Day: March 16, 2010

A Tale Of Two Legislations

 

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it
was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness. ~ Charles Dickens

 

As I mentioned over at The Regulator, this evening, I was happy to see that Florida lawmakers finally introduced legislation to rescind the ban on gay couples and singles gays, from adopting in that state.

Think Progress:

This afternoon, two Florida lawmakers introduced legislation to overturn the state’s ban on gay adoptions, something the legislature hasn’t debated in the law’s 33-year history. Rep. Scott Randolph’s measure, which amended a bill about gun ownership and adoptions, would have prevented “adoption agencies from inquiring about a person’s sexual orientation as a requisite for adoption.” Randolph was forced to withdraw his amendment after the Speaker ruled that it was not germane to the bill. Sen. Charlie Justice withdrew a similar bill in the Senate. “This amendment points out that government should not ask irrelevant questions in the adoption process which tell us nothing about a person’s ability to provide a permanent and loving home. Rather, it’s lawful and responsible gun ownership or a person’s sexual orientation,” Randolph announced on the House floor. He also explained how lifting the ban would benefit children:

RANDOLPH: Three thousand children are in need of adoption and are waiting for us to do the right thing. But Florida’s current adoption ban does not allow gay and lesbians to adopt in this state. In an era of very tight budgets, this cost of inaction on this issue is $2.5 million a year. It’s time to let family judges and child welfare advocates do their job by making the best standard for each child to be the only standard for deciding adoption cases. The legislature has the power to stop that right now today.  More…

I was so happy and thought that  perhaps we finally had a start in turning this country around from its fast track spiral into the abyss of hate and ignorance and religious hypocrisy.   (Idiocracy?)  Then I read this:

Oliver Willis:

A new law in Utah not only criminalizes miscarriages but it has the overall effect of banning abortion altogether. For all intents and purposes, Utah runs as a religious state within the United States, and despite the hypocrisy of the self-appointed moral arbiters (see tub, hot and clandestine payoffs) on the right the last time I checked this was still America.

Ms. Magazine:

A controversial bill signed by Utah governor Gary Herbert yesterday has been widely criticized for potentially criminalizing miscarriages–but the real danger of the new law is its potential to criminalize women who have abortions.

The “Criminal Homicide and Abortion Amendments” bill defines as homicide the death of a fetus caused by “intentional or knowing” acts by the mother. While it was revised to exempt legal abortion, the state’s existing abortion ban is so restrictive that it renders that exemption virtually meaningless.

Currently, abortion is illegal in Utah under most circumstances, per a state ban that NARAL Pro-Choice America calls both unconstitutional and unenforceable. Legal abortion is further restricted by mandatory delay and counseling laws, an abortion-refusal clause and laws inhibiting low-income women’s access.

The new “criminal homicide” law takes these a step further: Prior to its ratification, abortion providers alone were threatened with a felony for the provision of “illegal” abortions, but now women who obtain those “illegal” abortions can be charged with murder — as doing so constitutes an “intentional or knowing” act to cause the death of an “unborn child.”

Though touted by legislators as a response to an unfortunate incident in which a 17-year-old girl paid someone to beat her into having a miscarriage last year, this new legislation actually works in careful combination with existing anti-abortion laws to punish women for the choices they make.

Prior to its ratification, the bill was heavily criticized by pro-choice groups and feminist blogs including RH Reality Check, Salon Broadsheet, and Choices Campus Blog.

 

What in the world is happening to our country?  Texas rewrites history  in their school textbooks to reflect more on religion and right wing political events as opposed to the truth.  They have eliminated Thomas Jefferson (who by the way coined the phrase: separation of church and state…hence their utter contempt for this historic giant) from their history books and replaced him with the miniscule and some say deranged… John Calvin.   They have eliminated any reference to climate change science and are telling their impressionable young children, (the hope of tomorrow?) absolute lies that support their distorted views on religion and politics. 

 It’s absolutely astonishing.