“U.S. abortion-rights defenders and opponents are preparing for battle as South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds considers whether to sign a state abortion ban that advocates hope will lead to a national Supreme Court showdown.
The Republican governor has until March 15 to sign or veto a bill passed by the state legislature on February 24 which would ban abortions in all circumstances. Amid wide expectations he will sign it, abortion-rights supporters are preparing lawsuits and warning legislators of repercussions come mid-term elections in November.
??There are consequences to this type of absolutely outrageous legislation,“ said NARAL Pro-Choice America president Nancy Keenan.
Abortion opponents agreed that the South Dakota bill could have a broad impact, but said it would favor their effort.
??We think it is very significant,“ said American Life League vice president Jim Sedlak. ??We celebrate the fact that a state has put forth legislation that has no exception. We believe when it gets to the Supreme Court… the court could use (the law) to declare personhood for the unborn baby in the womb.“
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision established a woman’s right to abortion, but activists on both sides of the issue believe the court may restrict abortion rights following President George W. Bush’s two appointments.
The South Dakota legislation would ban abortion in all cases and at all stages of pregnancy, even within the first few weeks. Doctors who perform an abortion could be punished with a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.??
One woman is fighting back. Molly Blythe has publish an abortion manual on her blog. She prefaces the manual with the following:
“I understand that you’re probably really angry right now. Maybe you’re reading a blog expressing that anger — the anger that your state thinks it knows better than you what to do with your body. Maybe you’re anxiously wondering where the nearest abortion clinic is, now that you will have to leave the state to get to one. If you have a serious medical condition, you might be doubling up on birth control methods, leading to a lot of worry and possibly negative side effects.
But what you need right now isn’t the righteous anger the rest of the blogosphere will give you. You need more.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, when abortions were illegal in many places and expensive to get, an organization called Jane stepped up to the plate in the Chicago area. Jane initially hired an abortion doctor, but later they did the abortions themselves. They lost only one patient in 13,000 — a lower death rate than that of giving live birth. The biggest obstacle they had, though, was the fact that until years into the operation, they thought of abortion as something only a doctor could do, something only the most trained specialist could perform without endangering the life of the woman.
They were deceived — much like you have probably been deceived. An abortion, especially for an early pregnancy, is a relatively easy procedure to perform. And while I know, women of South Dakota, that you never asked for this, now is the time to learn how it is done. There is no reason you should be beholden to doctors — especially in a state where doctors have been refusing to perform them, forcing the state’s only abortion clinic to fly doctors in from elsewhere.
No textbooks or guides existed at that time to help them, and the equipment was hard to find. This is no longer true. For under $2000, any person with the inclination to learn could create a fully functioning abortion setup allowing for both vacuum aspiration and dilation/curettage abortions. If you are careful and diligent, and have a good grasp of a woman’s anatomy you will not put anyone’s health or life in danger, even if you have not seen one of these procedures performed.
Today, I will discuss dilation and curettage — what used to be the most common abortion procedure before vacuum aspiration took its place. Vacuum aspiration is an easier method, but sometimes remaining fetal/placental material necessitates doing a ??cleanup“ D&C anyway, so you should know how to do this procedure first.??
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your ideology), abortions are legal in South Africa. This provides a measure of respect for a woman’s autonomy over her body and her right to make informed choices that affect her wellbeing. The outcome of this process in the United States will say a lot about the state of human rights in that country and the power of conservative groups under the auspices of the Republican government.