Maybe District 30 House candidate Weldon Travis Lasseter really can’t hear what he’s saying. Last week the aspiring New Underwood wing nut needed me to point out that posing for a picture with a supporter wearing a traitor symbol probably isn’t a wise marketing choice. Now I find the conservative Republican, who serves on the board of the Rapid City branch of deceptive national anti-abortion propaganda network Care Net, making the argument for keeping government out of women’s pregnancy choices:
After the board meeting, I then went to the Birth Matters legislative event at the capital, where they discussed the issue of home births. This topic is one that is close to my family’s heart, as my wife and I have had two home births. This option is a liberty mothers should have access to in this state. With our last child, my wife wanted to deliver our last child at home as well, but, due to the overly restrictive regulations at the time, she was burdened with worrying about traveling out of state to seek the care that she wanted and deserved, something no mother should face. As a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) who is trained to deliver children, in my professional opinion the process was so overly restrictive, it essentially eliminates the option. Essentially, the current laws prevent a midwife from delivering a child in the comfort of someone’s home, and are forced to do the procedure within a hospital, forcing the proud parents to pay the midwife and the hospital in addition, for the same service, making it cost-ineffective. As I look at my loving wife and our children, it strengthens my support of Birth Matter’s and their push to have certified midwives here in South Dakota so that women, like my wife, have more freedom in having their children at home [emphasis mine; Travis Lasseter, “Charging the Hill with S.D. Stock Grower’s Association,” District 30 House campaign website, 2016.01.21].
Lasseter is talking about home births and midwifery, but the logic he applies to respecting women’s autonomy in choosing how to complete a pregnancy applies just as well to respecting women’s autonomy in choosing whether to carry a pregnancy to completion.
When a political issue is all about stigmatizing and controlling other women, Lasseter is all for government regulation. But when we turn to his family’s own medical choices, Lasseter rediscovers women’s liberty and deems regulation overly restrictive.
Travis is absolutely right: no mother should face government regulations that force her to seek the medical options she deserves out of state and thus essentially eliminate the options. South Dakota should act to give women more freedom, not less.
Well done, Travis. Well done, indeed.
p.s.: S.D. Birth Matters is still working on two bills to promote the birth liberty Lasseter craves for his wife, one to license midwives, the other to decriminalize midwifery by practitioners licensed in other states and by midwifery students under professional supervision. Remember, bills like this aren’t just about midwifery; they’re about creating the kind of liberty and opportunity that will throttle brain drain.