Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kansas to become first state to ban abortion outright

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Abortion: My Mind, My Body, My Choice

After months and months of a steady stream of bad news regarding abortion rights, it would seem that Kansas is about to take the cake and prohibit abortion outright across the state [original emphasis; links removed]:

Last month, Republican lawmakers successfully passed an anti-choice bill requiring the state’s only three abortion clinics to be inspected twice a year, including one unannounced review. Under the new licensing standards, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will create new standards for exits, lighting, bathrooms, and equipment and would have “the power to fine clinics” or “go to court to shut them down.” The law specifically targets abortion clinics and left other surgical clinics untouched by the new requirements — a fact that moved state Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler (R) to note the hypocrisy and vote against his party. However, the law passed in May and demands compliance by July 1.

Kansas Health Department inspectors began reviewing a Planned Parenthood clinic Wednesday “ahead of a decision by [the] health department on whether the state’s three abortion clinics will be allowed to continue operating” and receive licenses. Given the level of new requirements and the short time-period in which clinics have to comply, anti-choice advocates are confident that the clinics will close and Kansas will be “the first abortion-free state in the nation“:

“We have doubts that any of the abortion clinics can meet the safety requirements of the new law,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “If they cannot comply, all three abortion clinics would be forced to cease abortion operations, making Kansas the first abortion-free state in the nation.”

As abhorrent as these arrogant assholes are, they’re also absolutely right. There is simply not enough time or resources to allow the clinics to meet these new standards by the end of the month. It does indeed look like abortion is about to become an impossibility in the State of Kansas.

By now, one could still retain some measure of hope that a lawsuit will be brought before the courts and that the precedents established by Roe v. Wade and similar rulings will be enough to send the anti-choice zealots packing, but this is seeming like a bigger stretch with each passing day. It’s impossible to tell where the right for women to have control over their own body is headed these days, as both alternatives – legalization vs. pre-70s’ criminalization – appear equally plausible at this point.

I dream of the day when all oppressed Americans will rise up and cut loose the depraved anchor that is the modern Republican Party … but then, we all have our fantasies. It’s just outrageous that it’s those of fetus fetishists that are materializing in real life, at the sore expense of so many others.

(via @todayspolitics)