New laws in a US state that torture women who want abortions are being suggested by an Australian MP. Oklahoma state law mandates that all women wanting a (perfectly legal) abortion must first endure a vaginal ultrasound and be forced to look at a 3D image of the foetus and listen to a detailed description of it by the clinician. This law applies to all women, regardless of whether her life is in danger, the foetus deformed or unviable, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
Jane Caro writes clearly and powerfully about the absurd idea that this law is a good thing. Tellingly, her statistics vary wildly from those of WA Liberal MP, Peter Abetz, who wants such laws in Australia. He says 89% of women change their mind after enduring this assault, she says none do. Instead, women leave the clinic in tears, enormously upset and quite possibly, emotionally scarred by what they’ve been forced to endure.
What I want to know is, where do these ideas come from? Legislators in Oklahoma, heavily influenced by the religious right, decided this was a sure-fire way to reduce the number of abortions. But what research was that assumption based on? What on earth made them think such abuse of a woman already suffering, would change her mind? This deeply religious belief simply demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what goes through a woman’s head when she’s contemplating abortion.
And let’s not be coy about this – inserting a wand into a woman’s vagina without her consent is rape.
Women are given the legal right to abortion, but they’re being punished for accessing it. This legislation requires clinical staff to literally torture already-distressed patients. A kind of torture that can only be imposed upon women because biologically, they must physically carry the burden of whatever circumstances required her to need an abortion in the first place. No father can be tortured for his mistakes in such a manner.
The people who make such decisions are never those who pay for them. It’s only too easy to sit in an ivory tower and force other people to comply with your personal convictions. Peter Abetz was a pastor for 25 years before he entered politics to fight abortion. Isn’t there something better his religious convictions could drive him to? Such as extending compassion and understanding to those in need? Or does he not think such women deserve it?