To be honest, there are so many gob-smacking details in the story it’s difficult to know which deserve the most mockery.
Let’s start by noting that the Missouri state senator involved is chair of the Missouri senate’s interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life. Let’s just pause and let that sink in.
What the actual fuck?! The state of Missouri’s senators are so far gone that they actually have a Committee on the Sanctity of life. The duties of said committee are spelled out here and are genuinely stunning in multiple, utterly nonsensical ways:
Duties of the committee shall be as follows:
(1) Conduct an in-depth analysis of the Planned Parenthood business model and the methods by which they dispose of human remains from aborted fetuses;
(2) Investigate into whether Planned Parenthood, and any of its affiliates or associates, is or has engaged in activity contrary to the laws of this state;
(3) Determine whether any state dollars have been directly used in such activity or used in a manner to offset expenses so that Planned Parenthood and any of its affiliates and associates might engage in such activities.
(4) Investigate whether any person, past or present, employed by the State of Missouri had any prior knowledge of any such alleged activity or misuse of state funds.
(5) Examine and investigate any other issues the committee deems relevant to the allegations brought forth against Planned Parenthood.
If you look closely, you’ll notice the members of the committee are . . . why yes! almost all white men. 6 of committee’s 9 members are white men. How do these people even keep a straight face?
Let’s just move on from the surreal absurdity of investigations whose sole purpose is to rile the rank and file.
Missouri State Sen. Kurt Schaefer has decided to try to block and/or intervene in research by a student into the impact of a 72 hour waiting period for abortion.
A state lawmaker wants to stop a graduate student at the University of Missouri from continuing research for her dissertation on the impact of a 72-hour waiting period on women considering abortions.
Missouri state Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) claimed in a letter to the university chancellor dated Oct. 30 that the university is breaking the law by allowing the student to carry out her research. The grad student is studying a recently imposed law requiring women in Missouri to wait 72 hours between the time they seek information about an abortion and the point at which they have the procedure.
The HuffPo goes on to point out:
The graduate student’s research, Schaefer insists, is a “marketing aid” for Planned Parenthood using taxpayer dollars. Missouri law prohibits state employees from using tax dollars to encourage a woman to have an abortion that is “not necessary to save her life.” But defenders of the study say Schaefer’s suggestion the school shouldn’t be able to conduct this research is a threat to academic freedom.
From AlJazeera America:
Schaefer called for the university to hand over documents regarding the project’s approval and said that, because the University of Missouri is a public university, it should not fund research that he said would promote elective abortions. Missouri law prohibits the use of public funds to promote non-life-saving abortions.
The student in question, Lindsay Ruhr, described her research thus:
“I stand by my research project,” Lindsay Ruhr said Wednesday. “I feel that my research is objective, and that the whole point of my research is to understand how this policy affects women. Whether this policy is having a harmful or beneficial effect, we don’t know.”
Let’s just take a good look at what’s going on here.
A doctoral student is proposing a study of how a new law impacts women.
A state senator is opposed to that study because it will be a “marketing aid” for Planned Parenthood.
That tells me at least one key thing; the Senator knows the study is going to show that the 72 hour waiting period has no benefits at best and at worst is harmful. He wants to keep that information from seeing the light of day. It also tells me he’s an idiot.
Had Schaefer not made a fuss about the research, most of us would never have heard of it. It would have quietly disappeared. Now we’re all waiting anxiously for the final version.
On principle, the 72 hour waiting period is offensive. It treats women as if they’re too stupid to make choices and have to be forced to take 3 days thinking about their decision. It imposes needless hardship on women. And I’d bet dollars to doughnuts it doesn’t have any positive impact on anyones life.