A bit of local politics from elsewhere (for me elsewhere), via Tiny Cat Pants. TN State Representative Stacy Campfield, ladies and germs.
So first of all, background, as i'm getting this: apparently he's after a bill that would provide death certificates for aborted fetuses.
2. When a person does a heinous crime and beats up A pregnant woman and kills her and the baby it is a double murder. In other states It is called Lacy's law after the Lacy Peterson case. So in the eyes of the state the baby is (or was) a life. In these cases the child would also receive a death certificate.
This bill will give information to the state that is not available now on how many abortions are given each year as well as information on race, age, weight. It will also give consistency to when and what is a life based on factors that are already used and consistent. When we make the definition of life a little more consistent we can begin to treat it with the respect it deserves and not base it on whims of fancy.
Besides the obvious problems a lot of people are going to immediately have with this, Aunt B notes:
The first part is a lie. We know how many abortions are done each year in Tennessee. That's information collected by the Health Department.
The third--age--is also a lie. We know that. If you look at TN 39-15-201, if you're going to perform an abortion in Tennessee, you'd better be damn sure how old that fetus is before you perform the abortion, because depending on how far along the pregnancy is, there are different legal requirements.
But let's talk a second about the implications of him wanting to know the race. You can't tell the race of a fetus by looking at it. You could only tell based on the race of the folks who've contributed DNA to it.
And here, I think, we see the real motivation behind Campfield's legislation--it is to collect data, but not on the fetuses; it's an attempt to backdoor into the private medical records of individual Tennesseans. Right now, legally, if you have an abortion, the abortion is reported to the state, but the names of the parents are not (TN 68-3-505). If you miscarry and the fetus is a certain age or weight, a death certificate is issued and the names of the parents are recorded and reported to the state (TN 68-3-505).
If Campfield succeeds in passing this legislation, he'll have wormed his way into individuals' private medical records that are legally off-limits to him.
In other words: compiling a list of women who've had abortions, is the fear.
So a number of people comment to this effect, along with other pointed questions, and he "updates" with this:
Nothing in the bill will make a registry of names of people who have had abortions.
Well, okay! I guess that's reassuring. 'course, as i'm understanding it it doesn't say someone -can't- make such a registry, once such information is y'know -sitting right there,- but whataiver; he sez it ain't so, so.
but wait! There's more!
So now, apparently, he's gotten a bit testy about some picky pickertons who just can't stop criticizing, and wants to know:
5. If you work for the state and spend a large chunk of your day surfing the web and complaining about how bad a piece of legislation is, Do you think I should trust you to be non biased when doing an assessment of said legislation? Do you think this is an ethical lapse? Do you think I should trust you when you say you are over worked but seem to have plenty of time to surf the web and author long posts and comments on blogs during time you are getting paid to work? Do you think you would get away with it on a real job?
As Aunt B. notes,
As far as I know, and I've been keeping up on this issue, there's only been one state employee who's addressed this issue*.
I don't know how else to read that but as a threat.
So, just remember that the next time that Campfield is all "Oh, I just want to spark a reasonable discussion about abortion in this state" or the next time someone like Terry Frank is all "Thanks to Campfield for all the hard work he does. If you’re not both hated and loved, you’re really not doing much.": When Campfield was met with legitimate concerns about his legislation from someone he could try to intimidate, he did.
That's his idea of a reasonable discussion: threatening the livelihoods of his critics.
Yes, well. This sort of thing seems to be a real trend these days, doesn't it.