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Friday, February 24, 2006

And so it begins.

The recent confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito has left many wondering when we can expect the first offensive against the Roe v. Wade decision and a woman's right to choose.

Well, it may not be the first, but we definitely have a decent candidate:

South Dakota moved closer to imposing some of the strictest limits on abortion in the nation as the state Senate approved legislation that would ban the procedure except when the woman's life is in danger.

The bill, designed to spark a courtroom showdown over the legality of abortion, passed 23-12 Wednesday. On Thursday, it was headed back to the House, where lawmakers already approved similar legislation.

...

Under the measure, doctors in South Dakota would face up to five years in prison for performing an abortion. The only exception would be for women who need abortions to save their lives.

"In my opinion, it is the time for the South Dakota Legislature to deal with this issue and protect the lives and rights of unborn children," said Sen. Julie Bartling, a Democrat and the bill's main sponsor.


So, by the sound of things, any trace of rationality has fled the state of South Dakota. The ban discussed above is, indeed, one of the most stringent to be attempted in years. Some of the representatives know it, too:

Some senators, including Republicans, were concerned that the legislation did not include exceptions for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

Republican Sen. Stan Adelstein said it would be "a continued savagery unworthy of South Dakota" to make a woman bear a child if she becomes pregnant as the result of rape. [Emphasis Added]


I think I can assert with confidence that this law is, in fact, vile. Senator Adelstein doesn't go far enough, though: to compel a woman to bring a pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest to term would be a savagery unworthy of a civilized species. However, what almost makes it worse is its intent. As reported on NPR, this law really isn't going to have a huge effect in South Dakota, per se, but is instead designed as an attempt to make a national push against abortion:

Lawmakers in South Dakota are poised to give final approval to the most sweeping ban on abortion in nearly two decades. The state's only abortion clinic performs about 800 procedures a year -- of the nearly 1 million done nationally. But backers of the bill say they intend for it to reach well outside the state's borders.

...

But her [Leslie Unruh, Anti-Abortion Activist] work will pay off when the South Dakota House gives expected final approval to a measure that would ban all abortions in the state except those needed to save the life of the pregnant woman. The state Senate, which approved the bill Wednesday, rejected amendments to allow abortions in cases of rape or incest, or to protect the pregnant woman's health.

Unruh says she's confident that Republican Gov. Michael Rounds will sign the measure. And she makes it clear she hopes the law will have a broader impact. "We've been very successful to chip away at the laws of Roe v. Wade in South Dakota, and we think the rest of the country should really be following us, and following the heartland... and this is definitely planned to go after Roe v. Wade," she said. [Emphasis Added]


I don't know if I'd say South Dakota is "the heartland," but I guess I should point out that it's a bad idea to get your ideas from portions of your anatomy other than the brain.

The thing that really drives me crazy about the Bush administration isn't the corruption, the stupidity, or the condescension. I mean, that makes me nuts too, but it isn't the real kicker. No, what really upsets me is the legacy. By the end of his presidency, Bush will likely have destroyed two foreign nations, caused thousands of pointless deaths, saddled the country with a staggering debt, potentially triggered a constitutional crisis over the powers of the presidency, championed cronyism, and burdened us with reactionary supreme court justices. His legacy is one of strife and discord. South Dakota is merely the first phase in what is sure to be a long, long war to preserve the virtues of this nation, and defeat its vices. It promises to be a long, heartbreaking, bitter struggle that I don't think any of us want. And to that I can say only this:

Some things are worth fighting for.

1 Comments:

Blogger Slag said...

I was watching Sunday's hockey game with a Swede, and during the first intermission, we got to talking about his stay in America. He's in the U.S. for the first time, doing a Fulbright study on public policy.

He said that America is confusing - in many ways, we're the most modern, forward-thinking nation in the world, but in a lot of ways we're stuck in the middle ages. We can put a man on the moon, but we still execute juveniles, and you can still lose your job for being gay.

This stuck with me, and this news gives Americans another opportunity to be barbarians. Soon, then, women may be forced to bear rapists' children.

I love my country enough to be embarrassed when things like this happen. What can we do about it, and how can we keep ourselves from giving up from disappointment?

Monday, February 27, 2006 12:09:00 PM  

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