Whole Woman’s Health: A Woman’s Right to Know (That Her Rights Don’t Matter to Her State.)

Sooo… remember in 2003 when the Woman’s Right to Know act was passed? The act that was supposed to make “mothers appreciate the development and characteristics of their unborn children” and “arm mothers with the truth about abortion”?

…the one that required all abortion clinics to buy and disperse publications written and printed by who-knows-who within the state that describe the development of the fetus, provide full-color in-utero pictures of it, as well as a 21 page directory full of adoption clinics & crisis pregnancy centers?

…the same one that required our Doctors to go down a list and speak directly to each and every woman about things that they believe are scientifically false? (Abortion = Increased risk of breast cancer, for instance.)

…In addition to mentioning to every single woman that she may be eligible for government financial assistance if she carries the pregnancy to term?

…Right. The one that also required women to wait 24 hours after being told about her options, but at least had the decency to allow her to listen to these “facts” via phone while at work, instead of losing 2 days of pay to physically be there in person to hear them?

Yeah, remember that? The one that we were still abiding by, when they passed the other invasive, medically unnecessary bill in the same name of informed consent?

So when it’s all said and done, the way that Texas has interjected themselves into a woman’s appointment sounds a little like this… “This is what a pregnancy looks like up close. (Are you sure you want an abortion?) And here’s a list of everything that could possibly go wrong. (Are you really sure?) Remember, you can get some parenting classes here, here and here. (How about now?) Now hold tight… (Was that uncomfortable? Sorry.) OK, This is what *your* pregnancy looks like. (Sure you’re sure?) And this is what it sounds like. (Isn’t that cute?) Well, what do you think?… Wait. Hold that thought – Come back tomorrow and tell us.”

Allllll of this new ultrasound jargon is not about informed consent, because we already had an informed consent bill on the books that obviously “wasn’t working well enough” for them. But you know why it wasn’t working?

Because abortion isn’t the problem. It’s the long list of other things that lead to women feeling like they need one. (Some of those can be fixed, and some of them simply can’t!) It’s the lack of access and the price of reliable forms of birth control that don’t make women want to pull their hair out and forget about sex altogether. It’s a lot of stuff. But it’s not abortion. And THOSE are the things that our politicians need to be working on, instead of just “cutting to the chase” and restricting access to a safe, legal procedure.

If the Woman’s Right to Know act in 2003 was anti-choice politicians way of asking women “Are you sure?” then the ultrasound bill is just the same people using politics to ask “Are you sure you’re sure you’re sure?” We just can’t wait to see what it looks like when they find out this isn’t working either and draft up a bill that asks “Are you sure you’re sure you’re sure you’re sure?” and more importantly, are we sure we want to allow them far enough into our appointment to ask it?