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Even a Stopped Clock is Right Twice a Day

10-May-2001

I've made no secret of my problems with Minnesota Governor Jesse "I ain't got time to read" Ventura's ethics. But it looks as though pro-choice citizens in Minnesota are about to see that once again Jesse the Body is all that stands between them and restricted reproductive rights in the state of Minnesota.

The arm-twisters in MCCL (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, or something like that - I usually call them something shorter and less, er, publishable) worked overtime getting 24-hour waiting period language into a Health and Human Services bill that funds nursing home care, welfare benefits and other benefits for vulnerable people, hoping, I guess, to bully the Body into accepting their odious little rider.

It doesn't look like it's going to work. Jesse has promised to veto the bill on Monday the 14th, and he's keeping mum about whether he'll even call a special session to let the lagislature abort their little package to save the patient. I'm behind the governor on this one 100%, and I salute his stubbornness, courage or whatever it is that allows him to recognize the simple little fact that as long as abortion services are legal medical care, women who seek them should not be endlessly patronized and burdened with whatever stalling tactics moralizing busy-bodies can invent.

The fact is that, due to the actions of the anti-abortion zealots, abortion services are increasingly difficult to come by, particularly for outstate residents, who usually must travel to the Twin Cities for the service. Adding a 24-hour waiting period to what is already at least a day-trip needlessly punishes women for exercising their reproductive rights. Even women who live closer to clinics would be forced, by this law, to double their transportation expenses and double their child-care or lost-wages costs for a needless repeat visit.

And it is needless. Abortion foes don't really think women are so stupid that they won't weigh the personal costs and benefits of this undertaking without being told forced to. They know as well as anyone that waiting periods aren't about "informing" anyone. They're about imposing on them: imposing MCCL's brand of morality on people with whom they disagree and imposing hardship on any women who would abort a pregnancy.

So thanks again, Jesse, for putting your Body Politic on the line for mine.

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