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FEBRUARY 23, 2012 12:18AM

Cows, Pigs, Corn and Women; Illinois on Reproductive Rights

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 Actually this year they began the meeting talking about zebra mussels. Okay, what is going on here. Well, it is a bunch of men who think they should be involved in your reproductive rights. 
I received this in my email today from the Religious Coalition on Reproductive Choice in Illinois. 
Lorie Chaiten (ACLU Illinois) and Leah Bartelt helpfully wrote up a summary of what happened in the Agriculture Committee.
 House Agriculture Committee Meeting – Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Yesterday, the House Agriculture and Conversation Committee passed both the ultrasound mandate (HB 4085) and the bill amending the ASTC Act to require any clinic or doctor’s office where 50 abortions per year occur to become the functional equivalent of a small hospital (HB 4117). Both bills now move to the House floor for a vote.


HB 4117

After approving a bill about boating and the spread of zebra mussels, the Agriculture Committee turned to discussion of the proposed amendment to the ASTC Act, HB 4117 (now with House Amendment 1).


Instead of denying the charge that this bill plays politics with women’s health, Rep. Sacia, one of the Committee members, defended it by claiming President Obama was doing the same by requiring health insurance plans to cover contraception. There was also substantive discussion of the bill’s requirements.


Because the Illinois Department of Public Health slipped in opposition to the bill, the Committee Chairperson asked David Carvalho from IDPH to describe the Department’s opposition. He explained that the bill inappropriately upends the current regulatory scheme, which is tailored to the medical procedures being performed in the particular facilities, and for example, does not require a facility in which a physician is performing a first trimester abortion without anesthesia to comply with extensive regulations related to anesthesia. He also explained that the bill targets abortion care, but that complicated surgical procedures such as knee surgery and liposuction are currently performed in doctor’s offices that do not meet the requirements of the ASTC Act.


Colleen Connell from the ACLU testified that the current regulations were adopted after a federal court declared the ASTC Act unconstitutional for singling out abortion for excessive and burdensome regulation. Nevertheless, the bill’s sponsor admitted that HB 4117 singles out facilities where abortions are being performed. The Committee approved the bill 12-2.


HB 4085

The sponsor of the ultrasound mandate, Rep. Lyons, acknowledged in his remarks to the committee that the purpose of HB 4085 was to decrease the number of abortions. Despite its intrusive and traumatizing requirements for patients who have already made the fully-informed choice to terminate their pregnancies, Rep. Lyons explained to the committee members that he believed the bill was justified if it saved “one life.”


Dr. Allison Cowett testified in opposition to the bill, clarifying that HB 4085 would burden all women seeking an abortion – without exception – by requiring them either to undergo and view an ultrasound or attest in writing that they had refused to do so, and explaining that the requirement is not medically necessary and interferes with the relationship of trust between a patient and her doctor. Dr. Cowett also spoke of her personal experience with two patients – one who wanted to view an ultrasound before her pregnancy was terminated and one who adamantly did not – to try to help the committee understand the why the mandate could be traumatic for some patients. Despite Dr. Cowett’s powerful testimony, the Agriculture Committee approved the bill 11-2.


It was disappointing that the Committee seemingly ignored the overwhelming opposition to both bills from those who submitted slips, the fact-based and thoughtful testimony from the experts, and the pointed questioning from temporary Committee members Reps. Jakobsson and Mell. But this was only the first battle, and this result was not unexpected. The fight to kill these bills now moves to the House floor. Take action:




 Many of you commented on a post I did regarding this last year. It is the age of attacking women and demeaning them. If you think this will end anytime soon, you are wrong. We were outraged last year and here we are back again. The only way this will end is with your efforts and your commitment to women and gender equality, support women's reproductive rights.

Please continue to be angry, show and share that anger, contact these people no matter where you live and tell them what you think. It is a chance to stand up to this idiocy at it's root. You can do this, you are not a pig, or a cow, or corn, chances are you are a woman, or a man who loves one and respects their reproductive decisions and values their life, most likely over a pig, or a cow, or corn or even zebra mussels.
Decisions regarding medical activities should not be decided as if women were just another commodity, or farm animal, or invasive species. This committee has over stepped its jurisdiction and is making a mockery of women's health.
Copyright 2012 by SheilaTGTG55 
  In the St. Louis Post Dispatch
From my blog last year: 

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I know, this is just want you wanted to hear about; again. Sorry. I promise blue sky and butterflies, well, when this war is over anyway.
It seems that Illinois still equates women with livestock. Wonder how those boys are gonna feel when the only objects left to receive their affections are heifers and gilts. Maybe they can try a zebra mussel on for size.

Gads. They have more control issues than I do.
I am starting to wonder if there is a certain underlying perverse motive for these men to continue "discussing" this issue. Is it porn for the pious?
The war that has been waged against the rights of women continues to simply blow my mind. Like you, I don't think it will let up either and we must remain vigilant. It's like there's a screw loose somewhere.

Coming back to read the links.
As far as pig reproductive rights, I believe it bacon at conception.
phyllis: Yes, it is a reply of an idea that sparked outrage last year. I guess part of being so concerned with fetuses means you must further demean women.

Linnn: I like that title, Porn for the Pious. That might spark a whole new look at priests, greasy haired, sallow complected, white politicians and screaming Phyllis Schlafly types.

Fay Paxton: Thanks, just put this up in a hurry and used their information, I am sure there is more on it in the news.

Spumey: Cute pic!
Sheila, please DO NOT feel it is a burden to write these posts, you are providing a service to us to express how frustrating and angering it is to be demeaned by these men. Thanks for this. I am continuing to contribute money and sign legislation by email to voice these views.
They be ashamed of themselves. Treating women like commodities infuriates me.
Rita: Thank you for all you are doing. It matters, and it matters to me, personally. I have been in this battle since 1996 here and I am amazed at how far this has gone. I used to think it was just a small faction of Republican nutcases doing this. I feel sometimes like Jonah inside of the damn whale.
Belinda: We need the infuriation. We need every woman to be angry enough to speak out, speak out with her VOTE. This crap from the right has got to stop and these people need to be put in their place. There is absolutely no respect and this is just a piece of it. In fact, I believe that because Illinois was strong on choice for women, that they looked for any possible way they could beat us down, so now it is the insulting and back handed plays. All they are doing is telling us they are ready to take it to the street, but I fear they will get more than they bargain for.
I'm a very passionate person. I consider this not only a lame attempt to violate my reproductive rights, I also find it demeaning and I will always encourage women to fight their adversaries by challenging them in any capacity necessary to ensure each and every woman's voice is heard over those loud-mouthed hypocrites on Capitol Hill.
Belinda: Thank you for your activism.
Even without a Santorum type as president, this type of legislation becomes popular throughout the land.

"This committee has over stepped its jurisdiction and is making a mockery of women's health."

Yes, yes they have. Those with a voice need to speak out, and loudly.
Amen Sheila...
tr ig: Thanks for commenting. Sometimes I feel like a fake person being a woman. That is, I am not authentic enough for them to take me seriously and I stand for all the other women out there who have felt that way. We keep getting nicked everytime we assert our equality, our autonomy. This would not be a better world without us, so why make it so hard to be equal? Ugh.
toritto: Great advice.
No blue sky and butterflies, please. I'm sooooo watching the way women are being dissed and dismissed these days, Sheila--I may write about that and more soon. I lived through the repression of the 50s and early 60s, and it wasn't fun, and I don't wanna do a repeat, thanks.

What IS going on in this country? And why aren't more people seeing through this stuff?

I have no answers...I'm just askin'...
Keka: I don't know what is going on. I just know that where I live, it has been going on for a long, long time. I moved here not knowing and met up with a couple of survivors of the the Titanic that felt the way I did, we have been rowing that lifeboat ever since. It is going on years now. I don't know when and if we are going to get rescued, but I tell you, I will never give up. I may rest now and then, but I assure you it is for the big confrontation that is coming.
Hi Sheila--I wrote a post about contraception in my life... I haven't had an abortion, but only because I was lucky. All the times in my life a baby would have turned every plan of mine (and my husband's) upside-down. The thing they refuse to see? I AM A BETTER TAXPAYER NOW BECAUSE OF CONTRACEPTIVES. There, sorry for the shouting. I earn more money now, I have a stable financial life, I don't need food stamps, free school lunches, or a host of other programs, because I was able to control my fertility. I have children who are growing up with significant financial and educational advantages because they were planned, spaced, wanted, and limited in number.

Why, why, why can't they see this?

Excellent post, and keep paddling that boat. I'm there with you. Gimme a paddle.
froggy: Love you! Here is an oar, compose a simple letter, 100 words. Send it to someone in your legislature and tell them what you told me. Maybe that will make them think. Don't know....
What...they grow nuts here? Maybe theirs' should be harvested? Great post we all feel like this is the biggest step backwards ever.
tg within: Yes, apparently we grow nuts, here, little ones, that seem bent on proving they are big ones, or have big ones; I really don't know. Ha.
Insane... but we can only hope that by this time next year these most the maniacs will be out on their ass. Wish I could vote in Illinois, Virgina, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio!!!

jmac: Yes, if we could vote where our votes were needed, we could travel around and fix everything state by state, what a concept!
This seems like something The Onion would come up with. The fact that it is real is terrifying. Hopefully this will wake up those who think that these nuts are not dangerous.
Dr. Spudman: If it were only a story from the ONION....thanks for reading and commenting.