15 May 2012

Arizona Law Does Not Harm Women

 HuffPo is about as anti-choice as one can get!

Vous may have heard of a new law in Arizona that liberal racists hate (they tend to hate everything from Arizona because they don't actually have to live there), called HB 2036. The title of a Huff the Magic Dragon article reads "Arizona Passes Abortion Law That Says Pregnancy Begins Before A Child Has Been Conceived," and claims that this is "another blow to reproductive rights in the US" (when was the first blow? - that's what she said). It goes on to say:

"Aside from banning all abortions after 20 weeks, defined from the date of the woman's last period instead of conception except in the case of medical emergency, it will force women considering abortion because of fetal abnormalities to have counselling, and for women having an abortion to have an ultrasound.

"It also says the age of a foetus is "is calculated from the first day of the last [woman's] menstrual period.""

I did something HuffPo didn't do, and actually read the text of HB 2036. Here's what it says regarding the beginning of pregnancy:

""Pregnant" or "pregnancy" means a female reproductive condition of having a developing unborn child in the body and that begins with conception.

Abortion does not include birth control devices, oral contraceptives used to inhibit or prevent ovulation, conception or the implantation of a fertilized ovum in the uterus or the use of any means to i̶n̶c̶r̶e̶a̶s̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶p̶r̶o̶b̶a̶b̶i̶l̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶a̶ ̶l̶i̶v̶e̶ ̶b̶i̶r̶t̶h̶ save the life or preserve the health of the unborn child, to preserve the life or health of the child after a live birth, to terminate an ectopic pregnancy or to remove a dead fetus" (from the final, ammended version, strikethrough and emphasis included).

Right in the title the HuffPo article is lying, and it's not just lying out of ignorance or neglecting to mention something, it's a blatant lie. The text actually says pregnancy begins at conception, not before.

One thing HuffPo got right is how gestational age is calculated, as the actual text reads:  "the age of the unborn child as calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman." However, there's nothing controversial about that at all. According to the National Institutes of Health:  "In human obstetrics, gestational age is often defined as the time elapsed since 14 days prior to fertilization. This is approximately the duration since the woman's last menstrual period (LMP) began." The Arizona law is using the national standard system for calculating the age of the unborn child, not making up some draconian anti-women rule. Everyone's calculations are done that way; there is absolutely nothing controversial about that.

What about restricting (not banning) abortions after 20 weeks? Well, according to the CDC only 1.3% of all abortions in America and 0.8% of all abortions in Arizona happen after 20 weeks anyway. HuffPo is arguing over less than one percent of abortions in the state, and many of them (all 105 in 2004) probably had either maternal or fetal health factor in in some way (the later in term an abortion is the greater the risk to the mother, so getting an abortion halfway through the second trimester isn't nearly as safe as earlier on), so there's no saying that this number will be affected in any way at all.

What about the other provisions? What's wrong with giving women considering getting an abortion counseling? It's a huge decision, one not to be taken lightly. One does not simply wake up one morning and says "hey, I'll get an abortion, then I'll get cake and celebrate!" This is something that requires a lot of thought, does carry health risks (there are some studies suggesting an abortion-breast cancer link; I don't know, I haven't read them), and has psychological repercussions (a lot of women have to deal with post-abortion depression, not unlike postpartum depression). This isn't the same thing as buying a hat, this isn't even the same as buying a car, this is something not to be decided upon brashly. By all means, let women considering an abortion talk it out with someone in a calm, adult fashion.

And what of ultrasounds? What's wrong with that? The bigger the decision the more information you should have before you make it. You wouldn't buy a car by going to a dealership and picking one at random? Doesn't "pro-choice" mean just that, pro-CHOICE? Shouldn't the woman considering an abortion be given information from BOTH sides so she can make an informed CHOICE, and not just pro-abortion propaganda? How is it possible to make a choice if one is given a single option? Arizona's new law actually promotes genuine choice, and actually empowers women (is it not said that "knowledge is power"?). But HuffPo wouldn't know that - I doubt they read the actual text of the law - and they certainly don't want their readers to know that because they never linked to the actual law itself! They expect their readers to take their word for it and not do their own research and make up their own minds! HuffPo is about as anti-choice as one can get!

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