It seemed like fiction, a Handmaid's Tale, 2005. But it almost happened. A bill filed by Virginia Del. Cosgrove required women losing a pregnancy to file a police report within 12 hours. Cosgrove didn't blink when he tried to make miscarriage a police matter, but rather when an outpouring of women –- liberals, moderates AND conservatives -- said he’d gone too far.
(Continue reading "Narrow Escape" below the jump...)
Women who’ve miscarried know the drill. They get no "sorries for your loss," only disdain or thinly-veiled punishment. I once lost a very wanted pregnancy. I had taken good care of myself. Nothing seemed amiss. But then I spent three days in relentless labor-leading-nowhere. What to show? Only punishment at a "religious" hospital giving me less-than-religious treatment. I was rolled into a ward of glowing nursing moms and told to get "over it." There wasn't a single word of condolence from anyone, not ever, not even friends, who claimed to be "pro-life." Punish those not bearing fruit, "empty vessels," all. It was a defining moment. I learned these individuals don't mean what they say. If, for them, it were about life, they’d have been sorry. But it was never about "life," only head count and control of women. America's infant mortality is worse than Cuba's. Where's the respect for life in that? Cosgrove has blown his cover. If he and other controlling cons care about life, they’d care about moms’ prenatal care. They’d care more about those already born needing food, medical care, and shelter.
So, this man has done us a favor, really. He’s done it more compelling than any descriptive writing, litany of facts from Planned Parenthood, or rendition of personal experience. He’s demonstrated once and for all to our daughters, granddaughters, nieces, sisters and friends what we've been trying to warn them of. This could really happen. A bill like this was actually submitted to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2005. And Cosgrove’s belated claim he didn't intend the bill to apply to miscarriages rings hollow.
Had the bill applied "only" to women who get abortions, I wouldn't have been mollified. There's no legitimate state interest in the control of any woman’s body, reproduction, or birth control methods. No woman who believes she must end a pregnancy deserves this wrath of the cons. There’s something unseemly, tawdry even, about men like Cosgrove reaching into the most private aspects of women’s lives. (Also this legislative session, another Virginia delegate tried to define life as a fertilized egg -- thus rendering some forms of birth control, and the morning after pill, illegal.)
Do they not have legitimate concerns of the state to tend to? They'll thwart real prevention of unwanted pregnancies, then condemn the very statistics they help inflate. But they’ll barely touch compassionate legislative efforts to help real (as opposed to "potential") children and women. They’ll worship at the altar of first trimester ultrasound, even as children of America and the world suffer. For legislators such as they, "big government" isn't when you insert yourselves into the eggs within a woman’s body or the sperm trying to make contact, but when the government does real good in our names.