Aug 22, 2011
New state laws in Arizona have forced Planned Parenthood to close seven of its ten state clinics there. Abortion services for women are now limited to the cities of Tucson and Phoenix. As the Planned Parenthood spokesperson said, it’s a matter of “rules that have no medical significance and just creating barriers.”
In 2009, Arizona laws forced women seeking an abortion to see a doctor 24 hours prior and hear a lecture on risks and alternatives – as if the women were incapable of understanding these things for themselves! This year, another law prohibited nurse practitioners from supervising drug-induced abortions. This law forced the seven clinics to close. Arizona women unlucky enough to live far from Tucson or Phoenix now have fewer, more difficult, and more risky options.
Arizona is not alone. Over half of the states have put extra barriers in the way of women, especially young and poor women, who want abortions. And last year, 13 states passed laws preventing health insurers from covering abortions. More than 350 other restrictive laws have passed across the country in the last decade.
The attack on women’s rights includes the Texas state legislature cutting off two-thirds of previous funding for family planning – while adding $300,000 in aid to a church-supported pregnancy crisis center that does NOT refer clients to any abortion provider. A Texas state representative said it outright: “We are trying to shut down abortions in Texas, and doing that through cutting off the purse strings.”
But not all women will have their “purse strings” cut, and lose their right to make their own personal decisions about their own personal bodies. Wealthy women, and the women favored by wealthy men, have never had a problem getting whatever medical care they wanted, including abortions in safe, sanitary, professional facilities.
No, the attack on poor and working women’s rights is not because of any medical reason. It is for politicians’ own purposes. Firstly, to pander to a small section of voters who are religious fanatics. But secondly, to fasten those religious prejudices from the Middle Ages onto the rest of the population, the better to divide, confuse, and rule.
A Christian sharia is no better than an Islamic one. And in this country, it’s worse – because it has the weight of government behind it.