Alabama Republicans Too Stupid To Know Infanticide Is Already Illegal
Just this past week, US News ranked Alabama 49th in the nation for education, with the lowest overall reading and math scores. They probably would have ranked 50th, but there was no data for their high school graduation rates.
The five states ranked best in the country for education were Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Connecticut, in that order.
Also, this week, the Alabama House passed a bill that would make it a punishable crime for doctors to refuse to treat babies "born alive" after abortion.
If a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion, the physician who performed the abortion or attempted the abortion shall exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious physician would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age. Failure to do so is a Class 23 B felony and is punishable by not less than 20 years in state prison and a fine of not less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
More than 90 percent of abortions occur before 13 weeks. Only 1.3 percent of abortions occur after 21 weeks. The current law in Alabama -- not the horrorshow that just passed -- prohibits abortion after 23 weeks. Premature births at 22 weeks have a 0-3 percent survival rate, and premature "births" at 21 weeks have a survival rate of 0 percent.
There are not babies being "born alive" after abortions and then left to die because no one wants them. That's not a damn thing, and even when pressed, Alabama Republicans could not come up with a single example of this having happened. They just feel in their hearts that it does.
What can happen, rarely, is a medical situation where doctors must induce labor because the mother's life is at risk. In these cases, the children are wanted, but do not always survive because -- as mentioned just one paragraph ago -- the survival rates on premature babies are not great. That being said, federal law states that as soon as someone is born, they're a person, and therefore entitled to all rights thereof. One of those rights is that no one can kill you, legally. Doctors have an obligation to save lives, but when there is a situation—regardless of how old the person is!!!—where the patient has no chance of survival, the next of kin is given the option to continue or not continue with life-saving efforts. That is how things work.
It's almost as if there is some kind of connection between passing a law this stupid and having the worst reading comprehension skills in the nation.
Is that mean, Alabama Republicans? Am I being an asshole? Do you not particularly like hearing some Yankee looking down on you and calling you stupid? Good. Now you know how it feels.
Because you know what is also mean? This bill. Because the impetus behind this bill is that you believe that women are fucking evil. That doctors are basically evil. That evil women and evil doctors are colluding in order to murder babies, for no other reason than that they are cruel and selfish.
That is sick. You are sick. That is a horrible thing to think about people.
I'm going to toss out another statistic here. Guess which state has the lowest infant mortality rate? That would again be Massachusetts, where I was born. Take notice—I am not dead. Coincidence? I think not. Though Alabama doesn't have the highest infant mortality rate (that honor belongs to Mississippi, another state that is pulling this shit), it is in the top ten. They're not doing well.
These infants aren't dying because cruel women and evil doctors are murdering them after they are born for shits and giggles.
Maybe instead of sitting around all day stewing about the evil nature of women and doctors, getting increasingly angry about how they are obviously all plotting to serial kill infants after they are born, Alabama could get its shit together and figure out what they could actually do about their terrible infant mortality rate. Perhaps they might even think about taking the Medicaid expansion. You know, because they care so much about the babies and that would mean that more expectant mothers would have access to medical care. Which would, perhaps, save some of the lives of the babies they are clearly so very concerned about.
One of the primary ways of determining one's skill in reading comprehension is whether or not someone, when given all of the facts of a situation, comes to the correct conclusion. Try again, Alabama.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse