Monday, January 26, 2009

Is there any other doctor-patient conversation that garners as much legislative attention as the conversation that occurs before a woman is allowed to exercise her right to an abortion? Our resident builder of legislative roadblocks is proposing the sonogram bill, requiring doctors to offer women one last chance to see a sonogram and hear a fetal heart monitor. He calls it "the woman's right to know and see" bill. Details here.

I know I've complained about these kinds of paternalistic bills before, but this one is being proposed in my state. I don't want it. And the women of the state don't need it. We're actually quite capable of making decisions for ourselves, even extremely difficult, emotionally-draining decisions. We're also quite capable of asking our doctors for whatever information we want or need prior to making our decisions. And, believe it or not, we're more than capable of living with the consequences of our decisions once we've made them.

I'm pretty sure the legislators of my state have more pressing matters to deal with, like a $2-300 million budget shortfall. They should probably focus on that instead of micro-managing doctor-patient communications. The doctors (professionals) and the women (grown-ups) can take care of themselves.


Unknown said...

I don't know how women keep from getting out-of-control screaming mad at some of this nonsense. My only consolation is that with Obama in office, women's rights should come back around a little bit. At least that's what I'm hoping for.

BellsforStacy said...

I debated for about 12 hours before I posted this ... but I didn't want to just post a counter point on my blog so I thought ... I'll see what happens.

First - I don't like these paternalistic bills either. They are way far outside the framework of what legislatures were intended to do. Freedom means freedom from legislatures too.

Second - while I agree that this bill is stupid, I just want to say, that if all women were really as mature as you say, they would be making the mature decision to use a condom, or be on birth control. You can get both at the same place you go for the abortion. And they know where that place is.

I don't like this bill or ones like it. I hope that it does not pass. It shouldn't pass because it's intrusive and wasteful, and clearly outside a legislatures wheel house.

I hope my comments come across in the respectful manner they were intended.

Unknown said...

Oh no she didn't. I was going to just reply that dur I agree. But hey ONE GIRL, sometimes you get pregnant even if you've never missed a pill. They're 99.9 percent effective. Not one hundred percent. And so yes you can be mature and make all the right decisions, which may include terminating a pregnancy. Sorry. Not the most mature response.

BellsforStacy said...

I listed condom's too! I know "life" happens and things come up on accident. But I would wager a guess and say that way more than 1% of the folks visiting doctors for abortions are there because they didn't use a condom, and they didn't use a form of BC (the pill).

And Erin, I just want you to look at your own statistic again. "They're 99.9 percent effective." Respectfully, that means that less than 1% of all women on birth control get pregnant. I would like to see a study of women that show up at abortion clinics that got pregnant on the pill. I bet its like less than nil percent.

I'm just saying ... the bill is bad. But not all the women getting abortions are the most mature and they don't all make great decisions.

Unknown said...

I was one. It happens. I didn't miss a single pill. Ever. Set my alarm to take it at the same time every day.

S said...

Ok, so we all agree the bill is bad. Yay for common ground.

And OGO, let me assure you I always respect your comments. I don't always agree with them, but they are always welcome and appreciated.

Now, as Erin knows well (and others I know but won't out here), birth control fails. Some birth control is more effective than others and some is more expensive. Not everyone has cheap and easy access. And some people are careless with their bc, which makes it even less effective. And, yes, some people just don't use any form of bc.

All of those women, though, are entitled to make their own decisions, and to have those decisions respected. We don't all always make good choices. We sometimes make mistakes. But we all have the right to decide for ourselves how to deal with the consequences of those bad choices and mistakes. We don't lose our rights to choose once we've made one bad choice. One bad choice or mistake doesn't render us hopelessly immature and irresponsible. (And if it does, well then those are the exact people we probably don't want raising children.)

A woman who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, no matter how she got that way, is entitled to decide for herself what the right next step for her is. I would wager that not many pro-life people would suggest that the careless woman who "let" herself get pregnant has lost the right to choose for herself whether she gets to keep the child or must give it up for adoption.

All I ask for all women is that the law respect our rights to make our own choices, even if we've screwed up. And to trust that we're not so damn fragile that we won't be able to handle the consequences of our choices.

And, Erin, you really are one of my favorite people!

Blog Designed by : NW Designs