Between destroying teachers’ unions and defunding Planned Parenthood, the Right has started the year off with a battle cry against us evil wimminz and our baby-killin’ ways. In fact, they love fetuses so much that they’re happy to physically force women to carry them to term. Remember: adult women are unimportant and not to be trusted. On the other hand, a ball of cells is THE MOST IMPORTANT AND PRECIOUS THING IN THE UNIVERSE THAT MUST BE SAVED AT ALL COSTS.
In January of 2009, Samantha Burton showed signs of miscarriage when she was 25 weeks into her third (wanted!) pregnancy. Her doctor recommended she go on bed rest. She explained that with two young children in the house who needed her attention – in addition to her normal day job – complete bed rest was really not feasible. Instead of getting her a second opinion, which is what she asked for, her (male) doctor contacted state authorities and had them strap her to a bed at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The doctor was given complete freedom to prescribe any procedures he felt were necessary, whether she agreed or not.
Three days into her hospital imprisonment, Burton miscarried. (As Change.org points out, “there is actually no scientific research to support the claim that bed rest helps prevent preterm birth and that even the American College of of Obstetricians and Gynecologists does not believe it should be routinely recommended.”)
You’d think once would be enough, but no, the crimes against pregnant women continue. In March 2010, after an emotionally fraught phone call with her estranged husband, a six-months-pregnant Christine Taylor got lightheaded and fell down the stairs. Paramedics came and declared mama and baby (Taylor’s third child) to be fine, if a little shaken up.
Taylor decided to visit the ER just to make sure her pregnancy was not affected by the fall. In the hospital, she told her nurse about the problems she’d been having with her husband, and admitted that very early in the pregnancy, she had considered abortion. She was single, unemployed, and had two kids – according to the Guttmacher Institute, the exact profile of most women who have abortions. However, she ultimately decided to keep it – which is why, you know, she was in the ER that day to begin with.
The nurse, troubled at the thought of anyone considering abortion ever (not to mention willfully ignorant of patient confidentiality laws) had Christine Taylor arrested for attempted feticide. Despite the fact that the fetus was fine, Taylor was fine, the fall down the stairs had been an accident, and TAYLOR WAS AT THE HOSPITAL SPECIFICALLY TO MAKE SURE THE FETUS WAS OK, she was arrested and jailed for two days.
In what I would call a half-assed victory, the Iowa DA decided not to prosecute Taylor. Hurray? And the only reason they decided not to prosecute was because Taylor’s pregnancy was at the end of the second trimester, and not into the third, as they originally thought. Which “¦ huh?
Of course, there are women out there who don’t want to keep their pregnancy (like Burton and Taylor did). A 17-year-old asked a judge if she could have an abortion without her parents’ consent. She’d be 18 in three months.
After questioning her for more than an hour, the judge decided that she couldn’t have the abortion, ruling she was not mature and capable of making an informed decision about the procedure. The decision surprised her lawyer, Randall McKinney of the Allegheny County Office of Conflict Counsel, because bypass petitions are rarely denied.
Afterward, the lawyer researched Judge Ignelzi’s background and found that People Concerned for the Unborn Child and LifePAC of Southwestern Pennsylvania had endorsed him during his campaign for Common Pleas Court in 2009. So Mr. McKinney asked the judge to reconsider his ruling and to remove himself from the case.
Judge Ignelzi denied both requests, saying he had no control over who supported him and that he was endorsed by many organizations.
… In his March 24 opinion, Judge Ignelzi wrote that he found the teenager wasn’t mature because, among other reasons, she had used bad grammar and had not asked her parents for permission. He also was not persuaded that the teenager’s trip overseas several years earlier with her mother demonstrated maturity. His next step was ruling that the abortion was not in the teenager’s best interest.
So there you have it. Pro-lifers think a woman just shy of legal adulthood isn’t mature enough to make a decision about her body, but *is* mature enough to carry a pregnancy to term and have a baby. A woman who considers abortion, decides against it, and falls down the stairs a few months later is a potential murderer. A working mother of two who cannot afford to go on bed rest is imprisoned and legally barred from making medical decisions.
This is what the Right thinks of us. It’s a war on women, and women of child-bearing age are their #1 target.