Monday, March 5, 2007
You'll have to excuse me if I don't rant prolifically in this post. The cat just barfed on the couch. I'm thinking she must have been reading over my shoulder.
I get legislative updates from the National Association of Social Workers. Part of our code of ethics states that we must advocate for legislation that promotes self-determination. The following is the text of an email I received from them concerning the abortion bill being discussed in the Senate. Please consider the ethical advocacy requirements for my licensure complete. What I would truly like to say about this bill is anything but ethical. So, I figured I would just post here and see if anyone made any loud noises.
Please feel free to read the text of the bill and tell me what you think.
SB 2193,the combination of all three abortion bills from the Senate that passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 22 is now up for a vote in the full Senate. If passed, it will go to the Governor for signature. The House amendment is listed below, and to read the full bill go to http://www.ls.state.ms.us and click on Bill Status.
The NASW policy statement on this matter is that "every individual (within the context of her or his value system) must be free to participate or not participate in abortion, family planning, and other reproductive health services". As such, we cannot support this legislation.
Please contact your Senators with your concerns as quickly as possible at 601.359.3770. You can also fax your Senator at 601.359.3935.
House Amendments to Senate Bill No. 2391
TO THE SECRETARY OF THE SENATE:
THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT THE HOUSE HAS ADOPTED THE AMENDMENTS SET OUT BELOW:
AMENDMENT NO. 1
Amend by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
SECTION 1. Section 41-41-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-41-55. (1) The requirements and procedures under Sections 41-41-51 through 41-41-63 shall apply and are available to minors whether or not they are residents of this state.
(2) The minor may participate in proceedings in the court on her own behalf. The court shall advise her that she has a right to court-appointed counsel and shall provide her with such counsel upon her request or if she is not already adequately represented.
(3) Court proceedings under this section shall be confidential and anonymous and shall be given such precedence over other pending matters as is necessary to insure that the court may reach a decision promptly, but in no case shall the court fail to rule within seventy-two (72) hours of the time the application is filed. If for any reason the court fails to rule within seventy-two (72) hours of the time the application is filed, the minor may proceed as if the consent requirement of Section 41-41-53 has been waived.
(4) Consent shall be waived if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence either:
(a) That the minor is mature and well-informed enough to make the abortion decision on her own; or
(b) That performance of the abortion would be in the best interests of the minor.
(5) A court that conducts proceedings under this section shall issue written and specific factual findings and legal conclusions supporting its decision and shall order that a confidential record of the evidence be maintained.
(6) An expedited confidential and anonymous appeal shall be available to any minor to whom the court denies a waiver of consent. The Mississippi Supreme Court shall issue promptly such rules and regulations as are necessary to insure that proceedings under Sections 41-41-51 through 41-41-63 are handled in an expeditious, confidential and anonymous manner.
(7) No filing fees shall be required of any minor who avails herself of the procedures provided by this section.
SECTION 2. (1) As used in this section, the term "abortion" means the use or prescription of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth or to remove a dead fetus.
(2) No abortion shall be performed or induced in the State of Mississippi, except in the case where necessary for the preservation of the mother's life or where the pregnancy was caused by rape.
(3) For the purposes of this act, rape shall be an exception to the prohibition for an abortion only if a formal charge of rape has been filed with an appropriate law enforcement official.
(4) Any person, except the pregnant woman, who purposefully, knowingly or recklessly performs or attempts to perform or induce an abortion in the State of Mississippi, except in the case where necessary for the preservation of the mother's life or where the pregnancy was caused by rape, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than ten (10) years.
SECTION 3. The provisions of this section shall be codified as Section 41-41-34, Mississippi Code of 1972:
41-41-34. (1) Before the performance of an abortion, as defined in Section 2 of this act, the physician who is to perform the abortion, or a qualified person assisting the physician, shall:
(a) Perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion;
(b) Offer to provide the patient with an opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat is audible;
(c) Offer to provide the patient with a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the unborn child;
(d) Obtain the patient's signature on a certification form stating that the patient has been given the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat is audible, and that she has been offered a physical picture of the ultrasound image; and
(e) Retain a copy of the signed certification form in the patient's medical record.
(2) The State Department of Health shall enforce the requirements of this section.
(3) An ultrasound image must be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community, shall contain the dimensions of the unborn child and shall accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs, if present or viewable, of the unborn child.
SECTION 4. At such time as the Attorney General of Mississippi determines that the United States Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and that as a result, it is reasonably probable that Section 2 of this act would be upheld by the court as constitutional, the Attorney General shall publish his determination of that fact in the administrative bulletin published by the Secretary of State as provided in Section 25-43-2.101, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 5. (1) If any provision of this act is found to be unconstitutional, the provision is severable; and the other provisions of this act remain effective, except as provided in other sections of this act.
(2) Nothing in this act may be construed to repeal, by implication or otherwise, any provision not explicitly repealed.
(3) If any provision of this act is ever declared unconstitutional or its enforcement temporarily or permanently restricted or enjoined by judicial order, the provisions of Sections 41-41-31 through 41-41-91, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be enforced. However, if such temporary or permanent restraining order or injunction is subsequently stayed or dissolved or such declaration vacated or any similar court order otherwise ceases to have effect, all provisions of this act that are not declared unconstitutional or whose enforcement is not restrained shall have full force and effect.
(4) Nothing in the provisions of Sections 41-41-31 through 41-41-91, Mississippi Code of 1972, shall be construed to permit any action that is prohibited by Senate Bill No. 2391, 2007 Regular Session, and to the extent that any provision of Sections 41-41-31 through 41-41-91, Mississippi Code of 1972, would be so construed, then the provisions of Senate Bill No. 2391, 2007 Regular Session, shall take precedence.
SECTION 6. Sections 1, 3, 4 and 5 of this act shall take effect from and after July 1, 2007. Section 2 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after ten (10) days following the date of publication by the Attorney General of Mississippi in the administrative bulletin published by the Secretary of State as provided in Section 25-43-2.101, Mississippi Code of 1972, that the Attorney General has determined that the United States Supreme Court has overruled the decision of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), and that it is reasonably probable that Section 2 of this act would be upheld by the court as constitutional.
Further, amend by striking the title in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 41-41-55, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT IF A COURT GRANTS A WAIVER OF PARENTAL CONSENT TO A MINOR SEEKING AN ABORTION, THE COURT SHALL MAKE CERTAIN REQUIRED FINDINGS BY CLEAR AND CONVINCING EVIDENCE; TO PROHIBIT ABORTIONS IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, EXCEPT IN CASES WHERE NECESSARY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE MOTHER'S LIFE OR WHERE THE PREGNANCY WAS CAUSED BY RAPE; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS PROHIBITION SHALL BECOME EFFECTIVE ONLY UPON A DETERMINATION BY THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL THAT THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT HAS OVERRULED THE DECISION OF ROE V. WADE, WHICH HAS THE EFFECT OF HOLDING UNCONSTITUTIONAL ANY STATE LAW THAT SEEKS TO CREATE SUCH A PROHIBITION; TO REQUIRE THAT BEFORE THE PERFORMANCE OF AN ABORTION, THE PHYSICIAN SHALL PERFORM FETAL ULTRASOUND IMAGING AND AUSCULTATION OF FETAL HEART TONE SERVICES; TO REQUIRE THE PHYSICIAN TO OFFER THE PATIENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO VIEW THE ULTRASOUND IMAGE AND LISTEN TO THE HEARTBEAT OF THE UNBORN CHILD, IF THE HEARTBEAT IS AUDIBLE; TO REQUIRE THE PATIENT TO SIGN A CERTIFICATION FORM STATING THAT SHE HAS BEEN GIVEN THAT OPPORTUNITY; TO REQUIRE THE PHYSICIAN TO RETAIN A COPY OF THE SIGNED CERTIFICATION FORM IN THE PATIENT'S MEDICAL RECORD; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Okay. Here's something. A dear friend of mine, who I won't name or anything, has a daughter who was raped by friend's brother. Yes. Brother. Daughter is a teenager; brother is out of state. Daughter tells her the next day. Daughter does not want to press charges...her word against his, she's ashamed/embarrassed, doesn't want to relive experience.... Yes, friends are encouraging her to press charges, but ultimately, it's her decision. She has been to a rape crisis center and been assigned a counselor. So there is ONE SMALL example of why the rape clause is crap. And this whole thing is crap. Crappity crap crap. How's that for "ethics"??????
This was specifically designed to be unconstitutional so as to provoke a lawsuit. The authors want to overturn Roe V. Wade, one was recently interviewed and stated that he "wants Mississippi to be the state that causes the overturn." As such, they have written this statute to be open to criticism on multiple angles. It is a bad bill on purpose.
This is very upsetting. I am frustrated by the constant focus on this issue and their steadfast belief that Roe will be overturned. I really have said all I can say many times over, but there are proactive things we can do. A great new one is: www.pillpatrol.saveroe.com You sign up, canvas a pharmacy or two in the area and see how they respond when you request EC (Plan B, emergency contraception). It's great for males and females to do, to gauge reaction. You fill out Planned Parenthood's questionnaire and report back the findings -- could you get it? How much was it? Did they ask questions or were they professional? Then, based on those responses, PP can target campaigns in the area. This is unrelated, but it is good to feel like you can do something in the face of all this ignorance.
postmodern-that's actually an interesting sort of "undercover investigative" thing to do. I wonder how pharmacies in Madison would react if I walked in and requested EC? Hmmm....I've got less than nothing to do today but attempt to piss someone off. ;) I think I shall head to Walgreens.
- Lori G
Definitely ... share your results! I tried, before EC was OTC, to get an RX for a friend (yes, literally, haha) because she was too scared to go/call. I didn't understand her anxiety. So I called up MEA and it was a spectacle. They refused to let me talk to a doctor, told me they couldn't believe I was asking for it, and said she (nurse with apparent divine authority) would not speak with me on the phone any longer ... and hung up. They got quite a letter, but I've still not received a response. And, my friend was okay. She didn't get the EC, but *this time* it turned out okay.
Did Barbour sign the thang? What's going on with that, anybody know?