05 March 2006

why i'm glad i left the midwest

so i finally read the entire text of the thing. my favorite bit is the last bit:

"Section 12. This Act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Women's Health and Human Life Protection Act."

what an orwellian mindfuck THAT is! given the text of the bill, i can see a few problems with that proposed title. but here are some creative ways to get around them. the biblical literalists among us will be familiar with this strategy of harmonizing text with life.

(1) for women, "health" is now defined by the state of south dakota as including all states of being except for stone cold dead. blind? healthy! disabled? healthy! vegetable-ized? healthy! stuck in an abusive relationship she can't leave? healthy! hopeless and dependent? you guessed it: healthy!

(2) a woman's life is inferior to other classes of "human life." now, it is not necessarily true that a woman's life is never a human life. if there's no particular conflict of interest between a woman's human flourishing and the human flourishing of the speck of cells in her uterus, then the state of south dakota's not gonna take sides. but by god, if there are fertilized cells in there, south dakota recognizes the conflict of interest and takes the side of the cells.

seriously, though. i don't feel as if even this court is going to take this opportunity to overturn roe. unfortunately, stomach-turning has a much lower threshold: given this text, and the utter mistrust and disregard that it displays toward women as a class, and the fact that it is probably supported by at least a near-majority of three quarters of a million people, can i ever go back to the midwest? i'd bet that the same provincial patriarchal bullshit is afoot in north dakota, also home to exactly one abortion provider and, more pertinently, still home to a lot of women that i care about.

whether or not any of those women think that they would choose abortion (most of them would probably say no, i'd venture), i'd like us all to live in states where wacky pseudo-christian misogynists didn't get to institutionalize their sense that females have no capacity for moral reasoning.