Saturday, July 25, 2009

John Adams Is An Idiot

En route to a hard look at the healthcare issue, let's take a side trip to Crazytown, which is apparently a small whistlestop in Ohio.

It seems that an inappropriately-named state legislator from Ohio, John Adams (R-Imagine That) has reintroduced legislation (which was originally shot down in 2007), requiring a woman to get the permission of the biological father before she could get an abortion.

(After all, them wimminfolk can't make decisions like this on their own, can they? They need to get permission from their man, the way God intended!)

Wow, coming from the party that claims to want smaller government, what kind of nonsense is this? This is practically unenforceable, unless you hire on a whole new branch of law enforcement. Who's going to be paying for the DNA tests to prove that the woman isn't "providing a false biological father"? (That's the first offense - a misdemeanor.) Are we allowed to take her at her word? "Innocent until proven guilty" and all that?

(This whole argument does lead to the fascinating mental image of some kind of Uterine Police bursting into the room with guns at the ready - "Halt! Put down that speculum!" But that's a ridiculous side issue, and I shouldn't even have brought it up.)

We already have states with "deadbeat dad" laws, who are supposed to track down fathers behind on their child support. And these states can't keep up with the dads, because they aren't funded to do so. Again, how are these new laws supposed to be enforced?

Supporters of this bill like to claim that it won't cost the state any money - this provides guidelines that the clinic has to follow. Which is a ridiculous and unfounded claim. At the very least, you can't have a law passed in the first place without it costing time and money on the legislative side (plus the cost of judicial review). You can't enforce a law without it draining money from the police and the courts. And when this law is inevitably struck down, all of that money is wasted.

And if the woman goes to the next state over and gets an abortion there, what crime has she committed? Will Mr Adams be coming up with something fascinating for that, as well? Will he be tagging pregnant women with GPS monitors next?

Let's look at the words of Mr Adams, the bill's sponsor.
"...this is also an attempt and a hope to keep the two people who have created that child together, and I suppose if you just go back to the simple beginning, there is merit to chastity, and to young men and women waiting until marriage."
Which is, of course, complete nonsense. In the end, the bill has nothing to do with "permission," or "father's rights," or even changing the morality of a society (which isn't something you can legislate anyway). This is all about restricting the access to abortion. Period.

I notice there's no requirement for the father to stick around, pay child support, or to do anything other than give his permission.

Why isn't there some penalty for the father? Why is this punishing only the mother? Dad, following the rules of this legislation, can just walk away. What if the bio-dad fights with the mom and leaves? Mom thought they were getting married. She's now forced to have the baby as a single mom, and become one of Reagan's "welfare queens"? If Dad just refuses to sign a "permission slip" for whatever reason, why is he not then legally required to provide financial support for his incipient offspring?

This doesn't "promote" any kind of behavior in the father, just penalizes the woman. It's ignorant legislation, not well thought out, and would be struck down the first time it was challenged. Meaning it's just money down the drain, in the middle of a recession.

And why, you may ask, will this law be "inevitably" struck down? I mean, I've said that twice; what do I base that on?

It's very simple. Lincoln first signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862 (there was a second one in 1863, but hardly worth arguing about). And within a year of his death in 1865, we had the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery.

When you try to claim that one person has any control over the body, life and health of another person, that is slavery, regardless of whether the first person is married to the second. And slavery is, as I just pointed out, unconstitutional. (I'm sorry, but marriage doesn't give him any claim on her internal organs.)

It's a cute idea, and a nice try in getting around abortion rights, but it doesn't hold up to any reasonable standard of judicial logic.

In the end, why should the father have rights? At what point is he going to go through 9 months of pain and discomfort, permanently change his body, and run the risk of dying or ending up with permanent health issues in the process?

(I'll assume that that most people are aware that the US has the worst rate of maternal mortality in the industrialized world, right? And the second highest newborn death rate. Of course, all those other countries have the advantage of universal healthcare. But very few of those people in favor of this bill would support that idea, either...)

(Of course, if you think about it, how can you denounce health care reform by claiming that government shouldn't come between people and their doctors, but have no problem placing government between women and their bodies? Do you see the dichotomy there?)

Mr Adams is concerned with legislating his brand of morality - sticking his nose (and the nose of the government) into other people's private lives. He wants to get the government involved in the sex lives of the American people. Am I the only one who’s reminded of Gladys Kravitz here? John Adams is worrying entirely too much about other people's behavior.


Suicidal Jane said...

A question I have about this bill:

In the case of rape, assuming the father can be identified, does he get this right?

I know that currently, in some states at least, a mother can legally withhold the name of the father and not have it the birth certificate. This is to protect the mother and child from an violent, abusive, dangerous situation. (The man has no claim on the child, and if he's an abusive fuckwad, this is a good thing.) If a woman had to get the man's permission for an abortion, and doesn't get it... his name would be put on the birth certificate, and the earlier mentioned protection would be unable to occur.

Just my late night thoughts.

Nameless Cynic said...

Good point. Hadn't thought about abusive fathers - the surface idiocy of this bill was enough.

While the bill apparently "offers exceptions in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy," in the case of the abusive father you mentioned, it's not the pregnancy which is endangering the life of the mother, but a secondary situation. So, no, I don't think it applies.

Yet another fine example of why this bill was crafted by morons.

Eman said...

Thats funny.... You take an incredibly obscure story and call a Republican an idiot... Then ignore a huge story about the President of the United States saying a cop acted "stupidly" when in fact, he was doing his job and all evidence says the cop was right in what he did.

Talk about pulling a story out of your butt Bill.

A man wants to make it harder to kill babies and you call him an "idiot" when the one who really looked like one gets a pass by Billy Big Wings.

You are a real piece of work.

I called Bush all kinds of names when he was leader of the free world for policies he implemented, but you slobber all over this Presidents shoes and give him a pass to call a republican an idiot. You have an agenda sir. It's not American. It's BILL. You and that butt pluger Diodink have a nice day.
Color me gone>>>>

Nameless Cynic said...

You know, you keep saying you're gone, but you always come back. Why is that?

Now, let me see. A black man, faced with obvious racism, calls it "idiotic." But I should concentrate on that (which I consider completely justified), instead of this piece of trash legislature.

(At this point, the facts, as I understand them are:

1. A black man is found breaking into a house.

2. The police respond, as they should.

3. The black man identifies himself as the house owner.

That's where it should have ended. But it didn't.

4. The black man is upset and yells at the cop. He shouldn't have done that.

5. The cop, upset about being yelled at, refuses to give his name and badge number, instead saying "I'll give you that outside."

6. Black man follows him outside, where cop, having changed the venue, arrests him for cop-embarrassment.

I was a cop for the military for 21 years. If you can't take a little verbal abuse, you should put down the gun and badge and get a job elsewhere.

The professor was wrong to yell at the cop. The cop was more wrong to goad him outside.

Do you have any facts that I missed? Because otherwise, you're talking out your ass.

Anonymous said...

Stay classy with the ad hominem attacks and diversion from the actual issue, Eman.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Eman, the cop DID act stupidly. A man can yell in his own house. The cop refused to give his badge number unless Gates went outside when the cop could use the "disorderly conduct" crap charge.

Anonymous said...

" fact, he was doing his job and all evidence says the cop was right in what he did."

I noticed a couple typos there Eman. Let me help...

In fact, he was being an ass, and all evidence says the cop was wrong in what he did.

John Mikes said...


The cop DID act stupidly. Gates might well be an asshole, but simply being an asshole in your own home isn't a crime. Unless you're black, I guess.

Dr. Squid said...

Thats funny

Wanton abuse of apostrophes, -1

You take an incredibly obscure story and call a Republican an idiot.

Never much of a stretch there.

Then ignore a huge story about the President of the United States saying a cop acted "stupidly"

Wouldn't be a huge story if you police-state conservative bedwetting crybabies weren't such public crybabies.

when in fact,

How you know a conservative is lying - use phrases like "when in fact".

he was doing his job and all evidence says the cop was right in what he did.

All evidence says for the cop to leave when he established that the person he was speaking to was the actual resident of said house, and was therefore not guilty of B&E. Just because you're a bedwetting crybaby doesn't mean that the cop should also act like a bedwetting crybaby on being, GASP, criticized.

Talk about pulling a story out of your butt Bill.

Conservative proclivity toward sodomy noted.

A man wants to make it harder to kill babies and you call him an "idiot"

Not one conservative has written one single bill that makes it harder to "kill babies", which conservatives are oddly in favor of if the babies in question are born and the perpetrator is a large corporate HMO. Because y'know, the conservative favored group should be allowed to do whatever they want in conservative world.

You are a real piece of work.

Your personal problems are of no one's concern.

I called Bush all kinds of names when he was leader of the free world for policies he implemented,


but you slobber all over this Presidents shoes and give him a pass to call a republican an idiot.

How dare the President tell the truth! He should spare the conservative's feelings instead because everyone knows that conservative are so much better than everyone else. Just ask Eman.

Color me gone>>>>

OK. You're a coward. Like I expected. It's what you conservatives are.

Have fun underneath your bed hiding from the big bad libruls coming into your house by way of your teevee to hurt your feelings.

Diogenes said...

Your Honor, may the record reflect that I had nothing to do with these comments. Although I agree with all except for the e-boy's. Nice job, folks! :-)