOWLEDGE and intelligence to be imparted to children. You know, so that they THINK before they vote(*cough*OHIO*cough*).
posted by Doorstop at 8:11 AM on February 23, 2006


jfwlucy : "because everyone knows that children always have exactly the same political views as their parents and never, ever rebel or learn to think for themselves"

And that being raised in poverty along with ten other brothers and sisters because "Mon and Dad were on fucking agenda to overthrow the fundies so they couldn't use the pill" is a sure way to produce your good old run-of-the-mill liberal burger-flipper (or do you think you will have the money to send them all to college?).
posted by nkyad at 8:11 AM on February 23, 2006


Then you'll end up with pregnant women leaving and un-pregnant women coming back and you KNOW that SD will be tracking that sort of thing.

What're they going to do? Forced medical exams for every woman who crosses the border into North Dakota? A requirement for women to provide a urine sample to their local clinic on a weekly basis, with electronic ankle bracelets for those who test positive? I think this is a little alarmist.

Plus, with the new Harper government, I wouldn't be surprised to see new restrictions on abortion providers in Canada.

A mostly Conservative Supreme Court of Canada ruled 9-0 twice on abortion being a right. Even if Harper could get a bill restricting abortion passed in the House (and I don't think he could) and the Senate (no way), it'd be overturned within minutes by every provincial Supreme Court and later by the Supreme Court of Canada. IMHO, the Harper-abortion issue is a red herring, and I'm no supporter of Harper.
posted by solid-one-love at 8:11 AM on February 23, 2006


If you ignore the pro and anti arguments for a while, and assuming that the federal logjam continues, denying a blanket policy, it would be reasonable to speculate on the following.

1) A number of red States will in effect outlaw abortion, either directly, or through gradualism. Many have nearly done so already.

2) A number of blue States will maintain some degree of abortion that is both legal and medically safe.

3) Purple States will permit some abortion, but it will have restrictions and will not be of the best quality.

4) The arguments will shift to underwriting abortion, crossing State lines to obtain an abortion, and chemically induced abortion.
posted by kablam at 8:12 AM on February 23, 2006


and all of them, and thier partners-in-copulation, will continue to be careless numbfucks for getting pregnant unintentionally in an age of ubiquitous birth control.
posted by quonsar at 7:25 AM EST on February 23

I just read an interesting statistic pertinant to this study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1997, 278; 4:291) in which condom-wearing college students were asked a series of questions:

1/2 of those interviewed have had a condom break on them.

1/3 of those who had had a condom break did not tell their partner.

1/2 of those who did not tell their partner gave as the reason that they were about to orgasm.

1/3 said they didn't tell their partner because they didn't want to take responsibility for the break.

The remainder of those who had a condom break but didn't tell their partner gave as the reason: they did not want to worry their partner.

I said this before and I'll say it again, Sex happens. Mistakes happen. And the women are left holding the bag.

We can only hope that everyone of these fuckers who voted for this end up with a pregnant mistress.

caddis, incest leads to genetics defects. rape leads to psychological and physical trauma - especially if the woman is MADE to go through with the pregnancy - essentially it CONTINUES to give power tothe rapist AFTER he has committed the crime. think about those exceptions again.
posted by Doorstop at 10:01 AM EST on February 23

This to me has always been one of the weakest arguments against abortion-- the moderate approach that there should be exceptions for rape. If you are outlawing abortion "because it is the murder of an innocent baby" then why spin around and declare that it is OK to murder an innocent baby as long as the daddy was a rapist or a relative. Could it be that maybe abortion isn't exactly the murder of an innocent baby? Could it be that maybe abortion has something to do with the mother and her body after all?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:19 AM on February 23, 2006


Forced medical exams for every woman who crosses the border into North Dakota?

Red herring, yourself. Do you really think that requiring doctors to report 'miscarriages' is something they wouldn't implement if they're going to make abortion a felony anyway?

Oh, and restrictions on abortion providers isn't necessarily a restriction on abortion for Canadians, is it?
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:23 AM on February 23, 2006


Secret Life of Gravy - see my aforementioned comments. I FULLY supportthe right of a woman's choice. It's HER body. I just said these are MY opinions supporting pro-choice.
posted by Doorstop at 8:26 AM on February 23, 2006


Balance.
posted by HTuttle at 8:28 AM on February 23, 2006


If abortion is made illegal, there's still pennyroyal tea. Pennyroyal is available in health food stores everywhere. However, "herbal abortion" is dangerous :


"Kris Humphrey heard about inducing abortion 'naturally' using the herb pennyroyal, but unusual circumstances led to her death."

posted by iviken at 8:30 AM on February 23, 2006


iviken: She had an ectopic pregnancy, and could have died even with full medical care.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 AM on February 23, 2006


I am delighted by this move! Now we can get right down to businessand decide what is what: let the anti-abortions go bananas when they lose; or let the pro-choice people go crazy shoud they lose...in whatever the outcome, and it will soon be in the Supreme Court, we can at last put this issue to rest and see what the next move(s) will be. And we will find out at last what the new Bush will do and what they really believe.
posted by Postroad at 8:35 AM on February 23, 2006


4) The arguments will shift to underwriting abortion, crossing State lines to obtain an abortion, and chemically induced abortion.
posted by kablam at 11:12 AM EST on February 23

This is my biggest fear-- that abortion across state lines will be outlawed.

I just said these are MY opinions supporting pro-choice.
posted by Doorstop at 11:26 AM EST on February 23

I was expandeding on this: I have never really understood the exceptions for rape and incest. Preserving the life of the mother is easy as you are balancing one life against another so even right to lifers can get behind this idea, at least logically. Emotionally they still have issues. However, why should rape or incest matter to a right to lifer? Once there is life inside the womb shouldn't it be protected no matter the method of its conception (from the right to lifers' point of view)?posted by caddis

That is to say the moderate compromise doesn't hold up to examination. Either you believe abortion is murder and should be outlawed or you don't believe abortion is murder and should be allowed. All this stuff about exceptions just allows people to vote for outlawing abortion and feel good about it. When you force them to look at real consquences ("You are telling me this 14 year old was raped by her daddy and now you want to force her to have this baby!") people start recognizing that maybe the mother's rights should supercede the fetus's.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:40 AM on February 23, 2006


There's been over 30 million abortions since 1970 in this country. Assuming the vast majority of participants are still alive and know at least one person who supported their decision who didn't also have an abortion (sibling, significant other, parent, child, friend, etc..), they have more than enough power to end this debate on a national level (Bush got ~50 million votes, they would have 60-70 million, depending on how many people had more than 1 abortion).

Before we blame poor teenage mom's in SD for not moving to NY, why don't we ask the public why this is still a national debate? It seems to me that the majority of americans are ok with abortion, but it's hijacked by a few extremists who continue to make it an issue. The public has the numbers to vote anyone and everyone out of office who refuses to concede abortion should be legal (or course, this requires people to vote, which is why we're in this mess to begin with, but I can dream).
posted by Crash at 8:48 AM on February 23, 2006


This reminds me of the book Sewer, Gas, and Electric. In the book, USA Today printed the "Abortion Law Toteboard", a regularly updated, color-coded map showing "open", "closed", and "misdemeanor" states.
posted by zsazsa at 8:52 AM on February 23, 2006


summary of arguments so far:

hincandenza: "they made their bed, they can lie in it. I'm tired of making it for them!"

everyone else: "Can't you understand what it's like to live with an unmade bed!? Feel their pain! Besides, if we don't help them with their bed, it will remain unmade, and you know, someone will eventually have to make it!"

Caddis: "I never really understood why everyone puts the sheet over the pillows? Be consistent with your bed-making philosophy!"

Rep. Hunts Mistress: "Honey, I'm pregnant."

Rep. Hunt: "OMGWTF!"
posted by concreteforest at 9:01 AM on February 23, 2006


Secret life of Gravy - The world is NOT black and white. And, once again, there is no compromise in the situation, i agree you either allow it or you don't, but you have to start looking at things differently instead of politically if change is ever gonna occur. Thats about all I gotta say.
posted by Doorstop at 9:06 AM on February 23, 2006


Hincandenza, fatigue will make you say and do things you don't really mean. In this case, I'm tending to believe that the moral outrage fatigue is leading you to give in to that temptation that we all probably sometimes have to just say "aw, screw it/them, I can't deal with this any more."

Not trying to dismiss what you're saying, since I believe I understand where you're coming from. I've had similar, fleeting feelings, as I say. I'm just choosing to give you the benefit of the doubt that you're just reacting with a little temporary PTSD from the battle we're all in to try to safeguard sanity from the people that would want us to live and love under a 13th Century mindset.


Darkstar: Thanks. Even if it was for Hincandenza, I needed that, too.
posted by barnacles at 9:07 AM on February 23, 2006


Secret life of Gravy - The world is NOT black and white. And, once again, there is no compromise in the situation, i agree you either allow it or you don't, but you have to start looking at things differently instead of politically if change is ever gonna occur. Thats about all I gotta say.
posted by Doorstop at 12:06 PM EST on February 23

I know there are a lot of grey areas in life, but I am speaking for the 16 year old who turns up pregnant after her boyfriend a) pressures her into having sex to prove her love for him and assures her everything will be fine and b) doesn't tell her when the condom breaks because he doesn't want to worry her.

I tell you what, while we dither about tossing her hopes and dreams and future happiness out the window in favor of "a compromise" the world is looking pretty fucking black and white to her.

But hey! Maybe we can agree on that compromise and she can turn around and accuse her boyfriend of raping her so that the state will allow her an abortion.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:23 AM on February 23, 2006


why don't we ask the public why this is still a national debate?
Good question, Crash. Could it be because the abortion debate serves the Republicans so very, very well? Politicians here (in a red state, yeah, I don't deserve to live, thanks hincandenza) cannot come out pro-choice, no matter how they really feel, because then the churches mobilize against them, the fundies come out in droves, and they lose the election. We watched this happen 3 years ago, where baby-killer became the operant word and the asshole got re-elected. If this one topic was gone, what would the fundies use then? They might have to look at other issues, real economic and political issues, instead of trying to take over womens bodies. What then would the Republicans have to drag out when they want to blow a smokescreen around their other activities? The goat men?

If I put my tin foil hat on for a minute, I could even say that maybe that's why, after 30 years of legal abortion, this is suddenly (over, gee, the last six years or so) such a hot topic again.

quonsar, there is no such thing as birth control that is 100% effective.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:24 AM on February 23, 2006


And we will find out at last what the new Bush will do and what they really believe.
posted by Postroad at 11:35 AM EST on February 23 [!]


Here is my 2 cents+: Bush and the neocons don't want RvW overturned in any significant way. It is a winning platform for them as long as the issue is alive. They get so much mileage out of it this way that they would be fools to want it resolved. In its present state, they can speak about it in very nebulous terms (we love and respect the constitution and the law so let the supremes decide) and other similarly worded stuff which basically says nothing but sends special Jesus meanings to all the nut jobs who don't even consider any other issue. While the fundies froth at the mouth, the average suburban dwellers remain pretty agonostic about it because they figure "they raised their daughters right" and they ain't gonna get pregnant unless they want to. But of course, deep down, they know it might happen so if _serious_ federal restrictions are placed on abortion rights, they are likely to boot the culprits who engineered this right out of office, and PDQ. With every presidential election in the foreseeable future subject to the toss of a coin, that's dangerous proposition the Republicans.

So in summary, the neocons (and most Republicans that have aspirations of federal, elected office) want abortion rights to be on the front page (in order to keep their fundy base energized) but they really don't want any substantial changes made to the current law because it will defuse the fundies and turn mainstream voters away from their party.

... or, basically what mygothlaundry said
posted by a_day_late at 9:29 AM on February 23, 2006


America isn't a struggling civilization like India

That SD is passing an abortion ban rather indicatesthat America is struggling with civilization.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:33 AM on February 23, 2006


Wow, sotonohito nifty comment.

Lemme add: A big componant of this whole schmalia is whether you believe the government is there to do stuff to help people or there to keep other people from ganging up and crawling all over your back.
As I favor weight to the latter disposition, I consider myself conservative, I disagree with the folks who are “conservative” but take the former position.

I recognize there is some nuance to that argument though in that they believe they are preventing people from running roughshod over the rights of the fetuses.
Which is a position I can respect.

One of the few slim reasons that keep me on the pro-choice side however is what sotonohito mentioned above.

We cannot judge the right to any uncertain* biological process as superior to a quantified pre-existing known - in this case the rights of the woman.
*There is some debate as to when a fetus is human, etc.

Whether the fetus should be granted the full rights of a human being or not at conception is debatable.
Whether the impregnated woman has the full rights of a human being is unquestionable.

sotonohito correctly associates (early IMHO) pregnancy with simple biologic process and the invalidity of the government asserting full rights to that process.

I’m not going to say I know when that process becomes a human being, but that is exactly the point. At some time it is - but by definition at some time, it isn’t.
That ambiguity cannot be allowed to challenge the certainty of the rights of the woman.
Otherwise we can the reasonably have the government mandating as sotonohito said people having to provide life support using their bodies in other uncertain circumstances.

I would leaven that argument by recognizing the difference between supporting a near full term pregnancy and an earlier one and intentions and myriad other particulars that could be brought into play.
But the central point remains.

I won’t quote scads of Edmund Burke at hincandenza (The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing*) but I will point out that this is an issue initiated by people. This is not like fleeing a natural disaster or modulating one’s position on the world according to taste.

(* or more accurately: “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”)
posted by Smedleyman at 9:35 AM on February 23, 2006


mygothlaundry: Abstinence and homosexuality are two 100% effective means of preventing pregnancy. Lets sue to make them teach homosexuality!

The pitch in my torches dried out over the years since December 2000. The points on my pitchfork have grown dull. I've grown 5 years older myself.

South Dakota, huh? Boycott! Huh? Oh. Never mind.

I'd like to be outraged. At least I learned things of which I wasn't aware. I'm disappointed, and concerned for the women and families that will be harmed by this crap. But I'm numb to the rage now.
posted by Goofyy at 9:40 AM on February 23, 2006


I'm not sure I would call British rule in India exactly tyrannical...

...certainly not democratic but surely not "absolute dictator[ship] (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition)"
posted by atticus at 9:41 AM on February 23, 2006


Armitage Shanks: While everyone is jumping all over hincandenza, he makes a basically valid point. Well-meaning liberals are really going to have to stop trying to save the Below Average IQ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome states from themselves for a couple of decades and let this play out. Sometimes tough love is the only solution.

Oh, go rape yourself with a computer power supply.

You sir, are part of the problem, along with the electoral college that encourages the national parties to focus their attention on battleground states for one year out of four. Then the midterm elections come around and you are bewildered at having your ass handed to you on a platter because NY, MA and CA are not enough to carry the House or the Senate.

There are well-meaning liberals by circumstance and by choice, in every state of the country. They deserve your help in fighting these battles. If your head is stuck too far up your own ass to provide help, then at least offer a kindly word. If you can't even offer a kindly word, then do us all a favor and shut your bigoted mouth and stay out of our way.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:57 AM on February 23, 2006


*snort* as if the Dakota's need further reason for their citizens to flee. S. dakota's population is near flat with a .2% increase (North Dakota is actually negative loosing 1.2%),
And as if people need futher justification in refering to it as fly over country





I love driving through SW S. Dakota btw, some awful neat areas, badlands/Black Hills
posted by edgeways at 10:10 AM on February 23, 2006


And from where I sit, the big ball and chain around the ankle of the Democratic party is the number of "well-meaning liberals" (in spite of the fact that calling for class and culture warfare is antithesis if liberalism) who are unwilling to work in coalitions with colleagues from the wrong set of zip codes, at least not without a sneer and the privilege of saying, "that's just the way things are."

Personally, I plan on working my tail off this summer trying to get a DeLay flunky out of the U.S. House. I suspect that half of the people throwing shit don't do much activism beyond bitching on metafilter.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:12 AM on February 23, 2006


Bunch of dumbfucks in this thread.

Congress will make abortion illegal? As in banned across the US? Under what rationale short of an amendment? Idiots.

"Neocon" doesn't mean "all those conservatives we hear about every day". I'm really fucking tired of people demonstrating their ignorance by using "neocon" that way.

"Personally, I plan on working my tail off this summer trying to get a DeLay..."

Do they give gold stars to those who announce their intention to accomplish some worthy goal? Because you're special and you deserve a gold star. If only more people would boast about their good intentions, the world would be a much better place.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:16 AM on February 23, 2006


EB: Do they give gold stars to those who announce their intention to accomplish some worthy goal? Because you're special and you deserve a gold star. If only more people would boast about their good intentions, the world would be a much better place.

It's a call for people to put their money where their mouth is. Throwing shit at people who live in the wrong zip code is going to do nothing to change state legislatures or the U.S. Congress, and the "unfriendly fire" seen here feeds well into the Republican propaganda machine that gets a heck of a lot of mileage from the message that Democrats don't care about anything outside of large urban centers.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:23 AM on February 23, 2006


I'm amazed anyone's taking hincandenza's words seriously. Equating the freedom of movement that a 19 year old, unattached male has and the hardships he's willing to face with the population at large is borderline ridiculous. Good thing everyone is willing to leave behind family, a significant other, a home, a community that you have close ties to. Any or all of these things. That doesn't even include the people who want to live in that area because of their livelihood, I mean, fuck agriculture.

People in South Dakota, many that may not have voted because state legislatures normally don't do anything high profile, are now bound by this law. It might not have much impact because the only healthcare provider with the option of abortion in the whole state doesn't even have any in-house doctors that can do the procedure. They're flown in from Minnesota weekly. Still, that option is at least temporarily gone.

I mean really, can you name your current state representative? What was the last vote in your state senate? If you were a South Dakota voter and you now feel that you've been betrayed by your state legislature, I would recommend writing to hincandenza for your complementary $150 and a duffel bag. Say bye to mom, she's probably better off rotting in her mid-country hellhole.
posted by mikeh at 10:24 AM on February 23, 2006


Regarding the exception in the case of rape or incest:

Rape and incest are crimes of consent. If the mother never consented to the sex, she is not responsible for its outcome, including a possible pregnancy. In that case, the child within her, while (the argument goes) fully human, is not her responsibility, either. She can then kill it in self defense, as there is no nonlethal method of terminating pregnancy.

It is the aspect of self defense that permits the exception in cases of rape or incest.

Still, the exception for the life of the mother seems like an interesting philosophical soft target, if you're trying to persuade people to be pro-choice.
posted by Richard Daly at 10:28 AM on February 23, 2006


EB: And I'll ask you. What are you doing this election season and how can I help?

I'd be happy with a bit of friendly quid pro quo. I'll put a few dollars towards the campaign of your choice, if you put in a few dollars towards mine. (With the agreement that neither is obligated to contribute to campaigns we find distasteful.)

It certainly has got to be a better strategy than this continued Red State/Blue State culture war.

Or how about the regional Planned Parenthood?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:34 AM on February 23, 2006


I wonder how many persons involved in the draft and the redaction of this law were men.

Probably 80 percent of them.

Not that it matters...*cough*

I'm afraid to come up as a rad-fem on this one but many times while reading comments in here made by men I thought 'well, thank you but YOU will never have to deal with what it feels like to have/need an abortion. Physically nor mentally. So STFU'.
posted by Sijeka at 10:41 AM on February 23, 2006


Sijeka: Well said.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:44 AM on February 23, 2006


If you were a South Dakota voter and you now feel that you've been betrayed by your state legislature

Why do people keep talking about this as if the people of South Dakota have been blindsided? Two thirds of the legislature voted for it. A similar bill was introduced two years ago but vetoed by the governor for technical reasons. It's not like the whole thing was some takeover by stealth.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:44 AM on February 23, 2006


This reminds me of the book Sewer, Gas, and Electric. In the book, USA Today printed the "Abortion Law Toteboard", a regularly updated, color-coded map showing "open", "closed", and "misdemeanor" states.

ISTR that SGaE even had one state where abortion was absolutely prohibited on even days of the month and fully subsidized by the state on odd days of the month.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:45 AM on February 23, 2006


Bunch of dumbfucks in this thread.

Thanks for noticing the Batsignal.
posted by Skot at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2006


According to Nerve.com, because of cut fundings, it's increasingly difficult to get consultations at Planned Parenthood.
posted by Sijeka at 10:46 AM on February 23, 2006


I'm afraid to come up as a rad-fem on this one but many times while reading comments in here made by men I thought 'well, thank you but YOU will never have to deal with what it feels like to have/need an abortion. Physically nor mentally. So STFU'.

I'm a guy, and not particularly a rad-fem, but that's exactly how I feel about it. It's really precious for men to talk about reaching sensible middle ground on an issue that cannot possibly directly affect us.
posted by furiousthought at 10:48 AM on February 23, 2006


Prediction: The district court will find this law unconstitutional, the 8th Cir. will affirm, and the Supreme Court will deny cert.

As noted above. this would be the best option. I wonder if the SCOTUS would have the balls to actually take this on?
posted by edgeways at 10:52 AM on February 23, 2006


furiousthought - However, while I think too many men are talking out of their +++++ about such issues, I also think it is crucial to have their understanding and support in the matter. Not only because 'it takes two to tango', but also because it goes beyond feminism, it's about humanism and caring about the others.

Thank you for your comment.
posted by Sijeka at 10:53 AM on February 23, 2006


Smedleyman: actually, my argument remains the same even if we assume that life begins at conception and that from that moment forward the fetus should enjoy the full rights of all citizens. If I can't be legally required to donate a kidney to save the life of someone else, why should a woman be legally required to donate her uterus to someone else?

Personally I don't like abortion at all and I think it'd be fantastic if none were performed. But I'm pro-choice because I think its a greater wrong for the state to force pregnancy on an unwilling woman. I support Planned Parenthood because they make contraception available, and from my POV sex education and easily available contraception is the only method of reducting abortion that has been demonstrated to actually work. If no one has unwanted pregnancies then no one needs abortions (other, that is, than women who must have abortions for health reasons, and that's a completely different issue).
posted by sotonohito at 10:54 AM on February 23, 2006


As noted above. this would be the best option. I wonder if the SCOTUS would have the balls to actually take this on?

Even with the 2 new justices, I can't see how they could. The PBA law was struck down twice, both recently as far as SCOTUS terms go, because there was no clause for the life of the mother.

This is meant to be some kind of political statement, but will backfire. A vast majority of the country supports the right to an abortion for rape/incest/lifesaving at a minimum.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:01 AM on February 23, 2006


In South Dakota, life begins at the moment a man unhooks a woman's bra.

If she wears no bra, she is already considered pregnant.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:06 AM on February 23, 2006


Hunt said that such "special circumstances" would have diluted the bill and its impact on the national scene."

Because, ultimately, this bill was passed to have an impact on the national scene, not to accomplish any humanitarian task. Sigh.

As a tangent, I'd like convicted rapists to have to pay child support in addition to their prison sentences.
posted by davejay at 11:06 AM on February 23, 2006


Isn't part of the issue the fact that "American Culture" actually consists of many cultures that are too diverse to be adressed by a single overarching legislative approach to an issue as sensitive as abortion? Maybe the "Patchwork" legislation solution is the only realistic answer...
posted by slatternus at 11:08 AM on February 23, 2006


don't do much activism beyond bitching on metafilter.

This is going in a bullet point on my resume
posted by poppo at 11:09 AM on February 23, 2006


Oh, go rape yourself with a computer power supply.

What an interesting combination of nastiness and physical impossibility.
posted by jennaratrix at 11:09 AM on February 23, 2006


Armitage, who are your representatives in your state legislature? I couldn't tell you mine, currently, although I know I actually did some research and voted at the time. I bet if I did a quick survey of my immediate coworkers they'd have no clue.

Voter turnout might go up in the next South Dakota state election.
posted by mikeh at 11:10 AM on February 23, 2006


Bunch of dumbfucks in this thread.

Congress will make abortion illegal? As in banned across the US? Under what rationale short of an amendment? Idiots.


It could be that these "dumbfucks" and "idiots" are aware that Congress has already passed a law banning IDX with a flimsy link to interstate commerce:

"Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus"

Congress could easily pass the same law with the words "partial-birth" stricken out. That doesn't mean that the courts will buy this as an exercise of the interstate commerce, of course.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:11 AM on February 23, 2006


slatternus: Silly me, I've always thought the answer to such diversity was to let people make their own decisions about their medical or religious ethics. If you look at the county-by-county voting demographics for the United States, the patchwork is really too heterogeneous for the kinds of balkanization called for here, much less political partitioning or separation.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:13 AM on February 23, 2006


rural flight

So if everyone leaves the red states will the remaining population still be over represented in the electoral college?
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM on February 23, 2006


If I can't be legally required to donate a kidney to save the life of someone else, why should a woman be legally required to donate her uterus to someone else?

But if you have already donated a kidney and the recipient will die if you then take it away from them, can you not be legally prohibited from forcibly taking away what you've already given them? The pregnancy / organ donation analogy sucks.
posted by JekPorkins at 11:15 AM on February 23, 2006


"Neocon" doesn't mean "all those conservatives we hear about every day". I'm really fucking tired of people demonstrating their ignorance by using "neocon" that way.

No need to get huffy. I (and many others) know the difference. The term is relevant because it is synonymous with the country's current course (as chosen by the Republican party). Presently, Goldwater Republicans are about as effective as liberals at shaping Republican policy.
posted by a_day_late at 11:21 AM on February 23, 2006


So if everyone leaves the red states will the remaining population still be over represented in the electoral college?
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM EST on February 23 [!]


Not necessarily.
posted by a_day_late at 11:25 AM on February 23, 2006


Artw: So if everyone leaves the red states will the remaining population still be over represented in the electoral college?

I think it's time to get rid of it myself. Every other federal election leads to gaming the system such that a large number of states are written off as won or lost, some of them even before the primary elections. In those states that are not "in play" for the presidential elections, the national party system has few incentives to organize or spend money.

So the "red state" becomes something of a self-fulfilling prophesy. Local campaigns don't benefit from presidential campaigns, and bigots (might as well not candy coat the facts here) make excuses for avoid working in coalitions with people in the wrong zip codes.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:27 AM on February 23, 2006


So, I wonder at what point would a State lose the right to be a State if the population continues to drop? Perhaps a better indication is population desity.

Lets start a "no State left behind" program
posted by edgeways at 11:30 AM on February 23, 2006


I would just like to remind women living in areas where abortion is illegal that lesbian sex carries no risks of pregnancy.

I'm here for you ladies!
posted by schroedinger at 11:32 AM on February 23, 2006


Ack, can't seem to write today.

I can accept the view that engaging in local campaigns or reproductive rights activism in states like South Dakota might seem like throwing good money/energy after bad. If you feel that way, spend your money/energy where you feel it will be productive.

What I don't get is the high quantity of hostility and bullshit expressed towards people who feel that these are battles worth fighting. And the advocacy of class/culture warfare reveals that those people are not half as "liberal" as they claim to be.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:33 AM on February 23, 2006


monju accurately predicts that the Supreme Court will deny cert. To the n00bs: Unlike the intermediate circuit courts, you don't have an appeal as of right to the Supreme Court. Four of nine justices need to vote to grant a "petition for certiorari," which is essentially a motion made by the losing party in the circuit court or state supreme court for SCOTUS to hear the case. Cert can be denied for any reason or (more typically) no reason at all.

Given that SCOTUS likes to keep its docket nice and light, the Supremes generally only take up issues over which Supreme Court precedent is nonexistent or ambiguous and that have created disparate results in the lower courts (called a "circuit split.") Much more rarely do the Supremes take a case over which prior precedent directly controls. Lawrence v. Texas was such a case; from the beginning Lawrence knew that the only way he could win was to convince the Court to overrule Bowers v. Hardwick.

This means that only those Justices that have announced an agenda to overrule Roe (or more accurately, Casey, which has all but replaced Roe as the key abortion case) will vote to grant cert. Justices who have no desire to shake up established jurisprudence will not vote to take the case. Thus, the South Dakota case will have three votes for cert: Scalia, Thomas, and Alito. Chief Justice Roberts will not be among them; in his testimony he acknowledged the public's reliance in 35 years of settled law and the fact that the burden to overcome this reliance interest was exceedingly high even if Roe "should" be overturned as a matter of constitutional law.

Conclusion: This whole thing is a publicity stunt and dead in the water. Shame on these asshats for not trying to do things, like, you know, keep people from leaving the state in droves.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:38 AM on February 23, 2006


Well, I'm new here and I'd really like to discuss the port issue, but didn't see anything posted about that, so....this will do for a start.

On this abortion issue, I hope Ralph Nader will come to see elections make a difference. I hope he and others will see there is a difference in Democrats and Republicans.

Before the Bush years have ended, the federal government might just climb inside the womb of a young girl who was raped by her father and make her have the child.
posted by BillyElmore at 11:55 AM on February 23, 2006


Next year in the news:

Rapes skyrocket in South Dakota. Authorities attribute it to rumors that raping a virgin will avoid unwanted pregnancy.

Because disinformation (if we don't talk to kids about sex they won't know they have genitalia) aaaaaaaaaaalways works.
posted by qvantamon at 11:56 AM on February 23, 2006


I'm afraid to come up as a rad-fem on this one but many times while reading comments in here made by men I thought 'well, thank you but YOU will never have to deal with what it feels like to have/need an abortion. Physically nor mentally. So STFU'.

Don't be afraid, Sijeka! If there is any time to come up LOUD AND CLEAR as a rad-fem, this is it. If we worry too much about offending or upsetting men (or anti-feminist women) with our feminist views, we are completely fucked.

And then we'll have to carry the resulting unwanted pregnancy to full term.
posted by jennyb at 12:02 PM on February 23, 2006


Fundie publicity stunts like this (a la Saucy's excellent analysis) only make Hillary a more viable Democratic nominee, and that pisses me off (as a Dem myself).

So keep it up Red-States--Contribute very little to the national economy and keep sucking away more Federal tax dollars than you contribute, keep terrorizing the masses and not giving them basic information and access to health care for political gain, and a few years from now don't cry when Lani Guenier is deciding whether or not your precious jihad against women and girls is worth the effort.
posted by bardic at 12:05 PM on February 23, 2006


“Bunch of dumbfucks in this thread.”

Yeah, you guys are all assholes.
*eyes everyone else narrowly*

And yeah, those fems are pretty rad!

“...my argument remains the same even if we assume that life begins at conception..”
sotonohito

I agree with your other points. My opinion differs here, but for all intents has a similar result. I was allowing for wiggle room in the definition not infering limitations on your argument (hence the added IMHO). If it appeared I was putting words in your mouth I’m sorry. I tried to prevent that.

“I support Planned Parenthood....I’d like to send you several free cases of 20 year old scotch” - sotonohito

Thanks sotonohito!

“If she wears no bra, she is already considered pregnant.”

It’s a pizza as soon as you put your fist in the dough.

“don't do much activism beyond bitching on metafilter”

Right thought is necessary to right conduct, right understanding to right living. It’s good practice.

“...But if you have already donated a kidney...”

The state is the initiator of the resolution. Not the person. In this case the “giving” is an unwilling act as though - through whatever means - your kidney suddenly appeared in another person. (By definition, no one initiates a pregnancy just to terminate it). In the case of rape, the kidney was ripped out of you and implanted in another person and the state mandates that the other person gets to keep the kidney as resolution.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:38 PM on February 23, 2006


In the case of rape, the kidney was ripped out of you and implanted in another person and the state mandates that the other person gets to keep the kidney as resolution.

Yes, I think that is precisely the correct analogy -- if someone robs you of your choice to give the kidney (by stealing it), then there's a good argument for suing to get it back. That's a good analogy for abortion in cases of rape or similar.
posted by JekPorkins at 1:34 PM on February 23, 2006


RU-486 doesn't actually cause an abortion. - delmoi

Wrong. You're confusing 2 things. Plan B the "morning after pill" does not cause an abortion. It is just a high dose of the same hormones found in typical birth control pills. It is to prevent implantation of a fertilised egg, or to prevent ovulation.

RU-486 is a pill that causes abortion. It can only be used very early in pregnancy.
posted by raedyn at 1:55 PM on February 23, 2006


It sickens me that this has passed.
posted by agregoli at 2:27 PM on February 23, 2006


EB, I think you forget that neconservativism has prescriptions for domestic policy. Specifically, many neocons and students of Leo Strauss hold that religious values and beliefs may not be true, but they a necessary "noble lie" used to give the commoners purpose and meaning. Considering these people's close ties to the religious right, it makes sense that the neocons would actively seek to promote religion in the public sphere.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 2:39 PM on February 23, 2006


Caddis asked However, why should rape or incest matter to a right to lifer?

Part of the reason is probably that right-to-lifers justify their restrictions on the pregnant woman by saying she chose to have sex, and to risk pregnancy, and that she should therefore deal with whatever happens. That justification dissolves in cases of rape or incest, of course. Other reasons regarding the detrimental effects on the mental health of the mother were discussed earlier in the thread.

The next question is why they think that being raised by a mother who doesn't want a child will get a decent quality of life for the kid ... well, quality of life doesn't seem to be one of their concerns anyway.
posted by dilettante at 2:42 PM on February 23, 2006


dilettante - Their answer to that crap is to put the kid up for adoption. They say there are plenty of parents wanting to adopt. There is truth in this. There are plenty of parents wanting to adopt healthy white babies. Not so much if they are sickly, disabled, or non-white.
posted by raedyn at 2:51 PM on February 23, 2006


while I agree with rad-fem suggestion that I personally should STFU since I am not a woman. However, I would like to say that I do feel very strongly that my 9 year old daughter grow up in a place where she has the right to choose and feel strongly enough that we will move should our state (or the US) ever make abortion illegal.
posted by sineater at 4:33 PM on February 23, 2006


i have to admit i'm going in the direction of hincandenza in some ways...just in the area of general politics, i think there's only so much you can do to protect people from themselves, and you have to start to ask that if america, on the grounds of apathy or willingness, is satisfied to act against its own interests or founding values, then maybe we as a country don't deserve the benefits of such...we've willingly allowed the threads of sincerity to be pulled from our democractic ideals, and what's left doesn't seem to be enough for us as a whole to fight for anymore...so really, what america gets is what it deserves, and maybe it really has to get bad enough, even turned upside down, for us as a whole to consider it worth protecting or reinforcing...i fight it, but more and more i wonder if there's anything left to do but sit back and watch the show...

in this particular case, i would have to disagree with the casual assignment of blame of women/teens as 'children repeatedly put[ting] their hands on a hot stove'...there are some lessons that can't be carried forward but have to be relearned one generation to the next, and dealing with sex is something our society does poorly anyway...add to that the fact that (1) our culture is chronically oversexed, (2) our economic reality has shifted from choice to the cruel illusion of choice, and (3) the socialization of children has become a slapdash compromise amongst competing agendas, few based in objective reality...and for myself i would have to say that i'm really glad i'm not 20 years younger or have children of my own...

...and counter to what has been stated, i happen to feel that abortion is murder and that is should be legal...i think the rights, even whims, of the host take precedence, and i've always been frustrated by the willingness of pro-choice proponents to muck about in life-genesis and situational arguments, which are irrelevant...
posted by troybob at 4:54 PM on February 23, 2006


thank you sineater (and Sijeka), and all others who have some sense of sanity in this thread. The mind boggles...it's 2006 and we're still discussing this).

For every asshat neo-con, there will be piles more of us that will fight them however possible...
posted by rmm at 5:26 PM on February 23, 2006


Try Standing in Someone Else's Shoes
posted by homunculus at 7:49 PM on February 23, 2006


South Dakota: Where Rapists Live Forever! --...That's right, rapists. If you want your twisted, evil chromosomes to live forever, South Dakota welcomes you with open arms.

Republican lawmakers in Pierre passed a law which prevents your victims from aborting your rapist children, even if your rapist child is just a clump of a dozen rapist cells.

Break out the celebratory cigars, Rapist Dad, because now you can sleep at night, comforted with the knowledge that any woman you assault and violate -- perhaps torture -- won't be allowed to abort the fruit of all your planning, stalking, and raping. ...

posted by amberglow at 9:08 PM on February 23, 2006


and from the comments there: The number one cause of death among pregnant women is murder, usually by the father of the child, and usually because she refuses to have an abortion. Watch for this to increase in S. Dakota.
posted by amberglow at 9:09 PM on February 23, 2006


and watch out for some Bush-faith-based funded Jesus n Pals™ Orphanages popping up, too.
posted by amberglow at 9:11 PM on February 23, 2006


oh, are they going to outlaw and imprison all the people who run fertility clinics? they kinda have to now, no?
posted by amberglow at 9:13 PM on February 23, 2006


I'll also second monju's prediction above.
posted by darkstar at 10:36 PM on February 23, 2006


Neocon and Straussian are not the same thing. "Neocon" is a group of conservatives with a particular kind of imperialist foreign policy.

If you think that Congress will try to ban abortion entirely using the rationale of the interstate commerce clause, then say so. Remember that Prohibition required an amendment. I realize many things have changed since then. But still.

If you define pregnancy as fertilization then you have a bit of trouble with the word abortion because it doesn't technically apply to "prevents implantation". Regardless, if a pro-lifer sees prevention of implantation as equivalent to abortion, then they also should have trouble with the plain 'ole birth control pill, which now is thought to have about 1/3 or more of its effectiveness the result of prevention of implantation.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:54 PM on February 23, 2006


If you think that Congress will try to ban abortion entirely using the rationale of the interstate commerce clause, then say so.

Do I think so? No. Or at least, I think that if Congress were to enact such a nationwide ban, it would be extremely tough and on an intentionally very shaky basis so that it could be quickly ruled unconstitutional. Like others, I think Republican strategists want to keep the issue live rather than settle it in Republican-dominated states. And I suspect that if it came to a decision, a post-Lopez court might disallow such a use of interstate commerce.

Your earlier statement seemed to me to imply that you thought it was obvious that no such ban could possibly be enacted. But Congress has, in fact, passed a similar ban on all IDX procedures using nothing more than a vague genuflection in the direction of interstate commerce, which doesn't mean that it would pass scrutiny*. So while I disagree with them, I think those fears weren't the dumbfuck idiocies you made them out to be.

*I know that it's been dinged or had injunctions barring enforcement put against it, but AFAIK those have all been based on the content of the abortion regulation rather than the shaky foundation in interstate commerce
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:41 PM on February 23, 2006


Balkin also says this is going nowhere.
posted by darkstar at 12:59 AM on February 24, 2006


So what happens to women who can afford to travel outside of SD for an abortion? Will they be charged with something when they return home?
posted by ioerror at 1:47 AM on February 24, 2006


Hey lodurr, take a good hard look at my wrists. Take a close look at my forehead. You see any motherfucking stigmata there? See any crown of thorns atop my head? No? That's because I'm not the motherfucking messiah.

Well, then get off the fucking "moral fatigue" cross and cut out the sermon about not helping others.

Well-meaning liberals are really going to have to stop trying to save the Below Average IQ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome states from themselves for a couple of decades and let this play out. Sometimes tough love is the only solution.

So, what you're saying is that you've never been in a disadvantaged situation in your life, and thus never had the help of anyone else? You've never benefitted from the aid of somone stronger, smarter or more affluent than you? I find that hard to believe.

Tough love's easy to dispense to other people, not so easy when it's meted out to you. Like it or not, you're part of a society and the people in it are affected by your actions and you by theirs. Do you think that making comments like this and taking such an intimidating stance concerning the circumstances of others makes you somehow superior?
Get a clue. Everyone needs help sooner or later.
posted by kaiseki at 2:25 AM on February 24, 2006


eb: If you define pregnancy as fertilization then you have a bit of trouble with the word abortion because it doesn't technically apply to "prevents implantation".

... and yet, Right To Life opponents of the "morning after pill" seem to have no trouble with applying the word "abortion" to cases of 'prevented implantation.'
posted by lodurr at 5:41 AM on February 24, 2006


mygothlaundry writes "quonsar, there is no such thing as birth control that is 100% effective."

Yes, there is. It's male birth control, and it drops sperm production to zero. Caveat is that it hasn't been approved yet.


hincandenza writes "SD is a shithole, as is much of the US: it's a whole lot of shitty shitsville from sea to shining sea, with only a few lonely bright spots of urban relief. That well known photo of North America at night is as much a roadmap for modern people to get the hell out of the dark and come into the light"

This is an overly patronizing and self-centered argument, and a statement like this reveals in large part why the GOP did so well in the last election. You Übercool city dwellers may not realize this but not every goddamn person in the world wants to live where you do. New Yorkers think that anyone living outside of New York is a backwoods fool. San Francisco residents feel the same about anyone not living in San Francisco. Well, wake the hell up, buddy. A good percentage of the voting populace in this country would rather eat shit than trade their clean air, open space and low cost of living for your smog, congestion and insane rent. Yes, you have these "theaters" and "raw restaurants" and "gay bars" and "street muggings" we've heard tell of here in the cold, dark heartland, but all that would be worth fuck-all to you if we stopped growing the soybeans that go into the tofu burger you're enjoying in the cramped little overpriced closet you live in. Am I oversimplifying city life for you here? You're damn right I am - because the people in the midwest are getting the same stereotypes of life in the large cities. You do a great job of portraying the caustic, typical NYC asshole the midwest has come to expect. How many people out here do you think want to cast the same vote as the big city asshole?

You need to get into your head one little fact here: Automatically categorizing people in the midwest as either desperate to leave the Great American Desert or as hopeless fools who happily submit themselves to Lord God G.W. Bush the Jesus Messiah is wrong and it has and will backfire on you. When the left is dismissive and patronizing, the people they are dismissing will vote for the right.

Just think for a moment about this the next time you feel qualified to denigrate the flyover states you so casually disregard as backwards dystopias. This fucking self-centered 'Oh my god we are SO much better than the rest of the country because I can shop at Barney's and all they have are those "wall marts" I have heard of' might have played well for Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie but don't forget that those stupid bimbos became a symbol of what is wrong with the coastal cities for many of the midwesterners who watched the show.

So really: do I see this abortion ban as a good move for anybody? Fuck no. But your immediate "that's it, I give up, fuck all those assholes for not being just like me" helps about as much as the ban in the first place. Getting rid of your compassion is the first step to just not giving a fuck about anyone except yourself. If you're going to do that, and you're going to start walling yourself off from the unwashed masses and stockpiling cash, you might as well vote republican.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:50 AM on February 24, 2006


Here's a thought:

On the basis of current abortion rates, one in three American women will have had an abortion by age 45.[Source]

So everyone knows women who have had an abortion, yet most of those are secret. I wish women felt they could talk about their abortions and the reasons they chose to have one. Then this debate might be a little less abstract. It's a lot harder to demonize women who seek abortions if you know your sister did, and your best friend did, and that hot woman at work did.
posted by raedyn at 7:53 AM on February 24, 2006


'Oh my god we are SO much better than the rest of the country because I can shop at Barney's have an abortion, have oral sex without being arrested for sodomy...
posted by biffa at 8:10 AM on February 24, 2006


Whew ... when topics get so depressing ... the imagination goes into overdrive ...

News Item #1:
Dramatic Relocation Fund Initiated
Pro-life families across the nation are packing up and taking to the road today, thanks to the donations of millions of generous Americans. These hardy pioneers are bound for the New Republic of South Dakota, land of the sacred "no sex without procreation" laws.
Representatives of the Fundies Relocation Fund announced that they were thrilled to see the response to their offers, and were in the process of expanding the fund to cover The Wall around South Dakota that would ensure that no one inside is contaminated by the "free thinking" of their neighbor states.
Fund Representatives refused to comment on the motivations of their group or on the charges of "ethic cleansing."
News item #2:
EBAY 'Sale' of ECP for South Dakotans
Women all over America are helping their sisters in South Dakota who now have no option for ending unwanted pregnancies. An EBAY ad for ECP (emergency contraceptive pills) promises that any woman can get a supply of these pills to keep on hand in case of emergency. The pills - which are not aborticants - must be taken 72 hours after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
Since ECP is presently available in 8 states without a doctor's prescription, there is an easily tapped source for the project. The site is collecting 'donated' pills from anyone who will mail them in and then passing them on to designated places in South Dakota -- at no charge.
/imagination
posted by Surfurrus at 9:11 AM on February 24, 2006


What I found interesting from today's report is that there's only one abortion clinic in South Dakota, and they perform roughly 800 abortions a year.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:23 PM on February 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


... If a woman who is raped becomes pregnant, the rapist would have the same rights to the child as the mother, said Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault. ...
posted by amberglow at 3:41 PM on February 25, 2006


So what does an anti-choice woman do when she experiences an unwanted pregnancy herself? "The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion"
posted by five fresh fish at 11:07 PM on March 11, 2006


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