Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Do we need a Coercive Birth Prevention bill?

State Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) writes in JSOnline promoting the bill she's cosponsored that would require physicians to inform women that they -- the women -- cannot be forced or coerced into having an abortion.

Here's the gist of it:
Under the bill, any physician counseling a woman considering an abortion shall, in person, inform the woman that it is against the law for any person to use threats, intimidation, force or coercion to compel her to have an abortion against her will.

The woman is also to be informed that she has a right to refuse to consent to an abortion and that a person may not threaten, intimidate, force or coerce her to consent to the procedure against her will.


It seems a bit coercive to coerce women who have made the difficult choice to get an abortion to confirm that they haven't been coerced -- but okay, let's say we should always sign off on medical procedures. Couldn't we then rewrite the law this way?

Under the bill, any physician counseling a woman considering having a baby shall, in person, inform the woman that it is against the law for any person to use threats, intimidation, force or coercion to compel her to have a baby against her will.

The woman is also to be informed that she has a right to refuse to consent to having a baby and that a person may not threaten, intimidate, force or coerce her to consent to have a baby against her will.


I wasn't always this cynical, but I suspect that women are more often coerced into carrying a pregnancy to term than coerced into ending it.

In the meantime, abortions are legal -- we should be thinking of how to make them safe and rare without imposing laws which are themselves coercive.


hiho
Mpeterson

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent. Exactly. Thank you. --Pat

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Since abortions have been legalized, your are right in that we should do what we can to make them safe and rare. We could start at grade school level, teaching abstinence as the preferred method. At least, it makes a good chunk of sense to me. Abstinence = no STDs. Abstinence = no pregnancy. Abstinence = No pregnancy/no ABORTION. Abstinence = no single parent household. Abstinence = no teen parenting. The list is endless. Not to mention the economical and medical advantages...

Mpeterson said...

I couldn't agree with you more that we need competent and effective sex ed. This alone would take care of all but the most dire aspects of abortion since once you minimize the number of unwanted pregnancies, you minimize the number of possible abortions.

The difficulties with abstinence-only education is that there is some kick back. In the studies I've seen it does seem to delay sexual activity in young people, but that nearly 80% still fall off the wagon, so to speak, within a year or so. That might still be acceptable... the problem is that when they do, they have a dramatically higher likelihood of conception since they typically use no protection at all.

What is clear, if you'd like to go check, is the almost staggering difference between teenage pregnancy rates here and in Europe. American kids rank with the 3rd world. Even stranger, given the explicit nature of European sex ed programs, is that the incidence of sexual activity among European teenagers is also lower than ours... Maybe when you tell them the full truth, they respond by using their heads?

I don't know either.

I think it would be a darned useful exercise to get WRTL and Planned Parenthood to sit down and find some common ground. :^) Surely there must be some somewhere.

hiho
Mp