Nel's New Day

March 19, 2012

“Release” Information about Women Who Have Abortions and Their Doctors, Say Tennessee Legislators

Filed under: Uncategorized — trp2011 @ 7:52 PM
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When have Republicans gone too far? People who were horrified at laws demanding transvaginal ultrasounds and prohibiting birth control need to see what Tennessee wants to do to women who decide to have abortions and the doctors who perform this legal medical procedure.

Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) is sponsoring a bill that would require additional information on abortions, including the doctor’s name and demographics about the women that might very easily reveal their identities. This information is already provided to the Department of Health; Hill wants to publicize the data. The Department of Health already reports the information about abortions, but Hill would mandate that the department “release patient data broken down by county.” In small communities this reporting could easily reveal the women’s identities. State Rep. Gary Odom (D) warned that violence against both the women and the doctors who provide the procedures could ensue after their identities are made public.

Sixteen years ago, the government passed an act with a long name and the acronym HIPAA that protected patients’ privacy in health situations. Since that time, thousands of trees have been destroyed to print the mandated page-long instruction for each patient, given to each patient each time the person has any medical appointment. Yet some legislators who believe in no regulations and extremely limited government go beyond over-riding doctors’ opinions in providing health care to releasing information about women patients, information that could result in violence against the women. These legislators are the same people who want to endanger everyone’s health by allowing poison in our food, water, and air. Their guideline is no regulations unless they control women.

It’s been over 150 years since Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter, about a woman in 17th-century America who was marked for life with an “A” on her forehead. Perhaps reading this book will give Hill more ideas about humiliating women.

While states across the country are busy working for abstinence-only programs and other controls on women’s reproductive rights, some Republicans are recognizing the insanity of this approach and its danger to Republicans’ being elected. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said that he opposes his state’s controversial bill allowing employers to restrict health insurance coverage of contraception to only those cases when a woman can prove a need for it because of a medical reason, such as endometriosis or an ovarian cyst. If this bill were to pass, women would need a note from their doctors to prove that they weren’t using birth control just for “fun” purposes.

Women are catching on. “If they’re going to decide on women’s reproductive issues, I’m not going to vote for any of them. Women’s reproduction is our own business,” said evangelical Christian, Iowa voter, and former Mitt Romney supporter Mary Russell.

Republican legislators’ Facebook pages are being inundated in Project TMI: women all over the country post honest, frank information about their reproductive issues—menstruation, birth control, etc.—and ask for assistance from the men who have worked so hard to control women’s reproductive rights. Rick Perry is another recent recipient of the barrage of messages.

March is Women’s History Month, and our nation’s women are making history!


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