Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I HAVE BEEN EDITING MY BLOGROLL, and have come across some great posts on the South Dakota abortion ban. So here is a roundup:

Atrios on why abortion ban supporters should be telling low-income men not to have sex:

It's a frequent comment by both anti-choicers and busybodies who think it's their right to judge "good" and "bad" abortions largely based on the perceived morality of the women getting the abortion that women who can't afford children shouldn't have sex.

Of course a lot of these poor-women-getting-abortions are married women with children who don't have the economic resources to support another child, and not the caricature of the "irresponsible slut" that the busybodies are conjuring in their heads. If these people really believe that anyone who doesn't have the economic resources to support (another) child should simply stop having sex then that applies to the men as well.

And via Atrios, we are led to Feministing, who links to a Daily Kos commenter's suggestion for South Dakota's new logo. The DK post, by McJoan, is about John McCain's support for the South Dakota legislation.

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake has a challenging question for pro-lifers who believe that a fertilized egg is a human being: "If a fire breaks out in a fertility clinic and you can only save a petri dish with five blastulae or a two-year old child, which do you save?" One of Jane's readers, Mike Stark, called up Andrew Wilkow's radio talk show, and asked him to answer the question. Crooks and Liars has the audio.

Jane has an update here with more thorny problems for those who tell us that a blastula in a petri dish and a two-year-old child are both human beings.

Shakespeare's Sister has an abortion scorecard of where other states stand on legislation eliminating or severely restricting abortion and contraceptive rights.

CE Petro, who blogs specifically on women's health issues, reports that her state, Tennessee, is launching assaults on personal privacy on several fronts. Abortion opponents there want to pass a total abortion ban similar to South Dakota's; but since Tennessee's constitution explicitly protects a woman's right to privacy, they have to pass an amendment to the constitution first.

Petro also informs us that Tennessee legislators are pushing a bill that would ban the use of sex toys. She links to a piece by John Spragens in the Nashville Scene:

... Senate Bill 3794 (House Bill 3798) ... would make it illegal to sell, advertise, publish or exhibit to another person "any three-dimensional device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs. ..." For that matter, if you offer to show someone your dildo collection -- or possess a vibrator with the intent to show it to someone -- you'd be violating this proposed state law. And don't even think about wholesaling those three-dimensional sex toys.

Of course, as with all good public policy, state Sen. Charlotte Burks and Rep. Eric Swafford have included a few exemptions for responsible dildo-users. College students and faculty are allowed to enter the sex-toy trade -- as long as they are "teaching or pursuing a course of study related to such device," like Auto-Erotic Stimulation 101. Your doctor or psychologist will similarly be authorized to prescribe the regular use of a sex toy "in the course of medical or psychological treatment or care." ...

What exactly is wrong with sex toys? Best I can recall, no one has had to cope with an unwanted pregnancy using a dildo. But then again, we have to remember that sex is for making babies, not for pleasure, so if you're opposed to sexual pleasure, I guess it makes sense.

Hypatia, a wonderful new guest blogger over at Unclaimed Territory, writes that, given the trend in the Bush administration to undo the constitutional principle of (and, up until now, the fervent conservative belief in) federalism, it is possible that the Supreme Court might reverse Roe v. Wade and make abortion a federal crime rather than allowing abortion law to be made on the state level.

Jack Balkin thinks that the eagerness of some Republican politicians to support South Dakota-type bans to win the votes of pro-lifers in state primaries may end up biting them in the behind in the general election. Jack also has a post about the recent New York Times article that found no significant decrease in teen abortion rates in states that passed parental notification laws. CE Petro tells us about the effect of such laws in Tennessee -- it was not exactly what advocates of such laws have in mind. When a federal court issued an injunction against a parental consent law in that state, abortion rates went down; when the law went back into effect, abortion rates shot back up.

That's it for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well: Your doctor or psychologist will similarly be authorized to prescribe the regular use of a sex toy "in the course of medical or psychological treatment or care." ...

That settles it. We are going back to 19th century medicine where "female hysteria" was a valid diagnosis to be treated by the medical man via stimulation. Wonder how the medical ethicist will deal with this? What will the legislators and courts will do when gay men start requesting similar treatment for their psychological problems?