The North Carolina Legislature and its Governor Pat McCrory have made restricting women’s abortion rights their top priority.
They have been working overtime to restrict women’s access to this safe, legal medical procedure. On April 23rd, the Republican-led House approved bill HB 465 by a vote of 74-45. The legislation, which is expected to pass the Republican-controlled state Senate before heading to Republican Governor Pat McCrory, will change the state’s “informed consent to abortion” law, which currently requires that a pregnant person meet with their physician at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed.
“Mandatory delays such as these create additional burdens for North Carolina women, especially women in rural areas who have to travel many hours to reach a health-care provider, and for women who do not have the resources to take extra time off work or pay for child care,” said NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “Mandatory-delay laws such as this endanger women’s health by creating unnecessary burdens that can impede earlier, and therefore safer, abortion care.”
After a setback ruling in December, 2014, in which the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district judge’s decision striking down the 2011 North Carolina law requiring women seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound of the fetus performed and described to them, the lawmakers forged ahead with even more restrictive legislation.
Despite the fact that the appeals court stated that, “The state cannot commandeer the doctor-patient relationship to compel a physician to express its preference to the patient,” and that “this compelled speech provision” violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, undaunted NC lawmakers are testing the waters again.
This draconian legislation reminds me of a scene in the movie, “Braveheart” in which King Edward I (Longshanks) laments that there are too many Scots. His solution is to declare reinstatement of the old practice of primae noctis, which is to allow his nobles to have the right to take the Scots’ newlywed wives to their beds on their wedding night. Upon declaring primae noctis, Longshanks states (in obvious reference to impregnating the Scots’ brides), “If we can’t get them out, we’ll breed them out.”
In its own convoluted way, the NC Legislature is also controlling “breeding.” It is imposing laws on a woman’s body, and violating it by taking any choice away from a woman, forcing her into an act that is against her will—and against her own best interests physically, mentally and emotionally.
Women have always been pawns in a man’s world, subject to being moved around the board by domineering men until their objectives—and victories—are established. It is simply appalling that women in the 21st Century are still used as pieces on a chessboard with as little regard for their rights as Longshank held in the 13th Century.
We’re in a time period that is comparable to the 13th Century, when the world was experiencing the High Middle Ages. The key historical trend of the High Middle Ages was the rapidly increasing population of Europe, which brought about great (i.e., a significant amount of) social and political change from the preceding era.
We’re looking at a future of a rapidly increasing population due to inaccessibility to abortion. Unfortunately, if this legislative trend continues, the social and political change from the preceding Roe v. Wade era will be great indeed, moving us back towards the equivalent of the Dark Ages.
In the next election, let’s equivalently “breed out,” with our votes, these misogynistic politicians in every state that is fast-tracking restrictive abortion rights. Let’s give them no voice, and no choice, in making decisions about women’s reproductive rights. Let’s violate their sense of superiority the way they violate women’s rights.
Let’s raise our collective voices, and demand “Freeeedommm!” from oppressive government with our own brave hearts!