February 19, 2005
Laws on my body
By Stacie Whitacre
This week, a South Dakota legislative committee voted to make abortion a felony, should Roe vs. Wade ever be overturned. While one can point out the considerable shortcomings of a passing a pre-emptive, if-then law, it does bring up an interesting point -- what would happen if Roe vs. Wade is rendered void by the U.S. Supreme Court?
Well, in Wisconsin, as I understand it, nothing would happen immediately. But I am pretty sure someone (Grothman? Gundrum? Honadel? OK, I’ll stop, lest this list go on forever) would introduce restrictive legislation faster than you can say “morning-after pill.” And, in spite of Wisconsin’s progressive tradition and fairly libertarian bent when it comes to personal issues, it would probably pass, maybe even in a veto-proof manner.
Of course, a Wisconsin abortion ban would have negligible effect on women of means, who could easily travel to a state (or, failing that, to a nation) where the procedures are legal. For reference, Wisconsin legislators make $45,569 per year, plus up to $88 per day they are in session (unless they are from Dane County, in which case they get $44, except for John Gard, who still gets $88 even though he commutes from Sun Prairie). While nobody would mistake our legislators for Bill
Gates, they do make healthy salaries. Should the Proponents of Limited Government™ vote to give government control over women's bodies, the Proponents of Limited Government™ and their families would likely have little trouble obtaining said procedure, if necessary.
This seems to be true of many laws concerning personal conduct -- they do not actually affect the people who write them (tax law is, of course, fodder for another day). This is yet another reason we need more diversity among our elected officials. At least, then, maybe more lawmakers would remember where they came from and whom they represent.
(Editors' note: Stacie Whitacre maintains The Vast Dairy State Conspiracy Web log.)
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