Friday, June 14, 2013

Wisconsin Republicans must think women are dumb

Justification of abortion bill neglects current law that already informs women of the procedure

Do state Republicans think every woman in Wisconsin is stupid?

There’s no other plausible explanation for their recent behavior. On Wednesday, Senate Republicans obstructed debate and passed an incredibly intrusive bill, requiring women who are seeking abortions to receive an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the procedure.

That would include requiring transvaginal ultrasounds, which is considered the only way to receive a clear image 12 weeks or earlier into a pregnancy.

Last night, the Assembly approved the same bill. It now goes to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk, who has indicated he will sign it into law.

What is the purpose of the bill? For what reason does our state now require women seeking an abortion to be subjected to an unnecessary, possibly invasive procedure?

Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) enlightened us on Wednesday:
Women should not be going to facilities that do not provide them full information. An ultrasound that describes their child, their unborn child, their baby -- they have a full understanding of what they’re doing. And we should not be denying them that information.”


It’s time for women to know the facts. It’s time for them to know what they’re carrying in their womb and what they’re doing.


Any clinic that’s going to rush a woman through it and not going to give her an ultrasound? That’s a clinic quite frankly I don’t want in Wisconsin because they’re not providing information for women, they’re not making this world safe and healthy for women.
Emphases added.

That’s a bold justification, and one that’s very impassioned. It’s also inaccurate, and insulting to the intelligence of women.

Wisconsin law strictly mandates that women seeking abortions GET the information about the procedure.

Women must first receive counseling before an abortion. They must be told directly about what they are doing. They must then wait 24 hours, allowing the information to sink in after that counseling before they can get the procedure done.

If, after that 24 hour period is complete, and they still want an abortion, they can get one.

Women are already mandated to receive this information -- so even the least educated person who steps into a clinic will know what’s happens when they get their abortion.

And any clinic that “rushes” women through the procedure is operating illegally in the state of Wisconsin.

Current law also grants women the choice to see an ultrasound image if they so choose. Doctors are required to give this option to their patients before the procedure begins.

Still, Lazich claims the women who want this procedure performed don’t know any better. According to her, they just need to see firsthand, whether they want to or not, to make a “proper” decision. Requiring an ultrasound, in her mind, will better “inform” them.

The truth is, women aren’t making this decision lightly. And they aren’t making it without being informed. The law -- as it stands currently, before this atrocious bill was even proposed -- requires them to be told what happens, and encourages them to seek other options.

It’s not too extreme to assume that Wisconsin Republicans think that women are dumb. If Republicans can't trust women to make an informed choice after being counseled, waiting 24 hours, being offered an ultrasound, and generally being hounded by the issue, then it's no wonder why Mary Lazich and her colleagues think women need more information in the form of an invasive ultrasound.

Wisconsin women, however, aren’t dumb. And they have memories, too.

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