Friday, February 16, 2007

And speaking of how-low-can-you-go rightwingers:

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.


Unsane said...

That's his idea of a reasonable discussion: threatening the livelihoods of his critics.

Ah, the right wing and their crass materialism!

Alex said...

You know, people seem are very worried about the compiling of a list of women who have had abortions. And you know what? Yes. Horrible. It sets up women for targetting - by ex-boyfriends who didn't know, by bombers who don't think that attacking the doctors is enough any more, by their churches if they're members of a faith that frowns on it. So many ways for that to be abused.

But even if names are taken off, I was also struck by the thought that the knowledge of the fetus' race could, depending on the statistics, be used in attacks against WOC (if their percentage numbers go up once it's not data collected according to self-reports). That's a dangerous slope.

belledame222 said...

yeah, Alex, i had that thought as well. well, look: there's nothing good about this, clearly; as Aunt B notes, at best it'd be redundant, apparently.

this guy's a real winner, tho'. lovely and talented, for surely.

belledame222 said...

...or used for various sorts of dubious propaganda. yeah, there's no end of good times one could have with that sort of data.

TRin said...

"It sets up women for targetting - by ex-boyfriends who didn't know, by bombers who don't think that attacking the doctors is enough any more, by their churches if they're members of a faith that frowns on it. So many ways for that to be abused."

Yes. Ugh. Why would anyone need to know?

(ps. belle -- are you still wanting to link to my kink & class post?)

belledame222 said...

i was thinking of doing a roundup, but hadn't quite gotten to it. or trying to nominate it for something. why, do you want to take it off public?

KH said...

I think we’ve heard from this man before.

The bill addresses only induced abortions, which comprise a minority of cases. If the ontological status of the embryo or fetus were the issue, one would expect a consistently pro-life bill to treat all abortions equally, whether spontaneous or induced.

The bill is at:

Filed for intro on 02/12/2007

By Campfield

AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 68, relative to fetal death certificates.


SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 68-3-505, is amended by deleting the first sentence of subsection (a) in its entirety and by substituting instead the following:

A death certificate for each induced termination of pregnancy which occurs in this state shall be filed with the office of vital records within ten (10) days after the procedure by the person in charge of the institution in which the induced termination of pregnancy was performed.

SECTION 2. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 68-3-505, is further amended in subsection (a) by deleting in the second sentence the word "report" and by substituting instead the language "death certificate".

SECTION 3. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 68-3-505, is amended by adding a new subsection thereto, as follows:

(c) The death certificate for each induced termination of pregnancy shall state that the fetal death was due to an abortion performed pursuant to title 39, chapter 15, part 2, and shall be signed by the person in charge of the institution in which the induced termination of pregnancy was performed. If the induced termination of pregnancy was performed outside an institution, the attending physician shall sign the death certificate.

SECTION 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2007, the public welfare requiring it.

Trin said...

Oh, no, belle, it's just when someone tells me "I'm going to link to this!" I assume they're going to post right then (as that's what I do), get all giddy, and check their blog every five minutes for the new post.

Bimbo said...

One of the best parts of this post is the labelling you gave it. It reads like a closing statement.

I don't believe for a second that that information wouldn't have been used for an ulterior and may I say shitty agenda.

I want money, but I have no legitimate way of getting it. Put all your money in my purse. I won't spend it, I just want to know how much you have and to hold on to it for an indefinite period of time. Obviously you can't be trusted with it if you're willing to give it to me.

Same thing.

R. Mildred said...

Do you have to give the featus a name for the certificate?

Because stacy campfield seems like an apt name for a useless lump of mush imho.

Alon Levy said...

KH, I understood from Belledame's post that spontaneously aborted fetuses are issued a death certificate.

KH said...

Alon, as I understand it, under current TN law, death certificates can be issued in the case of fetuses above a certain weight, at the option of the woman. But most spontaneous abortions occur early, & many wouldn't meet the weight requirement; and making issuance depend on the preference of the woman turns them into a kind of vanity document. Neither restriction is consistent with the ontological claims of anti-abortion activists.