Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Shamming Abortion Away

I just read of a recent law in Missouri which will require abortion providers to make extensive changes to their facilities in order to be allowed to provide abortions. Naturally, Planned Parenthood is suing.

As the article says:
If the law takes effect, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri claims it will be forced to halt abortions at its Columbia and Kansas City offices — either permanently or while costly and "medically unnecessary" renovations are made.

Missouri Republicans dispute this, saying that it's necessary to preserve the health and safety of the women getting abortions and that Planned Parent is exaggerating the financial hardship this will incur. But then State Senator Delbert Scott, a lead sponsor of the legislation, gives the whole game away saying: "Certainly, abortion is our target here and we're trying to save the lives of our children."

Well, I guess that settles that question, huh. And who do they think they're fooling? Is there any anti-abortion person who heard of this law who wasn't happy about its effect to stop abortion and hurt abortion providers. Of course not. But that won't stop them from insisting that it's not true. And are there even wavering pro-abortion people who won't see this for what it really is? I don't really know the details of this bill, but I fail to see how this is even a wedge issue. You'd have to be a moron to truly believe that this stuff isn't just about stopping abortions.

I mean, one of the new rules is that they provide separate changing rooms for male and female personnel. What, are they afraid that one of the abortion doctors is going to go into the changing room and get so turned on watching a nurse change that they have sex while the patient dies waiting for her abortion? Ah, who am I kidding? That is how many of these people imagine it works at these places. Sex in the changing rooms, rampant drug use in the lobby, and satanic rituals performed with each of the aborted fetuses. Possibly even stem-cell research! (Gasp!)

As a side note, I once saw a lady on public access television insist that she was a former abortion clinic employee who made a fortune convincing women to get abortions. She actually insisted that she did cold-calling to get these sales and insisted that she was really good at it. I'm sure that went over well. "Are you pregnant? Yes. Would you like me to cure that for you?" And now she's a "convert" and had to warn us of how evil these places really were. I'm sure not one of the people seriously watching that show doubted a word she said. I, on the other hand, couldn't stop laughing. But I suppose I wasn't the target audience.

But this law is ridiculous and will be yet another drain on precious government resources. And if the Missouri legislature is correct and this isn't a financial burden to Planned Parenthood, what difference would it make? That's what's so weird about their argument. They have to give a sham reason for why this law is necessary, because it undermines their case if they admit that this is solely about hampering abortions. And if they honestly believed what they were saying, they wouldn't have bothered with any of this.

But anti-abortion leaders have long since given up any direct attack on abortion, because they can count. They insist that a majority of Americans support anti-abortion laws, but somehow democracy continues to prove them wrong. And so they have to try with as many sham arguments as possible to make this work. And as I've argued in the past, Republican leaders don't really want to outlaw abortion. That'd be political suicide. They just want to milk this stuff for all it's worth. And so it's another sham law, high legal fees, and something else to complain about in those fundraising letters.

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