The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Rights revisited

Mississippi’s bills increase gray area of abortion legislation

The states have always acted as individual laboratories ofdemocracy, the testing grounds for the legal as well as thepolitical landscape of America. This lesson of democracy, which isperhaps most currently visible in the issue of gay marriage, alsoremains important to abortion debate as the events of last weekhave shown.

While a South Dakota bill that would have banned all abortionsexcept where a woman’s life or health was in danger failed topass the state’s senate by a single vote last week, threebills with clear implications for abortion rights were passed inMississippi.

While none of these bills directly challenge a women’sright to an abortion or can even be said to have a chilling effecton that right, they certainly add dirt to the waters in thisalready unclear area of the law.

One of these recently passed bills would allow charges of murderto be filled for the intentional killing of a fetus regardless ofwhether the mother survives.

Lawmakers cited the high-profile murder case of Laci Peterson,who was pregnant at the time of her murder, as impetus for the law.Ed Board agrees. Additional harm can befall pregnant women beyondtheir own well-being, and the law should reflect that.

While this law would not allow for the filing of murder chargesagainst a doctor who performs an abortion, it is clearly a shotacross the bow. It creates an unsubstantial duality in the lawwhere the fetus’ worth is determined by the intention ofthose who act upon it.

Of the three bills, the one that passed by the narrowest marginand the one that Ed Board finds most troubling would allow healthcare providers to opt out of helping with abortions.

They could also recuse themselves from other procedures to whichthey may have moral objections.

Under the protections of this law, nurses could refuse to assistin abortion procedures and pharmacists would not have to fill”morning after” contraceptives. They are spared theconsequences the rest of us would suffer if we refused to do ourjobs.

While Ed Board believes that one’s moral beliefs should bestrongly held onto and fought for, perhaps people should considersuch beliefs in choosing their employment.

This would keep them from having a job which would require themto invoke the protections of this law rather than facing theeconomic realities that the rest of us do.

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