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Over the last couple of years I’ve seen a bunch of anti-abortion laws passed, mostly in the United States, where the underlying premise is frankly infuriating.

NB: This rant will include be stronger language than is normally used here, and possible triggers.

That premise is the assumption that a woman seeking an abortion is not a responsible adult.

That the woman is instead a naughty child who just needs a good talking to so that she will make the “right” decision.

I think that the most common example of this is mandatory, and often grossly biased, “counselling”. This sort of “counselling”, according to this link, is often associated with mandatory waiting or “cooling off” periods.

To me this means that the law starts from an assumption that a woman seeking an abortion hasn’t really thought through the consequences.

i.e. These sorts of laws take the position that a woman cannot be assumed to be a responsible adult who has already given reasonable consideration to her available options.

As someone who sees himself as a bumper sticker feminist, my reaction to this is: fuck off [1].

Seriously, just fuck off.

That assumption is completely, totally, incompatible with equal rights for women; it denies women a presumption of responsibility that is inherently granted to men throughout the legal system.

Such laws mean that women are not citizens, they are subjects, and this is not to be borne.

For an abortion law to be minimally acceptable to me it must demonstrate that assumption of responsibility on the part of women.

It must assume that a woman is a responsible, reasonable, adult who is likely to give rational consideration to her situation. That includes protection of her health and safety [2].

The other completely unacceptable restriction that I wanted to mention is the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound.

First, and most importantly, I see this as legally mandated rape. It should be fucking obvious that requiring a woman to accept, against her will, the insertion of a sensor into her vagina is rape.

Second, it is also legally mandated oath breaking since the first point means that the doctor administering the transvaginal ultrasound must be violating the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. To a lesser extent this makes a victim of the doctor (which I don’t think is an accident).

I find it hard to believe that these realisations are beyond the capabilities of those passing the relevant laws. That, to my mind, makes this sort of law a deliberate act of evil.

Either treat women like responsible adults, or fucking go home.



[1] I came this close to adding “and die” to that.


[2] I freely admit to being a typically ignorant male when it comes to the physical realities of pregnancies, but even I am aware that pregnancies such as ectopic pregnancies can be lethal to the mother.