Mike the Mad Biologist

There’s been a spate of abortion restrictions passed by state legislatures around the country. And they’ll have tragic consequences for women’s health (italics mine):

Indiana recently defunded Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the state. The new law makes any organization that performs abortion ineligible for state funds. Lack of clarity in the state’s antiabortion law is affecting hospitals, too. Since its enactment, doctors in hospitals have stopped terminating pregnancies that pose a high risk to the health and life of a woman for fear of losing Medicaid patients.

According to Elizabeth Ferries-Rowe, chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Wishard Memorial hospitals, the law has “tied the hands of physicians attempting to provide medically appropriate, evidence-based care.”

Dr. Ferries-Rowe gives this example: A woman loses her amniotic fluid at 16 weeks of pregnancy. If her pregnancy isn’t quickly terminated, she risks serious infection that can damage her organs and cause brain damage or death. Given Indiana’s law, however, doctors would not be able to terminate her pregnancy.

Did I say will have? I meant have had tragic consequences:

Among the most dangerous laws are those that restrict or ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. So far, six states — Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma — have passed 20-week laws, and more are likely to follow. Only about 1.5 percent of all abortions occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but those that do are often medically necessary.

Danielle and Robb Deaver felt the consequences of Nebraska’s law last fall. As reported by The New York Times, Danielle was 22 weeks pregnant when her water prematurely broke. Before passage of the law, it would’ve been routine for a doctor to induce labor to prevent serious infection. At 22 weeks the fetus is not viable outside the womb.

But the Nebraska law defines “inducing labor” as “abortion” if the goal is not to save the fetus. Danielle’s doctor and hospital lawyers determined that the procedure she needed would be illegal under the new law, so nothing was done. Danielle eventually did go into labor. The baby died within 15 minutes, and she developed an infection that required antibiotics.

Some misguided Wisconsinites have also joined in the attempt to endanger America’s women, with a lawsuit aiming to ban University of Wisconsin from teaching gynecologists how perform medically-necessary abortions (such as those described above).

Before continuing, I want to mention something. As a Jew, any religion that would risk harm to a women over an unviable fetus is an unholy abomination. Regardless of denomination, or Talmudic opinion, regarding abortion, there is one clear opinion in Jewish religious law: any pregnancy that could cause harm to the mother is defined as a rodef, a pursuing criminal, and an abortion is legitimate self-defense. It is not only permissible, but it is the ethical choice. So any nimrod who wants to blather about ‘Judeo-Christian’ tradition, well, we Judeos aren’t with you on this, and haven’t been for centuries. Back to our regular programming….

The reason the above rant is relevant is because these laws are not about the ‘sanctity of life’ but a complete disregard of women’s humanity in service of an awful dogma. To wit, the ongoing assault against Planned Parenthood (italics mine):

Arguments that we need to cut the budget and prevent pregnancies by defunding programs like Planned Parenthood are wrong on both counts. Only a small percentage of Planned Parenthood’s work is abortion services. Most of it involves prenatal care, family planning, PAP smears, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and more. According to the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health research and policy group, every dollar spent on family planning saves the government $4 in childbearing and child care costs for low-income women. What’s more, a bill in Louisiana to defund Planned Parenthood is clearly part of a larger campaign against women, since Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana don’t provide abortions at all. And common sense tells us that cutting funding for family planning increases unwanted pregnancies — and abortion.

What’s worse is that this is based on the notion that fetuses at less than 25 weeks have a functional nervous system when a review of the evidence indicates otherwise.

But what’s a few dead or maimed women? We can always breed more anyway…

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Jase
    July 13, 2011

    Mike, Mike, Mike – don’t you appreciate how many jobs this will create?

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