Thursday, December 14, 2006

I've seen some crazy things...

but this has to be near the top of the list. There appears to be a scarcity of coverage and comment on this issue, which is surprising given its outrageousness. The provided link is to a page where you can view the actual legislation, but as I understand it, the law, which was passed by the Michigan House, boils down to the following:

A health care provider must carry out "coercion and intimidation screening" on their patient before performing the procedure. This apparently involves asking if anyone has tried to influence the patient to have the abortion.

Ok, that seems to be somewhat intrusive in that the government probably shouldn't be telling health care providers what questions to ask their patients, and it assumes that women can't fend for themselves, and it generally exhibits a "parental" attitude on the part of government that I personally find reprehensible and against the principles of freedom that this country was founded on... BUT at least a decent argument could be made that this is a question a doctor should probably ask his patient as a matter of course in regard to any potentially dangerous elective procedure.

However, they don't stop there. If the results of this screening (or interrogation, however you want to look at it) turn out to be that the patient believes that someone has tried to influence her to get the abortion, it then becomes a criminal matter. Yes, the person (but only if that person is a male, as far as I can tell) who allegedly tried to exert this influence will now be investigated for committing a crime.

But I have buried the lead. The idea behind this law is that a boyfriend or husband commits a crime if he threatens to move out, divorce, or withdraw financial support from the pregnant female if she doesn't get an abortion. The definitions involved in these "threat(s)" are rather murky. In fact, from what I've been able to gather, they are ambiguous in the extreme, and actually contradictory.

It is worth noting here that this is a crime even if the husband or boyfriend is not the father of the unborn child(!). Thus, if you are a male, and your live-in girlfriend cheats on you, and gets pregnant through such cheating, and you threaten to move out if she has the baby, you will be investigated, prosecuted, fined up to $5000, and jailed for up to 1 year.

Needless to say, the NOW and the ACLU are against this. Also needless to say, if there was such a thing as the National Organization for Men, they would be against it as well.

This bill passed easily, by a vote of 67-38.

My take on this is as follows:

1. The Michigan House is a bunch of asshats;

2. Said asshats are either: (i) extremely stupid, (ii) evil, or (iii) both.

3. If this law is ultimately passed, it will (and should) even further increase the disrespect citizens have for all other laws (is this a shocking statement? it shouldn't be. the whole reason people should (and generally do) abide by laws that they don't agree with is because of a thing called the "social contract", and everytime a bunch of fucking asshats pass a law like this, it increases the mountain of evidence we have which shows that the government has irreparably breached this contract, making it non-binding on the other contracting party (i.e., us, the citizens)).

1 comment:

Gleemonex said...

I love the way you analyze this -- my incoherent sputtering rage really doesn't get the point across nearly as well.