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The Republican war on women continues unabated. The same week that conservatives argued in the Supreme Court that employers should be able to stop their employees from getting contraception coverage outside of the company health plan, Indiana joined the ranks of states like Texas and Florida in passing a draconian law that purports to protect women while in fact endangering their health by making safe abortion much harder to get. Gov. Mike Pence signed it Thursday night.
The bill is one of those omnibus anti-choice bills Republicans are fond of these days, a giant bill stuffed with as many asinine restrictions on abortion with an eye towards making abortion as miserable and humiliating an experience as possible, and ideally something women can’t get legally at all. The sadism of the whole thing is truly breathtaking. Despite the legalistic language, it is as clearly woman-hating in its intent as anything Donald Trump tweets.
The bill requires doctors to offer “parents” the “remains” (which in most cases looks mostly like a really heavy period) after the abortion, a clear attempt to make women feel like they are child-killers just because they had a brainless embryo removed from their uterus. In the same vein, doctors are required to do an ultrasound where they try to obtain a heartbeat, just one more bit of anti-choice theater designed to make women feel bad. There’s also a misleadingly named “informed consent” requirement which actually is about feeding women lies to scare them into thinking abortion is dangerous when it is not.
On top of the humiliation rituals Indiana requires women to endure, the bill also has an admitting privileges requirement. On its surface, requiring abortion clinics to have transfer agreements with hospitals seems like a good thing, which is why anti-choice forces like this regulation. In reality, however, most hospitals only give privileges to clinics who actually admit a certain number of patients a year. Since abortion is incredibly safe and hospitalization is almost never required, most clinics can’t come up with the minimum number of admissions to get the admitting privileges. States who do this are requiring clinics to meet an impossible standard as a pretext to shut them down.
But the provision that is getting the most attention, no doubt because of the sheer sadism of it, is the ban on abortion for race, gender or disability. You can feel the self-satisfied gotcha-style pleasure of conservatives who came up with this one. How can you liberals be against this? It’s a ban on discrimination, and you guys love that stuff!