Jim DeMint's Newest Abortion Ban: Discussing It Online

I'm still scratching my head over why Jim DeMint is even the tiniest bit concerned about women discussing -- yes, talking about -- abortion with their health professionals. But DeMint is not only concerned, he's going to do something about it, which is why he introduced a bill banning it.

Via Think Progress:

Now Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), one of the most die-hard anti-choice lawmakers, has jumped on the bandwagon by sneaking a radical anti-abortion amendment onto a completely unrelated piece of legislation. DeMint’s amendment would ban women and their doctors from discussing abortion over the Internet:

Anti-choice Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) just filed an anti-choice amendment to a bill related to agriculture, transportation, housing, and other programs. The DeMint amendment could bar discussion of abortion over the Internet and through videoconferencing, even if a woman’s health is at risk and if this kind of communication with her doctor is her best option to receive care.

Under this amendment, women would need a separate, segregated Internet just for talking about abortion care with their doctors.

Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said DeMint is essentially mandating “an abortion-only version of Skype.” She points out that a woman with high-risk pregnancy talking to her doctor through video conferencing would have to somehow switch to a separate communications system if abortion came up at all. “It is impractical, ridiculous, and, most importantly, bad for women in rural or remote areas who would not be able to discuss the full set of options with their doctor,” Keenan said.

Basically, if this stupid bill were to actually have a prayer of passing, which it doesn't, women could not use ordinary online channels to communicate with their doctor about their reproductive health. To me that raises all kinds of problems. Who owns the Internet? Who owns the pipes? If a woman communicated via her iPhone to her doctor's iPhone, how would the government have any right to know what they discussed, given that AT&T, Verizon and soon, Sprint, own that air? Moreover, how does a small government conservative reconcile this with big government insertion into women's lives?

I realize that Big Government attitudes arise around the abortion debate from social conservatives, but the construction of this particular measure exceeds even the usual lunatic levels. Is DeMint just wasting time with this bill, or does he plan to use it as some kind of leverage to do other harm to women?

I wonder if DeMint has read The Handmaid's Tale. It would explain his vision for the world he wants to live in.


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