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Fetal Attraction: A Conservative Constitutional Conundrum

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Politicians make stupid comments so often that they barely register with me anymore. Every so often, however, a politician will say something that's so off-the-charts insane, I can't not comment on it. Ohio State Assemblyman Ron Young (R) is one such politician. In arguing his support for Ohio's "Heartbeat" bill this past June, he made the following statement:

Life is foremost. Life takes preeminence, over any political discussion, and that's what we're talking about today. I'm afraid in 1973 the Supreme Court took a different tact. If fetuses had been allowed to vote, if they'd have formed a voting block, and they were organizing in front of the courthouse that day, the vote probably would have been much different.

With those words, Rep. Young epitomized the hypocrisy of the modern conservative movement, from its freedom-lovin' worship of the Constitution to its notion of smaller, limited government.

Let's unpack the line, "If fetuses had been allowed to vote ... and they were organizing in front of the courthouse that day, the vote probably would have been much different." First of all, the argument has absolutely no basis in reality. Everybody knows that today's Republicans would never permit fetuses to organize. In fact, had ACORN been in the business of fetal voter registration back in the '70s, the organization probably wouldn't have survived into the '80s. After all, one embryo's access to safe drinking water is another Senator's bureaucratic inefficiency. And besides, fetuses are notoriously bad protestors. They're always dropping their signs and have trouble repeating even the most basic of chants.

Nevertheless, we can sidestep the issue of fetal voters because Section 1 of the 26th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution clearly states, "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age."

And if there's one thing conservatives hold sacred, it's the Constitutional right of every citizen to vote. Sorry. Let me rephrase that. I meant to say, if there's one thing conservatives hold sacred -- aside from meddling in the reproductive lives of women, of course --
it's their fellow conservatives' right to vote. As New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien eloquently argued, selective disenfranchisement of state residents (read: college students) is good because "[t]hey are kids voting liberal, voting their feelings, with no life experience."

Indeed, in 22 statehouses across the country, conservative legislators have been infected with voter ID fever, including Ohio, whose House passed the "Ohio Fair and Secure Elections Act" in March.

That bill, which is opposed by the NAACP, AARP and League of Women Voters, would be one of the strictest in the country, requiring voters to present one of four forms of ID: a military ID, an Ohio state-issued ID, an Ohio driver's license or a U.S. passport.

According to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Bob "I-Got-Caught-with-a-26-Year-Old-Stripper-Across-State-Lines-and-Had-to-Resign" Mecklenborg, the purpose of the bill was necessary to "secure the integrity of the electoral process."

House Minority Leader Rep. Armond Budish (D) disagreed:

This is the most restrictive photo ID bill in the U.S. to date. It would limit acceptable identification to only that issued by state government. ... Twenty-five percent of African American voters and an even higher percentage of Hispanic voters do not have these forms and these are groups that tend to vote democratic."

In other words, in order to "secure the integrity of the electoral process," former Rep. Mecklenborg wanted to prevent registered voters from participating... in the electoral process.

To be fair, everyone knows our Kendanesian President was awarded the nation's highest office thanks to intimidation tactics of the New Black Panther Movement, as well as the unscrupulous organizing of the corrupt, and now-bankrupt, ACORN. Right? OK, maybe not.

Let's take another look at the "Heartbeat" abortion bill that both Rep. Young and Rep. Mecklenborg helped pass. As was the case with the "Ohio Fair and Secure Elections Act," this bill was notable for its severity:

House Bill 125 would outlaw most abortions, with no exception for rape or incest, by prohibiting them if a fetal heartbeat can be medically detected. That can occur as early as six to seven weeks into a pregnancy, long before the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed fetuses viable -- and even before most women realize they are pregnant.

Nothing says "liberty" quite like making a rape victim breed, am I right? And there's nothing at all over-reachy about a Texas broadcaster -- who's never even played a doctor on TV -- bragging about legislation requiring medically unnecessary sonograms for women seeking legal abortions. Indeed, the chairman of the legislative Tea Party Caucus and Senate Finance Committee Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Tex.) is very proud of himself. "There's nothing that I'll ever pass that will be more important," he said. Really? Nothing? Because I think a far-better piece of legislation would require mandatory counseling sessions for men before being prescribed a potent drug like Viagra. You know, to warn them of the dangers of mixing booze, erectile dysfunction medication and rental cars. Men clearly can't be trusted to sort through these difficult decisions all by themselves.

Curiously, the website for The Americans for Prosperity says nothing about the dangers of Viagra. It does, however, bullet point five core values of the Texas Tea Party Caucus, including this one: "Fiscally accountable, limit the size of government, and fight for free market principles."

So as conservatives across the country chip away at our rights while they complain about losing theirs, maybe it's time to speak to them in a language they understand: free marketism.

To that end, I recently had my womb incorporated, which means it shouldn't be subject to any tedious governmental regulations. After all, compliance could easily add nearly $300,000 to my operating costs, putting me, effectively, out of business. At some point I may raise enough capital to, ah, expand my corporation, but right now it would be fiscally irresponsible.

As far as how to convince conservatives to support the rights of all Americans, minorities included, to vote... I got nothin'. Although securing our voting machines would be a start.