Since the “Right” wants to revoke most of our personal liberties other than the right to bear arms, there is plenty of material available about invasions into privacy and upending of rights. Sometimes these invasions creep, and sometimes they push forward with full open throttle.
Collection of electronic information has been in the news lately, but there is more, and I want you to join me with this open thread on rights issues or any other news you want to share.
Here’s a full throttle invasion, mentioned the other night on the Rachel Maddow Show. Iowa governor Terry Branstad will now have the option to decide coverage for Medicaid abortions. He. Himself. Will get to decide whether a woman’s abortion is covered. With no medical training and obviously no ethics training, he gets to decide.
U.S. law permits payment for abortions for rape, incest, and if the pregnancy threatens a woman’s life. Iowa law expands that to include terminations of pregnancies if the fetus is severely deformed and unviable.
Historically, the Department of Human Services had been the agency that governed this determination, but in the final negotiations between House Republicans and Senate Democrats, this incredible power over women’s lives was assigned to Governor Branstad.
Also in the news, Wisconsin Republicans’ decision to force medically unnecessary procedures on any woman seeking an abortion. From ThinkProgress:
Wisconsin’s current law already requires women to undergo a counseling session with their doctor 24 hours before having an abortion, under the false pretense that the women who seek to terminate a pregnancy must not be confident about their decision. Doctors already provide those women with information about ultrasound services. But under the new forced ultrasound measure, women would be forced to undergo an ultrasound – and potentially a transvaginal probe, depending on how far along in her pregnancy she is – without her consent.
Lyons is rightfully concerned about women’s health advocates construing the bill as “the equivalent of rape.” At the height of the War on Women last spring, Virginia Republicans incited a firestorm when they pushed a similar transvaginal ultrasound bill, and reproductive rights groups decried the legislation as “state sponsored rape.” But that hasn’t stopped anti-choice lawmakers from continuing to push legislation that would require invasive ultrasound procedures. Just last week, Michigan lawmakers proposed their own version of the legislation, although the state’s top Republicans were forced to clarify that they would “not pass a bill mandating transvaginal ultrasounds” after controversy erupted.