Eye On Modesto

Thoughts and observations about Modesto and Stanislaus County

Archive for the day “April 19, 2012”

How Republicans Are Redefining the Lives of American Women

By EOM Staff

As we all know, many states are attempting to restrict access to abortions.  Most people agree that a woman needs to have access to a safe and legal abortion when she is pregnant as the result of rape.  However, the far right disagrees and their efforts to ban abortion in cases of rape have led them to “redefine” rape.  Their favorite phrase is now “forcible rape”.  If a man slips a couple of roofies into a woman’s drink at a bar and she is unconscious and unable to say “no”, that is NOT a forcible rape.  If a man holds a gun to a woman’s head while raping her and she doesn’t fight back, that is NOT a forcible rape.  Forcible rape means that the woman was injured during the rape.  So, if a man is attempting to rape you, be sure to get beat up so you can prove you were raped.

And now Arizona has redefined when a woman becomes pregnant.  Typically, a doctor will find out what was the woman’s first day of her last period, then add two weeks to determine when she became pregnant.  It’s not exact, but it has worked well for many, many years.  But in Arizona, Governor Jan Brewer (R) just signed a bill that states that a woman IS already pregnant on the first day of her period.  So, even though the woman may not have had sex recently, she is still considered to be pregnant.  I wonder if a virgin is considered to be pregnant on the first day of her period.  There is a reason Arizona is ignoring medical science and biology….and that is to restrict a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.  Arizona does not allow abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, except in extreme cases.  They have not defined “extreme cases”.   The vast majority of abortions are performed within the first 12 weeks.  The few that take place around the 20th week are to save the life of the mother or in cases where the fetus has severe abnormalities.  By redefining when a pregnancy begins, Arizona is now limiting abortions performed after the 18th week, instead of the 20th week.  Here’s the problem….a lot of genetic testing can’t be done until the 16th to 20th weeks of pregnancy.  Testing for conditions like Tay-Sachs.  A child born with Tay-Sachs lives only 4 to 5 years, in pain their entire lives.  They become blind, deaf, unable to swallow and paralytic.  The ONLY treatment is to “make them as comfortable as possible”.  This means to attempt to lessen their constant pain.  Now in the past in Arizona, if a woman’s fetus is tested for a genetic condition like Tay-Sachs in the actual 18th week of her pregnancy, gets the results in two weeks and finds out her fetus has Tay-Sachs, she would be able to end the pregnancy at 20 weeks.  But with the redefinition of when pregnancy begins, Arizona would consider her to be 20 weeks pregnant when she had the test, 22 weeks when she gets the results, and prohibited from ending the pregnancy.

It’s a very under-handed way of limiting a woman’s right to choose what is best for her and her family and even for the fetus inside her.  These are heart-rending decisions women in these positions make.  But no longer….Arizona has made the decision for them.  They will be forced to give birth to a child who will suffer it’s entire, short life.  Because obviously, Arizona knows what is best for women in that state.  Not the women.  Not their physicians.  Just the state.

If you don’t believe there is a war on women, you haven’t been paying attention.


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