Helping anti-choice terrorists, one name at a time.

Last week, I got all caught up in my anti-War on Women fury and tweeted an article that, it transpired, was three years old. Oopsie!

In my defense, though, it was about a law in Oklahoma that was really, really heinous and had actually passed, so my brain was a bit addled. This law (later struck down by the courts) would have required that the details of every abortion conducted in the state be posted on a public website:

The questionnaire doesn’t include the woman’s name or “any information specifically identifying the patient,” but it does ask for age, race, level of education, marital status, number of previous pregnancies, and the county in which the abortion was performed, information which opponents of the bill argue would be enough to identify a woman in a small town. The questionnaire also asks about the mother’s reason for the abortion, her method of payment, and even what type of insurance she has, as well as whether the fetus received anaesthetic and whether there was “an infant born alive as a result of the abortion.”

So, you know – phew! At least we dodged that one!

Except we didn’t.

It’s not happening in Oklahoma anymore – but it is on the cusp of happening in Tennessee (also sadly known as the “don’t say gay” state) — with this particular bill boasting the added bonus of distributing helpful information to those who might want to murder abortion providers:

A new bill moving through the Tennessee House of Representatives would require the state to publish the names of each doctor who performs an abortion and detailed statistics about the woman having the procedure, which opponents worry will spur anti-abortion violence in the state.

The Life Defense Act of 2012, sponsored by state Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesboro), mandates that the Tennessee Department of Health make detailed demographic information about every woman who has an abortion available to the public, including her age, race, county, marital status, education level, number of children, the location of the procedure and how many times she has been pregnant. Each report would also have to include the name of the doctor who performed the procedure.

In the words of Rep. Gary Odom (D-Nashville), this bill “puts a target on women’s and physicians’ backs. I think it’s a very dangerous piece of legislation and serves no purpose I can tell other than trying to intimidate women and physicians.”


And some people wonder why I’m so engulfed in rage these days.


  1. helensprogeny

     /  March 20, 2012

    I feel your rage and share it all the way. Once again, the first question in my mind is: where the fuck is the AMA in this? Why aren’t physicians rising up in fury over legislatures meddling so deeply in medical decisions? Why aren’t we hearing protests from doctors who are furious that legislatures are coming between physician and patient, and imposing insane restrictions on what is in every way a medical decision?

    Anybody out there know?

  2. koolaide

     /  March 20, 2012

    If this terrible bill passes the TN state legislature, I can’t imaging that it would hold up in court. The requirements about putting medical info about women on public display has to violate privacy rights since it wouldn’t be hard to identify those women. Right? Please?

    • Rae Nelson

       /  March 20, 2012

      Yes, I think it violates the rights of HIPPA. I’m also afraid a loony man could look this stuff up; imagine that his ex girfriend had an abortion, and stalk her over it.

    • Well, and I think we can take real comfort from the fact that the OK one was struck down. But in the meantime….

  3. nonsequiteuse

     /  March 20, 2012

    Doctors are notoriously poorly-organized around issues like this, although some do speak out and lobby against bad bills. Note that the offices of an association of OB/GYNs in Georgia was broken into last Saturday – membership records were among the items stolen – and it just so happens that this particular group has been advocating against all of the demeaning, anti-woman, anti-doctor’s right to practice laws in that state.

    I used to work in a clinic where our doctors came in and out wearing bulletproof vests. It is the height of irony that a movement that claims to be pro-life is willing to paint targets on the backs of doctors, and yet, they do, knowing just how deadly the consequences are.

    I’m with you as far as rage these days. Fortunately for those who disagree with me, my rage has never made me assume that I have the right to shoot someone just for disagreeing with me.

  4. nm

     /  March 21, 2012

    I live in TN (also known as the state that passes laws forbidding municipalities to adopt anti-discrimination policies) and I have gone way beyond rage. I’m in full despair mode, myself.

    For more on the effects HB 3808 would have in practice, see this.

  5. Well, what’s the big deal? What’s the worst thing that could happen? Like some fool is going to walk into a church and blow a doctor away in front of his family and entire congregation?

    Seriously folks, these people just don’t get it-they’re stirring people up and then sitting back stunned and insisting this was just an isolated and unrelated incident when something bad happens (sotto voce–Gabby Giffords). It’s like some crazy game of political jackass–let’s see who can pass the most insane law.

%d bloggers like this: