GMF: The United States Of Coathanger

February 24th, 2006 | researchmaterial

South Dakota lawmakers have voted to outlaw nearly all abortions, setting up the first direct legal attack on Roe v. Wade by a state in 14 years.

Abortion rights advocates across the country reacted with outrage and dismay. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which runs the sole abortion clinic in South Dakota, said it was bracing to fight the move in court immediately, if the governor signs it.

Some opponents of abortion rights celebrated what they called a bold and brave move and lauded South Dakota for taking the lead in what they said they hoped would become a series of states to challenge Roe, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal.

The shifting makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, the opponents said, offered a crucial opportunity, the first since at least 1992.

“It is a calculated risk, to be sure, but I believe it is a fight worth fighting,” State Senator Brock Greenfield, a Republican who is also director of South Dakota Right to Life, told his colleagues in a hushed, packed chamber here.

After more than an hour of fierce and emotional debate, the senators Wednesday rejected exceptions for incest or rape or for the health of a mother and voted, 23-12, to outlaw all abortions, except those to save a mother’s life.

They also rejected an effort to allow South Dakotans to decide the question in a referendum and an effort to prevent state tax dollars from financing what is certain to be a long and expensive court battle.

To be enacted, the bill requires the signature of Governor Mike Rounds, a Republican, who opposes abortion…

[TAGS]grim+meathook+future, GMF, abortion, roe+vs+wade[/TAGS]


32 Responses to “GMF: The United States Of Coathanger”

  1. Well, this disproves my theory….
    I wonder what issue the Fasci…I mean, Naz…I mean Republicans are going to use to fill their coffers now?
    It’s days like this that I hate being American.

  2. Damn good thing too. The whole issue will stand being re-examined.

  3. Wow. How intentionally *not* representational can they be before we start calling this something more appropopriate than democracy. This isn’t by the people for the people, this is by the party for itself.

    I’m from South Dakota, but my license and my person say Minnesota these days.

  4. “the senators Wednesday rejected exceptions for incest or rape or for the health of a mother”
    Family Values!
    _Neverending_ War on Terror!
    911! 911! Don’t mess with Texas!
    Helloooo Talibamerica…

  5. “In an interview earlier this week, he [Governour Rounds] expressed doubts about whether now was really the time to make a “full frontal attack” on Roe v. Wade, as opposed to pressing for more laws that restrict abortions – setting limits, for instance, on their timing, methods, or on the requirements for parental notification.”
    It’s almost like an excerpt from “The Handmaid’s tale”.
    Welcome to New Gideon.

  6. Sorry for the repeated postings, but I must correct myself:
    It’s New GILEAD, (not Gideon)

  7. And of course the fact that Samuel ” I won’t say whether or not abortion is settled law” Alito being confirmed for the Supreme Court has fuck all to do with the timing of this.

    Would that the U.S. had a real opposition party right about now. You would think the Democrats would get tired of hearing, in essence, “Ha-ha! Suckers!” every time stuff like this happens…

  8. Sorry, that should be “I won’t say whether I think Roe v. Wade is settled law or not”.

    The naked greed of this move just makes me furious. It’s 2006! Mid-term elections in the U.S.! Time to fire up those wedge issues!

  9. Sad thing is, anti-choice fundamentalist forces have already won in most of the U.S. Like many states, there’s only one facility that provides abortions in South Dakota. The doctor flies in from Minnesota once a week. Christian fundamentalist terrorism has very effectively managed to dissuade doctors from performing the procedure in much of the country. The debate is almost academic.

  10. I’m not a fundamentalist, hell I’m an agnostic at best. I’m from Massachusetts, Amherst College, the liberal bastion of the world, if not the States. If I could vote, I would vote Democrat. I’m glad someone is challenging Roe v. Wade. In the end, it must be the people’s decision, but after a decade of all Anti-Abortion gestures being shot down before they even start up by protesters as rabid as said fundamentalists, I’m glad this issue is hitting the boards again. I do not believe in abortion, and I think it IS important for us to see what the majority really says.

    My two cents.
    ~Pawel

  11. Pawel, in this case the majority appears to think that it’s ok for a woman to go blind or
    risk a post-birth death from kidney failure rather than remove a non-sentient fetus from her womb.

    Nice to know where the majority in the US stands in relation to human life.

  12. We all define life differently. Your sarcasm aside, I believe its a life. You must understand that, while I see your point of view, believe me, I relaly do, I believe its a life, and that in my book makes it killing. I’m not going to ask how you figure blindness into this, but I’ll assume you have a valid reason so let’s go with it. On the one hand, you have two people, both living, one blind. On the other you have one living, healthy person, one dead. I know that you don’t believe its a sentient life. You’re entitled to that, but you need to understand that I do, and to me it is inherently wrong. The US majority will stand as it may, and will let itself be known, one way or the other. Either way, we’ll do what we choose, be it as it will. That wont stop either of us from challenging it if it goes against what we feel is right….but…that’s democracy babes.

    ~Pawel

  13. Oh yeah, ’cause the majority’s always right. So, while we’re at it, let’s kill free speech, bring back slavery/discrimination, give the government to search and seize without warning or reason, ban gay marriage, make homosexuality illegal, make Christianity the official national religion, make English the official language, give everyone guns, outlaw smoking & drinking & rock’n’roll, make the death penalty apply to any crime above a misdemeanor, as well as start detaining anyone who looks even vaguely suspicious.

    I’m pretty sure we could get a majority on at least half of that.

    Except, y’know, for that pesky Bill of Rights…

    The majority doesn’t always win and isn’t always right. It’s a pain in the ass, I know, but it’s called freedom.

    ~c.

  14. I am so fucking proud of my state right now…
    afterall a woman really doesn’t have the nature to decide what is right or wrong with her body.
    and yes that IS sarcasam.

  15. If George W. gets cancer, I am going to protest the removal of human life that doesn’t get to excercise its full potential.

    Fetuses are not people, they are therefore not protected under the law. Reproductive autonomy is a fundemental human right. What we are saying is that a non-legal entity in our system is given rights over a person. Yes, the fetus has potential to develop into a person, it is human, but that potential should not rule over a woman’s right to rule over her body.

  16. Hey Pawel, you sound like a right fucktard but out of curiousity, why can’t you vote?

  17. This kind of thing always makes me upset because both sides are doing what they think is right and its very hard to see the opposite point of view when you know that your opinion is the correct one.

    That and the fact that pro-lifers are annoying evil idiot fucks.

  18. “you sound like a right fucktard”
    “the fact that pro-lifers are annoying evil idiot fucks.”

    Perfect example of why partisan politics is sucking this fucking nation dry. You can’t express any sort of opinion anymore without being berated. I know some of you don’t believe that fetuses are people, but I’ve the freedom to disagree with you. First Amendment. On the topic of freedom, Devinoch, basic political theory dictates that freedom is an illusion instituted by the governing power for the purposes of control. By stressing certain freedoms an authority can divert attention from the fact that they are restricting others. Every society is defined by the establishment of some sort of code of law, which, by the very nature of its existence, limits freedom. You aren’t free to steal and commit arson. Why? Because the majority of our representative democracy deems it reprehensible. If this turns out the same way, all I’ll say is that’s the price to pay for living in a structured and ordered society. I hate to burst your fucking bubbles of idealogy but none of you are the slightest bit free, living in our society is more like operating as software, whose operation is defined by incrossable parameters. Don’t like it? I’m sure there’s plenty of empty cabins in the canadaian wilderness you can move to.

    And I can’t vote because I’m a US Permanent Resident.
    You kids had to go and get me all riled…

  19. My, aren’t we civilised!
    Well, it’s time to end this by playing the Last Card:
    Would you have Aborted HITLER?

  20. A fundamental right in our constitution is innocent until proven guilty. So the answer is no, Hitler did not deserve to be judged until after he had done what did. To do otherwise opens the door for all sorts of psychotic statistical and factor-based discrimination. If I wanted to be a smartass, I could ask if you’d abort Ghandi, Aristotle, Da Vinci, Einstein? How do you know you haven’t?

  21. We all define life differently. Your sarcasm aside, I believe its a life.

    Why?

    You say you’re an agnostic, so I’m curious to hear what explanation you have for why a clump of cells that barely has a spinal column should be considered a “life”.

  22. Actually, the majority of Americans DO support abortion rights according to polls. A vocal extremist minority has managed to take control in many places, however.
    It’s absurd to say that the pro-choice side is “as rabid” as the other side. I’ve not heard of pro-choicers committing arson, bombings, murder and making terrorist threats to get their way. It may be a small minority of anti-abortion forces that have been committing the crimes, but a much larger minority of abortion foes have used implicit threats based on those crimes (“the nuremberg files,” etc.) to terrorize doctors. And yes, this IS terrorism in the strictest sense.
    The real absurdity, however, is calling a mass of human tissue without a functional nervous system, or even a fertilized egg(!), a “human being.” It’s a totally perverse degradation of the term “human.” Even more perverse is valuing that “life” over the actual life of the mother, as anti-abortion laws do.
    If people really care about reducing abortions, then they should be agitating for some actual sex education in this country and real access to contraceptives.

  23. i’m coming to this late, i know.

    pawel: where do you stand on the death penalty? where do you stand on health care funding? where do you stand on the funding of public education? where do you stand on abstinence education? on land use? energy policy? these are all related.

    you sound like a more…reasonable interlocutor than most pro-birth people, so maybe you’d be interested in explaining how it is that most self-proclaimed pro-lifers refuse to (vote for candidates who propose and measures that provide the support needed to) help maintain anything like a high-quality life for the births they are hell bent on seeing happen. because to me, it just seems like pro-birthers are mostly (but not universally, i’ll point out) interested in making other women’s choices for them, forcing a role upon those women, and then throwing up their hands and walking slowly backwards saying “you were the one who got pregnant, hon, don’t come to the state when you need healthcare or a little income assistance or a good public school for not much money or a school breakfast program or child care so you can go to your job, which by the way we have no interest in pressing your job into becoming mother-friendly because, well, if you really wanted to work, you wouldn’t have had a kid, would you have?” when mothers in tight spots appeal to them after the baby is out of the womb.

    additionally, as an agnostic, as you say, i’d assume you were more open to ideas about self determination (as opposed to divine direction), so what is your feeling about why a government should, on the basis of–at the bottom of it all–some very deeply relgious ideas about when a human life begins, be able to tell any woman what she cannot do with a body that belongs to her and her alone? at what moment does a body that, really, just one single woman lives with and cares for every day of her life, become the concern of someone other than herself–someone that possibly she has not freely enlisted in the shared care of her body (here i refer to a father or husband in a hetero scenario, and a partner in a homo one, or a trusted friend or advisor if none of the previous exist)? if a woman’s body is her own until there is a fertilized egg hovering in the womanly ether beneath her navel, why isn’t her body still hers afterwards? why isn’t her life still hers? which life is more important: the one she might be forced to start (a life that might or might not have a reasonable chance of starting off on level footing towards a “good life”) or her own, which will be changed forever (possibly not by her own will)?

    i am a pro-life feminist and i believe that because of an initial disconnect in the way pro-birthers and pro-choicers view a woman’s right to self-determination, there will be no compromise. the presumptions we start out with are completely noncomplimentary. we begin on opposite sides and there is no middle in which to meet.

    thank you for your time.

  24. I’m confused.

    On one hand you say things like:

    In the end, it must be the people’s decision, and You aren’t free to [insert crime here]. Why? Because the majority of our representative democracy deems it reprehensible.

    But then you say:

    basic political theory dictates that freedom is an illusion instituted by the governing power for the purposes of control. and I hate to burst your fucking bubbles of idealogy but none of you are the slightest bit free,

    So on one hand, you think trying to get anti-abortion laws passed is important so that “the majority” gets to have its debate and make its will known, but then you claim that we’re all Cogs in the Machine and that freedom doesn’t exist. You can’t have it both ways…

    Oh, and I love the fact that a “US permanent resident” is trying to tell others that if they don’t like it they can move to Canada! So let me lower the level of discourse for a minute and say that if you want to live in a fascist state, why not go the fuck back to where you came from and start one there (assuming it wasn’t one to begin with).

  25. “Hey Pawel, you sound like a right fucktard but out of curiousity, why can’t you vote?”
    “That and the fact that pro-lifers are annoying evil idiot fucks.”

    So this is the voice of reason ?

    Here in the UK 1 in 5 , yes 20% of pregnancies ends in abortion , only 350 last year were for medical reasons .i.e gross deformity, inherited disease etc.,

    The difference is here in the UK our lawmakers debated and voted on the legislation.
    However I think it would still be worth re-examining the issue.

    On Monday my 100% US grand child who was adopted at birth visits.

  26. Wow that’s a lot, alright. I’ll take it slow and methodical-like, I believe it that a fertilized egg is a human life because it contains the final synthesis of all necessary components which develop into a conscious being. I am against neither contraception, nor any pre-fertilization possibility to avoid pregnancy. In fact, I feel contraception should be made more readily available, and become more widely used among the sexually active who don’t want a child. I would safely include myself in that category. Unfortunately contraception fails, but that is also a risk that all sexually active individuals take and are aware of. I don’t believe abortion should be used, as it widely is, as the backup plan. I think all life should be valued equally, and since I view a fetus as life, I do not see it fitting with my sense of what is decent to through that life away.

    What the majority supports is what I intend to find out, and believe me, what the majority wants is what is going to happen (I’m repeating myself and i hate that), one way or another. By living in this society we have to accept the terms of the majority because the majority is the basis of representative democracy. If the majority goes pro-choice, I will continue to live in this society, but it won’t stop me from questioning it, as it wouldnt stop you from questioning the decision of a pro-life majority. That’s a right we are guaranteed. The fact that the majority of Anti-Abortionists are religious psychos is unfortunate, and gives a bad reputation to people who have come to that conclusion on the basis of their own logic and reason. I would like to add that not all morality is religious. States have their own moralities as well, which is WHY we can’t kill, steal, or set our neighbor’s house on fire. Just because something falls under the category of what may seem to be morality, does not mean it is fueled by religion.

    Robin, I like what you’ve brought to the table, but there’s simply too much in there to answer on this sort of post, as I’m sure you know those are the central isssues which our generation is grappling to come to terms with. I’ll light on a few things though. In the case of possible death of a mother, she should have a choice. Death is a huge and irreversible thing, and whether a mother wants her or her child to live should be chosen by her and her alone, but in cases where death is not the threat, that’s where the debate should lie. I don’t call myself Pro-Life, by the way, because I’m undecided on the death penalty. I simply don’t feel I have a good enough grasp on the issue to provide you with any sort of informed opinion. I’m in the process of reading the works of Foucault, however, which may affect that. I agree that the services which support mothers and their children are essential to a progressive society with its citizenry in mind. If the US would re-direct the budget ithas on military research alone into these fields, huge gains could be made. As it is we are the most high tech military on this planet, why do we need to get better? I’m all for maintaining the military, but expansion is simply irresponsible. I hope that gives you my perspective on some of these issues, and I’d love to hear more of yours, thanks for the response.

    Jay, I wasn’t suggesting you move to Canada, rather, I was suggesting you isolate yourself from all society if you don’t wish to live by its inherent restraints. Also, It is important that we debate the people’s perspective the best we can. I’m simply warning against being blinded by the illusion of true freedom. It doesn’t exist. Deal. And while you’re at it, go fuck yourself, asshole. Your family immigrated here at some point too.

    I’ve written a fucking book here as it is. I need a cigarette. Have fun with your grandchild Ziz, that’s incredible.

    ~Pawel

  27. Actually, I’m not a US citizen and I dont live in the US so please dont include me in your generalizations regarding the populace of the united states of meathook.

    That you sound like a fucktard is my opinion and I am entitled to it. That you thing a collection of cells incapable of any development outside a womans body is more important that the financial, mental and physical wellbeing of a woman is your opinion. You are, likewise, entitled to it.

    However the “majority” is a very poor judge of what should be legal, in 1967 the supreme court ruling of Loving v. Virginia was wildly unpopular with the US public – Moreso than gay marriages are today. Should Loving v Virginia have been overturned and miscagenation laws reinstated? I certainly dont believe so just as I dont believe Roe v Wade should be overturned in the US or abortions outlawed in any country.

    One final opinion from me… you are not a woman and so you will never become pregnant. Due to this I believe you should have no say on this issue at all.

    Green Senator Kerry Nettle wearing a shirt sponsored by the Young Womens Christian Association

  28. I respect opponents of abortion like Pawel who arrive at that conclusion by virtue of their own reasoning and personal inner debate. It is all too easy to just fall in line with ideology. Its something else to reach that final place of opinion all on your own.

    This applies equally for the crazy religious types and the crazy activist types.

    Wherever we end up in all this I can only hope that it will be a result of personal conscience and reason rather than simple ideology and banner waving.

    It won’t of course. But I can hope anyway.

  29. I disagree strongly with Pawel’s position but I would really like to congratulate him on being so open and persuasive with his views. Crazy types on both sides etc.. and if you haven’t got a good reply to a reasoned argument, then you are the idiot that round (whatever side you are on).

    Pawel, your view that a foetus is a human life is not actually inconsistent with abortion rights. Judith Jarvis Thompson came up with an excellent counter-example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Jarvis_Thomson Explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_debate . Basically, we find that in some cases it is justified to kill people and Thompson that this is one of those cases (even though she doesn’t herself think the foetus is human).

  30. Pawel, you gotta be kidding me. I honestly tried to read through your meandering pseudo-political diatribe, really I did, but your collection of ranting and ravings mostly descends into self-parody, because you try and fall back onto “political theory” to dismiss the fundamental point I’m making — the majority is not always right and does not always win, and that’s good.

    I personally don’t give a shit what you think or say, you’re entitled to it. I support the First Amendment more than you do, I’m pretty sure of this. However, the First Amendment does not apply to forcing people to do things with their bodies. If you want to off yourself, I believe you have that right. If you want to have a tumor removed from your body, you have that right. And if a woman doesn’t want to have a child, she has that right. It is her body, and she has the right to do with it as she wants as long as she’s not strapping a bomb to it and running towards my ass.

    I loved how you just sort of sidestepped the entire argument about how that if the majority was in charge, the entire country would be Christian white men with black slaves and subserviant women. Because it would have happened. It did happen. And it would have continued to happen. But you know what? Those people (i.e. people who have been breathing AIR for more than a few minutes) have rights. The majority in many cases didn’t agree. A court said they did, based on the rules we set down when the country was started. Those rules override whatever the mindless, apathetic, docile masses of America have been programmed to think this week. And it’s a good thing, too, because I happen to like speaking.

    You have every right to claim a fetus is a child, just like we have every right to disagree with you. But the minute you start poking into people’s bodies and tell them what they can and can’t do with them, you move into dangerous (not to mention unconstitutional) ground.

    But I’ll tell you what — we can just start sending every child that’s born and given up for adoption to your house and you can handle all the medical bills, all the child support, all the parenting, all of the things that we can’t even handle with the people in the country NOW, and you can figure it out.

    As Bill Hicks said, “People suck, there’s too many of them, and it’s easier to kill them while they’re young.”

    Pro-choice, pro-death penalty, anti-war and anti-idiocy. That’s my stance.

    ~c.

  31. If Roe v. Wade gets overturned then it will go back to the various states regulating abortion as they see fit. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Wisconsin, Oregon, Nevada, will likely not be very restrictive; the Deep South states, Texas, Utah will likely ban it in nearly all cases. Other states will have varying degrees of restrictions.

    Eventually most of the women who screw will move to the states with the least restrictions, and all the “pro-life” dickheads in the anti-abortions states will get stuck with the frigid bitches they deserve.

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