Friday, July 18, 2008

Someone's Feelin' Ranty

That someone is me. As a follow-up to Cara’s recent post about the ruling in South Dakota, I offer this:

Open letter to the Legislature of South Dakota;

Women are not stupid. Women are not petulant, confused innocents. Women are not biologically programmed to desire, nurture and rear children. Women are capable of making their own choices. I will agree that women need information to make good decisions. When making decisions about healthcare, that information should be based on medical, provable facts, not sentimental musings about a woman’s “existing relationship with [an] unborn human being”.

It’s glaringly obvious that you don’t have women’s health and safety in mind when passing, and attempting to pass laws like these. Your singular goal, to outlaw abortion, consistently fails to recognize women as full human beings with the rights to personal agency and self-determination. This is not even to mention the potential fallout from such restrictions as well as the failure to address reducing the need for abortion. You are willing to lie, force doctors to lie and encode restrictions that can and will endanger women – physically, psychologically and emotionally.

There is no question that any outcome of pregnancy has physical and emotional downsides and risks. But when you sit in judgment of one of those outcomes, and use that personal judgment to guide your lawmaking, you have failed. You have failed to acknowledge that your personal feelings have no bearing on health provision. You have failed to acknowledge your constituents who do not share your personal judgments. You have failed to address this issue as one of healthcare and privacy, choosing instead to use your position to legislate personal ideology.

It can not be said enough – ideology and personal feelings have little to no place in the legislative process, especially when it comes to matters of medical procedure. By ignoring this, the legislature of South Dakota has failed women, families and doctors. The legislature has failed.

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