GoP discovers Time Travel, limits abortions.

In a move which might be the most mind-bending placement of law over reality I’ve ever heard of, Republicans in Arizona have declared that pregnancy begins up to two weeks before conception. Specifically, they say that if you become pregnant, the law will now hold that you have in fact been pregnant since the end of your last menstrual cycle. Even though you haven’t. Perhaps Jan Brewer ought to go to her Ob/Gyn and tell him she’s pregnant because she’s planning to have unprotected sex next week, and see how he responds.

The purpose of this new law is to make medical terminations of pregnancy illegal two weeks earlier than in any other state. Frighteningly, it also removes provisions for late-term abortions in medical emergencies, and compels women to undergo an (unnecessary, expensive) ultrasound scan the day before the abortion takes place.

I could open up a debate about the medical ethics of attempting to emotionally blackmail a patient into making a different decision versus informed consent, but I’m too busy being disgusted.

Stay classy, GoP. Stay classy.

Edit: Here’s a pertinent question – If you’re pregnant two weeks before conception, doesn’t that make birth control a form of abortion? Are you not then required in Arizona law to undergo an ultrasound scan the day before you have sex, every time you have sex?

  • kessy_athena

    Personally, I’ve thought it’s been obvious for a while now that the real goal of the anti-abortion crowd is to outlaw birth control as well.

    • JohnMWhite

      You’re right. They do continually insist just about any form of birth control is an abortifacient, no matter what the method is and whether or not it prevents implantation rather than terminates pregnancy. I think the only method they don’t see as tantamount to abortion would be condoms, but even those they oppose, because this isn’t about saving babies, it’s about controlling women. The rhythm method is ok because god can still get around a woman’s fertility cycle, but he can’t break a piece of rubber.

      The Republicans have gone completely off the deep end since Obama was elected, and they are taking it out on everyone they can get their hands on.

  • Irreverend Bastard

    Well, why not? God is all-knowing, and of course knew all about the pregnancy long before the clothes came off, so he always had a soul ready for “implant”. The sweaty humping was just a formality.

    The problem is that the wingnuts are hung up on that “soul” thing. If the unborn baby has a soul, and of course it has, because The Bible, then we can’t interfere with The Ineffable Plan. No abortions, no contraception, no choice for the womb unit. It’s all about producing as many souls for Jesus as possible.

    Rape? Doesn’t matter, one more soul for Jesus. Medical condition that will kill the mother? Even better, two more souls for Jesus.

    The religious are so hung up on death and the afterlife that they completely ignore life.

    • UrsaMinor

      The religious are so hung up on death and the afterlife that they completely ignore life.


  • vasaroti

    The Catholic Family Planning book says that sperm can lurk around “in there” for as long as 5 days, just waiting for an egg to come along.

  • Don Gwinn

    I’ll be a partial Devil’s Advocate here; the first I heard of this was on the Sex Nerd Sandra blog, where Sandra described being horrified, but then checking with doctors (as she is wont to do, when experts are available) and finding that medical doctors are the ones who standardized the practice of counting pregnancy from the last menstrual cycle. If that’s how doctors do it, I don’t know how the law could do otherwise. I’ve always wondered why pregnancy is taught as a 40-week process, and apparently that’s why–the extra two weeks are before conception!
    Daugherty’s point was that, although the legislation itself is mind-bending and maybe threatening, it might be good to have conversations about this and standardize the law’s definitions with medicine’s, since it seems that we’re stuck with legislating medical matters like this.

    • TrickQuestion

      The biggest problem therein is that since this is now a Law, it technically means a woman is pregnant till she menstruates.

      • Robert King

        I would guess that the original heuristic of counting from last menses was probably an attempt not to get too invasive about the woman’s sex life. We certainly have the technology and knowledge to track and predict ovulation – and therefore likelyhood of conception – with much greater accuracy than in the past. This is called fertility awareness, or more often “Natural Family Planning” by Catholics.

        The problem is that this level of accuracy requires active monitoring by the woman (at least), and is not easily standardized across a population of all women. Most women, however, are aware of their last period.

        I agree that it’s a problem to make a law based on a faulty heuristic, but Don is correct that this is not politically-invented “time travel”; rather, it’s ease-and-standardization-for-doctors-invented “time travel”.

        • JohnMWhite

          It is true that doctors count pregnancy from the last menstrual cycle, but that’s not because they actually think pregnancy began then. It obviously cannot have. A woman isn’t ‘considered pregnant until she menstruates’, it’s simply that conception can happen in such a broad timeframe that this is the only way to really extrapolate a reasonably accurate gestational period. That is not at all connected with lawmakers declaring life begins before conception, which is counter-factual, against medical science and simply another attempt to control women. It is quite blatantly politically motivated time travel.

      • Kodie

        So girls don’t have to do anything. We’re always pregnant or should be. I was wondering why some cultures treat the menstruating woman as though she is filthy and it’s probably because she failed to be pregnant. Anyway, so we now know the soul is in the egg and not in the sperm. All the eggs are numbered and finite and precious children who should have been born. Sperm are practically infinite, so I don’t know why masturbation is off the table. It’s not like you’re not going to make more if you let some go try impregnate a sock or that weird thing Daniel posted last week on “brain bleach day” at UF.

  • Noelle

    The most sensitive test for early pregnancy is a blood HCG level. An U/S won’t show the fetus with heartbeat until around 6-ish weeks post-conception, so 8 weeks post last menses (average estimate, as not all women have 28-day cycles, and not all ovulate on day 14).

    I’m not convinced lawmakers and politicians now the basics of human biology.

    • Noelle

      Or is that 4 weeks post-conception/6-ish weeks post menses? Yes, that’s it.

    • UrsaMinor

      I’m not convinced lawmakers and politicians now the basics of human biology.

      This is a problem with all areas of science. The people who are responsible for making the laws are faced with increasingly complex issues that cannot be understood with a knowledge of the basic science behind them, and there is no requirement for any lawmaker or politician to have any actual working knowledge of the topic he/she is legislating.

      • UrsaMinor

        Without a knowledge of the basic science, I meant. Stupid fingers.

        • Noelle

          That’s ok. I spelled know wrong. And messed up Naegele’s rule. But I got an app for that. His estimate for due date based on menstrual cycles ain’t too shabby, seeing as it’s about 200 years old and we still use it today.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Wait… If pregnancy begins two weeks before conception(ie., sex), then isn’t any woman who refuses, for any reason, to have sex with a man at any time whatsoever, guilty of abortion and MuRdEr!!!???!!! There, now we have legitimate rape.

  • Beth

    I think most men and women who haven’t been pregnant think this is appalling but pregnancy is ALWAYS counted from last menstrual period. So this really isn’t news to anyone who has ever been pregnant. They don’t do this to say that a women is pregnant before she conceives. They do this because there is not always a way to tell when a women conceives, but a women usually knows when her last menstrual period was.

    • Noelle

      Yeah, Naegele’s rule. It’s been around for the last 200 years. It’s not as accurate as a 1st trimester U/S, but it’s not a bad estimate. This is the first I’ve heard of never-been-procreating adults using it as anything else or being bothered by it. No one gets all flustered by Glascow’s pancreatitis score.

  • Hitchslapper

    My wish for Rethuglicans is that their wives Daughters and mothers are all ‘Legitimately’ Raped……. and Impregnated……

    • Sunny Day

      Gee, there’s nothing reprehensible, repugnant, disgusting and revolting about that sentiment.

      Go fuck off, you are not helping.

      • UrsaMinor

        I’ll second that.

        • The Other Weirdo

          I’ll third it.

    • Custador

      Yeah… Wishing such a thing on an innocent third party… Not the coolest. Especially when chances are some of these people really are horrible enough to shotgun-wedding their daughters to rapists, and force them to keep rape babies. So…. Yeah. That’s not cool.

  • pbe56

    “Not tonight dear–no, I don’t have a headache, but I haven’t had my ultrasound yet today.”