Monday, January 19, 2009

Pawlenty faces abortion fight

The Minnesota Reproductive Privacy Act will be debated in the Minnesota Legislature this year.

[It] states that the government has no business interfering with the constitutionally protected privacy rights set forth in Roe v. Wade.

Anti-abortion advocates say this law would cripple their efforts to make abortion illegal, while reproductive rights proponents say this bill not only protects women’s privacy but also their lives.

The media's attempting to frame this as a simple case of abortion legality, but a quick study of the bill reveals its real intent.

After establishing the rights and legality of abortion in points 1 and 2, SF 115 then mandates a more subtle position:

"the state shall not deny or interfere with a woman's fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose to obtain an abortion."

In the context of the first two points, Point 3 appears redundant, until you note that the state shall not "deny" or "INTERFERE".

As set forth in the bill, interference is ambiguous, and even the liberal Minnesota Independent concedes its implications:

The bill would make it more difficult for the state to continue waiting period laws or for reproductive health care workers with religious objections to decline to provide services.

The paper says Gov. Tim Pawlenty is likely to veto any such bill that comes across his desk.