Yet another attempt to create a legislative obstacle for women trying to obtain a legal, safe and private abortion in Ohio.
When it comes to the war on women and their reproductive rights, the pro-life opposition appears willing to stop at nothing, no matter how outrageous.
Politically, it doesn't seem to make much sense. A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that 50 percent of Americans now call themselves pro-choice, including 54 percent of women and 46 percent of men. On the other hand, only 44 percent of respondents labeled themselves pro-life, the lowest response in more than five years.
That doesn't seem to make much difference to Ohio legislators, Republicans State Rep. Kyle Koehler, Sen. Joe Uecker, and Rep. Robert McColley. They have introduced a bill requiring women who have had abortions to complete an official form provided by the Ohio Department of Health.
This form would force women to indicate how they wish the fetus to be disposed of, that is, whether they would prefer to cremation or burial.
Clinics would be required to perform the designated method then could require the women treated to pay the cost, according to a Ohio Public Radio report.
There are just so many things wrong with the proposed legislation. For one thing, it is doubtful whether it would ever be considered constitutional.
That's because the key factor in the landmark 1972 Roe v. Wade SCOTUS decision was its infringement by the state on the woman's right to privacy. Such an infringement was warranted only if there was some kind of credible justification for state interference in that right to individual privacy.
If it passes into law and if contested in court, (as it surely would be) the state will still be obligated to prove that the authority has a pressing justification for enacting the law.
That's going to be another quixotic battle and likely an expensive and fruitless effort for the state and pro-life activists.
According to the Ohio legislation, the forms mandated by this new law would violate a woman's anonymity. McColley stated that, on the contrary, the forms would not serve the purpose of collecting person by person names and information.
Still, whatever the intention of the law, the collection information could be misused and the state, again, will have to show some legitimate reason for this violation of privacy.
There are other problems as well, such as the costs to the patient for this type of disposal. The original source for this article noted:
Studies show that abortion in the United States is concentrated among low-income women, yet cremation costs $1,100 on average and burial costs even more,.
That's in addition to the cost of the procedure itself. Nationwide, the cost of an abortion in the first trimester can run up to around $1,500.
Rep. McColley attempted to dispel those concerns by claiming that the exact details of disposal have not been ironed out. That's interesting. He seems to be admitting that the draft law hasn't really be carefully thought out. McColley isn't anticipating the taxpayers to cover the costs, is he?
Supporters for the bill focus on the rights of the unborn over the rights of the woman. Republican Rep. Barbara Sears told Ohio Public Radio
"The idea of respectfully treating the remains of an infant who has been aborted, I think is critical."
Yet, as any doctor would tell you, a fetus- in the first trimester when most abortions are performed- is simply not an infant. A fetus is the developing postembryonic offspring in the uterus before viability. An infant is an independent living organism. For Sears to claim they are the same is either being either extremely ignorant or knowingly deceptive.
Sears went on to contrast how people dispose of aborted fetuses to the way pet owners bury their deceased cats or dogs.
"I think that you can see how we treat our own childhood pets when we are disposing of them in a respectful way, you know I think that people are shocked."
"The only reason that these bills are being introduced is because they want to try to harass abortion providers and harass women that are seeking a safe and legal procedure."
There are a thousand different ways that obstinate legislators can through obstacles in the path of women. And they intend to continue to do so until they are voted out.