Yesterday the House approved Senate Bill 72, South Dakota’s latest sex-hating, woman-hating, Constitution-hating abortion restriction. This time, we’re writing dubious “science” about fetal pain (see also here and here) into state law and banning women from having abortions in or after the twentieth week of pregnancy “unless it is a medical emergency.”
SB 72 hits doctors performing abortions after twenty weeks with a Class 1 misdemeanor—one year in jail, $2,000 fine. Nobody gets a Class A felony—life in prison or death—for homicide because nobody in the South Dakota Legislature really believes all those things they say about abortion killing “people just like you and me.” Similarly, SB 72 prohibits imposing any penalty on women obtaining or attempting such an illegal abortion, because no legislator really believes a woman seeking an abortion is hiring a contract killer, or that a woman has the rational capacity to make decisions for which she can be held culpable.
Well, wait. Rep. Rev. Scott Craig seems to think something like that. After opening his remarks in yesterday’s House floor debate (starting at 58:10 in SDPB’s video) with an anecdote about his wife’s complicated pregnancy, a doctor’s advice that she abort, and their decision (their decision, indicating Mrs. Craig can exercise rationality and bear moral culpability) to ignore that doctor’s advice, Rep. Rev. Craig lit into irresponsible women and men:
Abortion of course, about…what’s the percentage? How do we really know for sure?—upper 90% of abortions are simply because they are used for birth control. Birth control! We are a sex-crazed society, out of control. There’s a couple that in the heat of the moment, they don’t use some protection, and, lo and behold, somebody gets pregnant, then they choose something far worse—they end a life!—because there’s no self-control. We are a country with no control, no self-control [Rep. Rev. Scott Craig, floor debate on Senate Bill 72, South Dakota House of Representatives, 2016.03.07, timestamp 59:04].
Curse ye, vile fornicators! How dare ye have impious sex! Ye shall be punished!
Rep. Rev. Craig is so outraged by our “sex-crazed” society that he doesn’t notice that he in one breath says a number is unknowable and then makes up a number to support his argument (never mind taking time to discover we really can gather data, like the fact that 51% of abortion patients report having used contraception during the month in which they conceived). He is so outraged that he declares the women who can’t help responsible for their abortions guilty of moral turpitude.
And in his outrage, he makes clear the real intent of Senate Bill 72 and all the rest of South Dakota’s abortion restrictions. SB 72 isn’t about loving babies or protecting women or punishing killers. It’s not even about promoting responsible behavior, because if we’re really all in heat, if there’s no self-control, SB 72 isn’t going to stop us from rutting about. SB 72 is about taking one more step toward the ultimate goal of a total ban on abortion, which will force loose women to bear their babies like badges of shame. Take that, you (female) fornicators!
The House amended Senate Bill 72, so it bounces back to the Senate for concurrence tomorrow. I would like to think our sex-crazed legislators might rediscover their self-control and refrain from inserting themselves into any woman’s decision about her pregnancy. But you know how people are when they’re in heat.