Op-Ed in Arizona Capitol Times: “Wrongful birth, wrongful life” law is anti-motherhood

Wrongful birth, wrongful life: SB1359 is anti-motherhood
Published March 12, 2012 in Arizona Capitol Times

If Karen Santorum — mother of six, wife of GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum — had been subjected to Arizona’s proposed “wrongful birth, wrongful life” legislation back in 1997, she could have very possibly died.

Doctors informed Karen back in 1996 during her 19th week of pregnancy that her unborn child had a fatal defect and would die if she attempted to carry the child to term. In an attempt to save the life of the child, Karen underwent a rare and risky surgical procedure. She herself became sick soon after the surgery, and according to her doctors, her life was in jeopardy.

As many know, the pro-life Santorums ultimately lost the child.

“If the physician came to me and said if we don’t deliver your baby in one hour you will be dead, yeah, I would have to do it,” Karen said to Steve Goldstein of the Philadelphia Inquirer in May 1997.

She said ultimately she would have agreed to intervention for the sake of her other children.

I am hoping that Sen. Nancy Barto and other Arizona legislators who are supporting SB1359 are merely ignorant of the potential outcomes of this proposal. I have to hope for that because otherwise I must draw the conclusion that they are interested in endangering the lives of mothers.

SB1359 encourages doctors to lie by withholding critical, life-saving information from their female patients or failing to perform necessary tests in the first place. Many of these women are already mothers who have other children they need to be there for.

If this legislation had been in effect in Pennsylvania at the time Karen was under doctors’ care — doctors who specialize in high-risk births — she very likely could have been given false information or no information at all about her medical condition. There is a very real chance she would have died as a result, leaving behind a husband and children.

Are Arizona’s legislators interested in mothers dying as a result of this legislation protecting doctors from malpractice suits? I sincerely hope not. I and many others around the country will be watching the outcome to see how many Arizona legislators truly care about women’s health and lives.


Speech at Unite Against the War on Women Rally 4/28/2012

“We speak out for those people who need someone to stand up for them without compromise. Those who need a champion cannot afford compromise, in the face of forces that are powerful, persistent and pernicious and greedy.”

My name is Laura Sabransky, and the words I just spoke and believe wholeheartedly are those of Elizabeth Edwards.

THANK YOU to the organizers of this event today, taking place around our country as we speak!

I have been a political organizer for reproductive choice – for National Audubon Society’s International Population program in Washington, D.C. and then in the early ‘90s, served on the board of the Illinois Pro-Choice Alliance and Illinois League of Women Voters.

In those days — before social media and even before e-mail — yes, I know, so hard to even remember now — we did grassroots organizing by sending letters, making phone calls, making personal visits and writing testimony. In those days, our passionate communications affected legislators and legislation. In those days, legislators — even those who had been re-elected many times, even those on the other side of the aisle — would visit with us, listen to us and sometimes changed their minds and their votes upon feeling the pressure from their constituents about preserving our fundamental right to reproductive choice.

By the way, how do you like my umbrella? It was given to me during a election day, 2004, in Cleveland, Ohio in while I was working for the Kerry campaign to defeat the Bush regime. Even during the heavy downpour that lasted all day, and we kept receiving word that there were lines of Democrats all around the state waiting hours to vote. We all know now this was the 2nd election within four years that the Republicans stole from us.

Is anyone really surprised that this party of criminals thinks they can steal what belongs to us as women?

I’ve heard some citizens claim that there is no “War on Women” — that the 1100 individual pieces of proposed legislation across the country in 2011 created to dismiss, diminish and degrade women — and the more than 300 bills that became laws AND the 435 already proposed this year — all by the same party that stole national elections, sent our nation’s children to die in a protracted war based on lies, and committed war crimes — do not constitute a “war on women.”

To them I say: I — like many of you — have personally experienced bullying, harassment, aggression and attacks, and every time I hear about another law that has the intent to — control our bodies, treat women as property, make us poorer, keep us out of public life and make us into 2nd class citizens — I feel personally assaulted.
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