‘Abortion’ amendment would add complications
Amendment six ignores implications that come with pregnancy by rape.
Senate candidate Richard Mourdock from Indiana claimed pregnancy by rape is a gift from God, Missouri Rep. Todd Akin said when a woman is “legitimately” raped, her body naturally will “shut that whole thing down” and Idaho Sen. Chuck Winder urged married women who seek assistance from a physician regarding rape-related issues to first determine if the pregnancy was “caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape.”
These scientifically unsound or otherwise ignorant comments only serve to further demean women and their reproductive rights as autonomous human beings.
Amendment 6, simply titled Florida Abortion, would prohibit the use of public funds for abortions unless in the case of rape, incest, mentally ill or if the mother is in danger of dying.
To some this may seem to be a reasonable compromise, but consider the process involved in proving a case of pregnancy caused by rape.
The victim would have to endure invasive physical exams and lengthy questioning regarding highly personal details, re-victimizing them in the process.
If a pregnant woman is in danger of dying, will she wait in the emergency room as a courtroom determines if she is in critical enough condition to receive a life-saving procedure? If a publicly funded doctor decides to perform the procedure and a courtroom decides the mothers’ condition was not serious enough to do so, will the doctor lose his or her license?
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which opposes abortion-limiting legislation, stated “politicians must stop trying to interfere with private medical decisions by playing politics with a woman’s health.”
The amendment would also remove the extra privacy rights the State Constitution offers beyond the U.S. Constitution.
The corrosion of privacy rights in Oklahoma led to a bill called the Statistical Reporting of Abortions Act, though struck down in court, would have required doctors under threat of losing their licenses to report all abortions performed along with personal information of patients’ such as past and present relationships, reason for the procedure, financial status, number of pregnancies and abortions and the county the service was performed in.
The bill would have posted this information online, and opponents Progress in Action argued this would allow anyone who received a procedure to easily be tracked or targeted by hostile pro-life attackers. Furthermore, the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, already excludes abortion from comprehensive health care covered by federal funds, making Florida’s proposed amendment redundant.
Advocatesforyouth.org reported “one-third of all unintended pregnancies are to young women in their twenties” and that “the birth rate among teens ages 18 to 19 was 66.2 births per 1000 teens.” Unintended pregnancy is not discriminatory, as it affects young women of all races, education levels and income levels.
Student voters should not ignore the rates of college-age pregnancy as they cast their ballots.
Danielle Leppo is a senior majoring in technical writing.