Sometimes I Hate being an American

There are times when I really really don’t want to live in the United States of American anymore, and lately I’ve been feeling like that an awful lot. A lot of why I feel this way is because I’m a woman and it sure feels like being a woman means having fewer rights in this country these days. It certainly means that my body is fair game for extensive legislation.

The Supreme Court is set to make a ruling on “partial-birth abortions” (which is a terribly ambiguous non-medical term). Besides the fact that I don’t really feel that the Supreme Court is an appropriate body to pass rules about what doctors can and can not do to help their patients, this is a big deal. The biggest issue with this law is that it completely lacks any provision for the mother’s health and safety. What the government considers “partial-birth abortions” happen very rarely and almost always because there is a serious issue with the mother’s health or safety as a direct result of her pregnancy. Usually there is a serious problem with the pregnancy for both mother and baby. Often there is really no hope for the baby, but some for the mother. The more logistical and less human issue is that the phrase “partial-birth abortion” is not a medical one at all, in fact, in medical terms it means almost nothing and has so many loopholes as to be meaningless.

To make things that much more fun, South Dakota just passed a law that outlaws all abortions, period. There is absolutely no provisions for the safety of the mother or pregancy as the result of rape or incest, although they were proposed and voted down. The state claims that it’s intention is to force the Supreme Court to make a ruling on the issue. They waited until Alito was firmly in place, you will notice, before taking this step, so one would assume that they expect it to be upheld (or at least want it to be). The problem is that this shows no regard at all for the health and safety of the women of South Dakota. If I were in South Dakota, I would seriously move right now (and if I was already moving, I’d move out of the country).

The third thing is smaller in scope than the first two, but potentially just as violating. Recently the FDA changed the requirements for being given a drug that treats severe acne (the disfiguring kind of acne). They have decided that women and their doctors cannot be trusted to ensure that the women are not pregant before they take a drug that is potentially harmful to an unborn baby. To ensure this, the women must register as part of a national database and must take a forced pregancy test which will be recorded in the database along with the results of the test. There are several logistical issues with the system as well, but the part that concerns me is the forced pregancy tests that are then recorded in a government database. The idea that the government has any right to keep track of whether or not I’m pregant is really unsettling to me. This could lead to so many issues with abortions, women’s safety, misscarrages, even parenting issues (with money, support, anything). I agree that the government has the right to know how many kids I have, but they don’t have the right to know when I get pregnant if I don’t want them to know that.

Basically, I really hate the idea of my safety being decided by a bunch of men in Washington who really don’t care that much. I hate that my uterus is considered as valid a thing to legislate as property is. That equates me to property and that isn’t fair or American. Period.

I want to move.

4 Comments

  1. Dad said,

    February 25, 2006 at 9:33 am

    Be sure to send a forwarding address and drop us a card once in a while. Would also be nice if your new place has cell service. Oh, and broadband.

    Dad

  2. Alan De Smet said,

    February 27, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Move out of the country? Bah, that’s the easy way out. You’ve got to make a stand somewhere. If it helps, notice how both Bush’s opinion ratings are in the toilet, as are the Republican parties. People are slowly wising up. Hope for, nay, fight for a change.

    “Besides the fact that I don’t really feel that the Supreme Court is an appropriate body to pass rules about what doctors can and can not do to help their patients, this is a big deal.”

    The Supreme Court is just reviewing laws as people requested. The partial-birth abortion ban wasn’t something they cooked up; they’ve simple been asked to review it for Constitutionality.

    “I hate that my uterus is considered as valid a thing to legislate as property is. That equates me to property and that isn’t fair or American.”

    As for the legislatures who did pass in the law in question, well, it’s the nature of legislatures to pass laws controlling people. This isn’t about equating your uterus or you as property; it’s just laws on what you are allowed to do. The government wasn’t claiming penises and men were property when several states has laws against vasectomies back in the 60s. Those laws are stupid and shortsighted but it doesn’t naturally extend that government thinks you’re property.

  3. Viv said,

    February 27, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    Admittedly, I’m with Alan. I’d rather stay and subvert. Although the thought of Vancouver and decent Chinese food does seduce me a bit.

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