Indiana’s General Assembly–the Gift (to Bloggers) That Keeps On Giving

Doug Masson, one of the most thoughtful bloggers around, follows our legislature rather closely. Recently, he described one of the (many) stupid/scary bills that might actually become law, given the collective acumen of that not-so-august body.

You’d think the General Assembly that caught so much crap for trying to define pi would be a little careful with its definitions, but HB 1136 has a reckless swagger about its medical definition. Specifically, it says that “”Fetus” means a
human being produced by a human pregnancy from fertilization through birth, including a zygote, blastocyst, and fetus.”

The inaccuracies are part of a bill requiring Doctors to “talk to” women, to ensure that we sweet, dumb little things understand what we’re doing.

All in a day’s work for the men who think they were elected to be obstetricians.

Let’s acknowledge Masson’s point that the definitions used in HB 1136 have no scientific validity; fetus, zygote and blastocyst are not interchangeable terms, nor are any of them “human beings” in any meaningful sense of the word.

Far more annoying than this added evidence of legislative ignorance, however, is the persistence of efforts to control women’s bodies, to insert government into what should be personal and family decisions, and to make some people’s religious beliefs (no matter how uninformed, unscientific or unrepresentative) the law of the land.

We live in a state that ranks at the bottom of many indices: civic health, education, job creation, child poverty. Rather than making an effort to improve the lives of Hoosiers–including children already born–rather than enacting measures that would feed hungry children, rather than providing (or even regulating the safety of) daycare facilities, our elected officials are focused like lasers on controlling women’s “lady parts.”

News flash, autocrats: that Constitution you’ve never studied says that directing my most intimate personal decisions is not part of your job description.

Knowing the meaning of the words you use probably is, though.


  1. Suggesting our elected lawmakers be required to pass the citizenship test is an excellent idea. First; they need to be required to pass an IQ test to see if they are smart enough to attempt the citizenship test. It would be an even better idea to require the IQ test before they be allowed to run for public office. Just sayin’

  2. When are these idiots going to learn that we women outnumber them and they need to sit down and shut up and stop trying to legislate our intimate parts. These bozos have more regulations on women’s body parts than they do on guns and we’re getting sick of reminding them of this fact. I really want to make a sign and post it on every politicians’ door that we are sick of them trying to tell us what to do with our bodies. We live with this so called human body, they don’t and we know what we’re doing with it, not them. Ugh.

  3. I have posted this quote before but here it is again:

    “Women receive the insults of men with tolerance; having been bitten in the nipple by their toothless gums.” Dilys Lainge

  4. Where is the outcry from republican women? Are they afraid or incapable of being offended by our midless legislators that they elected? It’s puzzling to me. They seem to have no problem voting against their own best interest, over and over. If only the opposition could make points on these obvious gaffs, there might be an opportunity for some fresh air and fresh ideas where they are most needed.

  5. For years I’ve been on my horse hollering, “The religious are coming! The religious are coming!”
    I’m so glad to see again mention that recognizes the radical religious right is regulating us with religion. Next, they’ll be trying to regulate who we can love and who we can marry.
    My God, will it ever end?

  6. Red George, good one!!

    Republicans say that government is the problem, we need less. Then they act, differently to say the least and screw up both concepts, bigger and smaller. What needs to be bigger they make smaller, what needs to be smaller they make bigger.

    They are no longer, in my opinion, a functioning political party. As I’ve said before, they are a business pure and simple buying power and selling it to the highest bidder.

    There is, again IMO, only one way to save democracy from this turn of events. Drastic campaign financing reform.

    No campaign advertising allowed. All election information distributed as a public service requirement imposed on big media. All voter insight based on public debates managed by a few objective rule driven people like those we put on the bench today. Just like court room trials and the debate between prosecution and defense. The more powerful the office the more frequent the debates. Funded by all of us through taxes. Informed, not misled, voters

    The oligarchy would deflate like Bill Belachick’s balls. The lobbying business would be tamed way back to useful.

    There would be no business for the Great Oligarchy Plot to conduct. They’d have to return to being a political party or go extinct.

  7. Pete, do you have any ideas on how we can get campaign financing out of elections since we have already sold our country to SCOTUS and Congress? They have absolutely no incentive to remove their power.

  8. Of course, there’s also the strong indication that zygotes, blastocysts, and fetuses are inherently more important than living, adult females. I’ve occasionally wondered whether, if it were possible to determine gender of “the preborn,” these arbiters of our fates would be OK with abortions as long as the clusters-of-cells were female. I view abortion as a choice of last resort but consider myself strongly pro-life: the life that already exists, that is.

  9. Nancy. Of course you struck the nail right on the head. I don’t know what’s possible. I have a good idea what’s impossible with a the Great Oligarchy Plot in power. What they’ve accomplished over the last 6 years which is nothing.

    Can capable Democrats overwhelm them in 2016? Again that’s hard to tell. I’m going to work to get as many thinking voters at the poles. I believe that the Democrat Party has the same to gain by campaign finance reform as our democracy does.

    We’ll see.

  10. I have often wondered if these fools actually know what a zygote or a blastocyst is — or which of them would notice if I put up a picture of an amphibian zygote and declared how this “god given human life is sacred” — some Liberal might notice

    Pete – they say government is the problem? I go back to what Mama taught me long ago – Republicans want government out of the board room and in the bedroom; Democrats want government out of the bedroom and in the board room – Plus ca change…..

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