I hate to admit that I get most of my world news from facebook, but in all honesty, unless it shows up on my newsfeed, I’m usually too tired or too busy to keep track of what’s going on. In my defense, I get CNN and NPR in my newsfeed. I do try to keep up with the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, but that often doesn’t happen until Friday. So imagine my surprise when I saw a clip from the Colbert Report talking about the new law in Arizona declaring that life begins two weeks before conception. I thought it was a joke, because nothing could really be that ridiculous, so I googled it. Sure enough, it’s real.
Yes, you read that right. TWO WEEKS BEFORE CONCEPTION! The brain trust that is the Arizona state legislature has thrown science out the window in order to shave two weeks off a woman’s ability to choose an abortion, no matter WHY she may be making that decision. There is no exception for fetal viability, and while there is an exception in cases of the mother’s health, it does not define “health”. Here’s even crazier bullshit: they are calling this law the “Women’s Health and Safety Act.” Let’s cut the crap while it’s still stinking. This law has NOTHING to do with women’s health OR safety.
I highly suspect this is going to be the first domino that continues with the fall of access to contraception the final target. First they start with saying life begins two weeks before conception. This paves the way to blocking Plan B, which they’ve already begun by tightening up the laws regarding who can provide abortifacients, and the maximum distance (30 miles) that a provider can live from where the chemical procedures are performed, whether that is a clinic, hospital, or a woman’s home. I lived in Arizona for a while, and I was 45 minutes from a town, let alone a hospital, clinic, or a doctor. These restrictions are absolutely ridiculous, and are strictly meant to limit a woman’s access to care.
Because a woman can use regular birth control pills to effect the same result as Plan B (ONLY as emergency contraception, not to terminate an existing pregnancy…but we’re not talking about existing pregnancies), and because (as much as the far right would love to be in every woman’s bed-womb) the legislature currently has no control over how many birth control pills a woman ingests at one time, the next
logical step is to ban certain oral contraceptives from the market.
There is already a pharmacists’ lobby to deny women any type of emergency contraception, based on the arguable belief that life begins at conception, NOT at implantation, which is the longstanding definition of when pregnancy begins. The reason that pregnancy is defined as beginning from implantation is that approximately 80% of fertilized ova fail to implant, and are instead shed during the menstrual cycle. Are we to believe that 80% of menstrual cycles of sexually active women are actually miscarriages?
What’s even more disgusting about this entire farce is that it was perpetrated by WOMEN! Sponsored by Kimberly Lee and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, these traitors to their gender have the audacity to state that they “acted with their constituents in mind.” I can almost believe that if they are only considering the large Mormon population of Arizona as their constituency. In reality, this is another battle won for the right in the war on women.
Here is what you can do if you live in a state that limits your access to care:
1) Call your representatives and let them know that they do NOT represent women’s best interests by passing such legislation.
2) Write letters, send emails, and sign petitions to support the repeal of this mythic-based law.
3) Support NARAL (the National Abortion Rights Action League). Contrary to popular belief, they do not lobby strictly for access to abortion. They lobby for women’s access to appropriate medical care, women’s health and safety (unlike the fore-mentioned law), and the ideal that a woman’s reproductive decisions should be made by her and her doctor.
4) Support Planned Parenthood. They not only provide affordable care on a sliding scale, they also lobby for the continuation of a woman’s access to appropriate medical care.
5) In the extreme, start an herb garden. Until they start to limit our access to internet sites with information regarding using herbs as abortifacients, you can still research what herbs have been used successfully for centuries, and grow them yourself.
6) If at all possible, move to a state other than the Deep South, Arizona, Michigan, and the Midwest. Until the current batch of insane reps are lost through attrition, these states are no longer safe for women to live in.