"It is the public policy of the state of Missouri that the life of each human being begins at conception, and that unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being."
Say what? The state of Missouri is going to take a philosophical position on the question of when life begins? Viability of a human being? The existence of a human soul? Say the hell what????
House Bills Nos. 46 and 434, sponsored by Bryan Pratt and Cynthia Davis, would include language that says just that. Additionally, it would criminalize something called "coercive abortion." This odd concept apparently involves family members, employers, partners, and physicians ganging up on pregnant women and trying to talk them into getting abortions. It is so rampant, apparently, that we need a law against it.
This foot-in-the-door crap is just another way to try to chip away at my reproductive freedom and privacy that is guaranteed by the Roe v. Wade decision. These folks would have you believe that women need some "unbiased" informed consent. So the "unbiased" information needs to include, in addition to the quasi-religious philosophical statement above, the following:
The physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or a qualified professional has presented the woman, in person, printed materials provided by the department or an informational video provided by the department, which describes the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at two-week gestational increments from conception to full term, including color photographs or images of the developing unborn child at two-week gestational increments. Such descriptions shall include information about brain and heart functions, the presence of external members and internal organs during the applicable stages of development and information on when the unborn child is viable.
The physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or a qualified professional shall provide the woman with the opportunity to view an active ultrasound of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat is audible. The woman shall be provided with a geographically indexed list maintained by the department of health and senior services of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that perform ultrasounds, including those that offer ultrasound services free of charge. Such materials shall provide contact information for each provider, facility, or clinic including telephone numbers and, if available, web site addresses. Should the woman decide to obtain an ultrasound from a provider, facility, or clinic other than the abortion facility, the woman shall be offered a reasonable time to obtain the ultrasound examination before the date and time set for performing or inducing an abortion. The person conducting the ultrasound shall ensure that the active ultrasound image is of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community, contains the dimensions of the unborn child, and accurately portrays the presence of external members and internal organs, if present or viewable, of the unborn child. The auscultation of fetal heart tone must also be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community
Prior to an abortion being performed or induced on an unborn child of twenty-two weeks of gestational age or older, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or a qualified professional has presented the woman, in person, printed materials provided by the department or an informational video provided by the department that offers information on the possibility of the abortion causing pain to the unborn child. This information shall include, but not be limited to the following:
(a) At least by twenty-two weeks of gestational age, the unborn child possesses all the anatomical structures, including pain receptors, spinal cord, nerve tracts, thalamus, and cortex, that are necessary in order to feel pain;
(b) A description of the actual steps in the abortion procedure to be performed or induced, and at which steps the abortion procedure could be painful to the unborn child;
(c) There is evidence that by twenty-two weeks of gestational age, unborn children seek to evade certain stimuli in a manner that in an infant or an adult would be interpreted as a response to pain;
(d) Anesthesia is given to unborn children who are twenty-two weeks or more gestational age who undergo prenatal surgery;
(e) Anesthesia is given to premature children who are twenty-two weeks or more gestational age who undergo surgery;
(f) Anesthesia or an analgesic is available in order to minimize or alleviate the pain to the unborn child;
There's more. If you want to read the full text of the bill, click here.
When you're at your physician's office and done with this freak-show of a guilt-trip of "unbiased" information, then the bill would have you wait 24 hours, pondering all of this, which you have been provided in writing. Also, posted all over the physician's office, in large writing, are the signs reminding you what felonious behaviors your partner, family members, or friends may have engaged in by talking to you about having an abortion.
Am I the only person who isn't getting an "unbiased" feeling from this piece of legislation? Additionally, Senator Tom Dempsey, of St. Peters, MO, wants to require doctors to ask women their specific reason for seeking an abortion. He thinks this information would be "helpful" to policymakers. This is a separate but related gem of legislative stupidity. Senator Demspey, it would be helpful to me if you mind your own damn business, do the job your were elected to do, and get your head out from between the stirups in my gynecological exam room!
I come back to the bottom line where I always do on this issue. If men could give birth, we would never be discussing this. It is one of the great sexist issues left in our state and national governmental bodies, still controlled primary by a bunch of guys, that we can't just get that this is medical issue between a woman and her doctor and it's just none of the government's business! For a party who is always for less governmental control, the conservatives sure do want to be involved in the most personal decisions possible in a person's life. These new legislative proposals are complete bullshit. Get your sexist, religious-based governing style out of my doctor's office.