Wisconsin conservatives are taking steps to further eliminate women’s liberty, by backing a provision to a state Senate bill which would give family members ranging from a husband, to parents and even in-laws the power to gain an injunction to prevent a woman from gaining an abortion. The provisions, tucked neatly into SB201, would allow family members, including mothers-in-law to effectively block women from getting abortions, comes following the July signing of a highly controversial mandatory ultrasound bill by TEApublican governor Scott Walker.
Wisconsin has become a flash-point in the national fight for reproductive rights, with regressive conservatives taking often very creative steps to restrict the women in the state from exercising their reproductive healthcare rights. The provision, which would allow a mother-in-law or other relative to block a potential abortion, includes a bizarre and obscure clause which would open the door to possible court injunctions if the petitioning party claims to have reason to believe the abortion is over gender preference.
As is typical in family and civil court injunctions, the accusations of things — such as a suspected gender bias in relation to an abortion — are seen as evidence in and of themselves, making the ability to file an accusation very easy — with the assumption of guilt in a sense — built into the court itself.
So, should a meddlesome in-law decide that a woman’s pregnancy is something they’d like to be brought to term, they can in effect nullify her decision-making power simply by filing an accusation of a perceived bias, even when no real evidence of it exists. Extending reproductive power to those deemed as “parents” or “grandparents,” the passage lays out proposed penalties for violations of injunctions granted, making the act of defying a mother or father-in-law subject to civil penalty.
[box type=”shadow”](b) Injunctive relief. A court may issue an order enjoining a person from performing an abortion contrary to s. 253.103. If the person violates the terms of the injunction, the court shall adjudge the person in civil contempt of the order and shall impose a civil penalty against the person for contempt in an amount of $10,000 for a first violation, $50,000 for a 2nd violation, and $100,000 for a 3rd and for each subsequent violation and may grant any other relief the court determines is just and proper in the circumstances.[/box]
With fines from $10,000 to $100,000 for simply making an otherwise lawful and already difficult health decision, Wisconsin’s Tea Party legislature and corporate goon of a governor are rapidly turning their state into the front line for what is shaping up to be the 2014 edition of the GOP’s War on Women. And this comes right off the heels 2013’s hotly contested vaginal ultrasound requirement.
h/t Daily Kos