Thursday, October 22, 2009

Even I can't tell whether I'm making this up

Read this. READ IT.

There's a new law in Oklahoma forcing women seeking an abortion to disclose lots of personal information which will be posted on an official website. Plainly, this is intended to shame women into not having the abortion. The information they'll have to reveal includes:

• Age.
• Race.
• Marital status.
• Education levels.
• Number of previous pregnancies and abortions.
• The nature of the relationship with the father.
• The reason for the abortion.
• The area where the abortion was performed.

There are any number of reasons why this is horrific. There are practical ones, such as the fact that this data could easily be enough to identify someone. General privacy concerns aside, there are enough nutjobs out there to make this downright dangerous. The fact that you can’t determine for certain who the woman is just makes this worse. Vague information could just end up with more people being targeted. Your average murderous fanatic isn’t likely to care too much about checking their facts.

There are also ideological objections. The invasion of privacy this law represents is abominable. People are being singled out for public humiliation (and danger) because a minority of misogynistic retards believe they have a monopoly on morality.

But there’s a more sickening objection still. Oklahoma is treating women as less than human because they happen to be pregnant. What women want or need is no longer significant. The rights of the foetus are everything and her rights are nothing. Her sex life is suddenly everyone’s business, as are her reasons for wanting an abortion.

This is an attitude so alien to me that it’s hard to know even where to begin trying to understand it. Perhaps I don’t even want to understand it. But believe it or not, it could be worse.

Last month a judge struck down a state law requiring a doctor about to perform an abortion to carry out an ultrasound with the screen positioned in front of the mother and to then describe the developing limbs and organs of the foetus. The woman could not be forced to look at the screen but would have no choice but to listen to the doctor's description. The law required that the ultrasound be carried out vaginally if the pregnancy was in its early stages in order to get a clear picture. Rape victims were not exempted.

This law was defeated only on a technicality.

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