Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Death certificates for abortions in Tennessee

As reported by Rook at DailyKos, legislation has been introduced in the Tennessee legislature that would mandate the creation of death certificates for aborted fetuses. They're saying it's just a way of keeping track of the number of abortions in the state--even though the number of abortions in the state is already a matter of public record. But truth never really influenced Republicans before, so why should it start now?

Clearly, the idea is to imply that abortion is murder while still not infringing on any rights guaranteed by Roe v. Wade. Legalized murder, if you will. But since death certificates are a matter of public record, this legislation would also have the chilling effect of eliminating the privacy of women who choose to get abortions.

But beyond those obvious conclusions, here are some questions I have:

Shouldn't we see about getting paternity tests done on the aborted fetuses so we can correctly identify the father of the deceased? It takes two to create a fetus, after all. If we're going to start violating privacy (and potentially HIPAA laws as well) to make women think twice about getting abortions, we shouldn't let the other partner off the hook so easily.

And in addition, since I would imagine that the Republicans sponsoring this bill are pro-lifers who believe that life begins at conception, I would like to ask them why we ought to maintaining death certificates for abortions, but not for, say, miscarriages as well. We don't keep death certificates just for murder victims, after all--so why should be keep death certificates only for pre-born humans whose existence was intentionally terminated? If a woman has a miscarriage, she should be marched straight down to the coroner's office! Why not?

Of course, since 50% of fertilized eggs fail to implant in the uterus anyway, there are other, further complications. By that logic, we really ought to have every couple who is trying to conceive head down to the coroner's office every month the woman fails to get pregnant--just on the off-chance that her partner fertilized an egg and created a human being who unfortunately failed to implant and ended up in the waste basket.

We wouldn't want to lose out on any statistics, would we?

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