|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
In our new era of relentless, abusive laws aimed at curtailing women’s reproductive rights, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd, but South Dakota managed to do just that on Tuesday, when Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed into law a bill requiring a three-day waiting period -- the longest waiting period in the nation -- for any woman seeking abortion.
But even that is not what makes this law stand out. That honor goes to the requirement that women seeking abortion must go to a crisis pregnancy center, to submit to a lecture on the supposed evils of abortion; a lecture that will almost surely include misinformation on the dangers of abortion. In passing this law, South Dakota hit a triple, attacking reproductive rights, privacy rights and religious freedom with one law aimed at the single abortion clinic left in the entire state of South Dakota.
That the anti-choice movement is mostly a Christianist movement bent on imposing its religious beliefs on the public at large is one of the most under-discussed aspects of the abortion debate. This law should highlight the theocratic underpinnings of the anti-choice movement. Most and probably all crisis pregnancy centers are religious organizations that object to abortion because it conflicts with their religious dogma about female sexuality, women’s roles, and their belief about when the soul enters the body. Requiring women to sit through a lecture on Christian ethics about sexuality before getting an abortion should be a clear-cut case of a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment, even if the crisis pregnancy centers are careful to avoid saying the word “Jesus” too much.
Unlike many other states, Texas does not ban workplace discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status. But don't be alarmed; the Lone Star State is working on that whole civil liberties thing. Last week, Republican State Rep. Bill Zedler introduced HB 2454, a bill that would establish new workplace protections for proponents of intelligent design. Here's the key part:
An institution of higher education may not discriminate against or penalize in any manner, especially with regard to employment or academic support, a faculty member or student based on the faculty member's or student's conduct of research relating to the theory of intelligent design or other alternate theories of the origination and development of organisms.