Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Just as creationists have attempted to redefine science and evolution to mean "creationism", so now we have anti-choice politicians redefining what "consent" means:
Missouri doctors would be forced to give women seeking an abortion pertinent information 24 hours before the procedure if a bill that passed through the state House on Monday also gains Senate approval.

The bill also would require doctors to offer a woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound of the fetus and feel the fetus' heartbeat without cost to her. In addition, it would make it a crime to coerce a woman into having an abortion and would steepen criminal penalties for any criminal conduct associated with the coercion of an abortion.

Coercing women not to get an abortion, however, is not only perfectly fine but the raison d'être of this bill. At least this one doesn't force women to pay for the ultrasound themselves, unlike some others. The article also says later that the woman has the option of refusing the information, although that doesn't justify this.
Rep. Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, said he proposed the bill to allow for a more informed decision-making process regarding abortion. Onder said he thinks the bill would "give the state one of the stronger informed consent laws in the country."

Because all those stupid sluts who want an abortion just have no idea what they're doing, right? They don't know that there's an embryo inside them until you show them an ultrasound of it.

Now, here's where the redefining consent comes in--if you look at the text of the bill, they say that abortions can only be performed if the woman has given her "voluntary and informed consent, given freely and without coercion." Sure, but then they proceed to redefine what that means, so that "consent given freely and without coercion" means "saying yes even after being coerced not to":
Consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed and given freely and without coercion, if and only if, at least twenty-four hours prior to the abortion:

There follows a long list of requirements, including such banalities as this:
(2) The licensed physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or a qualified professional has presented the woman, in person, printed materials provided by the department or an informational video provided by the department, which describes the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at two-week gestational increments from conception to full term, including color photographs or images of the developing unborn child at two-week gestational increments. Such descriptions shall include information about brain and heart functions, the presence of external members and internal organs during the applicable stages of development and information on when the unborn child is viable;

You know, for a group that generally foams at the mouth about the need to protect the sanctity of the dictionary when it comes to preventing gays from marrying, conservatives seem pretty willing to rob other words of any meaning whatsoever.

Via I Blame the Patriarchy.

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