November 6, Americans – voting Americans – will head to the polls. At this point in the race, Obama remains favourite. Not by a long way, but a little way. Bad economic news, however, could see the front-runner status switch to Mitt Romney.
Until recently, and until I had heard about the Obama-directed drone strikes, I was all the way with the “yes, we can” gent. Admittedly, I still am. Drones strikes aren’t a good thing and what I learned in this article, it worries me.
But what I learned in this article, titled Abortion politics for export, and which appeared in The Age also really worries me. The journalist, Chloe Angyal, outlined what a change in government in the States will mean to its women. She asks that her own country, Australia, step wide of America’s assaulting, restrictive, exploitive and sexist footsteps. I’m with Angyal on this one.
I’m paraphrasing her words below, so if you choose, please read her article in full here. It’s definitely worth a look.
In her article, Angyal explores and details the following:
- Abortion has been legal in America since 1973.
- A woman in Texas who wants an abortion must go through a two-stage process – first she must endure a transvaginal ultrasound. This means a doctor inserting an ultrasound wand into a woman’s vagina. The doctor then must show the woman the image of what is inside and describe it via a state-mandated script. The woman must wait a further 24 hours before being allowed to have an abortion. This law was introduced in 2011. Angyal said it had very little impact outside the state.
- Virginia tried to introduce the same law in February this year (under pressure from its Governor Bob McDonnell) and word got out. Virginia was criticised for mandating state-sanctioned rape and the law was amended to an abdominal ultrasound.
- Romney, the favoured Republican nominee, favours a personhood amendment to the constitution – personhood is the idea a fertilised egg is a person with constitutional rights (meaning abortion is murder and also rendering the future of in vitro fertilisation and hormonal birth control – the pill – as potentially illegal).
- Romney’s running mate, Governor Bob McDonnell, wants to outlaw abortions, including for rape and incest victims.
- Romney and McDonnell are campaigning for funding cuts to Planned Parenthood (an organisation which provides low-cost cancer screenings, birth control, STI testing and abortion).
Closer to home, Angyal writes:
- In WA the Att-General proposed new “foetal homicide” laws that would mean killing a pregnant woman could carry a harsher sentence than killing a woman not pregnant; the AMA has supported criminal charges for women who drink to excess while pregnant. The significance of both instances: the foetus is considered a person with rights.
The above image, by Judy Green, accompanied Chloe Angyal’s opinion piece as it appeared in The Age.