What's the matter with Kansas?
April 9, 2015 1:41 PM   Subscribe

As of July 1, 2015, the safest, most convenient procedure used for second-trimester abortions will be illegal there.

During a private ceremony on Tuesday, April 7, Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 95 into law, making Kansas the first state in the nation to criminalize a medical procedure commonly utilized in cases of incomplete miscarriage as well as pregnancy terminations performed after 12 weeks: Dilation and Evacuation, or D&E. Perhaps surprisingly for a law that criminalizes a medical procedure, the text of the law [PDF] does not use any medical terminology whatsoever.

Throughout the bill, the term "dilation and evacuation" has been redefined as "dismemberment abortion" and the word "fetus" has been eliminated in favor of "unborn child." Indeed, the bill's official title is "The Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act."

The lone exception to the law allows D&E to be used only if it is deemed necessary "to preserve the life of the pregnant woman or if a continuation of the pregnancy will cause substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a woman's major bodily function." No exceptions will be allowed in cases of rape or incest.

SB 95 was introduced to the Kansas state senate as model legislation drafted by anti-choice organization NRLC. As part of a nationwide push to further restrict abortion access, identical bills -- drafted by NRLC and forwarded to state legislators for proposal -- have been introduced in Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina.

In the first quarter of 2015, legislators in 43 states introduced 332 provisions to restrict access to abortion services. Of these, 53 have been approved by at least one legislative chamber in 15 states, and nine have been enacted in four states. 231 abortion restrictions have been enacted at the state level since the 2010 midterm elections.

More than half of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states that are hostile or extremely hostile to abortion rights. More from the Guttmacher Institute: A Surge of State Abortion Restrictions Puts Providers—and the Women They Serve—in the Crosshairs.
posted by divined by radio (105 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
First rule for states' rights advocates if you want me to take you seriously: don't use model legislation.
posted by parliboy at 1:53 PM on April 9, 2015 [14 favorites]


So, would it be horrible of me to start a White House petition to change the name of Kansas to Gilead?
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:56 PM on April 9, 2015 [52 favorites]


Throughout the bill, the term "dilation and evacuation" has been redefined as "dismemberment abortion" and the word "fetus" has been eliminated in favor of "unborn child."

Ugh, what's next, calling the vagina a "sin hole" and every woman "fornicators"?
posted by poffin boffin at 1:58 PM on April 9, 2015 [76 favorites]


At a certain point this law will be challenged before the Supreme Court. This will be an opportunity for the court to say, in effect, "Stop fucking around. We ruled abortion to be constitutional, and all of your shitty little laws that try to get around that are void."

Or so we can hope.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 1:58 PM on April 9, 2015 [16 favorites]


For those who aren't going to read the text of the law: the actual wording of the law allows a woman's husband or father to sue an abortion doctor who terminates a pregnancy.

No, that's not a typo. The law allows a woman's husband or father (or mother, I guess) to have a fundamental legal veto over her body.

Also, it allows exceptions in the case of "emergency medical" situations, but I have a hard time believing that any Emergency Room physician is going to risk a few years in jail for any reason, regardless of the situation.

This law basically intimidates ER docs into making "pro-life" decisions.
posted by Avenger at 2:01 PM on April 9, 2015 [25 favorites]


Fully half the women of Kansas will continue to vote Republican.
posted by notreally at 2:03 PM on April 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


.
posted by bleep at 2:03 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Back in 2007 when the court ruled that IDX bans were constitutional, they noted that this was NOT an unconstitutional ban on second-trimester abortions because D&E (by far the most common form of second-trimester abortion) was still legal. Let's see how long that logic holds!
posted by muddgirl at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


.
posted by oceanjesse at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2015


It's terrifying that it seems time to take it back underground and just start reposting the DIY instructions.
posted by mikelieman at 2:05 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


i just

how do i fix this

where do i send my money

who do i stab

how many ancient romans must be revived in order to properly oppress the christian fundamentalists, how many lions will we need
posted by poffin boffin at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2015 [139 favorites]


Every day on Metafilter there are multiple threads on a wide range of topics where my first thought is "Fuck these people." So far today the count is up to at least three.
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2015 [27 favorites]


Jesus Christ- what isn't the matter with Kansas?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


Until this nonsense ends, and I must believe that it will end one day or I will simply go mad, there aren't enough tears in the world for all the women that will suffer.

There are real murders happening here. But they are of the women who will needlessly die in hospital rooms, of the women who will feel like they have no other option but to take their own life, of the kids born to women who lack any sort of support to raise them and fall to further neglect or abuse.

Monsters. Monsters dressed in human skin.
posted by erratic meatsack at 2:14 PM on April 9, 2015 [19 favorites]


231 abortion restrictions have been enacted at the state level

This is kind of mind-boggling.

Since at least 2005, Republican legislators at the state level have passed thousand of bills dedicated to just a few issues. Specifically, they've radically liberalized gun laws, expanded self-defense laws, deregulated the private sector, and put an unprecedented number of restrictions on women's access to health care, with a special emphasis on making it impossible for women to get abortions in a safe or manageable way. These legislators in Republican-controlled states seem obsessed with encouraging and legalizing men's violence, mugging the poor/working class/middle class through deranged tax schemes, and making women's lives a plaything of powerful men who answer only to their donors and their angry, White, male constituencies.

Even while arbitrarily denying their states tens of millions in essentially free Medicaid expansion monies, permitting wages to stagnate, further strengthening the position of employers vis-a-vis their employees, and generally worshipping White, male, Christian, capitalist interests by way of blatantly preferential legislative agendas, it never seems to be enough. People in Republican-controlled states are suffering economically, physically and psychologically because their elected leaders literally cannot be bothered to do anything with their immense official powers except make it easier for the rich to get richer while literally everyone else gets poorer, for gun owners to terrorize and get away with murdering other citizens, and make it absurdly difficult for women to access the rights which they're guaranteed. It's sickening.
posted by clockzero at 2:16 PM on April 9, 2015 [30 favorites]


What's the matter with Kansas?

Hot button culture-war issues to distract from the utter failure of the Republican coalition's preferred economic plan.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:17 PM on April 9, 2015 [37 favorites]


how many ancient romans must be revived in order to properly oppress the christian fundamentalists, how many lions will we need

If you would like to start a political party called "Lions for Christianists" that would be offensive but would probably get about a million internet snark dollars.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:19 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's shit like this that more and more makes me think that the US is about to enter its own fascist period. The shirts just keep getting browner and browner.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:27 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Fetus People are winning.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 2:37 PM on April 9, 2015


♫♪♩ Never moving back, never moving back, never moving back! ♫♪♩
posted by rewil at 2:42 PM on April 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


I could make appendectomy or rhinoplasty sound just as terrifying and foul. Shall we draft a law banning one?
posted by gingerest at 2:47 PM on April 9, 2015 [12 favorites]


I could make appendectomy or rhinoplasty sound just as terrifying and foul. Shall we draft a law banning one?


If it will stop whores from being whores then yes, we must! As Jesus wanted!
posted by Cosine at 2:48 PM on April 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's shit like this that more and more makes me think that the US is about to enter its own fascist period. The shirts just keep getting browner and browner.

This may seem (or actually be) pedantic, but I think actual fascism is extremely unlikely, although authoritarianism of a Christian-ist/capitalist persuasion is already here and getting stronger.

But fascism per se is unlikely, in part because there is no strong collective sense of glorious progress to some transcendent state that can help provide real solidarity to the thugs, both those on the street and in the statehouse; the people passing these laws are calm, conservative, and cynical, not manic or optimistic, as the fascists were (though obviously their optimism was toward a very disturbing end).
posted by clockzero at 2:53 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


The War on Women continues. How long will women keep voting for oppressors?
posted by bearwife at 2:57 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I have a monthly small donation to planned parenthood that auto-deducts from my account. I'm not really making a lot of money right now and i keep thinking about cancelling it but this stuff just keeps happening, constantly. i have to freaking keep it. i can only hope that it helps, as it's pretty much all i can do. i mean, my other response is, maybe i should go to medical school. but that's another can of worms. so for now, $10/month to PP.
posted by ghostbikes at 3:00 PM on April 9, 2015 [13 favorites]


What's NOT the matter with Kansas?
posted by damnitkage at 3:11 PM on April 9, 2015


Ugh, what's next, calling the vagina a "sin hole"

Isn't a "sin hole" where you go when you are a baseball player and spit tobacco juice on the ball before you throw it to the stick guy?
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:12 PM on April 9, 2015


Jesus Christ- what isn't the matter with Kansas?

Good sunsets. Couple of decent basketball teams.
posted by brennen at 3:21 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


For those of you wondering where to send your money, your local Planned Parenthood is an excellent candidate. Many have been the victims of egregious state cutbacks which are increasingly denying them funding for daily general operations for purely spiteful political reasons. There is also the National Network of Abortion Funds, which helps women with limited resources pay for and obtain transportation for abortions.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:25 PM on April 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


Mephron and others who blame this on Kansans: unfortunately, a great many Kansans, including people with uteri, can't afford to move or have family obligations that preclude their relocation. A few people might even wish to stay in their homes rather than be driven out by religious extremism and gerrymandered government repression.
posted by gingerest at 3:31 PM on April 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


For those of you wondering where to send your money, your local Planned Parenthood is an excellent candidate.

I'll take this opportunity to plug for the last women's clinic—currently under siege—in my home state.

I don't believe you can donate through the website, but they do take checks. Call for more info.

(previously)
posted by echocollate at 3:39 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


And if you want to give a hand to Kansas women in need of an abortion, check out the Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund.
posted by mostly vowels at 3:39 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


how many lions will we need

Lions eat on average about 10 kilograms of meat a day.
There are 247,695,000 adult US citizens.
Pew says that 26.3% of them are fundamentalists.
Average weight of an adult American is between 150-200 pounds (68 kg).
Since about 15% of that is bone (and there's gristle, air in the lungs, disgestive effluvia, blood, etc), round up and say 70% of the body is edible.
So that is roughly 57 kg of meat per adult human.
For the 65,143,785 adult fundamentalists that would be 3,713,195,745 kilos of meat.
There are fewer than 30,000 wild lions in the world.
So we could feed all the wild lions on earth for nearly 340 years on the current extant population of adult fundamentalists.

I think the answer is we need more lions.
posted by winna at 3:57 PM on April 9, 2015 [83 favorites]


Indiana is last week's news! It is now Kansas's turn.
posted by futz at 3:59 PM on April 9, 2015


During a private ceremony...

I can only imagine what that ceremony looked like. I'm seeing beer guzzler helmets, and codpieces embossed with crosses.
posted by Foosnark at 4:07 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I can't tell threads like this from the dystopian stuff I like to read.

I need to start reading like some Eric carle or something. That seems calming. And far from reality.
posted by sio42 at 4:16 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


This is kind of an interesting orthogonal link: Interactive: How State Policies Shape Access to Abortion Coverage

(Not a self-link, per se, but I work with the team that built and maintains this.)
posted by limeonaire at 4:17 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


This whole process is a generational demographic last hurrah by the Republican Party. The fact is that millennials, although they don't garner the majority of economic power, will soon overwhelm all other demographic forces. The Republican Party is built on campaign donations. Single issue voters are more likely to donate. You will continue to see strict abortion laws, but only in the poorest states. Wealth by its very nature will prevent someone from becoming a single issue voter. When millennials have the majority of wealth this trend will change.
posted by thebestusernameever at 4:19 PM on April 9, 2015


So will a D&E be outlawed for miscarriage too?
posted by LizBoBiz at 4:22 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that would affect the health of the incubation unit, so it would still be allowed.
posted by sio42 at 4:25 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


winna: evangelical ≠ fundamentalist. Different things. A quarter of white evangelicals don't even think abortion is wrong. By the same token, only about a quarter of secular folks thing abortion is morally acceptable.
posted by reren at 4:31 PM on April 9, 2015


All I can say is that a) obviously it was me doing the figuring for the love of the word problem it presented and not an immodest proposal and b) I grew up in one of those churches and remember perfectly well when they started objecting to the connotations of their self-assigned label of fundamentalist.
posted by winna at 4:37 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Mephron and others who blame this on Kansans:

No one is balming the people who can't afford to leave.

They're blaming the people of Kansas who continue to vote for this shit.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:38 PM on April 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


So will a D&E be outlawed for miscarriage too?

Of course! No truly god-fearing woman would ever oh my god I can't even, I have heard people say the rest of that sentence in total sincerity, and it took every ounce of my strength to ONLY call them vile, Shakespearean insults, and not physically assault them.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 4:43 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, if you go for your 20 week scan, and your pregnancy has an unsurvivable disease or chromosomal issue, that's it? You have to go home for the next 20 weeks and wait? That sounds really fair.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:44 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you have a miscarriage don't you NEED to get it removed so it doesn't just decay inside?
posted by sio42 at 4:50 PM on April 9, 2015


> So will a D&E be outlawed for miscarriage too?

I think that would affect the health of the incubation unit, so it would still be allowed.

I'm actually wondering if the article linked in the third paragraph of the OP is pointing this out with the phrasing "substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a woman’s major bodily function", which is subtly different from the phrasing in the text of the law itself.
posted by XMLicious at 4:58 PM on April 9, 2015


If you have a miscarriage don't you NEED to get it removed so it doesn't just decay inside?

Not always, sometimes that happens on its own. And usually if you do need it removed, they do that with a D&C, not a D&E.

This law is of course vile and obnoxious and terrible in every fucking way. I hate laws that criminalize abortion procedures, because come on, if you're going to get an abortion, you're going to get the abortion, you'll just do it in a different, more dangerous, more painful way. It's like proof positive that "saving the baby" isn't the least bit what these asswipes care about.
posted by KathrynT at 5:08 PM on April 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


This story was from the Fund Abortion Now page

http://www.fundabortionnow.org/story/monica

I seriously almost started bawling because no one should ever have to go through that.

Arrrgh these fuckers who make these laws really care nothing for families.
posted by sio42 at 5:14 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


So will a D&E be outlawed for miscarriage too?

Supposedly no, as the definition of abortion in the bill excludes an action to "remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes in utero." Though I'm sure determining "natural causes" will be the next thing they tackle.
posted by melissasaurus at 5:18 PM on April 9, 2015


aaauuuuugggghhhhhhhh
posted by NoraReed at 5:23 PM on April 9, 2015


If you have a miscarriage don't you NEED to get it removed so it doesn't just decay inside?

No, speaking as someone who has been through two, you don't. My options at first trimester were outlined as follows: chemical (cytotec), D&C, or natural (allow the body to miscarry on its own). I have terminated by two of those methods (cytotec, "natural"). Both were at 10-11 weeks. Neither required a follow-up procedure: my body got rid of what was no longer a viable life.

My sister, however, is one of those women who had an incomplete miscarriage and had to go back to have a surgical procedure to have it complete. She probably would have died without it. So far, she's lost three fetuses, all in the first trimester.

Having lived through the heartbreak of finding out my baby wasn't viable, and wanting to get the pregnancy over with, I find laws like this to be fucking awful. All you can think of after you get that ultrasound is death death death I am carrying around death inside me. And you can't escape it, it's with you every day, as you look down at your body that still thinks it's growing a baby, but isn't. This law can so easily be twisted in the wrong hands to force a woman to carry a child to term even if non-viable. My body so far has done the hard work of miscarrying when it needed to; I can't imagine doing that for eight additional months.

(And for the record: even if the pregnancy was viable and I decided I didn't have the maturity/financials/support/wherewithal to have a child, I would still find this law fucking awful. )

I feel strongly that safe abortion laws also make miscarriage safer; I have never felt that moreso than in the last four years, with the trail of blood, tears, and flesh I've left behind in my struggles to conceive. Discharging a baby from your body, no matter how it occurs, is not a walk in the park. First trimester ones are easier, but they can still be dangerous; I went into shock and wound up in a hospital with my first one. The same drugs and procedures women use to initiate a miscarriage on a non-viable fetus are identical to abortions; they are medically no different, it's just the picture frame that changes. All options should always be available.

The worst part is that many of the major genetic issues are discovered in the second trimester screenings. This law should be struck down, as much to protect women who want to choose to abort an unwanted fetus, as to protect women from having to carry to term a child that won't live.
posted by offalark at 5:23 PM on April 9, 2015 [39 favorites]


The Peggy Bowman Second Chance Fund seems to be the local Kansas state program to help women obtain funding for abortions, even if they need to travel out of state. From their gratitude page: The results of our sonogram done at our local hospital were devastating. I was carrying twins that were conjoined at the chest. I was sent to KU Medical Center where I found out the twins also were sharing a heart with only 6 chambers, one baby had a bladder but no rectum and the other had no bladder and an unexplained mass near the lungs. They shared an umbilical cord with not enough veins running through it to support both babies. Had we chosen to carry to term, there would be a risk to myself and a very minimal chance of either baby surviving. My husband had been laid off from work. I had worked one week at my new job and am attending nursing school. There was no way for us to come up with the money we needed. The state of Kansas would not assist us. Our family helped as much as they could, but it still would not have been enough. So from the bottom of our hearts....THANK YOU. M.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:39 PM on April 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


> The fact is that millennials, although they don't garner the majority of economic power, will soon overwhelm all other demographic forces.

I bet you live in a pretty liberal area, or mostly hang out with other liberals. I live in rural Kentucky, and the majority of young people I know here would be in support of these laws. Yes, including the young women. There is no lack of young conservatives lining up to take their parents' place at the polls.

I do believe (or ugh, do I? I get less sure each day) that things are, broadly, getting better all the time. However, that's the result of grinding, grim work (done mostly by women, who have less power to effect change in the first place), not a natural progression we can count on to save the day when we appear to be losing ground.

These small civil rights victories are slipping away, and the kids aren't going to save us by themselves.
posted by gilrain at 5:40 PM on April 9, 2015 [23 favorites]


I think I've said this before, but this is my idea: we need an underground railroad for poor women who need abortion or other reproductive services. I know I'd be in for a regular donation (as I already am for Planned Parenthood) to cover airfare and hotel costs for women living in Handmaid'sTaleLand states to come to civilized, modern states and get the services they need.
posted by spitbull at 6:04 PM on April 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


So, if you go for your 20 week scan, and your pregnancy has an unsurvivable disease or chromosomal issue, that's it? You have to go home for the next 20 weeks and wait? That sounds really fair.

When it happened to me, they induced labor. Labor took 36 hours, mostly in intense pain. Going through a long, painful labor while knowing that the end would not be happy is pretty much the worst thing that's happened to me so far.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:04 PM on April 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


spitbull, the problem for many women is that even with that funding, they are putting their jobs at risk, or they are living as single parents already, and it's just that much harder when they cannot get medical treatment in their own state.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:09 PM on April 9, 2015


The fact is that millennials, although they don't garner the majority of economic power, will soon overwhelm all other demographic forces.

I'm so old I can remember when they said this about GenX.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:37 PM on April 9, 2015 [18 favorites]


Good for them.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 6:45 PM on April 9, 2015


does anyone have knowledge of when this sort of thing might get to the supreme court? next few years? 30 years?
posted by ghostbikes at 6:47 PM on April 9, 2015


(Given our current supreme court, do you even want it to go there?)

This is what religion reaps, no matter what was intended to be sown. It's been shown time and again.
posted by maxwelton at 7:08 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aaaah. I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. Spotting, panicking, went to the doc, they didn't hear a heartbeat, no motion on the ultrasound. They scheduled me for either a D&C or D&E the next day. (As it happened, I started bleeding a lot that morning, so it's not clear whether there was much to clear out in the procedure).

But the doc said it would help me not get infections from retaining decaying tissue. Ugh. So it was a relief for it to be finished. As much as it could be. I don't want to imagine what it's like when you have a non viable but not dead fetus.

You already feel like you're infested with an alien when the outcome is desired and exciting.
posted by leahwrenn at 7:31 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's shit like this that more and more makes me think that the US is about to enter its own fascist period. The shirts just keep getting browner and browner.

This cannot be overstated. I'm unsure how clear this is to people who live in large liberal cities or to people who aren't from the US, so let me state it in plaintext: The Republican party, for all their occasional bluster about small government, absolutely wants to instate a fascist theocracy and they consider no tactic too dirty. They're not even being coy about it anymore. I've heard the idea that things will get better because at some point soon the oldest and worst of the monsters will die off and I really want that to be true, but I can tell you that the view from here is that the good guys are losing in a lot of ways.

Please, do anything you can to help. Keep fighting. Don't consider anything won.
posted by IAmUnaware at 8:11 PM on April 9, 2015 [14 favorites]


it's just that much harder when they cannot get medical treatment in their own state.
posted by roomthreeseventeen


Of course and I propose it more in the spirit of a political action than a long term solution. It would be a gesture only, but of the rest of the country standing up for a federally guaranteed right, analogous to the telling off the rational parts of the country just gave Indiana. You know heads in Kansas would explode if there was a weekly freedom flight to Chicago, expenses paid, protected by the interstate commerce laws and freedom of movement as a right. And to make matters more interesting, any protest or violence they tried to deploy would have to happen in an airport. Force the damn Feds to defend rights supposedly guaranteed under Roe v. Wade.
posted by spitbull at 8:35 PM on April 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


In spitbull's scenario, the TSA will soon be collecting urine for pregnancy tests and getting husband's notes for all women traveling alone.
posted by littlewater at 9:20 PM on April 9, 2015


This law is of course vile and obnoxious and terrible in every fucking way. I hate laws that criminalize abortion procedures, because come on, if you're going to get an abortion, you're going to get the abortion, you'll just do it in a different, more dangerous, more painful way.

Previously on Metafilter, The Wire.

It wasn't right for women to risk so much in order to be in control of their own reproductive lives. It wasn't right to punish women who have been cornered by circumstances - unplanned pregnancy, no job, no money, no options - by daring them to find the $250 illegal abortionist in their city or worse. It wasn't right that women should have to pay for a mistake with their fear, risk their future health and their very lives while men could walk away and be free. I was happy, so happy about Roe v. Wade. At last, I thought, this one thing for women - at last.

And here we are again. Demonizing women. Limiting birth control. Shrinking access to legal and safe abortion. Daring women to go find the wire. All while men can walk away and be free.

posted by snuffleupagus at 9:21 PM on April 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


My pro-life mother had to have a D&E. I had a D&E. My aunt had a D&E. My grandmother had a D&E after her last kid kicked a hole in her uterus. This is bullshit. I grew up in Kansas and believe me when I tell you that this is bullmutherfuckingshit.
posted by blessedlyndie at 9:27 PM on April 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sadly, the only bit of this that surprises me is that they didn't manage to name the act so it forms a catchy acronym that is harder to repeal.

Something like the GOODMOMMY act.
posted by Muppet Pastor at 10:25 PM on April 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Back in 2007 when the court ruled that IDX bans were constitutional, they noted that this was NOT an unconstitutional ban on second-trimester abortions because D&E (by far the most common form of second-trimester abortion) was still legal. Let's see how long that logic holds!

Yeah this kinda floored me because - so you ban "intact" dilation and extraction as "partial birth," then you ban the logical alternative as "dismemberment?" Almost as if they are "sneakily" rolling back abortion rights piece by piece, as far as they possibly can!

Well, I guess we will see what the courts have to say.
posted by atoxyl at 12:09 AM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


An acquaintance who is a doctor told me about how the Medical Students For Choice do workshops where students learn to evacuate the contents of a papaya/uterus - because it's not a standard part of medical training and with the implication perhaps that one ought to be prepared in case one ever has to perform an extralegal one.
posted by atoxyl at 12:14 AM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Freedom Flights are the solution! Interstate Commerce Clause for the win, and let the TSA protect people's rights for a change.

Where do I donate?
posted by mikelieman at 1:18 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Republicans are modern day Pharisees and Sadducees.
posted by idb at 5:33 AM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


does anyone have knowledge of when this sort of thing might get to the supreme court? next few years? 30 years?

The entire point of these laws is to chip away at the Casey standard of 'undue burden' and goad the Supreme Court into taking up another abortion case. SCOTUS has never said what constitutes an 'undue burden' on abortion rights, leaving Kansas free to dream up everything possible short of an outright ban. SCOTUS does NOT want to define 'undue burden' any further, Kennedy was the Casey author, and doesn't seem all that likely (at least pre-Obamacare rulings) to overturn one of his signature rulings. There seems to be a tacit peace on the Court agreeing to maintain the status quo and let Kansas run wild, until there's a change on the Court. At that point, all bets are off. If the next Justice is another Scalia or Alito, the Right will expect all of their hard work curtailing abortion rights to be rewarded with overturning Roe v. Wade, or at the bare minimum, upholding all of Kansas' schemes as not being 'undue burdens'. If one of the Four Horsemen goes first under a Democratic president, the status quo would probably be maintained, or maybe in your wildest liberal West Wing President Bartlett gets to pick the nominee dreams, strike down a Kansas law as finally rising to the level of 'undue'.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:59 AM on April 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


♫♪♩ Never moving back, never moving back, never moving back! ♫♪♩
posted by rewil
Totally agree, just wish nearly all of my family didn't live there. I don't know what has gotten into people in Kansas, it used to be a place with a Republican congress and Democratic governor, and at least some measure of common sense ruled. I'm afraid the election of Brownback will be looked back upon as the event that destroyed Kansas. :( Brownbackistan, indeed.
posted by thewalledcity at 7:01 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not to derail, but for more in crazy Kansas: SB45 passed: "a bill allowing anyone to conceal a weapon in public, no training, permit, or background check required"
posted by thewalledcity at 7:15 AM on April 10, 2015


I'd like to see the saner states in our union begin to enact laws that criminalize "life-saving" efforts for the fetus that end up endangering the life of the mother against her will. Then I'd like to see Republican presidential candidates go purple in the face denouncing said legislation while insisting their opposition to abortion is not rooted in misogyny.
posted by duffell at 7:26 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Supposedly no, as the definition of abortion in the bill excludes an action to "remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes in utero." Though I'm sure determining "natural causes" will be the next thing they tackle.


There's also that matter of "dead". I'm in Ohio and went to the committee hearing for the time before last they tried to ram a heartbeat bill through. A woman got up and talked about her pregnancy-- the fetus was not viable (organs developing outside the body) but it still had a heartbeat. She consulted with her rabbis (she was Jewish), who told her in no uncertain terms that the fetus was not a person and should be removed. However, her lovely insurance company informed her that, under Ohio law, since it still had a heart beat, it was alive, was a voluntary abortion, and would not be covered.

She managed to fight it in the end, but if/when that heartbeat bill gets through here, there's going to be plenty more examples like hers, but worse.
posted by damayanti at 7:41 AM on April 10, 2015 [9 favorites]


I think the answer is we need more lions.

We can get some bears on the job. Not as flashy as big cats, but there is historical precedence for bear use in the damnatio ad bestias.
posted by kjs3 at 7:43 AM on April 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not to derail, but for more in crazy Kansas: SB45 passed: "a bill allowing anyone to conceal a weapon in public, no training, permit, or background check required"

So can I carry concealed medical equipment necessary for a D&E? I don't have the training or a permit, but...
posted by maryr at 8:08 AM on April 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high,
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.
posted by flabdablet at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2015


Republicans are modern day Pharisees and Sadducees.

Just FYI, modern day Jewish practice is descended from the practice of the Pharisees. The Sadducees were advocates of Judaism run by priests, while the Pharisees advocated a more "democratic" Judaism for which the Torah was central. Ultimately, the Pharisees were the movement that survived the destruction of the temple, and thus modern day Jews, who focus on Torah and do not have a priesthood, can themselves be considered "modern day Pharisees".

In other words, people from a Christian background or framework should be careful using that word around people not from that framework because it has a very different meaning, with to some shades of the "Jews killed Jesus" hate speech. Especially in this particular situation: Judaism has never outlawed abortion, and the evangelical Christian religious opposition to abortion has been invented out of thin air in the past 30 years.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:29 AM on April 10, 2015 [14 favorites]


The law is obviously meant to chip away at abortion rights in general, as are all of these laws.

At the same time, amidst the accusations of fascism in this thread, I'm curious to see an utter lack of reckoning with what, exactly, this type of abortion entails. And that's what I dislike about both left and right - and unwillingness to confront the very uncomfortable details about what they support.

With Republicans, it's war - they don't want to see what war looks like, I mean really looks like, because if they had to see it they might not support it.

But with the left, with abortion, it's this - from the NYT article:

In the procedure, the cervix is dilated with medication and the fetus is removed with forceps, often in parts. With a new legal approach intended to highlight what for many are uncomfortable aspects of abortions, groups like National Right to Life hope to expand their efforts.


"Often in parts."

Let's face up to the reality, then; This it the doctor reaching in with forceps, ripping off an arm; ripping off a leg; perhaps ripping off a head.

That's what this is, this is a fetus at 14 weeks.

So, we find it a lot easier to talk about abortion rights when we don't have to specifically talk about this. But of course the "other side" finds it 100 percent hypocritical, and actually monstrous, to not talk about these specifics, because that's all they see; they see the procedure and can't weigh the rights against it. This side sees the rights and prefers to talk in abstracts about the procedure.

Opposition to abortion has been invented out of thin air? No. Opposition to abortion has been "invented," in part, out of the realities of the procedure.
posted by kgasmart at 11:20 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let's face up to the reality, then; This it the doctor reaching in with forceps, ripping off an arm; ripping off a leg; perhaps ripping off a head.

Yeah? So? If it's safer for the mother than pre-term labor, which it undeniably is, then why should I care? The fetus is dead either way. Am I supposed to believe that anti-abortion activists will be OK with some other method of killing the fetus?
posted by muddgirl at 11:28 AM on April 10, 2015 [21 favorites]


Thank you for stating the obvious kgasmart. Yes, it is a war and we intend to continue waging it.
posted by fraxil at 11:32 AM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let's face up to the reality, then; This it the doctor reaching in with forceps, ripping off an arm; ripping off a leg; perhaps ripping off a head.

What exactly is your point, other than shilling for anti-choice twits?

Women have the right to decide what happens to their bodies. End of discussion.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:33 AM on April 10, 2015 [17 favorites]


hydropsyche, I did not know that. Thank you for educating me on it. I apologize for using it without understanding how it could be interpreted.
posted by idb at 11:40 AM on April 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Let's face up to the reality, then; This it the doctor reaching in with forceps, ripping off an arm; ripping off a leg; perhaps ripping off a head.

Yes. This is because the procedure in which the cervix is dilated and the pre-viable fetus is removed intact, called "Intact Dilation and Extraction," has already been made illegal, despite often being safer for the mother. If you find this procedure unacceptably gruesome, perhaps you should seek to overturn the previous law instead.
posted by KathrynT at 12:25 PM on April 10, 2015 [41 favorites]


Let's face up to the reality, then; This it the doctor reaching in with forceps, ripping off an arm; ripping off a leg; perhaps ripping off a head.

What, no link to the pictures?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:26 PM on April 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


Opposition to abortion has been invented out of thin air? No.

It was seized on as a political agenda right as the Federal government went after the explicitly segregationist schools. Can't justify the political movement on the basis of naked racism anymore, have to find something else....
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:32 PM on April 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


That's what this is, this is a fetus at 14 weeks.

Well sort of - the picture does not convey very well that a fetus at fourteen weeks is three inches long and still boneless. Not that I think "how much does it look like a person" is the most important point to argue or a good criterion for making laws and decisions. I actually do believe that it's a laudable goal for an abortion clinic to be open to honestly discussing or not discussing any details a patient wants to know about. But we live in a country where there are "biblical anti-abortion centers" posing as neutral pregnancy resources and you can hardly google the medical details of an abortion procedure without someone lying about how dangerous it is. And just viewed as an experience of a medical procedure it doesn't tend to be a really fun time. So it's not exactly hard to figure out why the real abortion providers and their supporters might by default avoid piling on anything potentially upsetting.
posted by atoxyl at 12:37 PM on April 10, 2015 [17 favorites]


The bottom line with misogynist anti-choicers is this: do you believe there is an exception for rape or incest?

If yes, then your hypocrisy is laid bare: it's not at all about saving 'unborn babies,' it's entirely about punishing sluts.

If no, you're still a misogynist assbag but at least you're consistent about it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:40 PM on April 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


Yes. This is because the procedure in which the cervix is dilated and the pre-viable fetus is removed intact, called "Intact Dilation and Extraction," has already been made illegal, despite often being safer for the mother. If you find this procedure unacceptably gruesome, perhaps you should seek to overturn the previous law instead.

I noted the Catch-22 between "intact" and "dismemberment" too earlier but I was under the impression that IDX was fairly uncommon at the time of the ban and mostly used for late-term pregnancies, where the most exploitably gory detail - puncturing/crushing of the head - saves the patient from having to deliver the head the hard way. Was the unpopularity of the procedure a political issue to begin with?
posted by atoxyl at 12:53 PM on April 10, 2015


Late-term abortion on its own is incredibly uncommon, and is virtually always used in a circumstance where the fetus has significant defects or the pregnancy represents a substantial threat to the mother. IDX abortion means that the provider only has to enter the uterus once; every time you introduce an instrument into the uterus, you increase the risk of perforation or infection, so keeping that to a minimum is a real concern. I don't know how often it was used prior to the ban, but that certainly didn't seem to factor into the frothing furor about it.
posted by KathrynT at 1:11 PM on April 10, 2015 [12 favorites]


saves the patient from having to deliver the head the hard way

It does a lot more than that:

the safety advantages of intact D&E are marked for women with certain medical conditions, for example, uterine scarring, bleeding disorders, heart disease, or compromised immune systems.

intact D&E is significantly safer for women with certain pregnancy-related conditions, such as placenta previa and accreta, and for women carrying fetuses with certain abnormalities, such as severe hydrocephalus

provides safety benefits over D&E by dismemberment for several reasons: First,intact D&E minimizes the number of times a physician must insert instruments through the cervix and into the uterus, and thereby reduces the risk of trauma to, and perforation of, the cervix and uterus—the most serious complication associated with nonintact D&E.

Second,removing the fetus intact, instead of dismembering it in utero, decreases the likelihood that fetal tissue will be retained in the uterus, a condition that can cause infection, hemorrhage, and infertility.

Third, intact D&E diminishes the chances of exposing the patient’s tissues to sharp bony fragments sometimes resulting from dismemberment of the fetus.

Fourth, intact D&E takes less operating time than D&E by dismemberment, and thus may reduce bleeding, the risk of infection, and complications relating to anesthesia.

the majority of highly-qualified experts on the subject believe intact D&E to be the safest, most appropriate procedure under certain circumstances

And re non-intact D&E:

the Court emphasizes that the Act does not proscribe the nonintact D&E procedure

But why not, one might ask. Nonintact D&E could equally be characterized as “brutal,” involving as it does “tear[ing] [a fetus] apart” and “ripp[ing] off” its limbs. “[T]he notion that either of these two equally gruesome procedures … is more akin to infanticide than the other, or that the State furthers any legitimate interest by banning one but not the other, is simply irrational.”

Delivery of an intact, albeit nonviable, fetus warrants special condemnation, the Court maintains, because a fetus that is not dismembered resembles an infant....But so, too, does a fetus delivered intact after it is terminated by injection a day or two before the surgical evacuation...or a fetus delivered through medical induction or cesarean...Yet, the availability of those procedures—along with D&E by dismemberment—the Court says, saves the ban on intact D&E from a declaration of unconstitutionality...Never mind that the procedures deemed acceptable might put a woman’s health at greater risk.

Throughout, the opinion refers to obstetrician-gynecologists and surgeons who perform abortions not by the titles of their medical specialties, but by the pejorative label “abortion doctor.” ... A fetus is described as an “unborn child,” and as a “baby,” ; second-trimester, previability abortions are referred to as “late-term,” ; and the reasoned medical judgments of highly trained doctors are dismissed as “preferences” motivated by “mere convenience,"

But it should not escape notice that the record already includes hundreds and hundreds of pages of testimony identifying “discrete and well-defined instances” in which recourse to an intact D&E would better protect the health of women with particular conditions.

In sum, the notion that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act furthers any legitimate governmental interest is, quite simply, irrational. The Court’s defense of the statute provides no saving explanation. In candor, the Act, and the Court’s defense of it, cannot be understood as anything other than an effort to chip away at a right declared again and again by this Court—and with increasing comprehension of its centrality to women’s lives.


~Ruth Bader Ginsberg, dissenting opinion, Gonzales v. Carhart
posted by melissasaurus at 1:20 PM on April 10, 2015 [24 favorites]


It appears to be hard to get on your streaming service of choice right now, but Lake of Fire is an excellent, excellent documentary on the realities of abortion. It's a grim watch, but I recommend checking it out.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:27 PM on April 10, 2015


She consulted with her rabbis (she was Jewish), who told her in no uncertain terms that the fetus was not a person and should be removed.

Any law that promotes the idea that Life begins at Conception is an infringement on Jews sincerely held religious belief that Life begins at The Quickening.
posted by mikelieman at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


By "late" I meant something like 20 weeks going into the third trimester past the point where I assume now they have no option but to induce labor or get out the scalpel. And by IDX being uncommon I meant I'd read it was rare, supposedly a fraction of a percent in the US. Whereas I thought even before the ban D&E was pretty standard for earlier in the second trimester, which is ~10 percent of abortions as cited somewhere around here. But it turns out the IDX statistic is from 2000, by which point more than half of states had already banned it, so in light of melissasaurus that certainly suggests an answer to my question about how badly politics overrode good medicine.
posted by atoxyl at 2:00 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good for them.

Er, what?
posted by LindsayIrene at 3:55 PM on April 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Er, what?

I remember that username from previous abortion threads. Women's health and autonomy do not rank among that user's priorities.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:51 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh I just learned something surprising, having spent far too much of my afternoon reading about abortion. What has shaken out in the courts is that the federal IDX ban does not apply if the fetus is already conclusively deceased making euthanasia before removal a viable workaround. Considering especially that (truly) late term procedures usually require fetal euthanasia anyway it seems like the law may not have ended up changing very much in practice. State law, of course is a different story.

Though it's suggested in the top link here that a similar interpretation of the Kansas law might turn out to be acceptable as well.
posted by atoxyl at 4:55 PM on April 10, 2015


My understanding is that stopping the fetuses heart in utero can cause additional complications, so basically this law means women and doctors have to make even more diffiult choices for no reason beyond "its easier to ban abortion procedures that seem icky."
posted by muddgirl at 5:50 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that stopping the fetuses heart in utero can cause additional complications, so basically this law means women and doctors have to make even more diffiult choices for no reason beyond "its easier to ban abortion procedures that seem icky."

It's either something like a potassium chloride shot to the heart, which is obviously tricky, or a drug injected into the amniotic fluid in which case they do it as part of prep the day before and send you home for what seems like a potentially distressing 24 hours of contemplation.

So yeah it's another thing that can go wrong and it's not usually done until the end of the second/beginning of the third trimester at which point there are fairly obvious mounting reasons. Since that seems to have been the niche, justly or not, for the intact D&E already, the law ends up looking a bit unexpectedly empty if I'm not missing part of the picture.

In Kansas if it turns out there's a loophole that only makes abortion slightly more dangerous that's... pretty much a best case scenario. I'm not remotely disputing that there's a very scary effort to dismantle reproductive rights piece by piece in (notably certain parts of but really all of) this country. I was just surprised to find out that the federal "partial birth" law was even more of a pure piece of grandstanding than I had always seen it as.

Incidentally for anyone concerned about the possibility of fetal pain in the absence of euthanasia - I never thought of this before but general anesthesia *does* pass though into placental circulation.

Sorry if I'm being too much with the medical details. I just got sucked into learning about this stuff today because you (or I anyway) just never hear anyone talking about how it really works.
posted by atoxyl at 7:33 PM on April 10, 2015


Though it's suggested in the top link here that a similar interpretation of the Kansas law might turn out to be acceptable as well.

I wouldn't be so sure of that. Quoting Melissasaurus above, emphasis mine:
Supposedly no, as the definition of abortion in the bill excludes an action to "remove a dead unborn child who died as the result of natural causes in utero."
posted by KathrynT at 7:53 PM on April 10, 2015


One thing I've been wondering: would medical clinics within Indian reservations be immune from State laws regulating abortion?
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:19 AM on April 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cecilia Fire Thunder tried this in 2006 in South Dakota and was impeached as council president, reportedly at least in part due to a pro-life belief among her tribe.

This 2013 article
focuses on the Native American Women’s Health Education Resource Center but goes into abortion related issues with the Indian Health Services and the effect of the Hyde Amendment.

And an abortion center is unlikely to be a money making industry like gambling is, so a tribe may not be able to support a legal fight if state/federal regulations started playing with nuances of "safety" regulations, taking a minor "out of state" etc.
posted by beaning at 1:23 PM on April 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


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