So we haven't mentioned the A-word in a while...
South Dakota legislators are intent on reversing the good work their constituents did in the last election overturning their state's abortion ban with a couple of proposals. The most media-worthy one is the new statewide ban being proposed; it differs from last years in that it allows exceptions for rape and incest. However, these loopholes come with pretty strict limitations. Ms. Magazine reports:
" In addition to preventing the death of a woman, an abortion may be obtained in cases of rape or incest, but the victim must report the rape to the police within 50 days, the physician must obtain a copy of the report record, and the victim must provide either the name and last known address or a description of the alleged rapist to law enforcement. Furthermore, the physician would be required to take blood samples from the woman and the fetus to be submitted to law enforcement. "
Ms. goes on to mention (conveniently also left out in the local paper) that the bill also outlines why abortion is so wrong-including that "the pregnant mother's relationship with her child is inherently beneficial to the mother" and that "abortion is an unworkable method for a pregnant mother to give up, surrender, or waive her fundamental right to her relationship with her child." (thanks to Think Progress for this lead)
Far less publicized is another restriction proposed by SD Republican legislator, Rep Roger Hunt, which was approved by the state's House Health Committee on Friday to be put before the House. The bill would require doctors to show patients ultrasounds before performing abortions-- if a woman refuses, the doctor must have her sign a statement to go with her medical records.
In Arizona, another proposed bill would make doctors performing abortions collect even more information from women than their age, race, and marital status (as is already required). This bill requires that doctors also record the reason for the abortion, who referred her to the clinic, the weight of the fetus, and other personal information. The bill would also include RU-486 (the abortion pill) and possibly even the morning after pill (which could possibly, under the state's definition of abortion, qualify as one), which would boost the state's abortion count.
BUT Wyoming, on the other hand, rejected a 24-hour waiting period bill. (Check out a copy of the AP article here)
Finally, feministing.com cites an ABC article and points out the obvious silence in the newly-announced 2008 presidential candidates on the issue of choice. The contentious issue is taking a quiet back seat in an election where democrats are hoping to win the votes of independents and moderates.
And those are the highlights in the word of choice for today.