GOP regards ladies as second-class residents | Journal-news

Senator Hannah Geffert


Should parents be able to drive school sports team members to games? A Senate committee held a hearing to consider the implications of that proposal. Should a member of a limited liability company have to pay for the wrongdoing of that company? A Senate committee heard witnesses on that. Should a driver be able to keep his license even if he fails to pay court fines and costs? A Senate committee met to consider the ramifications. Change the rules on enforcing child support? The Senate really needs a committee to look closely at that.

But when deciding whether to take away a woman’s freedom to make decisions about her own health care, her body, her life – no hearings needed. Instead, the Republicans drew up a bill behind closed doors, gave Democratic Senators less than 24 hours to review it, and then rammed through a set of mandates restricting women’s freedom to make intimate, personal health care decisions.

There are counties in which there are currently no OBGYNs. Will the Republican bill make it even more difficult to recruit and retain OBGYNs in our state? The Republicans did not think it necessary to find out.

Do doctors think the bill will make the availability of women’s health care worse in our state? The Republicans did not think it necessary to find out.

The bill says a pregnancy may be terminated if there is a medical emergency. But does the bill define “medical emergency” in a way that a doctor can know what treatment can be given to the woman? The Republicans did not think it necessary to find out.

What is the effect on the mental, physical and economic health of a woman forced to carry a baby to term? There is research on that issue, but the Republicans did not think it necessary to review it.

Will the restrictions on the freedom of a woman to control her body discourage businesses from coming to West Virginia? Will it discourage young people from either moving here or staying here? The Republicans did not think it necessary to find out.

And what will happen to babies that are born to women who are unable to care for the child? On that the Republicans are silent, and have no interest in finding out.

The bill rammed through by Republicans may be pro-birth, but it is not pro-life, for it does not take into account the life of the pregnant woman or of the unwanted child.

I thought the Republican controlled House of Delegates was dismissive of women’s freedom when it was allowed only 45 seconds for each witness to talk about the previous version of the bill. Then the Senate would not even hear witnesses for that abbreviated time.

As Senators Lindsay and Woeffel pointed out, there are no restrictions on health care decisions of men; no government mandates restricting the reproductive decisions of men.

It seems clear to me. The Republican majority regards women as second-class citizens.

Comments are closed.