You read right; Arizona is at it again. Only this time, it's not a joke. It's not the same thinly-veiled jab we're used to, being pushed through the system by some sycophantic representative gouging for his or her place as Cleverest Of Them All. Nope, this is a bill that aims to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks. What's that you say, that's the law already? Ah yes, but I invite you to read the fine print: It wants to redefine a fetus as a living creature as soon as a woman ovulates, up to two weeks before the egg is even fertilized. That means, by this law... we're all pregnant.
So here we are, calling a baby a baby before the couple in question even decides to conceive. Because hey, she laid an egg. There's the potential for a heartbeat, it must be alive. Right?
Certainly, they are trying move the gestational cutoff from what had been over the last two years a 20-week gestational cutoff to an 18-week gestational cutoff. At the same time, they are trying to say, ‘Oh, this is a 20-week abortion ban.’ And they get away with that with the definition of gestational age that’s in the bill.
says State Issues Manager Elizabeth Nash on the topic. And she's right. Even though it's a technicality and could be easily overlooked, it's still logically absurd, and it tightens the crosshairs just a little further on a woman's right to choose. I don't know about you, but if this is how lawmakers aim to gain ground on the issue, I'm calling shenanigans. Unfortunately, this is Arizona we're talking about. And no offense to its residents of course, but Arizona is getting pretty infamous for its perpetuation of said shenanigans. Elizabeth Nash went on to comment that the bill had, "very good chances of passage." Super.
But apparently, not everyone is surprised by this turn of events. One reader comments:
When you're pregnant they always count the weeks of gestation from the end of your last period. If you open up "What to Expect When You're Expecting" or similar books to see how your baby is growing that week, it is referring to that many weeks after your last period. Almost ALL literature you'll read and doctors count gestation this way. It has nothing to do with the lawmakers changing things- they're just using the same criteria used in the medical field.
Valid argument? I've never been pregnant, so this is news to me. Is this generally the way it goes?
The real downside, according to one source, is that diminishing the time window for an abortion might cause a couple to abort early if signs of an unsafe pregnancy are apparent, even if they're inconclusive. The 20-week window has more than arbitrary implications in terms of tests that are able to be run on an unborn child. Parents might panic because of the deadline and terminate unnecessarily. The new law is still technically discordant from other states' regulations across the board. Whether or not this proves to be a big or small issue, it's something that should be taken into consideration.
This isn't unfamiliar territory, though, if we think back. Just a little over a year ago the Republican Party in the US capitol tried to redefine what qualified as "rape." So, I guess this laughable — and yet disheartening — turn of events is just the flavor of the week for the radical right-wing nardfarts out there trying to pry the last say-so I had about my body out of my cold, dead hands. [source]
Le sigh. I had a moment of relief when I heard that Rick Santorum had dropped out of the GOP race, but this kind of news makes such relief short-lived.
What do you think of this underhanded attempt to narrow a woman's right to choose, even by a mere two weeks? Do you think a baby is a baby, even at ovulation?