[Originally published at SheilaKennedy.net on January 30, 2015]
Doug Masson, one of the most thoughtful bloggers around, follows our legislature rather closely. Recently, he described one of the (many) stupid/scary bills that might actually become law, given the collective acumen of that not-so-august body.
You’d think the General Assembly that caught so much crap for trying to define pi would be a little careful with its definitions, but HB 1136 has a reckless swagger about its medical definition. Specifically, it says that “”Fetus” means a human being produced by a human pregnancy from fertilization through birth, including a zygote, blastocyst, and fetus.”
The inaccuracies are part of a bill requiring Doctors to “talk to” women, to ensure that we sweet, dumb little things understand what we’re doing.
All in a day’s work for the men who think they were elected to be obstetricians.
Let’s acknowledge Masson’s point that the definitions used in HB 1136 have no scientific validity; fetus, zygote and blastocyst are not interchangeable terms, nor are any of them “human beings” in any meaningful sense of the word.
Far more annoying than this added evidence of legislative ignorance, however, is the persistence of efforts to control women’s bodies, to insert government into what should be personal and family decisions, and to make some people’s religious beliefs (no matter how uninformed, unscientific or unrepresentative) the law of the land.
We live in a state that ranks at the bottom of many indices: civic health, education, job creation, child poverty. Rather than making an effort to improve the lives of Hoosiers–including children already born–rather than enacting measures that would feed hungry children, rather than providing (or even regulating the safety of) daycare facilities, our elected officials are focused like lasers on controlling women’s “lady parts.”
News flash, autocrats: that Constitution you’ve never studied says that directing my most intimate personal decisions is not part of your job description.
Knowing the meaning of the words you use probably is, though.