A Trifecta of Stupid

That's what the Florida legislature has just hit us with. I came across the first of these three stories last night, but was busy with other stuff. I'm glad I waited because it provides some great context.

Last year, Charlie Crist broke with tradition at his inauguration by refusing to allow the state song to be played. Why? Because it's an old racist song written by a guy who never even bothered to visit the state. Good for him.

In response, the state led a charge to select a new, presumably un-racist state song written by someone who actually lives here--there was a competition, and a winner was selected. I know nothing about the song other than that it was written by a Floridian. I assume it has no references to banjo playing or "darkeys," like the current state song does.

But some blowhard in the State Senate has now decided that he likes the original as long as we change the words.

[Senate Rules Chair] King said "there is a politically correct version that has acceptable words" and those are the lyrics he wants to codify in state law.

While he's busy holding onto memories of a racist past, State Senator Ronda Storms wants us to teach a mythological past to our students--only in science classes. Yes, Senator Storms is pushing a bill that would allow teachers to push creationism and/or intelligent design in science classrooms alongside the teaching of evolution and not receive any blowback from it.

I can only hope that, if this law passes, the state's science teachers band together and put together a curriculum that includes not only creationism and ID, but also the creation myths of Native America, the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Sumerians, as well as more recent theories including Scientology, Mormonism, and Pastafarianism. Ideally, I'd rather science teachers weren't having to deal with this nonsense, but if the state is going to insist it be allowed in the class, then let's go all the way with it. Separate the kids into groups and have them research the various creation myths above and ask them to formulate ways to study each of them according to the scientific method.

And finally, to complete this trifecta of stupid, the bill requiring women to view an ultrasound before having a first-trimester abortion passed the Senate Health Regulation committee today, by a vote of 4-3. Let's just look at the summary to see what level of stupid we're dealing with here.
The legislation would require all women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to first pay for an ultrasound procedure and view the results — unless they signed a waiver. Victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking would be automatically exempt if they can document the crimes against them.
So, you have to get an ultrasound unless you sign a waiver--if I were Planned Parenthood, I'd have the waiver form front and center, and work under the expectation that the patient doesn't want one. I can't see anti-choice people leaving that kind of loophole. I'll have to check into that.

And then, if you can prove that your pregnancy comes from rape, incest, or from being a victim of human trafficking, then you can skip this step. I've never understood the anti-choicers' logic on these exceptions. If the issue is that a fetus is a human, then why should how it's formed matter? If the fetus is an innocent victim when the mother was sleeping with her husband and the condom broke and they have three kids already and can't afford a fourth, then why isn't it an innocent when the dad is a date-rapist or a john or a cousin?

They don't have an answer for it, at least not one that doesn't involve hinting that 1) the first example I provided doesn't really exist, and 2) that the women who are getting abortions are really sluts who ought to be punished for having sex outside prescribed parameters.

One other thing about the legislation--did you notice who was supposed to pay for the ultrasound? Yeah, the patient. I think that's what any responsible state legislator would call an "unfunded mandate." It's really just a clear signal that they want to throw up more roadblocks for women who want to terminate their pregnancies, since the overwhelming majority of them are poor and working class women. Nice work, guys.

Your Florida legislature--still bringing the stupid, every session.

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