Exceptions to Abortion Restrictions and Why I Hate Them

How exceptions for any law restricting abortion ever passed is a mystery for me. Rape, incest, health of the woman…? I agree with Rick Santorum on this one: they are crap. Of course, I agree with him for fundamentally different reasons, but I cannot and do not accept any exceptions to any law restricting abortion.

Why?

Because it is separate and unequal treatment of women and, for that matter, fetuses. A termination is a termination, whether it be due to rape or romance. Exceptions are a clear, blatant way to punish women for having sex, in addition to showing off how little the “life” of a fetus matters. No other medical procedure has so many hoops, nor exceptions, exemptions or stigma attached. It should never have been allowed to become a political issue, but since it did and was ruled a Constitutional right, that should have been the end of it. Any and all restrictions on the procedure should have been laughed out of Congress and any exceptions to the restrictions should have been also disregarded and called out for what they were: Bullshit.

“Fortunately,” many leaders in the forced-birth movement are beginning to pick up on this and decry anything that may possibly help any woman in any way. Rape is no longer enough for many of them (see H.R. 3) and increasing numbers of laws telling women that their bodies are not their own provide no exception for rape, incest or the health of the woman. Those that do are making the definition of ‘acceptable’ rapes narrower and saying that ‘health’ of women only matters when they are facing “grave physical harm,” with no exceptions for mental health. As many as 100 women in South Carolina alone have been unjustly stripped of their rights and their own personhood in the face of laws that include accidental deaths of infants and miscarriages under their “feticide” laws. Only one man has ever been charged under these laws and his case was later dropped.

In some decent news, states have been told that they can’t defund Planned Parenthood just because they hate women and that making women go to non-medically licensed Crisis Pregnancy Centers to be told lies is generally bad policy. Kansas has narrowly avoided being the only state in the nation without an abortion provider by allowing one to remain open. That is, only one provider for approximately 1,435,118 women.

The time to be incensed is now. Not the week before the elections. Not six months afterward. We need to mobilize, debate, donate, protest, rally, organize and, generally speaking, do ANYTHING to get these facts out in the open. People don’t talk about abortion politics because it’s so awful so consistently, but our silence is filled by fearmongering, misogyny and lies of the forced-birth movement.
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