How to Spot a Counterfeit Piece of Legislation

Yet another state bill designed to hurt women purports to protect us.

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Jun. 27, 2012

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Next, a white-hot clue: invoking the name Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell faces murder charges in the deaths of seven babies and a woman at his ramshackle, renegade clinic in West Philly. Since his 2011 arrest, Gosnell has taken on a strange place in the abortion war, counter-intuitively fulfilling twin roles as both America’s first alleged serial baby killer and patron saint of anti-choice activists.

So consider “Gosnell” the political equivalent of yelling fire in the theater: Shady right-wing lawmakers will slap Gosnell’s name onto any law designed to make access to safe abortion services harder, thereby actually increasing the odds of another Gosnell setting up a black-market butcher shop to prey on desperate women. Khempeth Syhalath was arrested on suspicion of performing rogue dentistry in a South Philly basement the same year, but you don’t see anyone trying to shut down real, regulated dentists everywhere else as a result.

Cut this out and keep it handy in your wallet or on the fridge, because the next counterfeit bill isn’t too far behind.

The Breakdown is a new weekly column by Staff Writer Tara Murtha, who regularly reports on crime, urban violence, policy, gender issues, animal welfare and any other social justice issues we can think of.

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1. Anonymous said... on Jun 13, 2012 at 02:45PM

“This is one of the best articles I have read in a long time. Tell it like it is Tara. It's so refreshing when these anti-woman crusaders are called out for what they really are. If you want to help women Kathy Rapp you should work on equal pay for equal work, not eliminating cancer screenings. My 12 year old could figure that one out.”

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2. epiphancies said... on Jun 13, 2012 at 07:58PM

“I love the "what if we kill the one who would have x" argument. Too many rebuttals to count, but I like, "what if this young lady in grad school is the one who will cure cancer, as long as she doesn't have to drop out to take care of this unwanted baby?" WHAT THEN, EH? But since I don't believe in a god with a plan, that silly sort of predeterminism won't convince me to yank healthcare away from millions of people.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Jun 17, 2012 at 10:06AM

“Tara Murtha needs to return to her first writing class in elementary school to understand that facts and general statements are two different entities. It's hard to believe that this article passes as journalism. Facts are fine;generalities are not.”

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4. baron davis said... on Jun 20, 2012 at 08:17AM

“So it's ok, Murtha, you dumb fuck, for low-income women to have abortions? Why are they becoming pregnant anyway? If they cannot tend to themselves, why are they even thinking of reproducing?”

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5. Anonymous said... on Jun 21, 2012 at 03:00PM

“Dear Anonymous 3 and "baron davis", you obviously don't know the difference between a column and an article, and to the latter, you obviously don't understand that rape can lead to pregnancy/reproductive abuse. I think your mommies need to cut the cable to your computers, you basement dwelling dumbfucks.”

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