If you’re a woman and you have been pregnant, there’s a decent chance you’ve had a miscarriage, or even an abortion. Out of every pregnancy, as many as 25 percent end in a miscarriage. This a common and sad fact of human reproduction, but now Ohio lawmakers want women to sign a form to keep a record not only of their abortions, but miscarriages as well.
Representative Barbara Sears is a sponsor of the bill, and while she is an anti-abortion conservative, she claims this has nothing to do with interfering with women’s reproductive rights.
“The idea of respectfully treating the remains of an infant who has been aborted, I think is critical. And I think that you can see how we treat our own childhood pets when we are disposing of them in a respectful way, you know I think that people are shocked. And I don’t think that it matters whether you are Republican or Democrat or Independent or oblivious to politics all together.”
Representative Robert McColley says there are still details to work out…such as whether there would be specific cemeteries for the bodies or places where cremains could be spread. Right now, in Ohio, he says the state does not record the names of women who get abortions and he says while the state would require all women to sign this form, the goal would not be to start a statewide registry of sorts. (Source)
This bill comes on the heels of a fake scandal from Ohio Republicans who claim to be shocked that medical waste from abortions and miscarriages were disposed of by Planned Parenthood in a landfill.
Enduring a miscarriage or an abortion is already hard enough for women, and this proposed law would add intentional extra shame and mental anguish to the experience of a lost pregnancy, planned or not.
Across the country, anti-abortion activists have learned that they cannot outright ban abortion or completely cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, so they’ve introduced all sorts of laws to infringe on a woman’s right to choose. There have been doctored videos intended to incite the far right against Planned Parenthood, that were promoted and cited by Carly Fiorina and the conservative media, which likely contributed to three people being murdered in Colorado Springs by a deranged individual.
This legislation is intended to shame women and it is extremely intrusive. It’s par for the course for a political party which claims to abhor big government, but wants to keep record of every lost pregnancy in the state of Ohio, whether through medical procedure or accidental.
As someone who was an anti-abortion activist as a teenager growing up in the Republican Party, I can tell you that this has nothing to do with medical records, and everything to do with shaming women.
By wrapping miscarriages in with abortions, Ohio Republicans are trying to use a ginned up controversy to give medical credibility to their assertion that life begins at conception. The idea is shameful, embarrassing, and exactly what anti-choice activists want in order to further the decades-old campaign against Roe v. Wade.
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