Douchebag Decree: Utah's “Protecting Unborn Children” Amendment

This Tuesday, a new law will go into effect in Utah called the “Protecting Unborn Children Amendment.” As you might guess from the title, this is a terrible anti-choice law based on made up “facts” that will put the lives of abortion-havers across the state in some pretty serious danger. Can a law be a douchebag? You bet it can!

The law, sponsored by  Sen. Curt Bramble and Rep. Keven Stratton and signed into law by Gov. Gary Herbert, will require physicians to administer questionable and likely dangerous amounts of anesthesia to women having abortions after 20 weeks. Why? Because they decided that this is when a fetus can feel pain.

In fact, the bill states that “substantial medical evidence from studies concludes that an unborn child who is at least 20 weeks gestational age may be capable of experiencing pain during an abortion procedure.” The lawmakers who created the bill feel so importantly about this “fact” that they literally crossed out words the words “that may be” from a section of the bill referring to this pain:

“A physician who performs an abortion of an unborn child who is at least 20 weeks gestational age shall administer an anesthetic or analgesic to eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child [that may be] caused by the particular method of abortion to be employed.”

No maybes about it, as far as they’re concerned! This is definitely true and definitely when a fetus can feel pain. According to substantial medical evidence. That they made up themselves.  

But, of course, their fake “science” isn’t backed up by any scientific study. In fact, basically every study available, like this one published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, says that a fetus likely cannot feel pain until the third trimester, after 28 weeks.

They might as well ban electric fans because fairies could get hurt should they fly into one, for all the “substantial medical evidence” backing up this idea.

Although these lawmakers are very good at making up their own science facts, they are less awesome at inventing medical procedures. Because a fetus feeling pain that early is a thing they made up, there are no established medical guidelines for how this is all supposed to pan out. Do they put the anesthesia directly into the patient’s stomach? How much do they give in order to comply with the law? No one knows! But we do know that physicians who refuse to comply with the law could face charges of up to a third-degree felony! And administering more anesthesia than necessary is actually pretty dangerous and could cause potentially deadly side effects!

Dr. Leah Torres, an abortion provider at one of the two whole licensed abortion clinics in all of Utah (and whom you need to follow on Twitter like, yesterday), told the New York Times that this law would essentially require her to “experiment” on her patients and “invent a procedure that doesn’t have any research to back it up.” “What does it mean?” she asked. “How do we not break this law?”

If some legislator out there there would somehow pass a federal law banning laws based on “facts” politicians clearly made up themselves, we wouldn’t keep having these problems. It could be called the “You Can’t Just Make Shit Up And Then Create A Law Based On The Shit You Very Obviously Just Made Up Bill,” and it would save us all a lot of agita not only with these idiotic abortion laws but also laws concerning climate change and “voter fraud.” It would be magical. It will never happen, but it would be magical. In the meantime, we just have to keep working to vote these douchebags out of office!

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Robyn Pennacchia
by Robyn Pennacchia
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Robyn Pennacchia lives in Chicago and writes about politics and whatnot for Wonkette. Previously, she has worked as an editor at The Frisky and Death and Taxes. You can follow her on Twitter @RobynElyse.

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