It’s pretty weird how that whole theocratic crushing of ideas thing kicks in for Republican Conservative Champions Of Free Speech whenever the subject turns to a woman’s reproductive system.
A University of Missouri doctoral student plans to continue research for her dissertation on the effects of the state’s recently imposed 72-hour waiting period for abortions, despite a state legislator’s push to block the research, the student told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview.
“I stand by my research project,” Lindsay Ruhr said Wednesday. “I feel that my research is objective, and that the whole point of my research is to understand how this policy affects women. Whether this policy is having a harmful or beneficial effect, we don’t know.”
State Sen. Kurt Schaefer, a Republican from Columbia, Missouri, who chairs the Missouri state senate’s interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life, sent a letter in late October to the University of Missouri calling Ruhr’s dissertation “a marketing aid for Planned Parenthood — one that is funded, in part or in whole, by taxpayer dollars,” according to a copy of the letter posted to HuffingtonPost.com. Schaefer called for the university to hand over documents regarding the project’s approval and said that, because the University of Missouri is a public university, it should not fund research that he said would promote elective abortions. Missouri law prohibits the use of public funds to promote non-life-saving abortions.
“We are still in the process of responding to Sen. Schaefer’s request for documents,” Mary Jenkins, public relations manager for University of Missouri Health, said Wednesday in an email. Schaefer did not respond to Al Jazeera’s multiple interview requests.
Now, let’s break this down here because there’s a national theater chain’s worth of projection going on. First, let’s pause to contemplate that Missouri’s state senate actually has an interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life. Is this going to be a permanent thing in the future? Will this committee mobilize in case Springfield is attacked by extra-dimensional beings dedicated to drawing silly mustaches on all life, ruining its sanctity? I’d like to know.
Second, let’s have a discussion of just how much Christian Taliban fascism garbage that’s packed into this story here. Republicans have long stated that waiting periods, required counseling, forced ultrasounds, etc. before abortions are to be allowed are good for women and change societal behavior in a way that positively affects people, in particular how women act (and please put aside the notion that Republicans think women are broken, stupid creatures that constantly need vaginal guidance, that is.)
Somebody finally decided to take that theory, which is a testable theory, and decided to research and test that theory scientifically as part of a doctoral research project at a university, so far so good. But instead of even waiting for the findings, Sen. Schaefer is effectively saying that research cannot even be done on this subject because it might support the notion that women may be harmed by all these restrictions.
Then you have to make the jump that research that might show women are harmed by abortion restrictions are automatically promotion of abortion itself, and that doing the research at a public university is automatically promotion of abortion. Finally you have to make a massive, rocket-assisted leap in microgravity conditions to reach the notion that a state legislative body has the power to effectively censor a university doctoral thesis that hasn’t even been completed yet.
I mean, we’re all aware that religious fanatics will go to extraordinary lengths to control a woman’s body here, but this is super bonus hyper bonkers mode even for these guys.
But nobody should be surprised.