On the one-year anniversary of the day that Dr. George Tiller was murdered by Scott Roeder, in an act of domestic terrorism motivated by a fundamentalist religious ideology, Ali Frick of Think Progress asks us to remember the core value at the heart of Dr. Tiller’s work — that women are trustworthy adult human beings who are capable of making their own moral choices. Why is it so important to remember this and say it at every opportunity? Because the belief that women cannot be so trusted is blatantly apparent in the scores of restrictive anti-abortion laws being passed nationwide that treat women as if they were helpless and foolish children, incapable of asking questions, gathering information, understanding their options, or making medically and ethically appropriate decisions for their own lives:
… [Yesterday], the New York Times discussed the latest method right-wing forces use to intimidate women seeking abortions:
Over the last decade, ultrasound has quietly become a new front in the grinding state-by-state battle over abortion. With backing from anti-abortion groups, which argue that sonograms can help persuade women to preserve pregnancies, 20 states have enacted laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasound.
Late last month, Oklahoma went a step further. Overriding a veto by Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, the Republican-controlled Legislature enacted a law mandating that women be presented with an ultrasound image and with a detailed oral description of the embryo or fetus.
21 states have introduced ultrasound laws in 2010 alone. It has become increasingly clear that the Democratic Party isn’t interested in being the backbone of a pro-choice movement. Now, I’m not one to say we should have scrapped health care because it reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment, but did you notice how during that debate, the Democrats’ defense was that it perpetuated Hyde? There was hardly a single voice stating that Hyde is bad policy, that it punishes poor women for trying to exercise constitutional rights, that it sets up tiered access to fundamental rights.
Julie Burkhart, who worked with Tiller for eight years, implores the pro-choice community not to abandon women: “The time has come for us, as a movement, in our own collective ways, whether it’s through education or activism or political engagement, to meet the anti-woman forces on their ‘own’ turf. We must not cede any section of this country.”
We need to reaffirm Tiller’s motto: “Trust women.” These ultrasound laws are such an insult to women because they presume that women have no idea what they’re doing.
And this is the canard that we have to keep fighting.