Monday, April 28, 2014

Death By A Thousand Cuts

In the real world, where non-conservatives dwell, we know that there has never been a time in human history where women did not terminate unwanted pregnancies. We know that when abortion is illegal, it doesn't mean there will be no abortions; it means women will die or suffer physical harm. We also know that a majority of people in this country believes abortion should remain legal.

Unfortunately, we are living in an era where a minority of conservative zealots gets to impose their  ideology upon the rest of us (see also: gun nuts; supply-side economics; expansive military spending).

The sole remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi is one court decision away from closure - in front of a a court that already ruled against clinics in Texas over the same spurious issues raised in this case:
Mississippi's only abortion clinic is fighting to remain open in the face of ever-tightening state regulations. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans hears arguments Monday in a dispute over a state law that requires abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges.
. . . 
Inside Jackson Women's Health Organization, there's growing uncertainty over how much longer the doors will be open. Dr. Willie Parker flies in from Chicago to perform abortions at the clinic, one of two physicians who come to Mississippi to provide abortion care.
Parker is a plaintiff in the lawsuit challenging Mississippi's law. He's a board-certified OB-GYN but has not been able to get admitting privileges at any of the 13 regional hospitals he applied to.
"Some we received no response from, but the ones that we did, they made reference to the fact that because the care we provide is related to abortion, they felt it might be disruptive to the internal politics, as well as the external politics, for the hospital," Parker says.
Parker says it is part of a strategy to gut the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion by abusing the regulatory authority of the states and making access to abortion "so cumbersome as to be impractical even when it remains legal." 
South Dakota has one abortion clinic left in operation. North Dakota has only one abortion clinic left in operation.  There are two abortion providers in Idaho (both in Boise), Three in all of Utah (Salt Lake City only); Two in Montana; Two in Alaska. These states cover thousands of square miles, which means most of the women living in these areas effectively have no access to abortions. TRAP laws are having the desired effect, making abortion de facto, if not de jure, illegal. Yet another reminder of the importance of the federal courts and the necessity of electing pro-choice Democrats.

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