Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Arizona Legislature Notices Janet Napolitano is no Longer Governor, Crams Every Previously Vetoed Abortion Restriction into Single Law

The new Arizona law that massively restricts access to abortion and emergency contraception is scheduled to kick in at the end of this month. The first lawsuits were filed yesterday. Most of the provisions were included in bills vetoed at least once by former governor Janet Napolitano, although at least one rather audacious restriction was tossed in for good measure, just because they can.
Among other things, the new law includes a provision that prohibits nurse practitioners from performing abortions, a move expected to shrink services in Southern Arizona to a level at which women will be forced to go to Phoenix for the procedure, said Patti Caldwell, the chief operating officer of Planned Parenthood Arizona. It also allows health-care and pharmacy employees to refuse to take part in any way in abortions or to fill related prescriptions if they have moral or religious objections. [...]

Other provisions of the new law require that minors provide notarized parental consent for an abortion and that a woman make a face-to-face visit with the abortion provider within 24 hours before the procedure or emergency contraception such as the "morning-after pill" can be prescribed.

That last bit is the one that made me choke on my Kashi this morning. A mandatory 24-hour waiting period before EC can be prescribed? When it's a nonprescription medication? Hmm. Nancy Barto says "expanding the law to cover the morning-after pill simply updates existing laws covering abortions," cheerfully continuing to falsely conflate emergency contraception with abortion, which it most assuredly is not. A reading of the text of the House bill suggests the Daily Star got the bit wrong about a waiting period before acquiring EC, since there is no mention of it either there or in the Senate version (although the conscience clause exemption specific to pharmacists not wanting to hand it over still stands). But hang on, there's still more than enough bullshit to go around.

Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, the legislation's sponsor, said all the provisions are good policy to protect the health of women as well as being legally sound. Barto defended the 24-hour waiting period — and specifically the requirement for face-to-face counseling — rather than allowing a woman to get the information over the phone and avoid having to make a second trip.

"This ensures that they get the information that they need and the attention that they get for their own health," she said.

Because lord knows the primary societal effect of the Information Age has been limiting the delivery and comprehension of information to face-to-face interactions. Phone? Internet? It's a wonder people can even order a pizza any more with the intervention of these confounded electrical instruments, much less raise the local constabulary! But wait! It gets even better, where "better" means "completely assfucked sideways with a chainsaw and no lube."

The requirement, however, does not stop there. The law says certain information can be given to women only by the physician who will perform the abortion and not a nurse or other staffer.

Shade your eyes. This one really requires shouting. Because LORD KNOWS THE ONLY DOCTOR CURRENTLY PROVIDING ABORTION SERVICES IN ALL OF SOUTHERN FUCKING ARIZONA FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD HAS NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH A 16-HOUR DAY THAN HOLD FACE-TO-FACE COUNSELING SESSIONS. Can Cathi Herrod, chief harpy of the Center for Arizona Policy, clear this up for us? Of course she can.

"Finally, Arizona is taking care of the needs of women facing the abortion decision, as well as parents and health-care professionals," said Cathi Herrod, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, which lobbied for the legislation.

Finally. Up, down. Black, white. Charlie Weis, football genius. Arizona, taking care of women's needs. How nice to be taken care of like this. Throw enough roadblocks up between a woman and one of her options in "the abortion decision" and the decision pretty much makes itself for her, doesn't it? Which, unfortunately, is exactly the point.

The hearing on Planned Parenthood's requested injunction is scheduled for next week. Can you feel the optimism from BoltCorner? Me neither.

No comments: