Just say no

I guess the Alabama legislature took a look at what happened to Savita Halappanavar at University Hospital Galway, and liked what they saw. They want that to happen to Alabama women too. From the ACLU blog:

All miscarriages can be devastating. But, for women in Alabama, this nightmare could soon get a lot worse. This week, the Alabama Senate is set to consider a cruel bill (HB 31) that would permit the hospital staff, including any doctor, nurse, counselor, or lab technician, to refuse to participate in any phase of patient medical care related to ending a pregnancy, even if that is what a patient like this woman needs to protect her own health and future fertility.

Yes, you heard that right. Under this law, if you or a loved one is pregnant and go to an emergency room in Alabama because of serious complications, every medical professional in that emergency room could refuse to help you if the care you needed to protect you from serious harm to your health required ending the pregnancy.

“That can’t be true,” you say. “How could a doctor at my local hospital turn me away and refuse to treat me? Isn’t that malpractice?”

The Alabama legislature is one step ahead of you. The bill would also protect health care professionals from liability for refusing to provide necessary medical care. What’s more, the bill would exempt the hospital from liability under Alabama law. This means that even if the hospitals know that the on-duty doctor won’t provide appropriate medical care, Alabama law says that in most cases they have no obligation to find someone who will.

Unfuckingbelievable. The Savita case shocked people in Ireland; some of them went straight to the Dáil to demonstrate their shock; some months later the law was changed to prevent its happening again. The Alabama legislature wants to pass a law so that it will happen there. Talk about dropping all motherfucking pretense of giving a shit about women. Talk about dropping the mask. Like their god, they hate women.



  1. says

    So, health care providers cannot discriminate in hiring based on these objections, nor can they fire someone for them.

    So, provided you are the best qualified applicant to perform abortions, but you just don’t want to, an abortion clinic would appear required to hire you as an abortion doctor and keep you on staff. They can’t hold your refusal to perform abortions against you, there is nothing in the bill that I saw that gives an exception to this in the case abortion constitutes your primary duties.

    I don’t know how often this would happen- hardcore pro lifers will probably not be the most qualified to perform abortion in most cases, and I can’t see a remotely competent judge enforcing it like this, but it’s an edge case that appears possible under this law.

  2. suttkus says

    But the REAL war on women is when libruls say mean things about Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman. Fox News said so yesterday.

  3. dmcclean says

    This is despicable. There aren’t enough words to express how outrageous it is, so I’m not going to try.

    Can anyone with legal experience comment on whether it would be effective? Can Alabama make this legal? When someone dies, won’t the relevant people have been violating federal laws?

    At least the EMTALA?

    You might conceivably shoehorn the death itself into 18 USC 241, but it seems like a stretch, if only because the “free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same” (pronouns in original) are so fundamental. Is walking around while female a “right or privilege secured by the …”? Is seeking medical attention?

    Are there other federal statutes under which criminal charges might be brought under these circumstances?

    If I was an unethical hack pseudo-doctor in Alabama who wanted to take advantage of this law to kill sluts as the lord commands, I would want to be damn sure that the ambulance the patient arrived in hadn’t crossed the state line, because you could argue that it’s a kidnapping.

    This is infuriating. And it doesn’t seem to have been something that just one crackpot introduced, either, it appears to have passed in the lower chamber of the legislature already?

    What fucking century is this?

  4. karmacat says

    I’m thinking a Lysistrata kind of action should happen. All women in Alabama should refuse to have sex until this bill is dropped

  5. quixote says

    “they hate women”

    Come now. Of course they don’t. They love the ladies. (“They” of course = “male.”) They’re also kind to their dogs, and take good care of the household furniture.

    There’s a great post by a Quaker about these vastly moral objections, Get your fake conscience objections off my lawn. The gist:

    if someone serving in the military came to me and said they wanted me to defend their right to refuse military service, but that they also wanted to keep their job and be paid as if they were actually serving in combat, I would laugh in their face.

  6. Gordon Willis says

    Alas!– Lysistrata is a comedy and the women are basically comic fools. I’d like to think that Aristophanes was a feminist, but he isn’t. He thinks that if women could behave is he depicts it would be hilarious, because they’re muddle-headed, lost without male guidance, and know only that their happiness depends on right-thinking men to rule them — their words are his, and his male audience’s.

    Still, karmacat’s is a good idea, insofar as it means that no sex=no babies=no excuse on that score to turn women into natural baby-producing devices of the Lord, but it’s not far enough. Women ought to be able to declare — indeed, they MUST declare — that they can have as much sex as men (obviously they do, in practice) but are not, under any circumstances, bound to surrender their right to permit what may be done to them; moreover, they MUST declare and make good their right as persons to refuse to permit anyone to deny them adequate means to survive as fully functioning human beings (or, in other words, they must refuse to acknowledge the right of anyone either to murder them or — which is the same thing — treat them as less than autonomous persons).

    I hope I am not again incurring bigoted censure for saying “must”. I am trying to say that this is necessary, and is therefore a “must”. There is no point in complaining. Either you women want freedom or you don’t. If you want it, you will have to fight for it. The opposition isn’t going to go away merely because you ask, and it will do the utmost harm to you in the name of god or Jesus or democracy or socialism or anything if it can thereby confirm its dominance or its egotism or its sentimentality or its mere resentment of women as social and moral equals of men.

  7. Claire Ramsey says

    words fail me. Alabama. . . here’s hoping that this hateful dangerous, let us hope that HB 31 is thrown out on its butt and their little dog too

  8. Gordon Willis says

    if women could behave is he depicts

    #8 as he depicts

    I have never learnt to type. Sorry.

  9. Gordon Willis says

    OK, women are fighting, yes. Now, here is Alabama. What are Alabaman women going to do? A few demonstrations? Good, but, more is needed. Seriously, and on every level of society, because women exist on every level of society, but they still reason individually, rather than collectively. It’s home and the kids and being nice and fair and…Women are isolated, because men have isolated them, or they have accepted the male-dominated myth that the men’s world is the real world, and this has forced them into being singularities — an adjunct of some man, a mother of some family, and NOT A PERSON WITH BRAINS LIKE THE MEN OR THE CHILDREN, and not a thinking-and-doing member of half the human race. Half the human race is out there, and it’s female…IT’S A BIG VOICE. WHEN WILL IT START SHOUTING, AND WHEN WILL IT SAY “ENOUGH, YOU WON’T TREAT US LIKE THIS ANY MORE”

  10. Gordon Willis says

    #11 That wasn’t supposed to posted yet — I suppose that on weekends wierd things are allowed: but what the hell. Sorry about the shouting. I really feel like shouting. I can’t help feeling that it’s a waste of time, though. Very very depressing.

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