Ohio Abortion Bill
As I sat down to write my first story for the Family/Health section of The Goddess Within web/mag, many thoughts ran through my mind. With so many things going on in health care reform, global women’s health, and the price of contraceptives, it was hard to choose a topic for a first article. Until I read an article about this:
An Ohio legislator, Representative John Adams (R-78), is filing a bill that would force a pregnant woman to get a man’s permission before obtaining an abortion. Now, we already have parental notification laws in 10 states and parental consent laws in 22 (2 of which require both parents’ consent). There are many other blockades to abortion access such as mandatory waiting periods, viewing the ultrasound, and scripted counseling. But Rep. Adams is again introducing a bill, which was defeated in 2007, to not only block access but to also demean women’s authority over their own bodies.
Ohio House Bill 252 would require the written consent of the biological father before a pregnant woman can obtain a termination. Adams, in a newspaper interview, states that in cases where the mother does not know who the father is, the abortion would be prohibited. His feeling is that, “There is a merit to chastity, and to young men and women waiting until marriage.” Of course, this law would apply to both married and unmarried women. What about the woman who’s husband keeps her in an abusive relationship by controlling her fertility? Too bad for her. And if he won’t sign the consent waiver, will he be required to help raise the child?
What about women who have been victims of rape? If the bill is filed as it was in 2007, the pregnant female would have to present a police report “proving” that she had been raped before being able to terminate the pregnancy. This is a problem for many reasons. Women who have been raped have experienced enough harassment, guilt, sadness, and a rollercoaster of many other emotions. There are countless stores of police victim-blaming when a woman reports a rape (which I have seen for myself). Also, the earlier in a pregnancy the abortion is preformed, the safer and less expensive it is. Who will pay for the rape kit? The DNA testing? The termination, if granted? Surely not the rapist.
What we see here is another male legislator, who presumably will never be forced to decide whether or not to keep a pregnancy, forcing his morals upon women in his state. Next time you go to the polls, check out the nominees’ backgrounds; do your research. Anti-choice and invasion-of-privacy bills are filed all of the time, in every state and in our nation’s capitol. Wherever you stand on the issue of abortion, I think that we as women can agree that we should make the best choices for ourselves and our own bodies. Not some man in Congress who doesn’t have a uterus.
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