On her blog today, Antonia Zerbisias discusses, in an item called "State-utory Rape", recent U.S. state laws that go the extra mile to force doctors' hand in trying to guilt women away from access to abortion. (Caution, this will get your blood boiling big time and may have you cancel vacation plans South of the border.)
From a New York Times report "Abortion Law Backers Vow Oklahoma Appeal": (...)In recent years, several states have passed laws requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion and at least three - Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi - require doctors to offer the woman the chance to see the image.
But Oklahoma's Legislature went further. The law would have required the doctor or technician to set up the ultrasound monitor where the woman could see it and then talk her through the procedure, describing the heart, limbs and internal organs.
The woman would be allowed to "avert her eyes," the law said.
Zerbisias comments: "Nice that you don't have to watch your own rape by medical instrument on TV."
In early stages of pregnancy, when the fetus is tiny, the law would have required the ultrasound to be done vaginally to get a clear image, providers said. No exceptions were made for rape and incest victims.
"Before that mother goes through the procedure, we believe it is positive public policy to give her as much information as possible about that baby," the bill's sponsor, Senator Todd Lamb, a Republican from Edmond, said. "She might just change her mind and, who knows, that baby could be a future Nobel Prize winner."(...)
The law never went into effect because of the legal challenge.
Beyond mandating ultrasounds, the law would have allowed doctors to refuse to take part in an abortion for religious reasons, required signs in clinics saying abortions cannot be coerced and prohibited "wrongful-life lawsuits," in which a plaintiff argues that a disabled child would have been better off not being born. It also put restrictions on the morning-after pill."
Also, scroll down to her take-no-prisoners discussion of an infamous recent judicial decision that let a B.C. rohypnol rapist off the hook for having merely committed a "crime of commodity". Here is looking at you, Fernando Manuel Alves!