“Job, Jobs, Jobs…And By Jobs We Mean Abortion!” Part Two

byjobsThis past week, I wrote an article addressing the work that Republicans have been doing in Congress to pass new jobs extremely restrictive federal abortion legislation. Specifically, the article concentrated on the GOP’s claim that they have been working on job creation legislation, when in reality “job creation legislation” is really just a bad euphemism for abortion legislation. As I pointed out in that article, the purpose was not to address the merits or fallacies of the pro-life or pro-choice debates, rather it was to address the GOP’s claim (lie) that they are hard at work on jobs legislation; when the truth is that they could care less about creating jobs. Respectively, this article is also not meant to address the pro-life v. pro-choice debate. Rather, it is meant to survey the overwhelming amount of abortion legislation coming out of the states, in an attempt to prove that both Congressional Republicans and Republicans in control of state legislatures would rather spend your tax dollars trying to enact extreme pieces of abortion legislation (that are also most likely unconstitutional) instead of addressing unemployment.

Republicans claim to care about jobs. Malarkey. If that was true, maybe Rick Perry would have called a special session in Texas to pass infrastructure legislation — you know, the type of legislation that actually creates jobs by providing government contracts to private construction companies to repair roads and bridges. Kind of like how Republicans claim to care about life, but as Mother Jones notes, Republicans in Texas are, “too busy targeting abortion providers to deal with exploding fertilizer plants.” Meaning that at no point during the special session did Republicans address any new legislation that could potentially save lives, by enforcing stricter regulations on chemical plants like the one that exploded in West; proving once again that Republicans do not care about people who have been born. Oh the irony.

Further, one need not look too hard to see that jobs legislation is the furthest thing from the minds of Republican state legislators. I mean, how many jobs bills that were passed by Republican controlled legislatures have you heard of lately? Maybe a handful? I did an internet search and was hard pressed to find any state hard at work on a major omnibus jobs bill. Yet, everyday it seems like we hear about a new piece of drastically restrictive legislation that attempts to impinge on a woman’s constitutional right to choice. Funny how the GOP claims to respect the Constitution and constitutional law, isn’t it? But I digress.

As a starting point, it is important to understand the law regarding a woman’s right to choose. Only then can one understand the potential unconstitutionality of these pieces of legislation and why it is ridiculous that state legislatures are working on passing 20 week abortion bans, instead of working on jobs bills. As you all probably know, a woman’s constitutional right to choice initially starts with the landmark case, Roe v. Wade. In Roe, the Supreme Court held that the constitutional right to privacy, incorporated to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, provided women with a constitutional right to seek an abortion. Subsequently, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Court set forth a standard, known as the “undue burden” standard, to determine whether or not specific pieces of legislation restricting abortions were in violation of a woman’s right to choose. In that case, the Court upheld Pennsylvania’s 24-hour waiting period, informed consent, and parental consent requirements, holding that none constituted an undue burden, but struck down PA’s spousal notice requirement. Following Casey, there have been many challenges to state abortion restrictions, but none of the cases have yet to make it to the highest Court in the land. However, if the Supreme Court declines to hear a particular case, the ruling of the highest court to have decided the issue will stand. For instance, in May, a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judge struck down Arizona’s 20 week ban holding that it was blatantly unconstitutional. A similar 20 week ban has also been struck down in Idaho. Those rulings hold the force of law, unless and until the Supreme Court decides to hear those cases.

Based on these recent court rulings, you would think that maybe Republicans would get the message that they are wasting their time attempting to pass legislation that will most likely be ruled unconstitutional, and would instead get back to work on jobs bills. Not the case. Here is just a sampling of the jobs abortion bills (snicker) that Republican controlled state legislatures are working on, all of which are so called TRAP laws — “excessive and unnecessary government regulations… [designed to] increase the cost and scarcity of abortion services, [thereby] harming women’s health and inhibiting their reproductive choices.” Jobs be damned! Actually, come to think of it, they are more like anti-jobs bills, since passing laws whose effect is to close clinics means that the people who work at those clinics will become unemployed, if and when the clinics are forced to close.

Texas: House Bill 2  would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require that the procedure be performed at ambulatory surgical centers, mandate that doctors who perform abortions obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and that even nonsurgical abortions take place in a surgical center.

Alabama: Women in Alabama will not be able to obtain “abortion pills” via telemedicine, doctors must ask the name and age of the fetus’ father, and must have hospital-admitting privileges. For the record, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the admitting privileges requirement.

Ohio: The bill, which Gov. Kasich has already signed into law, forces doctors to tell their patients how much personal income they would lose if they did not perform abortions, makes ultrasounds mandatory, requires doctors to give women medically disputed information about pain felt by fetuses and mentions the debunked link between abortion and breast cancer, lengthens the mandatory waiting period, and threatens physicians with a felony and a fine of up to $1 million if they fail to comply with the laws.

North Carolina: Republicans added abortion restricting amendments to an “anti Sharia law” bill that would prevent state health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act from offering policies that cover abortion, restrict doctors’ ability to administer abortion-inducing medication, and impose regulations on abortion clinics that would most likely shut down all but one clinic in the state.

Wisconsin: Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill on Friday that would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound and would bar doctors without admitting privileges at local hospitals from performing abortions.

Kansas: Would ban abortions at 20 weeks and ban abortion providers from holding discussions or lecturing in school sex education programs.

Mississippi: Requires the sole abortion clinic in the state to have hospital admitting privileges that are unobtainable (the law has been blocked by a federal judge).

South Dakota: Women must wait 72 hours after consulting a doctor to obtain an abortion, and those hours must fall on a business day.

Virginia: Requires women seeking abortions to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds.

North Dakota:  The North Dakota State Senate passed two anti-abortion bills. One bill would prevent women from having abortions as soon as the fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, and the other bans abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities such as Down Syndrome.

Indiana: Women are now required to obtain a medically unnecessary ultrasound before receiving an abortion.

I’m going to leave it there, because as the list goes on, I get more disgusted at the numerous attempts to impinge on women’s constitutional rights – and worse, without exceptions for rape, incest, or severely deformed fetuses that have no chance of survival outside of the womb, thereby essentially forcing women to carry non-viable fetuses to term. If you want more information you can check out this handy map provided by NARAL, especially since the law is constantly changing both by legislative efforts and by court rulings. Suffice to say, if Republicans are working on jobs legislation they aren’t doing a good job of making it known. In closing, as I said last time, and I will say again, in the words of the great Rachel Maddow, “jobs, jobs, jobs… and by jobs they mean abortion.”

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Ilyssa Fuchs

Ilyssa Fuchs is an attorney, freelance writer, and activist from New York City, who holds both a juris doctor and a political science degree. She is the founder of the popular Facebook page Politically Preposterous and a blog of the same name. Follow Ilyssa on Twitter @IlyssaFuchs, and be sure to check out her archives on Forward Progressives as well!

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  • chris

    Because this is what republicans do they want to shove their beliefs down everyone’s throat not only is it not right its a waste of taxpayers money”

  • Gigi

    And are they working on legislation to provide prenatal care to the increased resulting pregnancies, increased funding for birth control to prevent pregnancies, increased funding for preschool programs and public education, increased funding for child healthcare and funding for therapy for the trauma victims forced to continue an incestuous or rape pregnancy? Or are they going to tell these pregnant women and new mothers to stop depending on the government and get a job? Oh! That’s the GOP’s job plan!!!

  • Ursula

    I’m as pro choice as the next person, but I’m pretty sure if the Republicans had more control over the abortion debate, other parties would be trying to pass bills constantly trying to make abortion more accessible. All I’m trying to say is that it’s all about perspective– yes, it really sucks that Republicans aren’t focusing on creating jobs, but if the roles were reversed, don’t you think Democrats would be doing the same thing?

    • Jason Fantroy

      Shut your mouth and get back in the kitchen. Don’t like the sound of that? I just shortened what the Republicans are saying and doing all over the country, because as a woman you couldn’t possibly have read that entire article and been like, “meh, that’s not so bad”.

  • jerrymyers

    I guess the REps think that the pre and post natal care, the surge in doctor, nurse, and drugs required by more births, the baby sitters, teachers, clothes, food, and etc. needed for more people will far outweigh the loss of jobs in abortion clinics, etc… Of course, when it comes to more jobs, freedom of choice is irrelevant… Sounds like the kind of logic that would come from the Right if they could think…

  • Ann-Marie Heschle

    I have the fix for all of this. This should be a sure fire way to even prevent a women from ever needing an abortion. When boys come of age…they donate sperm to a bank and then have a vasectomy. When he and the person he is with want to have a child they can withdraw from the bank. 😀

  • Charles Vincent

    SCOTUS talked about viability and put the number at 24 weeks. From what I understand “viability” hinges on how the fetus is able to survive outside the womb and grow like a natural born baby.
    SCOTUS also held that “The Court additionally added that the primary right being preserved in the Roe decision was that of the physician’s right to practice medicine freely absent a compelling state interest – not women’s rights in general.”
    Another, and I think more relevant argument would be to argue that if a person assaults a pregnant woman regardless of how far along in the pregnancy she is if she loses the baby as a result of the perpetrators assault it’s a murder charge, so one has to ask how can it be murder if at what ever point this occurred, then why wouldn’t an abortion be considered murder during any of the same time frame?
    i.e. if it isn’t considered a life in terms of the abortion it shouldn’t be considered murder in the case of a woman being assaulted and losing the pregnancy because it isn’t alive.

  • Charles Vincent

    Here is the law I was referencing in my other post.
    “The Unborn Victims of Violence Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-212) is a United States law which recognizes a child in utero as a legal victim, if he or she is injured or killed during the commission of any of over 60 listed federal crimes of violence. The law defines “child in utero” as “a member of the species Homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb”.[1]
    The law is codified in two sections of the United States Code: Title 18, Chapter 1 (Crimes), §1841 (18 USC 1841) and Title 10, Chapter 22 (Uniform Code of Military Justice) §919a (Article 119a).
    The law applies only to certain offenses over which the United States government has jurisdiction, including certain crimes committed on Federal properties, against certain Federal officials and employees, and by members of the military. In addition, it covers certain crimes that are defined by statute as federal offenses wherever they occur, no matter who commits them, such as certain crimes of terrorism.
    Because of principles of federalism embodied in the United States Constitution, Federal criminal law does not apply to crimes prosecuted by the individual states. However, 36 states also recognize the fetus or “unborn child” as a crime victim, at least for purposes of homicide or feticide.[2]”

    • Ilyssa

      You make an interesting legal point re the criminal statutes I would need to further research. Moreover, while your assertion about Roe (physician’s right to practice medicine freely absent a compelling state interest – not women’s rights in general) still stands you must remember it was modified by the holding in Planned Parenthood v. Casey to a certain degree in regards to a woman’s (and man’s) liberty interest, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.”

      • Charles Vincent

        Also in the decision it was noted what viability meant in terms of the fetus rights the big thing was viability and the quickening of the fetus which basically means the baby is moving seems to be the line in common law back as far as the 1700’s as far as I can tell with the cursory research I have done.