Jindal Gives Louisiana Women the Big F-U

George Carlin once remarked that the interesting thing about conservatives:

They’ll do anything for the unborn, but once you’re born, you’re on your own. No nothing! No neonatal care, no daycare, no headstart, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you’re pre-born you’re fine, if you’re preschool, you’re fucked.”

Carlin’s words have never been truer than today with the worst thing to happen to Louisiana since Katrina: Governor Bobby Jindal signs a bill into effect that will effectively close down most, if not all, of the abortion clinics in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Sponsored by State Representative Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe), House Bill 388 will force abortion facilities to receive “requirements” or admitting privileges from hospitals ONLY within a 30 mile radius of the clinic. The only problem? Hospitals can choose to revoke or not allow a doctor to have admitting privileges at their own discretion. A doctor may have a medical degree but may not have admitting privileges at the closest hospital, he may have them at a hospital that is 50 miles away. Which seems so strange for the conservatives that bemoan and denounce Obama’s Healthcare Act as a major interference of government into private healthcare, they sure have no problem outlawing a woman’s right to control her own reproductive health.

Furthermore, House Bill 388 requires the “delivery of certain information concerning healthcare facilities and services to pregnant women prior to abortion.” The ambiguity of this section is particularly worrying. What information are you trying to shove down a woman’s throat when she has already made her decision? House Bill 388 is modeled after a Texas law that has already closed down 19 of the 33 abortion clinics in the state. That is the point of the bill, not to protect women or to help children, but to perpetuate a theological agenda and help Jindal get his blessed Tea Party support.

The problem isn’t whether or not you believe that abortion is wrong or illegal, it is that a man in a government facility now has the right to tell a woman what she can or can’t do to her body. Even though a woman is the one that will have to carry, take off from work, feed, clothe and protect that child, she has no say in what will happen to her body and her future. And yet, Governor Jindal will never be the one that has to face the situation of an unplanned pregnancy, or pregnancy due to rape, or incest or bad decision making. The accompanying bill to 388 is House Bill 305 is that abortion clinics are not allowed to distribute any form of information, whether it be about sexual education or contraception, to schools. Abstinence is the Louisiana way.  Instead, they would rather perpetuate a culture of keeping people ignorant about sexual protection and continue the endless cycle of poverty in the state of Louisiana.

It’s as if Roe vs. Wade never happened. Do you know why that Supreme Court case changed the face of the abortion debate in America? It wasn’t because we are a heathen nation that will bring about the damnation of humanity. It had nothing to do with religion, in fact. It was because the 14th amendment safeguards certain acts of PRIVACY, and abortion was defined as an act of privacy. It is a private matter, not the matter of the Louisiana legislature. What a woman chooses to do with her body is her decision. Are there any laws that tell men whether or not they can procreate? Of course not. In the same way that you can’t outlaw same-sex sexual relations (although Louisiana does still have sodomy outlawed, way to step into the 21st century) you cannot tell a woman what she can or cannot do with her own body, because it is a private matter. When men have the ability to bear children, they can be seen as equal and thus provide a valid opinion on the subject.

Because let’s be honest, this is Jindal’s last attempt at getting the conservative vote in Louisiana. This is purely done so that women cannot have access to safe healthcare, aiming to push forth a Christian agenda that has no place in the healthcare system. Separation of Church and State. It was good enough for our Founding Fathers, but no one seems to remember that fact. No, we’re a Christian nation. We’re a nation of god-damn hypocrites is what we are.

A man cannot and will never understand the feeling of pregnancy. They aren’t the ones who’s bodies and emotions change. They aren’t the ones that are turned down for jobs because they require maternity leave or need to take time off because they have children. Men will never have to face the heartbreaking decision of terminating a pregnancy. And if you don’t ever have to make that choice, how can you make it for any woman? Because you know what’s best? Because you’re a man?

No doubt this legislation is Jindal’s last attempt of winning conservative votes as the rumors of a presidency run continue to circulate. I cannot honestly think of a worst idea. Not only have taxes stayed high in Louisiana, public education is still at the bottom of the national average, poverty remains at an all-time high, and let’s not forget that he all but handed the coastal wetlands over to Big Oil when he signed law SB469 that would make the state unable to sue oil companies for economic losses and negligence under the Environmental Act of 1990. Oh, and did we mention that his brother-in-law’s law firm works for BP? A politician with an uncaring attitude concerning the importance of natural resources instead choosing to put oil companies in his back pocket? Never seen that song and dance before, Bobby.

Governor Jindal has done almost nothing to help the citizens or younger generations of Louisiana. Instead he has allowed Big Oil to rape our coastal lands, higher education to become a privilege instead of a right, and has all but destroyed a woman’s constitutional right to the procurement of a safe abortion. Do you think that shutting down abortion clinics in the state will help stop unplanned pregnancy? It won’t, because it has been a problem since the beginning of time. Instead, more women will be having unsafe abortions, more children will be born to teenage mothers, the cycle of poverty will be perpetuated, and standards of education and the definitive wealth gap will continue to lower in this country.

Lawyers for the clinic say that they will be filing an immediate appeal but will it be enough? Can you turn the tide of conservative and Christian politics in Louisiana. This citizen remains unconvinced.

I’ll probably catch a lot of slack for this article. Some may say I support murdering children and am not a Christian and to you I say, I don’t care what you think. Because you don’t get to make the decisions regarding my body. I do. Not you. And especially not Governor Bobby Jindal.

It’s a sad day for Louisiana women. It is further proof of the conservative wasteland that is Louisiana’s government system. No protection for the working man, the college graduate, or the underprivileged child. Only the promulgation of corporate business, the loss of personal rights, and the continual slap to the American Constitution. Good luck to us all. We’re going to need it.

You can read the entirety of House Bill 388 here and the accompanying House Bill 305.

Red Beans and Life’s official countdown until Jindal leaves office

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About Morgan

Morgan was born in Georgia, raised in Louisiana, a Southern gal through and through. A graduate of the University of New Orleans, she loves her Saints, her city and inserting thinly veiled sarcasm throughout all her writing.

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