October 09, 2005

Gilead, IN

It may become a crime in Indiana to engage in unauthorized reproduction, if a certain set of Republican legislators get their way. Let me write that again, because maybe if I do I'll be able to convince myself that I'm not just having a bad reaction to the cold medicine and imagining it.

Unauthorized reproduction.

No, still not convinced. And now I've got, in addition to the cold, a terrible case of the heebie-jeebies. Literally, I want to go wash my hands. If this freakish, Taliban-style law passes, it would mean that actual criminal penalties would be applied to unmarried women who try to get pregnant by artificial means without a "gestational certificate." It still won't be a crime to just get knocked up the regular way, though this has it's own hazards and pitfalls, but this is way too far along the primrose path towards stoning adulterers. Further, considering the medical care available in most prisons, serious complications might result in a de facto judicial honor killing.

Of course, this would also automatically bar lesbians from becoming parents unless they and their partner agreed to something that would cause most couples to break up. Murphy Brown would be headed straight to jail. An encounter with a chilly turkey baster would in fact become a criminal misdemeanor. And even if you were a lawfully married person, a criminal record could well mean no gestational certificate for you. Neener, neener.

Unauthorized reproduction, for both intended parent and assisting physician would become a Class B misdemeanor; up to 180 days in prison and a $1,000 fine. Lying your way into securing state permission to get pregnant would become a Class A misdemeanor; up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. And I guess you'd get a criminal record, which might impinge on your future ability to have your reproduction authorized by the wise and all-knowing State of Indiana.

Armando wrote a post about the Democrats' need to focus on a public morality of the common good, as opposed to the public imposition of a private morality. This law smacks of petty cruelty, which typically fails to increase the common good on just about every level. It also smacks of Quayle-esque levels of blithering idiocy, which always stops being funny right about the time lawmakers decide that the idea is so stupid, it might just work. With the War on Terror squeezing certain people's good sense right out their ears, we don't need an Inquisition.

Thus creeped out as I am, I'm considering sharing the pain of my discomfiture with members of Indiana's state legislature. Specifically, the Republican members of the Health Finance Commission, who will be voting on whether or not to let this monstrosity out of committee on the 20th of this month.

Rep Vaneta Becker (Chair of the Public Health Cmte)

Rep Robert Behning

Rep Timothy Brown

Rep Mary Kay Budak (Chair of the Family, Children and Human Affairs Cmte)

Rep Dick Dodge

Rep David Frizzell

Rep Don Lehe

Sen Gary Dillon

Sen Beverly Gard (Chair of the Energy & Environmental Affairs Cmte)

Sen Connie Lawson (Chair of the Elections & Civic Affairs Cmte)

Sen Patricia Miller (Commission chair & Chair of the Health & Provider Services Cmte)

Sen Ryan Mishler

Sen Marvin Riegsecker (Chair of the Governmental Affairs & Interstate Cooperation Cmte)

Sen Gregory Server

Maybe all they need is a reminder that a boneheaded law like this could be a campaign contribution windfall for whoever decides to run against them at the next election. It doesn't take that much money to swing a state legislative race compared to any of the national offices. Might be good times ahead for the Indiana Democratic Party, you never know.

Posted by natasha at October 9, 2005 12:56 AM | Women | Technorati links |

...This already got dropped, didn't it?


Posted by: Crissa at October 9, 2005 03:25 AM

Yes, but they are re-wording the bill for another go in the near future.

I have never been ashamed of being from Indiana, until I saw this.

I showed this to my female co-workers last week, most of which think I'm nuts for the political work that I do. After they read about this, they started getting nervous about the kind of folks that would promote this sort of thing. And more than a few of them like to think of themselves as Republicans.

Now if I can just convince them to carry some of the load...

Posted by: palamedes at October 9, 2005 03:02 PM

To quote the Jesus, "Know ye not that in heaven there is no giving or taking in marriage?" Could this biblical tid bit mean one's sexuality is not that important a determinant to entrance into heaven? No sex in heaven? No patriarchal posturing? No male macheesmo? No high heels sharply rapping on marble halls? No judgmental matrons?

Ever wonder what percentage of Sodom/Gomorrah-uns were actually homosexual? I'll bet no more than 20%. I guess God hates homos so much his final punishment including the regular people was collateral damage. Ooopsy. Maybe God was actually clamping down on intolerance.

Posted by: Wells at October 9, 2005 07:42 PM

Palamedes said "I have never been ashamed of being from Indiana, until I saw this."

I've never been ashamed of driving through Indiana, until I saw this.

Posted by: Darryl at October 9, 2005 10:21 PM

I was wondering about the part of this statute that says:

Sec. 5. (a) A petition to establish parentage may be filed by an intended parent.
20061258.001/84 (6) October 3, 2005 (1:24pm)
1 (b) The intended parents must be married to each other, and both spouses
2 must be parties to the action to establish parentage.
3 (c) An unmarried person may not be an intended parent.

It sounds to me like:

- you can't get authorized to reproduce (to be an intended parent) unless you're married;

- if you do get preggers, and you're not married, the state can make you get married to whomever they determine to be the father.

Please tell me I'm reading this wrong...

Posted by: (: Tom :) at October 10, 2005 11:19 AM

"Maybe God was actually clamping down on intolerance."

...I wholeheartedly agree.

Posted by: B at October 12, 2005 08:39 PM