Friday, February 16, 2007

More on Death Certificates for Abortion

Representative Stacey Campfield is obviously getting a lot of questions on his proposed legislation to issue death certificates for abortion. Rather than answering the questions posted to his blog on the issue, the Rep says, in what I think is a stunningly childish commentary, "You all look to be doing quite well with out me so I think I will let you all continue on without much input on my bill from me for now. A few questions I would love your input on though," and proposes his own list of questions, essentially ignoring the commentary of his contituents and other concerned Tennesseans. In a later post, he says, "I have responded to other legislators who are getting asked questions as well as Tennessee Right to Life." Again, no response for the people who are pointing out how the bill does absolutely nothing the Rep says it would do.

Now, to respond to the Rep's questions, which are truly nothing but his attempt at distraction:

1. If it is not a life, then why do you care if it gets a death certificate or not?
It has been clearly pointed out on numerous blogs that creating public records containing the names of women receiving a controversial legal medical procedure is a serious privacy issue for the women having abortions. Additionally, asking your constituents, "Why do you care?" is not the level of adult discourse we expect from politicians. You proposed the certificates, Rep, so the burden is on you to convince us what this legislation does (because what you say it does is already being done, or it does not in fact do) and why it matters.

2. Is this bill about paper work more controversial then the fact that abortions don't have to be performed by licensed doctors in Tennessee?
State law requires that "The administrator of such facility shall be: (a) A licensed physician, licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, or have a college degree from a four-year accredited institution and experience in a health-related field; and (b) Of good moral character." You're correct that some abortion providers in the hands-on setting may not be "licensed doctors;" however, you make no argument for why this is necessary, nor do you include provisions to change this in your legislation. Yet another red herring.

3.If you think I am wasting my time on this, Do you also think all of congress is wasting its time on a NON BINDING RESOLUTION that will have no effect on the direction of the war from a political point of view.
Completely irrelevant to criticisms of your proposed legislation. This is simply an attempt at distraction, and you should be ashamed of yourself.

4. If you do, have you told your congress person? Will you hold it against them for doing any thing but condemning it as a waste of time?
See above; in addition, nothing about being opposed to your bill prohibits an individual from having an opinion or contacting their legislators about Iraq. If you want to make a "if you're not doing everything, you should do nothing" argument, perhaps you should consider why you don't have provisions to reduce unwanted pregnancies in your bill.

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?
This is obviously directed at the blogger, an employee of the Department of Health, who commented on the fiscal waste associated with stunt legislation. Again, one person's response to the bill has nothing at all to do with whether the bill is a good one, whether it does what you say it will do, or whether you are either completely misinfored or flat-out lying about your own bill. Especially if you're not really doing your job, as you're only responding to other legislators and an anti-choice group. Distraction.

6.Is a death certificate worse then the fact that partial birth abortion is legal in Tennessee? If you had a choice to end one or the other, what would you put your effort behind stopping? Have you?
This is another mistruth; "partial birth abortion" is a Class C Felony in the state of Tennessee. See Tennessee Code : Title 39 Criminal Offenses : Chapter 15 Offenses Against the Family : Part 2 —Abortion : 39-15-209. Partial birth abortions. —
"(b) No person shall knowingly perform a partial-birth abortion.
(c) Subsection (b) shall not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of the mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness or injury."
Again, you're setting up a false choice between two issues - it's not necessary to choose to "end one or the other," so your premise is false. We'll leave along the fact that "partial birth abortion" is not a medical term, but is a "fighting word" created by anti-choice activists.

7. If you know in your heart you did "the right thing" and had an abortion why would you care if people found out? Shouldn't you be proud of it?
Legal medical care is private, and is protected by privacy laws, which you are trying to make an end run around. How the woman feels about obtaining legal medical care is none of your business. Do you think that all medical records should be open to the public? Will you release yours? However, should the names of women obtaining abortions become part of the public record, those women could be subjected to how *other* people feel about their obtaining legal medical care. Surely you remember the "abortion doctor hit list" that was posted on the Internet - some of us who are concerned about life are concerned about the ramifcations for the lives of women and their families if they become targets of zealots in this manner.

8. If you found out that taco bell has more regulation on it then an abortion clinic would that make you feel safe in your "choice"? What if you found out abortion clinics have no regulation whatsoever, no cleanliness, licensing or any thing? If you found out your legislator voted to keep it that way would you vote for them again? Did you vote Democrat this last year?
This depends on whether Taco Bell needs more regulation than an abortion clinic. Are you arguing that it does or does not? Do you have any evidence one way or the other? Whether a person voted for a Democrat last year is irrelevant to your proposed bill. It's not correct that abortion clinics have "no regulation whatsoever." Examine TN Code:
  • Title 68 Health, Safety and Environmental Protection : Health : Chapter 11 Health Facilities and Resources : Part 2 —Regulation of Health and Related Facilities : 68-11-201. Definitions. —
  • Title 39 Criminal Offenses : Chapter 15 Offenses Against the Family : Part 2 —Abortion
    These are just a couple of the major sections that compose abortion regulation in Tennessee. To turn your own technique around on you, what are you doing to correct this, if it's a problem? And what does that have to do with criticism of your bill?

    Honestly, these questions don't truly deserve a response, but to point out the childishness, dodging and deception Campfield is engaging in. Don't expect the Rep to actually address the serious questions associated with this bill. Thanks to Nashville is Talking for pointing out Campfield's new post, and Brittney for noting the hypocrisy of Campfield claiming to not have time to respond to valid criticism, but having had the time to set up the above list of irrelevant, distracting nonsense.

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