Memories of South Dakota (2000)
No troop or squadron or regiment's gonna keep the Apaches on this reservation unless they want to stay here. Five years ago we made a treaty with Cochise. He and his Cherokowas and some of the other Apache bands came on the reservation. They wanted to live here in peace and did for two years. And then Meacham, here, was sent by the Indian ring, the dirtiest, most corrupt political group in our history. And then it began -- whiskey but no beef, trinkets instead of blankets, the women degraded, the children sickly, and the men turning into drunken animals. So Cochise did the only thing a decent man could do. He left.
--John Wayne in Rio Bravo
I was born in South Dakota, and I spent much of my childhood there. I have many cherished memories -- most of them tied to the people and places. I recall specifics. The crunch of snow on a cold winter night -- and, overhead, a gigantic sky crowded with bright stars. The feel of a biting wind in January or the smell of prairie grass and wildflowers in June. Long and lonely flat flat highways. The surface-of-the-moon majesty of the Black Hills.
But I have reservations (no pun intended) about visiting anytime soon. Maybe the water's become tainted or the locoweed needs eradication. Or, maybe, the good people of South Dakota need to elect more compassionate representatives. From KELOLAND.com (2-10-2006):
The South Dakota House has passed a bill that would nearly ban all abortions in the state, ushering the issue to the state Senate.
Supporters are pushing the measure in hopes of drawing a legal challenge that will cause the US Supreme Court to reverse its 1973 decision legalizing abortion.
The bill banning all abortions in South Dakota was passed 47-to-22 in the House.
Amendments aimed at carving out exemptions for rape, incest and the health of women were rejected.
The bill does contain a loophole that allows abortions if women are in danger of dying. Doctors who do those abortions could not be prosecuted.
and, from the same source, yesterday:
In the next six weeks, South Dakota lawmakers will decide whether to make abortion a crime.
A bill that would ban abortion in the state will be introduced within the next two days.
The bill will be called the Woman's Health and Life Protection Act. It will ban abortion, but won't prosecute a doctor who performs one to save a woman's life.
And the lawmaker who's introducing the bill says he thinks now is the right time to try and over-turn Roe vs Wade.
Rep. Roger Hunt says, "Abortion should be banned."
Those four words will likely lead to many others in the South Dakota House and Senate as lawmakers will decide whether to criminalize abortion in the state. The bill's supporters are using findings from a controversial abortion task force report recently given to the legislature.
Hunt says, "DNA testing now can establish the unborn child has a separate and distinct personality from the mother. We know a lot more about post-abortion harm to the mother" [emphasis mine].
I see. No exceptions for rape or incest or health problems -- and doctors who perform abortions for these extenuating circumstances can be arrested and prosecuted. In the Bush theocracy, I suppose we should glad for any gruel -- like favors/loopholes preventing mandated surgical removal of the fetus at the expense of the dying and nearly dispensable mother.
In fact, I'm gratified to learn these good souls are so concerned about the "post-abortion harm" to mothers. Obviously, the "post-birth harm" has been vastly exaggerated. Carrying a rapist's child to term and seeing the physical likeness of your rapist everyday as you change diapers, kiss goodnight, bathe, pack off to school, and pay for and mother a child you were forced to have for the rest of your life as you cope with constant stress, tension, nightmares, therapy bills, memory flashbacks, and general misery all forced upon you by a group of primarily male legislators is a cakewalk compared to the "lot more we know about port-abortion harm."
So, can I make a suggestion? How about contracting those intelligent design "scientists," some now free after being voted off school boards, to design a conception-to-birth portable incubator-womb. Nestle the rapist's fetus inside and strap the contraption tight to the belly of said rapist for nine months. Once the baby is born, handcuff it to the rapist six days a week for a minimum of eighteen years. On the seventh day of the week, the rapist can rest -- but, every Sunday, the child has to be handcuffed to one of the legislators who voted for this cruel, sadistic bill.
I know what some of you are thinking. My solution is unfair to the child -- who is innocent and powerlesss -- who had no choice (by law) but to be born. And you're right.
But the same can be said of the mother -- who is also innocent and powerless -- who also did not choose to be raped and will have no choice (by law) but to give birth to a child conceived by sexual violation and violence.
And here's the difference between my plan and the bill proposed by the South Dakota legislature. I'm needling and engaging in satire to make a point. They, on the other hand, are very serious and actively engaging in controlling what women can and cannot do with their own bodies and forcing their very lives to become (pardon the pun) unbearable.
I wonder if my home state is about to undergo a population redistribution. Like Cochise, many of the decent women of South Dakota might soon be thinking of migrating elsewhere. But, as women bail out in droves, their numbers will probably be replaced by another demographic group: rapists.
South Dakota's message to them could not be louder or clearer. Alle Alle in Free...