It mocks reason, perpetuates ignorance and spits in the eye of humaneness, but as hard as it is to believe, abortion is the only medical procedure in Georgia which doesn’t require informed consent.
Senate Bill 23, the Woman’s Right to Know Act, would correct this blatant bureaucratic callousness, which is far more reminiscent of the Dark Ages than our own supposedly enlightened era.
SB 23 rather simply requires physicians to explain all the pros and cons to women seeking abortions before proceeding with the operation. It doesn’t deny abortions; rather, its intent to provide information so that the woman’s decision to abort or not to abort is an informed decision.
Who could possibly be in favor of keeping a woman in the dark about such a serious medical act, one which sometimes results in physical complications, and which often carries psychological repercussions?
After all, you may recall, state senators passed the bill with a comfortable 34-18 margin during the last session of the General Assembly, after which it was sent to the House of Representatives for debate and a vote on the floor.
Obviously, for whatever bizarre reasons, 18 senators — all Democrats — opposed giving pertinent information to mothers before their babies were aborted or allowed to live, but who else in the entire statehouse could be so devoid of compassion and common sense?
In effect, the House of Representatives in whole is hostile to SB 23, not because the individuals members would vote against it — indeed, the measure would probably pass handily, as it did in the Senate — but because the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Tom Bordeaux, adamantly refuses to allow SB 23, or any bill having to do with abortion, to go to the floor for debate.
A recent CNN poll found 88 percent of respondents favored giving full information to women seeking abortions. The question naturally arises: how is it that one man, steadfastly and obviously without remorse, can subvert the will of more than 6 million Georgians?
This is the same brand of tyranny we have had so often during the last 130 years of one-party rule in the House. This is precisely why we must have more conservative representation there, no matter that those representatives are Democrats or Republicans as long as they question the liberal stranglehold on that lawmaking body.
Our two state senators, Preston Smith and Jeff Mullis, have done their job by supporting SB 23, and I have every confidence that representatives Mike Snow and Brian Joyce would support it in the House should it be brought to the floor.
For many years, former representative Anne Mueller, a Savannah homemaker, worked hard to get earlier versions of SB 23 passed, but her bills always ended up in the House Judiciary Committee, the graveyard for such bills.
The current version has been languishing there as well for more than a year. It, too, will die unless somebody somehow persuades Rep. Bordeaux to stop playing God and let the bill come to the floor.
Evidence that unborn babies are people continues to mount. The latest scanning equipment clearly shows them “smiling, yawning, blinking, and fidgeting, even sucking their thumbs,” to quote National Review.
In addition, says New York attorney Howard Sutherland, “abundant new DNA evidence shows that a unique human life begins at conception.”
In another recent poll, 84 percent of voters agreed that a double homicide charge in the Peterson case in California is appropriate. Conner, the unborn infant in that case, was indeed a person.
Again, though, SB 23 isn’t anti-abortion but rather pro-information. It is an educational measure which, at long last, would provide women with details they have a right to know, as the name of the bill suggests.
Should we allow Rep. Bordeaux to continue exercising such arbitrary, dictatorial power over this common-sensical, much-needed piece of legislation — a no-brainer, in other words? Of course not, because if we don’t try to convince him to release SB 23 out of committee, we can be said to agree with him by default.
Time is running out. The 2004 session of the General Assembly will be ending in a few days. Please call Rep. Bordeaux and leave a message at (404) 656-5125, asking him to allow a vote on SB 23.
In addition, call Rep. Snow at (404) 656-6801 and Rep. Joyce at (404) 656-0265 for the sake of having them remind Rep. Bordeaux that SB 23 is an idea whose time has come.
It would be particularly helpful if pastors would get their members involved. If you know people in other areas of the state, ask them to call their own representatives, as well as Bordeaux, which is what I’ll be doing. Meanwhile, I am at your service if you will leave me a message at the Messenger.
The effectiveness of demonstrations, complete with placards, by the way, shouldn’t be overlooked. The bigger the demonstration, the more publicity it draws, and the more Mr. Bordeaux is likely to see the light. If any group of people is inclined to take to the street, I have been known to participate eagerly in such things.
Tom Theus, a LaFayette resident, is a freelance writer