Sex-Based Abortion Legislation: WTF?
Faithful blog readers, I need your help understanding something. My "gender" Google news feed has been blowing up lately with stories regarding the legislation of sex-based abortions. Apparently, such abortions have recently been ruled illegal in Sweden and legal in Oklahoma.
Now, I understand there being concern over sex-based abortions. Technology is advancing at a rate that allows possible potential parents to learn the sex of their fetus earlier and earlier all the time -- often with enough time to legally abort the fetus if they are unhappy with the sex. It is awful that anyone anywhere would value one sex of a fetus over another, and I get why people don't like that idea (I don't like it myself). In fact, we wrote about it a little bit on this very blog a while back.
What I don't understand, though, is how the motivations behind an abortion can be legislated. Isn't that like arresting someone for thoughtcrime? How can the state decide whether or not a pregnant person's motivations are good enough to warrant an abortion? I am seriously confused, so if any of you legal smarties out there have any insight, help a sister out.
I guess that the ruling in Sweden, which took place earlier this week, came about because a woman asked for an amniocentesis and, upon learning the sex of her fetus, asked for an abortion. Some time later, the same thing happened with the same woman. A Swedish health professional asked if it was legal to deny someone an abortion if you disagree with their motivations. The answer from the National Board of Health & Welfare? Nej! Well, actually they said,
it is illegal to deny a woman an abortion up to her 18th week of pregnancy even if her request is based on a sex preference.
I understand all of that. I think it's kind of weird that it was up for debate in the first place, since denying someone a legal right based on their personal motivations is ridiculous, but whatever. What I don't understand, however, is the ruling that took place this morning in Oklahoma. According to Tulsa World News,
The Oklahoma Senate on Friday passed a bill that would ban abortion based on gender.
House Bill 1595, by Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, and Rep. Dan Sullivan, R-Tulsa, also requires physicians to provide detailed information to the Oklahoma State Department of Health about the abortion.
Apparently, it is not only the winds come sweeping down the plain in Oklahoma (Orwellian abortion legislation is sweeping through there as well). This f*ed up bill, by the way, also requires doctors and patients to report way more information regarding abortions -- and the info will be made available online. You know, so the state can keep track (and so that potential internet dates can check into whether or not you've had an abortion).
What I don't understand is how the reasons behind the possible abortion factor in here at all. Maybe the person(s) in question want the abortion because of sex, maybe it's because of finances, maybe it's for an art project. The bottom line is, it's none of our business, and the state shouldn't be able to value some motivations more highly than others when it comes to legislation. Isn't that itself illegal?
So can anyone help me out here? How can Oklahoma pass this bill? Is this legal? WTF?
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