Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nebraska Assaults Women's Intellect and Autonomy.

Two laws are being pushed in Nebraska - and are likely to pass - that further inhibit a woman's right to privacy and autonomy in decision-making about her health care. The first law assumes that women must be crazy, impressionable imbeciles if they decide to have an abortion (irregardless of her life circumstances, other than being female). Because we all know that women can't possibly make health care decisions on their own. That's what we have patriarchy for! The second assumes that 167 scientists and physicians who have reported that the fetal brain has no sense of pain until after 28 weeks are kooks. And it assumes that a woman who needs an abortion after that period of time is of course less important to society than a potential human being. There's nothing new to this assault on women's equality and privacy; just the same old assumption that women are stupid evil whores and murderers if they want to manage their reproductive health.

Of course none of this could be reported in the Washington Post's he-said-she-said article. As if facts don't matter and an over-simplified version of religious vs. secular America is worth denying women autonomy.

Nebraska could become the first state to require doctors to screen women for possible mental and physical problems before performing abortions under a bill that received final approval from the nonpartisan Legislature on Monday.

Republican Gov. Dave Heineman's office said Monday he will sign the bill Tuesday, along with another groundbreaking abortion measure lawmakers are expected to pass then. That bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks based on the assertion that fetuses feel pain.

Both bills are likely to be challenged in court. Abortion rights activists describe the measure passed Monday as a drastic shift in abortion policy that would block abortions by scaring doctors who might perform them. They say the second bill is aimed at blocking late-term abortions in one of the few states where there's a doctor willing to perform them.

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