GOP War on Uteri: South Dakota's Sick New Anti-Choice Law
It is profoundly contemptible that this has become an almost daily series, but here we are again: Republican South Dakokta Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law a bill requiring women to abide a 72-hour waiting period, the longest in the nation, and "consult with a counselor at a pregnancy help center" before being allowed to get an abortion.
"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives," Daugaard said in a released statement. "I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices."
"Abortion" and "good choice" are not mutually exclusive concepts. I don't know why Daugaard doesn't trust pregnant people, primarily women, to make the best choices for their own bodies, but maybe the fact that he doesn't trust women isn't, in fact, the great political attribute we're meant to believe it is, but is instead evidence of precisely why it is that he shouldn't have the power to encroach on women's agency and bodily autonomy. Ever.
I am really running out of ways to make the point that women are not imbeciles who are unaware of their options (even though Republican-favored abstinence-only sex ed programs endeavor to turn them into exactly that). Women don't need time to "make good choices" or "consider alternatives" or whatevthefuck Governor Dipshit and his Mendacious Band of Anti-Choice Fuckheads are alleging will happen in the three days they delay women from terminating a pregnancy.
Forcing a woman to wait three days and consult with some asshole trying to convince her not to abortwill not change the fact
that that woman does not want to have a child. Even if it changes her mind about terminating the pregnancy, it doesn't change whatever circumstances brought her to an abortion clinic in the first place.
She'll still walk out just as devoid of choices, just as un- or underemployed, just as broke, just as in debt, just as uninsured, just as lacking daycare, just as unable to care for herself and/or her existing children, just as in need of medication that she can't take while pregnant, just as enmeshed in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, justthe same
as she was when she walked in.
She'll just have been guilted into making sacrifices she doesn't want to make, to honor someone else's mistaken perceptions about her morality.
All of these absurd barriers to termination are utter hogwash, rooted in the damnable fairy tale that women are incapable of making the best decisions for themselves and their own bodies (and, frequently, for the children theyalready have
The reality is this: There isan inextricable link
between the economy, the funding of social services, and abortion. If "pro-lifers" really wanted women to want to have babies, they would start arguing for universal healthcare, just for a fucking start, consideringabout one-fourth
of women seeking abortions cite their own health or possible health problems with the fetus as reasons for the termination, owing to concerns including "a lack of prenatal care."
But they're not pro-life. They're just anti-women.
And they can caterwaul about how that's not true all they fucking want, but, the truth is, they refuse tolisten to women
, to the millions of women who are telling them they don't need waiting periods or ultrasounds or parental/spousal consent or anti-abortion counselors or any of the other disincentives being proposed to deter them from terminating unwanted pregnancy, but do need jobs and healthcare and childcare and parental leave laws and associated institutional framework that supports successful parenthood.
And when you refuse to listen to women, your argument that you're not explicitly anti-women holds precious little water.
Particularly when your state has failed utterly to fund a robust social safety net, buthas been trying
, with various degrees of success, to chip away atRoe
virtually since the decision granted people with uteri the right to terminate pregnancies.