What Does 'Life Of The Mother' Mean? It Stumps Us All.
pop art uterus, Craiyon

Here's what's happening to and regarding your uterus this week!

Abortion About To Become Legal In Louisiana Again!

OK, maybe not, but Louisiana state Rep. Larry Frieman (R-Albita Springs) has filed a bill that would require fathers to pay for half of pregnancy-related expenses, which will certainly not go over well. After all, the whole point of anti-abortion laws is to punish women.

The average cost of pregnancy in the US is about $18,000 if nothing goes wrong. With a decent health insurance plan, it goes down to around $3,000 ... if nothing goes wrong. About 9.4 percent of adults in Louisiana do not have health insurance.

Rep. Frieman says the bill "is a matter of fundamental fairness," a conclusion he reached after meeting with a few family law attorneys who informed him that pregnant people are responsible for all costs of pregnancy themselves and have no mechanism to sue for child support during this time. Who knew? Besides people who can get pregnant and therefore have to think of these things. That and family lawyers who would stand to make bank were such a law to pass.

Utah passed a similar law in 2021, though it's not clear how it has worked out. It's likely that not much has changed, seeing as how those who can't afford the costs associated with pregnancy on their own can rarely afford to hire a lawyer to sue for that money.

On the bright side for those dads to be — Louisiana has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the nation, so they may not have to pay support for that long.

Anti-Abortion Wackos Harass Walgreens Over Abortion Pills

Upset over the FDA's recent decision to allow pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion medication, about 50 anti-abortion protesters broke into a Walgreens shareholders meeting on Thursday to pitch a fit and demand they not do that. You know, because other people's prescriptions are definitely their business.

“Today, directly after the close of official business of our annual shareholders meeting, a small group of protesters entered the meeting room without authorization,” Walgreens senior director for external relations Fraser Engerman told Reuters. “We are grateful that none of our shareholders, team members and event staff were harmed during this incident.”

"It was a wild annual shareholders meeting," said Walgreens shareholder John Chevedden. "The protesters knew what they were doing because they found a way to enter the room from behind the podium. It was a complete surprise."

That seems a tad suspect, but hey! It's not as if they were leftwing protesters ruining someone's brunch or anything. That would have been bad.

Pharmacies filling abortion medication prescriptions are likely to become a major target of forced birth enthusiasts over the next year and several groups have already planned protests at these shops in the upcoming months. A group calling themselves Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising — whom you may recall from that time one of their leaders was arrested for illegally invading an abortion clinic and then turned out to have 114 fetuses stored in her home — is planning protests at Walgreens and CVS stores across the nation on February 4, so that should be a fun day to run to the store for some shampoo or whatever.

What Does 'Life Of The Mother' Mean Anyway?

Abortion has been completely banned in South Dakota since Roe v. Wade was overturned and the state's trigger law went into effect, making it a Class 6 felony to assist in any way with the termination of a pregnancy. The lone exception for this rule is if the pregnancy threatens the "life of the mother," though it is not particularly clear what this means. Doctors across the nation have described having to put their patients' lives at risk because they are scared that they could have their licenses taken away or end up in prison should a court determine that they could have waited a little longer.

A new bill in South Dakota, introduced by Rep. Taylor Rehfeldt (R-Sioux Falls), would officially define what "life of the mother" means with respect to when doctors can perform life-saving abortions.

"There is no definition currently about what [life of the mother] means," Rehfeldt told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. "Health care providers are a little bit confused and need some clarifications about how we best care for moms."

The best way to do that, of course, would be to allow them to have abortions if they want abortions and to allow difficult conversations about when to end a wanted pregnancy that is a threat to one's health between themselves and their doctor — not the doctor and the state.

Could A Lawsuit Kill Abortion Bans?

Mifepristone manufacturer GenBioPro filed a lawsuit on Wednesday alleging that West Virginia's bans on abortion and telemedicine abortion prescriptions is unconstitutional and that the FDA's regulations on the medication ought to override state law.

The law, they say, has caused them to lose income they would have had otherwise and demands the state cede regulatory authority to the FDA. A doctor in North Carolina filed a similar suit this week as well. Who knows how this will work out, but America does tend to have more respect for the rights of corporations to make lots of money than it does for people who can get pregnant, so it definitely could.

On the other side, forced birthers are filing lawsuits arguing that the FDA should never had the authority to approve abortion medication to begin with because "[t]he only way the FDA could have approved chemical abortion drugs was to use its accelerated drug approval authority, necessitating the FDA to call pregnancy an 'illness' and argue that these dangerous drugs provide a 'meaningful therapeutic benefit' over existing treatments" and they do not believe that pregnancy is an illness. They also insist that the pills were not tested thoroughly enough, although they have been tested thoroughly enough and have been found to be even safer than Tylenol.

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Robyn Pennacchia

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


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