The New York Times chronicles the Right's ongoing, and succeeding, effort to not only curtail women when it comes to what we decide to do about our bodies, but to question our very ability to think for ourselves about life-altering decisions. And the Supreme Court goes merrily along with it:
[L]last month’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act marked a milestone for a different argument advanced by anti-abortion leaders, one they are increasingly making in state legislatures around the country. They say that abortion, as a rule, is not in the best interest of the woman; that women are often misled or ill-informed about its risks to their own physical or emotional health; and that the interests of the pregnant woman and the fetus are, in fact, the same....
All sides agree that the debate reached a new level of significance when Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing the majority opinion in the Supreme Court case last month, approvingly cited a friend-of-the court brief filed by the Justice Foundation.... In its friend-of-the-court brief, the group submitted statements from 180 of those women who said that abortion had left them depressed, distraught, in emotional turmoil. "Thirty-three years of real life experiences," the foundation said, "attests that abortion hurts women and endangers their physical, emotional and psychological health."...
"While we find no reliable data to measure the phenomenon, it seems unexceptionable to conclude some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained," Justice Kennedy wrote, alluding to the brief. "Severe depression and loss of esteem can follow."
Given those stakes, the justice argued, "The state has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed."
This, despite that a real research institute, the Guttmacher Institute, has conducted a real review of the studies done over the past 30 years and concluded that legal abortion posed no danger the physical or emotional health of women. That's real statistics, however, real research. We can't expect that, nor the fact that the millions of women who have had legal abortions in the last 30 years are heatlhy, functioning, productive member of society who make critical decisions on a daily basis.
She goes on to suggest that, if it's really in the best interest of the government to save us poor, emotional, illogical women from reproductive choices we may later regret, what other choices should they save us from?
She and Scott Lemieux have a few suggestions:
- Women who get married and later regret it
- Women who have babies and then suffer post-partum depression or psychosis (Scott wonders if this justifies state-mandated abortions)
- Women who think it through, decide to get pregnant, and then lose their jobs because of it, like the ones who worked for Bush's domestic policy czar
- Women who really wish they hadn't voted GOP
I could add:
- Women who bought an SUV back when they needed the cargo room but now really regret it since gas prices have gone up
- Women who got a lower-back tattoo and now feel embarrassed since Britney Spears got one
- Britney Spears
- Women who got a perm because Halle Berry looked so cute with curly hair but now have to face photographic proof of their foolishness every time they open up their high school yearbook (not me)
- Women who bought the first season of Veronica Mars one episode at a time on iTunes and are now regretting it because, since the show's been cancelled, they're bound to put out a special-edition box set any day now
- Women who left college to have babies but, since their husband walked out, are having trouble finding work and now wish they'd finished their degree first
- Women who want to get their tubes tied but can't because the doctor thinks they're too young, and then find themselves pregnant, and then regret not popping the doctor in the nose and finding a new one
Now it's your turn! What legislation should Congress consider for the next session that'll take the burden of decision-making off of us poor, overburdened, emotionally fragile women? Come on, people, be a pal! Save me from myself!