HICKS: Michigan’s ‘Monologues’ don’t protect women

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Bear with me here while I make a point.

Vagina, vagina, vagina.

There. I said it.

The “V-word” has been typed repeatedly for effect, and of course, as expected, this gesture means exactly nothing. Because it’s not what you say, but how you say it and for what reason that really counts.

Yet here in Michigan where I live, feminists in our state legislature and their radical supporters would have you believe that simply uttering the word “vagina” in the chamber of our State House of Representatives, as well as the word “vasectomy,” caused two legislators to be subsequently silenced by the House speaker.

It would be hard to conclude otherwise, given the misleading headlines being slapped on stories across the national media: “Michigan Lawmaker Silenced for Saying ‘Vagina,’ ” they read, clearly implying an unwritten subhead, “Midwest bumpkins too uptight to hear anatomically correct term.”

The real reason for such a simplistic and misleading headline is embarrassingly obvious, for where there’s a debate about whether women may use the word “vagina,” can legislation affecting abortion-on-demand be far afield?

Here’s what the ruckus is really all about, and to be clear, it has nothing to do with fussy feminists’ right to say provocative words beginning with the letter “V.”

On June 13, the Michigan House of Representatives passed sweeping omnibus legislation to regulate abortion services in Michigan so that such services would meet the minimum standards required for other kinds of surgical clinics in the state.

The new regulations are meant to address major issues, such as the finding by the State Senate’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that while 99 percent of abortions in Michigan in 2010 were performed at abortion clinics, only four of those 32 clinics actually are licensed. Most are rarely or never inspected. Of those that have been inspected, most have been cited for noncompliance regarding surgical equipment sterilization, the failure to maintain a sterile environment and failure to perform sterile preoperation hand-washing.

In other words, women’s health is being jeopardized by unlicensed, uninspected, unsanitary abortion clinics, and the state legislature seeks to improve the medical standards in these facilities.

Also, the legislation seeks to address the issue of coerced or forced abortions. Research shows 64 percent of women report they are forced into having an abortion, and 84 percent feel they aren’t properly informed before an abortion. Informed consent is the standard for all medical care in America (ask any parent who spends a half-hour signing forms just to have a child vaccinated), but when it comes to abortion, feminists seek to protect women’s ignorance so that abortion-on-demand remains an unchallenged “choice.”

Another requirement of the legislation would impose insurance requirements on abortion practitioners, presumably so that women can be confident the doctors they choose are appropriately insured against losses due to negligence or malpractice. Again, this regulation would protect women patients, who presumably now just assume that physicians carry malpractice coverage.

In the face of these horrible impositions on abortion providers (in case you’re a feminist, that was sarcasm), Michigan’s radical feminist legislators — who clearly are more interested in protecting abortion than the women who might choose (or be forced) to have one — boldly spoke out.

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