Iowa Anti-Choicers Admit They Want to Imprison Women for Abortion

Written by Amanda Marcotte for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post.

A little over a month into 2013, and one thing is absolutely certain: Anti-choice legislators aren’t going to let the damage that their war on women did to their fellow conservative politicians’ electoral prospects slow them down from competing with each other to show who can concoct the most vile schemes to undermine women’s rights. Now Iowa Republicans are flexing their muscles, trying to show that they hate the ladies even more than the forced-transvaginal-ultrasound folks in Michigan, Texas, and Virginia, or the women-can’t-think-on-weekends-and-holidays nuts in South Dakota.

Nine state representatives in Iowa have introduced a bill that would define killing a fertilized egg as “murder”.

707.1 Murder defined.

1. A person who kills another person with malice aforethought either express or implied commits murder.

2. “Person”, when referring to the victim of a murder, means an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death.

Murder includes killing another person through any means that terminates the life of the other person including but not limited to the use of abortion-inducing drugs. For the purposes of this section, “abortion-inducing drug” means a medicine, drug, or any other substance prescribed or dispensed with the intent of terminating the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman, with knowledge that the drug will with reasonable likelihood cause the termination of the pregnancy. “Abortion-inducing drug” includes the off-label use of drugs known to have abortion-inducing properties, which are prescribed specifically with the intent of causing an abortion, but does not include drugs that may be known to cause an abortion, but which are prescribed for other medical indications.

The point of this bill is, simply put, to throw women in jail for “murder” for deliberately ending pregnancies — and quite possibly for trying to prevent them, as many anti-choicers continue to insist, despite the evidence against them, that the pill and emergency contraception work by “killing” fertilized eggs. 

Read the rest here.

Update on Forced Ultrasound Laws

Virginia is now the 8th state with forced ultrasounds before abortion. When it passed its law, it joined Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas

Texas has the harshest forced ultrasound law currently in effect. As Andrea Grimes reported,

"Texas has the most extreme law that’s being enforced right now," says the Center For Reproductive Rights’ Julie Rikelman, the lead attorney on the CRR’s lawsuit filed against the Texas legislation. Despite the sympathetic leanings of a federal district judge who initially ruled on the case, the suit has more or less been stalled by a vehemently anti-choice Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied the CRR’s requested injunction against enforcement last month.  Now, that means that all aspects of the law—mandated ultrasounds, 24-hour waiting periods, and forced speech—are now in full force in Texas.

Oklahoma’s forced ultrasound bill, which was similar to TX’s, was struck down by a federal court recently.

North Carolina, which also has passed a harsh TX-style forced ultrasound bill, is unable to enforce their law pending a court decision.

Pennsylvania’s forced ultrasound bill is officially kaput, at least for this year.

And, as Robin Marty reports, Iowa:

What is the difference between a traffic light camera and a mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasound?  One is a violation of privacy, according to Iowa legislators.

Can you guess which?

The Iowa legislature is considering banning traffic cameras due to “privacy concerns.”  And those who are arguing for the ban are the same who think all women should be forced to undergo forced ultrasounds prior to an abortion.