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Friday, April 13, 2012

Meanwhile in Arizona

Posted by on Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 9:34 AM

Arizona's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, just signed a law—pushed by Arizona's Republican-packed legislature—that declares that life begins before conception:

Life starts earliest in Arizona, which now defines gestational age as beginning on the first day of a woman’s last period, rather than at fertilization. In practice, that means the state has banned abortions after about 18 weeks (20 weeks from the last menstruation) except in the case of medical emergencies.... The stipulation likely to be most widely felt is what experts are calling an effective shutdown of medication abortions. These nonsurgical abortions are usually performed within the first nine weeks of pregnancy, and account for between 17 and 20 percent of all abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive-rights advocacy group. While women often take the pills at clinics and in their homes, the bill now mandates that a medical provider must have hospital privileges within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place.

What was Ann Romney saying on my teevee yesterday? Something about how we need to respect the choices women make—something like that?

Maybe Ann could give Jan a call.


Comments (50) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
I need to contact about twenty friends right now, and congratulate them on their new pregnancies.
Posted by adamsass on April 13, 2012 at 9:42 AM · Report this
Does this mean unfertilized eggs are a life and thus each month women commit murder?
Posted by quick question on April 13, 2012 at 9:44 AM · Report this
So in 9 months from this day forward every child born in Arizona will be the second coming of Christ, since each conception, if taking place two weeks prior to procreation, would by default be an immaculate conception... well I guess that's good news for the Christians anyway, and a great
tourism campaign. Come to Arizona, where a new Baby Jesus is born ever day!
Posted by xcowardx on April 13, 2012 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 4
I assume that along with this bill, they also passed legislation giving more assistance to new families or unwed mothers who need it? And making contraception and reproductive information widely available and free?

Oh, that's right, it's the GOP... they don't give a fuck about anyone who's actually been born and in fact desperately want actual born people to suffer.

The GOP: They're only happy if they can make everyone else miserable.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 13, 2012 at 9:49 AM · Report this

This means that all dudes are off the hook for child support.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on April 13, 2012 at 9:52 AM · Report this
Not such silly legislation, when it threatens the life of pregnant women.

From what I’ve read, this bill will also forestall medically-necessary abortions — when the health and life of the mother or the fetus is at stake.

There’s a set of testing at 20 weeks for fetal abnormalities, this new cut off at 18 weeks strands women whose wanted pregnancies have gone wrong with no medically-needed healthcare, if that healthcare includes abortion.
Posted by judybrowni on April 13, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 7
God I hate to be doing this. But still, I gotta.

Determining gestational age based on the first day of the last menstrual cycle is how obstetricians do it, and have done it for years. See, for example:…

Doctors don't know exactly when fertilization took place, and later in the pregnancy they can take certain measurements which give a rough developmental age, but when the doctor says "You are twenty weeks pregnant" she means twenty weeks from the start of the last period.

I've got three kids and one in the pipeline. Last two were IVF and we thought it was funny that she was "pregnant" a week before they even fertilized the eggs.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on April 13, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
If pregnancy now begins before conception, will the next step be outlawing masturbation since the, um, results could have been directed into a pregnancy?
Posted by WestSeven on April 13, 2012 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Life imitates fiction

When does the underground movement get started and how do I sign up?
Posted by EricaP on April 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Bonefish 10
8: Shit; they can outlaw menstruation itself, since it's a "one month-old" fetus that you're excreting.

7: That’s how they ESTIMATE the age, sure, because it’s the last clear benchmark that they can go from. But it’s not literally how old they consider the fetus, nor is it literally when they consider its life to have begun. This law does exactly that in order for anti-sexers to slime their way through some loopholes and force more pregnancies, lethality be damned! Because they're pro-life, you see.
Posted by Bonefish on April 13, 2012 at 10:11 AM · Report this
Immaculate Conceptions for everyone!!
Posted by searunner on April 13, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Allyn 12
Always been done that way, and that we're focused on the number of week’s gestation and not the government's intrusion into the doctor-patient relationship and decision-making abilities of women is pitiful. FOCUS, people.

Average gestation is typically 41 weeks. Two of those are prep time, so you’re looking at 39 actual weeks of pregnancy. Babies born after 36 weeks gestation are considered fully developed. Mid-term ultrasounds are done between 19-21 weeks (which works out to 17-19 of actual pregnancy). So they’re cutting off a woman’s choice to abort a mal-formed fetus right around the time she first realizes there may be something wrong. A week to have a new ultrasound to verify, maybe an amnio and she’ll find herself at 22-25 weeks pregnant with a baby who is so deformed, he will spend his short life in the hospital in terrible pain.

But God forbid we allow a woman to terminate a pregnancy because the fetus might experience pain for a few seconds.
Posted by Allyn on April 13, 2012 at 10:16 AM · Report this
Backyard Bombardier 13
@10: All they can ever do is estimate the age. And even when they know the exact date of fertilization - as in IVF - obstetricians date the pregnancy based on LMP. My wife is having first trimester screening today, at "twelve weeks" pregnant. And we know for a fact that there was no embryo twelve weeks ago. That's just how the doctor's count it.

But, whatever. Anti-choice laws are bad.
Posted by Backyard Bombardier on April 13, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
merry 14
Arizona and Florida are neck-&-neck for the Worst State in the Union "award".

Also: Mississippi.

Posted by merry on April 13, 2012 at 10:32 AM · Report this
I certainly hope these issues come back to haunt the GOP the next time they come up for reelection. And I strongly hope these horrid laws can be easily repealed once saner heads are in office. If not, the people who voted them in get what they deserve.

I see lots of lawsuits ahead.
Posted by SeattleKim on April 13, 2012 at 10:41 AM · Report this
hamish108 16
It seems Jan Brewer, the human equivalent of the worls's ugliest dog, is entirely motivated by envy, jealousy and hatred of women.
Posted by hamish108 on April 13, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
aliencoffebandit 17
@14 Arizona wants it bad, they're even willing to outcrazy Texas
Posted by aliencoffebandit on April 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
"Menstruation is Murder! Save Every Egg!"

That message was carried on signs and chanted in jest at Right to Choose rallies in the 70s and 80s, meant purely as a wisecrack about how irrational the anti-Choice movement is. I honestly never thought that message would ever be used in any way but jest.

But now it's come to pass: Conservatives think women are nothing more than babymakers.
Posted by mitten on April 13, 2012 at 11:03 AM · Report this
And it gets better (worse?).

"State Rep. Kimberly Yee, the sponsor of the House bill, which passed Monday, said she acted with her constituents in mind, adding that many of them feel it 'doesn’t go far enough.'"
"Yee said she championed the legislation because 'I have to do what the majority of Arizona has asked me to do.'"
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on April 13, 2012 at 11:29 AM · Report this
Every time a new bill like this comes up, I beat my head harder against the wall. Because that is what it feels like to try and communicate on issues. We just keep slamming up against a high and thick wall of prejudice and ignorance. Mother fucking ass holes.
Posted by Mer-Mer on April 13, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Notice how this sort of legislation focuses purely on the female anatomy. If anyone tried to pass legislation making whacking off illegal, on the grounds that ever "every sperm is sacred, every sperm..." (you get the idea) it would criminalize something like 95% of half the population. I wish they would try, though. The backlash would be absolutely punishing.

Hell, they could even begin legislation demanding women maintain a permanent state of sobriety, on the grounds that at any moment they could be (and accord to their minds--should be) pregnant.

Sobriety is a hell of a drug. I can't get over how maddening everything is, or see straight. So many people demonstrate their incapacity to govern themselves, especially politicians. The individual, the essential component of government, of society, is the essential problem with government, society.
Posted by Central Scrutinizer on April 13, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 22
Welcome to Ceaucescu's Romania.
Posted by keshmeshi on April 13, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Report this
pragmatic 23
Next they'll claim that life begins in the ovaries.
Posted by pragmatic on April 13, 2012 at 12:20 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 24
Life starts earliest in Arizona, which now defines gestational age as beginning on the first day of a woman’s last period, rather than at fertilization.

So Tori Spelling's fetus-- which was conceived right after her last kid was born-- was already 10 months old?
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on April 13, 2012 at 12:27 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 25

Good point... And since Michelle "Clown Car Vagina" Duggar has been continuously pregnant for, what, 20 years straight? Who knows when her last period was?

All the Duggar kids are basically the same age, right?
Posted by Urgutha Forka on April 13, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Can a civil war work the other way? Can the Sane States secede from the crazy ones and let them form the United States of Taliban like they so badly want to do?
Posted by Action Kate on April 13, 2012 at 1:11 PM · Report this
RTam 27
This type of thing makes me think that someone is pushing these laws so that the issue will end up back in front of the Supreme Court. This kind of nonsense can not go unchallenged, it's so blatantly absurd. But if it does get challenged in court, it could go all the way up and potentially overturn Roe v. Wade. Don't laugh, those right-wingers may be insane, but they are sneaky, clever bastards.
Posted by RTam on April 13, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
I read a story circulated by the folks a PP this morning. Woman was 20 weeks pregnant and her water broke, making it impossible for the baby to survive. Doctor couldn't do an abortion because he could go to jail. Gave birth 10 days later to a girl fetus that suffered and died. Woman got an infection waiting for the fetus to die. Now permanently sterile because of the infection.
Posted by Barbara on April 13, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Dougsf 29
By the time I get to Arizona... I'm 2 weeks pregnant?

And when you take the family to Four Corners monument, make sure and explain to your daughters they're definitely pregnant in at least one of those corners. They'll love it.
Posted by Dougsf on April 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
@26 States may not secede from the Union. However, as the power to admit new states lies wholly with the Congress, perhaps Congress also has the power to kick states out.

Now, if that's true, maybe all we need is a majority in Congress and we can fix our Arizona/Texas/Florida/Mississippi problem.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 13, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
Bauhaus I 31
Well, you know what Ms. Jan would say, right? "Murder isn't a rational choice!"

I guess when enough people leave the Red States for the freedom and choices provided in the Blue States, then maybe the Red States will start changing their tune because they won't have enough taxpayers or people to fill their service jobs (except bussed-in the slaughter industry does in the Midwest).
Posted by Bauhaus I on April 13, 2012 at 2:59 PM · Report this
So what timeline are all the other states using, if Arizona is doing something different by declaring gestational age from LMP? Is there anything else to go off of other than what the OBGYNs say is the age of the fetus? If the docs use LMP then what on earth are all states except Arizona using?
Posted by Karey on April 13, 2012 at 3:03 PM · Report this
is it just me or does Jan Brewer look less like a human being and more like one of those marionettes in Team America: World Police? Or maybe one of those freaky colonial-era apple-head dolls...
Posted by JrzWrld on April 13, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
@32- All other states use the LMP. This is a nonissue, and we need to focus out energies on other assaults against women's freedoms.
Posted by armchair politico on April 13, 2012 at 4:12 PM · Report this
So the backlash is already in full swing. Maybe we should set up a tontine - last undesirable group eradicated cashes in, but for how long?
Posted by vennominon on April 13, 2012 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Why is everyone focusing on the 18 week change? this is the big deal, no?

The stipulation likely to be most widely felt is what experts are calling an effective shutdown of medication abortions....While women often take the pills at clinics and in their homes, the bill now mandates that a medical provider must have hospital privileges within 30 miles of where the procedure takes place.
Posted by EricaP on April 13, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this
what happens to those of us who only have periods every 3 months or so?
Posted by M2C on April 13, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
BEG 38
I am simply stunned at how many times I've been pregnant in my life. I had no idea.
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on April 13, 2012 at 9:05 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 39
So they’re cutting off a woman’s choice to abort a mal-formed fetus right around the time she first realizes there may be something wrong.
I imagine I'm inviting a shit-storm, but I don't understand how this new law affects your scenario at all.

Partial birth abortions are illegal in Arizona (as they are federally) unless the woman's health is at risk; neither federal or AZ law has a condition regarding the health of the fetus as long as it's alive. (Horrible, I know.)

Partial birth abortions are not defined in EITHER law by duration of gestation; they are defined by the procedure required to abort the fetus.

I imagine the ultrasounds that confirm a tragic deformity of the fetus would also reveal whether an abortion other than partial-birth is a viable method.

Before OR after this law, if the doctor determines via ultrasound that a partial-birth abortion is required due to the physical maturity of the fetus, the doctor's hands are tied.

If all of the above is correct (someone correct me if it's not), this seems more an attack on medically-induced abortions (as the article post out).

Thus, yes, this law sucks. But I can't see how it affects your scenario.
Posted by Free Lunch on April 13, 2012 at 9:12 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 40
To be clear, this law has no effect on your scenario unless one of the following things is true:

1. Because of this law, doctors will schedule these exams two weeks after they normally would.

2. Because of this law, woman will show up to their scheduled exam two weeks late.

Both of those scenarios are preposterous.
Posted by Free Lunch on April 13, 2012 at 9:59 PM · Report this
Aurora Erratic 41
So, in Arizona, if I fail to get pregnant in any given cycle, I've had an abortion?

I'm so confused.
Posted by Aurora Erratic on April 14, 2012 at 6:11 AM · Report this
@28 Barbara,

"Well, it was God's will" the law writers would argue.

Maybe the thing to do is move out.

Posted by Married in MA on April 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM · Report this
If I can't be trusted to decide whether or not to have a child, why would you trust me to raise a child?
Posted by beccoid on April 14, 2012 at 5:16 PM · Report this
LEE. 44

because you'll have a hard-working, duty-bound, honest, Christ-fearing husband to even your keel. you're gonna do great!
Posted by LEE. on April 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM · Report this
Goddamnit. Way to make Shark Week even less fun. Because now in addition to needing to stock up on red meat and violent movies, I gotta plan a goddamned funeral over a kotex pad. I ain't got time for this. I don't consider skin cells that slough off my body sacred life, and I don't consider the 90% of pregnancies that miscarry before the woman even knows she's pregnant life.
Posted by MinnySota on April 14, 2012 at 10:35 PM · Report this
@4.... the GOP so doesn't give a shit about life after it's passed through a woman's vajayay. How else could you explain that probably 99.9% of the people in this country who are pro-life could give a shit about whether or not that life is denied care at an emergency room for an inability to pay or because they had a pre-existing condition. You're pro-life until the doctor slaps ya on the ass to get you wailing. After that, god help you if you're poor or you have a heart murmur or schizophrenia.
Posted by MinnySota on April 14, 2012 at 10:38 PM · Report this
Sorry, I have to do this. #3, #11, you guys mean virgin births for everyone, not immaculate conceptions. Two different doctrines, but easily confused.
Posted by saskia on April 15, 2012 at 9:02 AM · Report this
uh, do you suppose the next batshit crazy re-write will be "life begins 9 months before the birth of the mother?"
Posted by OldFiddler on April 15, 2012 at 2:40 PM · Report this
@36(EricaP), yes, curiously people are paying less attention to this important detail. It seems discussions of abortion always end up circling around the when-does-life-begin question (one for which different answers can be sincerely given, since it all depends on definitions). Note that Dan's title dealt with the 18-week change, not the point you mention.
Posted by ankylosaur on April 15, 2012 at 9:08 PM · Report this
geoz 50
the war on women continues...
Posted by geoz on April 16, 2012 at 8:52 AM · Report this

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