Thursday, August 2, 2007

You can't get an abortion unless Daddy says so

Via Jess at Feministing. This week, a Republican legislator in Ohio has introduced a bill that would require women to get permission from the father of the fetus prior to getting an abortion. Yeah, that's right. You need to get permission from someone else to have a medical procedure done on your body. Even if you don't know who the father is or can't get a hold of him for some reason means that you can't get the permission, and therefore can't get the abortion. Even if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, the woman must present a police report to the doctor to get permission. And you thought parential notification was bad.

Katharine Mieszkowski at Broadsheet has a good analysis:

How such a law could ever be enforced is really hard to fathom. First, what to do in cases where the woman doesn't know who the father is, or says she doesn't know? No problem! The bill stipulates that she can simply submit a list of possible fathers to a physician who will then perform a paternity test on the fetus. Yet, that's easier said than done.

To perform a paternity test, first you'd need to extract some genetic material from the fetus, which would require chorionic villus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis. An amnio is not typically done until 16 to 20 weeks gestation, but CVS can be done around 11 weeks, near the end of the first trimester. See how time to have that abortion is ticking away? Both amnio and CVS also carry a small risk of miscarriage, which I hope Rep. Adams is aware of considering his professed concern for the unborn.

By most accounts, it seems that this bill is unlikely to pass. Even if it did, the recently elected Gov. Ted Strickland was endorsed by NARAL pro-choice and would promptly veto. Thank goodness for checks and balances.

Cross-posted at

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