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01/05/2006

Yes, Virginia, there is a Satan clause

Remember almost exactly a year ago, when a bill was introduced in Virginia that would have required women to report miscarriages to their local law enforcement agency within twelve hours of their loss?

Yeah, thought you might.

Thanks to the efforts of thousands of people around the Internet, notably Maura of Democracy for Virginia, the bill was withdrawn from consideration after its sponsor complained that its language was "just too confusing," and accusing opponents of "engaging in an active campaign of misinformation" to defeat it.

If you're infertile and live in Virginia, it's time to limber up your typing fingers again, especially the ones that you use when TYPING IN ALL CAPS to express your ire, because this one's a doozy.

State legislator Robert G. Marshall — or Delegate Bob, if you're feelin' folksy — has introduced a bill preventing doctors from providing unmarried women with any infertility treatment that "completely or partially replaces sexual intercourse as the means of conception."

Considering Marshall's record, this is nothing extraordinary.  A quick spin around Delegate Bob's site reveals that he also authored a law that nullifies any same-sex partnerships entered into in other states.  He sponsored a bill — "almost passed" — prohibiting college health care services from providing the morning after pill to students.  He was also responsible for a law against something called partial birth infanticide, which is, in the law's text, carefully distinguished from late-term abortion — a law that seems reasonable enough, even obvious, until you consider that "infanticide" is very much a right-wing buzzword used to oppose any late-term abortion, and until you ponder how removed the careful language of the law might be from its underlying intent.

But Delegate Bob can't be all bad, right?  I mean, he did sponsor a law authorizing members of a Jimmy Buffet fan club to be issued special license plates.  I'm glad his busy schedule of oppressing women allows ample time for him to kick back and enjoy a cheeseburger in paradise.

I'm no Maura, and I'm no getupgrrl.  I don't even live in Virginia.  But if you do, will you please consider finding and contacting your delegate to discuss your opinion of the proposed legislation?

And while you're at it, what the hell — ask them about issuing a special license plate for cranky infertile bloggers who can't believe our elected representatives keep trying to pull this shit.

Many thanks to the good women of IVF Connections, where I initially read about the proposed legislation.

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