Love & Sex

The 8 Most Insidious Parts of Arizona’s New Birth Control Pamphlet

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To summarize: birth = good. Abortion = the worst. 

Due to new changes to Arizona state law, Arizona women seeking an abortion must be afforded the opportunity to read a state-written pamphlet, aptly named "A Woman's Right To Know." So — we must ask — a woman's right to know what? Arizona wouldn't be disseminating any information if it weren't strictly objective, right? Well, we took a look, and found the ten most "informative" passages from "A Woman's Right to Know."

1. A doctor must provide a patient, prior to twenty-four hours before the planned procedure, of: "The immediate and long-term medical risks associated with the procedure that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether or not to undergo the abortion… [and] Alternatives to the procedure or treatment that a reasonable patient would consider material to the decision of whether or not to undergo the abortion." 
What's the operative word here? "Reasonable."

2. Prior to an abortion, a doctor must provide a patient with "…pictures or drawings representing the development of unborn children at two-week gestational increments and any relevant information on the possibility of the unborn child's survival. The pictures or drawings must contain the dimensions of the unborn child and must be realistic and appropriate for each stage of pregnancy." 
Patients then shall be handed a computer printout of their unborn child (never "fetus," never "embryo") projected at thirty years of age. Complete with reproachful stare.

3. "Some women consider an abortion because their pregnancy might threaten the woman's life or her health or her baby may have severe birth defects. Other women choose to end their pregnancy without any known problems with their health or with their unborn child."
Women "without any known problems" may include rape victims, victims of incest, patients suffering from severe psychological trauma or disorders, or young teenagers. Also, you can just have an abortion if you're pregnant and you don't want to be, and to remove that from the debate does a disservice to everyone.

4. "[Women] will be offered the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child. You will be asked if you would like a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the unborn child. You will certify in writing before the abortion that you have been given the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat is audible and that you opted to view or not view the active ultrasound image and hear or not hear the heartbeat of the unborn child."
You will then be treated to Arizona's own Olde Tyme Barbershop Quartet performing their special bedside rendition of, "You Have An Unborn Child With A Heartbeat That You Could Hear, But You Won't."

5. "You will be asked about your feelings about abortion."
Much of "A Woman's Right To Know" suggests that a woman seeking an abortion hasn't considered the permanent and possibly life-altering consequences of her decision. Arizona seems to assume that women, if only given the chance to finally talk about their feelings, will realize the error of their ways and bring their pregnancy to full term. 

6. "Women may have both positive and negative feelings after having an abortion. Some women report that these feelings go away quickly, while others say they last for a long time. These feelings may include guilt, sadness, or emptiness. Some women feel relief that the procedure is over. Other women may feel anger at having to make the choice."
So there's what, four negative feelings to one positive one? And that's instead of just saying "Women who have just terminated a pregnancy may feel ambivalent, complex emotions?" If it wasn't evident that Arizona lawmakers want this pamphlet to induce guilt, they've pretty much come out and said it here.

7. "The feelings you experience after birth may be the most intense you have ever encountered: great surges of joy and happiness, feelings of contentment and fulfillment."
Let's compare, shall we? Feelings after abortion: guilt, sadness, emptiness, anger, and possibly relief. Feelings after birth: joy, happiness, contentment, and fulfillment? They make birth sound like you're on E, and abortion seem like the comedown from really bad acid. 

8. By law, a woman must be informed 24 hours prior to the procedure by a doctor, nurse, or psychologist that, "Medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care. The father of the unborn child is liable to assist in the support of the child, even if he has offered to pay for the abortion."
Most of the pamphlet hits the morality button pretty hard, but this last effort tugs on the prospective mothers' purse strings. That's low, Arizona.