Recently Dante Atkins reported in a DailyKos article about the “new” Republican strategy for dealing with their woman problem. The remedy for the widespread perception among women that GOPers are intolerant, lacking in compassion and do not understand women’s concerns, according to Republican strategists, is “to ‘go on offense’ on women’s issues.” Unfortunately, however, it seems like many GOP pols have misunderstood and believe that they should instead just continue being offensive, a skill they have thoroughly mastered.
What comes more naturally to the angry, old white men of the GOP than hard-breathing, red-faced hectoring, especially when dealing with uppity women. And that is true as well for the elected women in the GOP, who often seem to be little more than Palinesque angry white men wannabes – even when, as in the case of Ann Wagner (R-2), they try to hide harsh policies by describing them with lots of warm and fuzzy words. Think Todd Akin was bad? Consider Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-4) who declared last January that women should be forced to carry pregnancies to term because abortion “robs men of the privilege of fatherhood.” Gives you an idea about who it is that matters in GOPland – and it isn’t women.
Which brings us to today’s vote by the Republican-dominated legislature to override Governor Nixon’s veto of HB1307. This bill will, 30 days from today, increase the waiting time for an abortion from 24 hours to 72 hours after the initial appointment with a doctor – with no exception for victims of rape or incest. Is this going “on offense” or just plain offensive? Many Missourians are convinced it’s the latter:
According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey, eight out of ten Missourians are concerned the 72-hour waiting period intrudes on women’s private medical decisions, and most of them agreed with the governor’s decision to veto it.
The Roosevelt Institute notes that waiting periods are among the types of restrictions on abortion that, ironically, result in “more unplanned pregnancies, more abortions, and more abortions occuring later in pregnancy”:
The Guttmacher Institute reports that already seven in 10 women who had a second-trimester abortion wanted to do so earlier in pregnancy but were unable to because they could not afford it. Economists who study family planning policy argue that the costs a woman seeking an abortion faces do not only come in the form of dollars, but also in the time required to access an abortion. A 2001 study by Marianne Bitler and Madeline Zavodny shows that state restrictions that impose mandatory waiting periods (in other words, a time cost) also delay abortions into the second trimester. A 1994 study of Mississippi’s mandatory delay laws showed a 17 percent jump in second trimester abortions after the law took effect.
Nevertheless, despite its intrusiveness and the potential for unintended consequences, the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-139), tells us that he believes that this highly offensive legislation will be the “the pinnacle of his legislative career.” He, after all, believes that “life begins at conception,” which is unintelligible gibberish unless interpreted in a religious context which many of us do not share, and which should not be forced upon us just to give the fuddish Elmer and his fanatical cohorts their self-righteous jollies.
If this typical GOP soundbite doesn’t offend you, just consider the comments of State Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger (R-108) about a similar but even more restrictive bill, HB1613, that was also considered by the legislature this year. (This bill was much worse – among its many reprehensible provisions was one that would have forced doctors to lie to women and tell them that abortion could cause cancer – a claim that has no scientific support.) While discussing the rationale for the bill, Gatschenberger indicated that he believes women shop for abortions in the same way that he goes about buying a new car or some carpet for his house:
Well, yesterday, I went over to the car lot over here. I was just going to get a key made for a vehicle. And I was looking around because I’m considering maybe buying a new vehicle. Even when I buy a new vehicle-this is my experience, again-I don’t go right in there and say I want to buy that vehicle, and then, you know, you leave with it. I have to look at it, get information about it, maybe drive it, you know, a lot of different things. Check prices. There’s lots of things that I do, putting into a decision. Whether that’s a car, whether that’s a house, whether that’s any major decision that I put in my life. Even carpeting. You know, I was just considering getting some carpeting or wood in my house. And that process probably took, you know, a month, because of just seeing all the aspects of it.
Maybe, given the raw material they’ve got to work with, GOP strategists ought to drop the whole going “on offense” idea. The concept is perhaps a bit too vague for nitwits to apply effectively, rendering it dangerous for the GOP. And in the meantime, all rational women need to remember just who it is that thinks that they – and their doctors – aren’t smart enough to know what they need and when they need it.
Anti-choice bill passes Senate 25-7. Sad day for women of Missouri. about 11 hours ago from Tweetie
The latest summary from the General Assembly web site:
Missouri State Senate
SS/HCS/HBs 46 & 434 – This act modifies the informed consent requirements for an abortion by adding new requirements to be obtained at least twenty-four hours prior to an abortion. Some of the new requirements include the doctor who is to perform the abortion or a qualified professional providing to the pregnant woman, orally, reduced to writing, and in person, various new printed materials and videos, to be developed by the Department of Health and Senior Services by November 30, 2009, detailing the risks of an abortion and the physiological characteristics of an unborn child at two-week gestational increments. The woman must also be provided with the gestational age of the unborn child at the time the abortion is to be performed and must be given an opportunity to view, at least 24 hours prior to an abortion, an active ultrasound of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child, if the heartbeat is audible. Prior to an abortion being performed past twenty-two weeks gestational age, the woman must be provided information regarding the possibility of the abortion causing pain to the unborn child.
In addition to the written informed consent, the act requires the physician to discuss the medical assistance and counseling resources available, advise the woman of the father’s liability for child support, and provide information about the Alternatives to Abortion Program. All information required to be provided to a woman shall be presented to her individually in the physical presence of the woman. The abortion cannot be performed until the woman certifies in writing on a checklist form that she has been presented all the required information and that she has been given the opportunity to view an ultrasound, and to choose to have an anesthetic or analgesic administered to the unborn child.
This act provides that the requirements of Section 188.027 shall not apply to facilities performing abortions no more than 1 day a week until August 28, 2012. Should the section be declared unconstitutional, the remaining provisions of the bill shall be deemed in effect.
As of August 28, 2009, the informed consent provisions under section 188.039 shall be apply only to facilities performing abortions no more than 1 day a week and the provisions of the section shall expire on August 28, 2012.
From the Senate Journal (1857) [pdf]:
SENATE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
HOUSE BILL NOS. 46 and 434
An Act to repeal sections 188.027 and 188.039, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof three new sections relating to abortion, with an expiration date for a certain section.
Senator Mayer moved that SS for HCS for HBs 46 and 434 be adopted, which motion prevailed.
On motion of Senator Mayer, SS for HCS for HBs 46 and 434 was read the 3rd time and passed by the following vote:
Barnitz Bartle Callahan Champion Crowell Cunningham Dempsey Engler
Goodman Griesheimer Lager Lembke Mayer McKenna Nodler Pearce
Purgason Ridgeway Rupp Schaefer Schmitt Scott Shields Shoemyer
Bray Clemens Days Justus Smith Wilson Wright-Jones-7
Absent with leave-Senators-None
The President declared the bill passed.
On motion of Senator Mayer, title to the bill was agreed to.
Senator Mayer moved that the vote by which the bill passed be reconsidered.
Senator Engler moved that motion lay on the table, which motion prevailed…
“…Sad day for women of Missouri.”