Until people quit murdering their children, abolitionists should go everywhere! https://t.co/1cpcEvq6SW
— Devan Lindsey (@DevanL3791) January 15, 2016
Some of them really do earnestly describe themselves as “abolitionists” and, yes, they do want to treat “suspicious” miscarriages as murder.
The Arizona Legislature is in session and, as sure as the sun rises in the east, the GOP majority has some anti-choice bills in the hopper. One that warrants highlighting is SB1474, put forth by the famously fetus-fetishizing Senator Nancy Barto. It would prohibit the use of fetal tissue for any research purpose, even if it were donated fully free by the woman the abortion was performed upon:
36-2302. Human fetus or embryo; prohibitions; definitions
A. A PERSON MAY NOT USE A HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR ANY PART, ORGAN OR FLUID OF THE FETUS OR EMBRYO RESULTING FROM AN ABORTION IN ANIMAL OR HUMAN RESEARCH, EXPERIMENTATION OR STUDY OR FOR TRANSPLANTATION, EXCEPT FOR EITHER OF THE FOLLOWING:
1. DIAGNOSTIC OR REMEDIAL PROCEDURES FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE LIFE OR HEALTH OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR THE MOTHER OR FOR PRESERVING THE LIFE OR HEALTH OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR THE MOTHER.
2. A PATHOLOGICAL STUDY.
B. A PERSON MAY NOT EXPERIMENT ON A HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO WHO IS INTENDED TO BE ABORTED.
C. A PERSON MAY NOT PERFORM OR OFFER TO PERFORM AN ABORTION FOR WHICH PART OR ALL OF THE JUSTIFICATION OR REASON IS THAT THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR ANY PART, ORGAN OR FLUID OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO MAY BE USED FOR ANIMAL OR HUMAN RESEARCH, EXPERIMENTATION OR STUDY OR FOR TRANSPLANTATION.
D. A PERSON MAY NOT KNOWINGLY SELL, TRANSFER, DISTRIBUTE, GIVE AWAY, ACCEPT, USE OR ATTEMPT TO USE ANY HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR ANY PART, ORGAN OR FLUID OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO RESULTING FROM AN ABORTION IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.
E. A PERSON MAY NOT AID OR ABET THE SALE, TRANSFER, DISTRIBUTION, OTHER UNLAWFUL DISPOSITION, ACCEPTANCE, USE OR ATTEMPTED USE OF A HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR ANY PART, ORGAN OR FLUID OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO RESULTING FROM AN ABORTION IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION.
F. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION:
1. “ABORTION” HAS THE SAME MEANING AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 36-2151.
2. “EXPERIMENTATION” MEANS THE USE OF A HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR ANY PART, ORGAN OR FLUID OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO RESULTING FROM AN ABORTION IN ANY TRIAL, TEST, PROCEDURE OR OBSERVATION CARRIED OUT WITH THE GOAL OF VERIFYING, REFUTING OR ESTABLISHING THE VALIDITY OF A HYPOTHESIS. EXPERIMENTATION DOES NOT INCLUDE A PATHOLOGICAL STUDY OR A DIAGNOSTIC OR REMEDIAL TEST, PROCEDURE OR OBSERVATION THAT HAS THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE LIFE OR HEALTH OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR PRESERVING THE LIFE OR HEALTH OF THE HUMAN FETUS OR EMBRYO OR THE MOTHER.
3. “PATHOLOGICAL STUDY” MEANS THE EXAMINATION OF BODY TISSUE FOR DIAGNOSTIC OR FORENSIC PURPOSES.
The bill is obviously in response to the (now thoroughly discredited) “sting” against Planned Parenthood conducted by anti-choice zealots last summer. Anyone found in violation would be guilty of a Class 5 felony, which carries a minimum prison sentence of six months. In itself, this is a cruel bill because research on fetal tissue is vital to the development of a wide range of medical advances. AZ Republic columnist EJ Montini was appalled enough by it to characterize it as “anti-life”.
But this is also part of an ongoing effort by anti-choicers to elevate dead fetuses over the lives and health of living women. A few weeks ago there was a disturbing story out of Pasadena, TX, where a high school student allegedly had a miscarriage or stillbirth (length of the pregnancy was unknown) in the school’s bathroom. The fetus was found by a janitor and an investigation ensued.
It was unclear whether the authorities were focused on the girl’s well-being or on punishing her but, on her Facebook page, well-known abstinence advocate Pam Stenzel and several (though not all, thankfully) commenters minced no words about their own assumptions about the girl. She was a heartless, selfish, callous, probably murderous whore as far as the (obviously) anti-choice people commenting on the situation were concerned.
To many anti-choicers, a young woman who is terrified, wracked in pain, and probably in shock should know exactly the correct protocol for what do while she’s in the midst of miscarrying a pregnancy and she should definitely prioritize the treatment of the recently expelled contents of her uterus over her own safety and health. Because of course she should, and if you think I’m exaggerating, behold this model legislation from Americans United for Life (emphasis mine):
Section 1. Title.
This Act may be known and cited as the “Unborn Infants Dignity Act.”
Section 2. Legislative Findings and Purpose
(a) The [Legislature] of the State of [Insert name of State] finds that:
(1) Deceased unborn infants deserve the same respect and dignity as other
(2) The laws of the State of [Insert name of State] do not ensure that
miscarried, stillborn, or aborted infants receive proper burials or final
…(b) Based on the findings in subsection (a), the purposes of this Act are to:
(1) Ensure that the mother of a deceased unborn infant is given the
opportunity to bury or dispose of the bodily remains of her infant with
dignity and respect;
(2) Require institutions where deceased unborn infants are delivered or where
unborn infants are aborted to provide a dignified final disposition of the
bodily remains of these infants;
(3) Require fetal death reports for all fetal deaths as defined in this Act;
(4) Ensure that parents of all stillborn infants are offered the opportunity to
obtain a [Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth];
(5) Prohibit the sale, transfer, distribution, or other unlawful disposition of an
infant, an unborn infant, or bodily remains resulting from an abortion;…
Some of that language seems to be about compassionate concern for grieving parents of lost babies and it’s certainly a nice idea to offer such people death certificates and other services. But the parts I have put in bold are how they telegraph the intention to criminalize both abortion providers and women who fail to make “dignified” arrangements for whatever the anti-choicers deem to be a “baby”. They’re going to get you one way or another.