If your doctor was a religious person and had a moral issue with blood transfusions, and in order to keep you from receiving a blood transfusion refrained from telling you that you are hemorrhaging, and you consequently die, would you expect your state’s legislation to back that doctor?
Here at Generation: Handmaid, we have pointed out legislation regarding women’s access to birth control and the government deciding when women are pregnant. However, one lingering shadow over the heads of women in Arizona is a morale-lowering development that proves that in spite of the fun we can poke at lawmakers, anti-women legislation can actually threaten our lives. Doctors are no longer obligated to inform a pregnant woman of any prenatal conditions that may influence a woman to abort her infant. Parents also may not sue doctors on the infant’s behalf after birth if these prenatal conditions affect the child’s health. This is otherwise known as SB1359, or the “wrongful birth” bill.
This bill assumes that any indication of a prenatal condition would immediately result in a woman terminating her pregnancy. However, we all know this is not always the case. “Pro-Choice” does not equate “Terminate all pregnancies always,” but rather “I reserve the right for myself and the women around me to decide when I become a mother.” So, if a liberal Pro-Choice woman finds herself pregnant, she very well may chose to have the baby. However, if the infant has a heart condition, the mother has prenatal diabetes, or anything of the like occurs, the child could die and the woman (assuming she survives labor) could lose her baby. Therefore, the law that is meant to prevent a “cruel, ungodly” abortion could take a baby’s life. No doctor can assume what his patient may choose regarding her pregnancy. If a woman becomes pregnant with an infant that has a disability or disease, she may decide to keep it, and would probably appreciate the chance to prepare for and save money for pediatric specialists and medical treatments.
This horrifying bill does not fit the role of a doctor, who is meant to preserve good health and work towards the best interests of their patients. In many cases a woman needs to know of the potential disabilities to prevent health problems that could potentially kill her and her baby during childbirth. That’s two potential deaths due to lawmakers’ stubborn insistence upon pro-life legislation.
Is an unborn child more important to lawmakers than the taxpaying women who carry them, so much so that it is permissible to allow a woman to die if it might mean preventing an abortion? A lawmaker would rather see a woman die with her child than try to save at least one life? And, if women are already legally pregnant, the potential of our empty womb is worth more than we are?
Yes, in this state, women are worth less than their unborn children. Birth control is becoming more and more inaccessible, in order to keep it that way.
How can we say there is no war on women?
How can we not try to fight it?
Childbirth and pregnancy are amazing things. A woman’s ability to create life inside her and bring a human being into the world is nothing short of miraculous. A woman’s womb is, in fact, a precious thing. However, a woman is so much more than her womb. A woman also has a heart, and she has a mind. We are hardworking, tax-paying, intelligent beings and we deserve some respect.
“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance; you have to work at it.”
-Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale