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Christianity, Politics

SC Senator sneaks unconstitutional anti-woman amendment into unrelated bill.

Continuing South Carolina’s tradition of ultra-conservative anti-woman politics, Senator Jim DeMint has tried to sneak a blatantly anti-woman and unconstitutional amendment onto an unrelated bill focusing on agriculture and transportation.  The main effect of the amendment would be to prohibit doctors from discussing abortion or abortion-related healthcare over the internet, even if a woman was in physical distress. (LINK)

Admittedly, there is a provision for creating essentially an “abortion only” version of Skype, but this option is impractical and even unworkable for many smaller communities or the economically disadvantaged.  In essence, it creates a hurdle — a layer of red tape — to prevent women from receiving or even talking about a perfectly legal procedure.

The first thing that rankles about this amendment is that it is clearly part of the Ultra-Right Wing anti-woman religious agenda.  Beyond that, however, one must address the questions of function and rationale.  More simply, what does this bill purport to accomplish, and why?

Does it create jobs?  No.

Does it improve the economy in any way?  No.

Does it promote public health?  No.

Does it protect women from harm?  No.

Does it protect doctors from harm?  No.

Does it help doctors care for patients?  No.

What does it do?  Nothing, short of obstructing both doctors and patients from having open dialog about legal procedures.

Then there’s the question of constitutionality.  Under what constitutional principle or legal precedent does Sen. DeMint propose limiting doctors’ and patients’ right to speak freely (you remember.. the First Amendment?) about a legal medical procedure?  To put it more simply, what possible legal justification can be used to trample the Constitution to promote a sectarian agenda?

Senator DeMint swore this oath when he assumed office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

The important part is the oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution — the Constitution which makes particular mention of the right to free speech.  The Constitution which makes no mention of exceptions to the First Amendment based on religious preference.  The Constitution which makes no mention of doctors and patients, or the gagging of either party based on the moral dictates of the religious.

By submitting this amendment, DeMint has proven himself unworthy to be a U.S. Senator.  He has broken his oath by attempting to subvert the Constitution.  Nothing short of a recall vote is suitable punishment for such an egregious breach of the public trust.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “SC Senator sneaks unconstitutional anti-woman amendment into unrelated bill.

  1. I know I’m on your “anti-choice/anti-woman” list.

    However the issue here, and what the SC senator and many “pro-choicers” are missing, is that law and morality are two different things. We can’t just legislate morality.

    This is the same principle of the first amendment. It doesn’t matter if speech is offensive, because “offensive” means different things to different people. The same principal applies for morality.

    I think abortion is immoral, that is if a woman has an abortion that wasn’t medically necessary or a result of rape, she has commited an immoral act.

    What differeniates me from Monsieur Morality, is that I know that isn’t a good enough reason to place legal restrictions on abortion. We shouldn’t just sneak in legal restrictions just because we don’t like it.

    I wrote about it on my blog

    http://cptpineapple.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/abortion-morality-and-law/

    This goes both ways. At my university, there was a big stink about whether a pro-life group can operate on campus. They were denied twice, before being accepted several years later. [The student union is offically pro-choice……for some reason]

    The other people who can’t grasp this is “pro-choicers”. Their default argument is “It’s legal so deal with it.”.

    Imagine if somebody came across your critisism of religion and said “religion is legal so deal with it.” I would have similar feelings as you in regards to that being said about abortion as you would in regards to that being said about religion.

    But that’s orthagonal to issue. I would seriously evaluate Monsieur Morality’s integrity [not to mention his photo of him at the discovery insitute]

    Posted by Alison | October 21, 2011, 1:11 am
  2. I’m in favor of anti-choice (pro-life, whatever…) groups having every right to meet, speak, and otherwise conduct free speech. If by some course of events, abortion becomes illegal in the U.S., I would want to be able to organize and meet and protest and speak out against the law on any ground. So of course I must grant the Christians the same rights.

    But of course… that’s not what this article is about. Abortion is legal in the U.S., and Monsieur’s bill would be an infringement of free speech regardless of what topic he didn’t like. So he’s in the wrong on both counts. Until and unless the courts reverse Roe v. Wade, this law and all others like it are unconstitutional. There are plenty of precedents for the SCOTUS’s consistent ruling — if something is legal, and a state law prohibits it, or makes it difficult for people to do, or otherwise prevents people from exercising their right to do it, then the state is in violation of people’s rights.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | October 21, 2011, 8:34 pm
  3. Will, I already said that the amendment should be striked down and the senators integrity be called into questions, what more do you want from me?

    Posted by Alison | October 21, 2011, 9:06 pm

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