The war on women's medical rights | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The war on women's medical rights

Posted By on Tue, Mar 10, 2015 at 7:22 AM

Planned Parenthood will turn out supporters at the Capitol today where they'll be met with cold shoulders if not outright hostility from the Republican majority intent on limiting women's reproductive rights.

So far this session, consider:

HB 1578: to require  "informed consent" counseling in person by a physician 48 hours before an abortion.

HB 1394: Passed in the House and pending in the Senate to ban "off-label" (and proved safer) use of a miscarriage-inducing drug in the earliest stages of pregnancy.

HB 1421: To require doctors with admitting privileges to nearby hospits who work in abortion clinics.

SB 569: To deny funds to Planned Parenthood for sex education and STD-prevention work because it also provides abortions or abortion counseling. (First Amendment? What's that?)

HB 1407: A bill to require "dignified" disposal of fetal remains.

HB 1376: A bill to expand assault and battery charges by granting personhood to fetuses.

SB 53: To prohibit women from seeing a doctor by Internet connection to take a pill that could induce a miscarriage.

HB 1424: This bill — by Rep. Justin Harris — would complicate the judicial bypass procedure for minors seeking an abortion, perhaps to the point it would be unconstitutional (as if that matters to legislators.) It would restrict access, redefine consent; strip the exception of parental notice in cases of rape or incest; require seeking a bypass in a woman's home county. Justin Harris purports to look out for the safety of young wornen? Please. It's on a House committee agenda today.

HB 1228: A "conscience protection" bill that could allow people in a position to provide medical services to refuse to do so on religious grounds.

On the subject of reproduction, there's also HB 1534, a "higher education action plan" proposal to provide information at colleges to discourage unplanned pregnancies. This appears well-intentioned. There's no mention of distribution of contraceptives, unfortunately.

Rep. Scott Flippo also filed SB 1050 yesterday, a shell bill targeting abortion clinics.

And, finally, on the subject of lady parts, how can we forget the Teabagger Twins from Jonesboro — Cooper and Smith — who've introduced a bill to make a felony of genital mutilation? Until now, we didn't know it was an issue in Craighead County. It has been a federal crime since 1996, too, but the legislature's motto is, above all, stay busy. What's a couple thousand bills over the course of 60 to 80 days? These folks have the brains and brawn to get it done right.

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