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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:17 AM

North Dakota battle over reproductive rights begins with anti-abortion hearing.

Source: The Guardian.

A new front in the battle over abortion and reproductive rights has opened in North Dakota, where state lawmakers are holding hearings into a series of draconian anti-abortion bills. The state, one of four in the US with only one abortion clinic, has already been rated as one of the worst for access to women's reproductive services, according to a report by Naral Pro-Choice America published last month.

Among the measures introduced by five proposed bills in the state include: defining a "person" as a fertilised human egg; enforcing penalties on physicians who perform abortions after a foetal heartbeat is detected; restricting abortions to women only in the event of a threat to life; and criminalising physicians who perform them. One of the bills proposed by North Dakota legislators is a copycat of a similar measure in Mississippi aimed at shutting down its only abortion clinic and making Mississippi the first state in the nation to be abortion-free. That bill, which requires a doctor performing abortions to be an obstetrician-gynecologist (ob-gyn) with admitting privileges, was passed in Mississippi, but is the subject of a federal legal challenge by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Jackson Women's Health Organisation, the clinic's owner.

Pro-choice activists nationally described the North Dakota proposals as extreme, unconstitutional and "dangerous to women". At the hearings, on Tuesday and Wednesday, lawmakers were told the measures would endanger women in difficult pregnancies and would restrict IVF treatment. Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), said:

"Anti-choice politicians in North Dakota have undertaken an all-out assault on women's constitutionally protected rights, introducing not one, but five bills that would end safe and legal abortion in the state. Whether through tactics that outright ban abortion or backdoor efforts to block women's access to reproductive healthcare providers, the end result is the same: women will be gravely harmed."

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/31/north-dakota-anti-abortion-bill-hearings



So North Dakota's big economic boom (fueled by "fracked" oil and natural gas) doesn't seem to have brought with it a corresponding up-surge in tolerance for others' beliefs or recognition of a woman's right to choose. Maybe they figure they now have enough money to pay some young women to stay in their benighted State?

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Reply North Dakota battle over reproductive rights begins with anti-abortion hearing. (Original post)
another_liberal Feb 2013 OP
Tagish_Charlie Feb 2013 #1
another_liberal Feb 2013 #2
cali Feb 2013 #5
SharonAnn Feb 2013 #3
another_liberal Feb 2013 #4

Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 12:50 PM

1. Requiring the Physician to be an OB-GYN

 

with admitting privileges makes medical sense to me. After all an abortion done for whatever reason IS a gynecological procedure and like any procedure there is always the chance for complications. Having someone who is properly trained in managing these issues is in the best interest of the patient. Would you want a Neurologist to perform your coronary bypass? Not so much. Being able to admit a woman to a hospital if something untoward develops is being responsible and keeps with a professional standard of care. With all that said, restrictions on abortion as proposed in ND and those that have been enacted in MS, Brownbackistan, etc are merely Tealiban measures to control women and turn them into second class citizens. My next question is when will the Tealiban try to prohibit women from seeing a male physician because that requires the doc to see a woman undressed and her nakedness would surely tempt, then lead him into adultery or fornication because she is a shameless harlot

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Response to Tagish_Charlie (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:08 PM

2. The "admitting privileges" requirement . . .

The "admitting privileges" requirement is a problem, if I understand correctly, because once that is in place, the anti-choice people need only make sure no abortion provider is granted such privileges by any local hospital, and the abortion clinic is effectively shut down. This can be fairly easily done through threats to the hospital administration that local anti-choice people are prepared to protest in front of the hospital and organize boycotts of its services. At least this method has been successful in areas where a strong anti-choice movement is present.

As to the rest of your comments, I agree completely. Have you ever read Margaret Atwood's novel, A Handmaid's Tale? It depicts the kind of World many of these anti-choice fanatics would have us live in. It is a truly chilling vision.

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Response to Tagish_Charlie (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:18 PM

5. the vast majority of abortions are very simple procedures

hardly in the same arena as a coronary bypass. That is an utterly absurd and sadly ignorant statement. first trimester abortions are just as safe when performed by a nurse-practitioner.

http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/01/13403/study-abortions-are-safe-when-performed-nurse-practitioners-physician-assistants

I live in Vermont where many abortions are performed by nurse-practitioners and other trained health practitioners. Women do not die here from abortion complications.

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Response to another_liberal (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 02:11 PM

3. Then only OB/Gyns can deliver babies, do hysterectomies, conduct Pap smears?

If they actually start restricting what Family Practice Doctors or GP's can do, then they would be consistent. But they're not.

It's not about women's health, it's about restricting access.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:06 PM

4. I'm sure you're right.

North Dakota is a small State in population yet it is hard to believe a majority of them really want to deny young women the choice of whether or not to have a child. I have no statistical evidence to support that supposition, but it's difficult to imagine the opposite is true. A campaign to organize in support of pro-choice, and against some of these anti-choice State politicians might produce good results. I'd like to think so anyway.

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