I just read about the “Heartbeat Bill” on the Time Magazine Website, and while I have been trying to post one entry to my blog daily, I am going to post two today. I can’t help it. Without getting into rhetoric regarding the controversy regarding abortion, I need to comment.
For those of you who haven’t heard, pro-life groups are attempting get laws passed in all 50 states, saying that a woman must listen to the fetus’ heartbeat before they can consent to an abortion. What the heck!
I realize that abortion is a hot-button topic. But, really! The government does not belong in the exam room. That is a place for a woman (or a man, although he wouldn’t be pregnant) and her healthcare provider. Is this really a precedent that we want to start: having the government dictating what goes on in the exam room?
For example, if you are a smoker should the government mandate that you need to look at photographs or video of what smoking does to your lungs every time you see your healthcare provider and confirm that you haven’t stopped smoking. What about those people who are overweight? Should they be required, by the government, to be shown video of what arteries look like when you have high cholesterol. Or, people who drink, should they be shown what cirrhosis of the liver looks like?
One might argue that the medical issues I’ve described are nothing like being pregnant. I will concede that point. However, is this really a precedent that we want to set? One that allows the government into the exam room? Because, if we allow the government to impose laws requiring women to listen to a fetal heartbeat prior to consenting to an abortion, where will the intrusion stop?
And what about cases of incest and rape? Requiring a woman to listen to a fetal heartbeat after already being traumatized. I would call that cruel and unusual punishment – and if I remember my American History correctly, that is unconstitutional (check out the 8th amendment).
Like I said, I realize that abortion is a topic that is very controversial – and I won’t go into the arguments regarding abortion (for or against) – but requiring a woman to listen to a fetal heartbeat? Mandating that doctors must “make” a woman listen to the heartbeat prior to consenting to an abortion? The government does not belong in the exam room. This is what these laws will result in – the government in the exam room. I certainly don’t want anyone but my healthcare provider in there with me. Do you?