The Bad Ohio Abortion Bill Exists Because Anti-Choicers Know They Can Just Make Sh*t Up
Late last month, Ohio legislators introduced what is quite possibly the most restrictive anti-abortion law in the history of the United States.
It is also, without a doubt, the stupidest law anyone has ever attempted to pass, possibly in the history of the world, period. Yes, this includes all of those stupid laws you find in listicles and email chain letters about stupid state laws, like the ones about how it's illegal to use utensils to eat fried chicken in Georgia or how it's illegal to collect seaweed at night in New Hampshire. Why? Because those are things it is actually humanly possible to do. If you will notice, there are no laws anywhere regulating telekinesis or human-centaur marriages, because those are not real things.
As you may have heard by now, state Rep, Candice Keller's Ohio House Bill 413 would not only make performing or obtaining an abortion a felony, but it would also require doctors to attempt to re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into a patient's uterus, a thing it is simply not medically possible to do.
It also prescribes the death penalty in cases of "aggravated abortion," which includes the following:
No person shall purposely perform an abortion while committing or attempting to commit kidnapping, rape, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated robbery, robbery, aggravated burglary, burglary, trespass in a habitation when a person is present or likely to be present, terrorism, or escape.
Because so many people go to rob a house, purposely picking one with a pregnant lady inside, take all her valuables and then perform a quick D&C, right?
I suppose that despite the fact that a crime like this has not even happened on an episode of SVU or Criminal Minds, it is theoretically possible. It "could" happen — except for the arson one, that is not happening — but it is very definitely already illegal. It's not legal to perform any medical operation on someone without some form of consent. It's not as if you can just go and Marathon Man someone and then not go to prison.
Abortion laws based on shit that anti-choice people just made up are nothing new. In fact, nearly all of the anti-abortion regulations and attempted regulations over the past several years are based entirely in anti-choice pipe dreams:. Legally requiring doctors to lie to their patients and tell them abortion causes breast cancer when it doesn't; heartbeat bills making abortion illegal before the heart is even developed; "pain-capable" fetuses that are not, in fact, pain-capable; trying to keep rape victims from being able to get abortions because of magic duck vaginas that can just "shut that whole thing down" in cases of "legitimate rape."
"Admitting privileges"? Literally not a thing that will do anything for you in an emergency situation. You don't get seen more quickly, it is not factored into your placement in the triage line, they don't have access to your records more quickly, and unless your doctor is actually going to drop whatever they are doing and come down there and take care of you themselves, it changes absolutely nothing. Most importantly, you don't get to request what hospital your ambulance takes you to.
Then there's all of the insanity regarding Planned Parenthood, from the imaginary underground baby parts racket to anti-choicers pretending they don't understand that Title X funds can't actually be used for abortion or to "keep the lights on" or to do literally anything that is not what they are specifically designated to be used for, because that is how grants work.
Oh! And let us not forget the whole thing this year where they went around claiming that women are regularly having abortions on viable babies mid-labor, for funsies. Or the thing where they want doctors to tell patients that their abortions can be "reversed" — which by the way, does not even help them or their cause, it's just a lie with no purpose at all. In fact, scientists recently attempted to test this theory, but stopped when it nearly killed the study participants, since "[t]hree of the women required ambulance transport to a hospital for treatment of severe vaginal bleeding."
They're not just doing this because they're stupid. They're doing it because it works. You tell a lie, and if no one calls you on it, you tell a slightly bigger lie, you test the waters to see what you can get away with — and the anti-choicers get away with a lot. Why? Because the media wants to be "fair" to them, because they know it's easier to just let things go than to be the "mean" person questioning someone's sacred "traditional values" or directly calling them a lying liar.
And now, as a result of all of that coddling, we have a situation where they are trying to pass a law prescribing the actual death penalty for imaginary arson-abortions and wanting to send doctors to jail for not performing medical procedures that do not exist. Science and facts don't matter, and they can pretty much push any law they want based on anything they feel like making up. They can even claim to be "pro-life" while loving the death penalty.
We are already losing the war for our reproductive rights. Personally, I pretty much consider it a given that as soon as this bill or any other makes it to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade will be out the window — but at the very least, at the very least, we can make it painful, thus making it a little harder to pass these bills. Make Candice Keller and anyone who supports this bill explain, in detail, on television, how transplanting a fetus from a fallopian tube to a uterus would actually work. Even better, have them explain it to an ob-gyn. Make people who advocate for admitting privileges explain what it is they think admitting privileges would do and what they think "triage" is. Make the anti-Planned Parenthood people explain how they think grants work. This is the closest thing to leverage we have now, so we'd better make the most of it.
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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. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse