Last week on her show, Rachel Maddow spotlighted John Labruzzo, a Louisiana State Senator who has introduced a bill banning “feticide”. If his bill were to become law, feticide, (the termination of the life of a fetus of any age), would be illegal in Louisiana, punishable by 15 years at hard labor for both the patient and her doctor. “Choice” would be but a memory in Louisiana.
When I first heard about this, my reaction was a shake of the head and a sigh. It is so far over the Constitutional line, even I could see it would never pass muster. And this Labruzzo character is the same fair-minded fellow who in the past has advocated paying poor women to have their tubes tied, and college educated women to procreate. He’s a nut. The Republican trees are full of them these days. No worries.
It took me some time to understand Labruzzo’s game plan is not to get his Draconian laws passed in Louisiana and start filling up the prisons with desperate unwed mothers and the dedicated doctors who help them. His objective is to get Rowe V Wade back in front of the Supreme Court, in the hope that, with Samuel Alito replacing Sandra Day O’Connor, there will now be enough votes on the court to overturn it. The goal is not to stop abortions in Louisiana. His goal is to end choice from sea to shining sea.
Democrats tend to look at Rowe V Wade as a fait accompi. We fought that battle. Choice is a right. It’s been a right for fifty years. Let’s move along. Our only strategy seems to be the exercise of patience until the opposition decides to choose modernity. So during that fifty years, Dems have played nice, giving ground at every turn. No federal funding. Waiting periods. Doctors being forced to read government written scripts. Patients being forced to hear one on one lectures from abortion opponents. Enough! You can’t win a battle if you are always on Defense.
It’s time for the Democrats to get behind some common sense legislation that would give the county one official scientifically determined standard for life. We have one now at the end of life; if a certain type of brain waves are no longer present, we deem that person’s individual humanity to be gone: Brain Death. I propose the Democrats advocate to extend that very same standard of brain wave function at the beginning of life: Brain Birth.
The concept of Brain Birth is not mine. There is a whole wing of ethics devoted to the discussion. The GOP has many times tried to identify conception as the beginning of human life. What has been our response to that? Let’s get one!
A single standard at both ends of life is a concept easy to understand. It will resound as reasonable with the man on the street. It says we are the party of science. It says we are still champions of the right to choose. Most of all, it says, we’re thoughtful, sensible people who believe in the right of every man and woman to be in charge of his own life beginning to end, and that we will not let anyone take that away.