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Florida’s Brood Mare amendment to its “parental notice of abortion” bill

Leave it to Florida legislators to come up with a bill this misogynistic.

Meet Florida’s HB 1449 and its companion SB 2446.

Naturally, I find the bill in its entirety despicable, woman negating, and showing nothing but contempt for the reproductive autonomy of those deemed minors, but there’s something ‘special’ about this particular legislative disaster.

‘Special’ in that it’s rare for politicians to come right out and own up to the fact that they view the pregnancies of girls under age 18 as nothing more than would-be adoption fodder. Usually such motivations are kept at least a bit ‘tucked down,’ shifted to the break-you-down-demand-the-pregnancy sessions at Coercive Pregnancy Indoctrination Centers (CPIC’s) ‘counseling’ rooms, or other similar venues.

Nope, FL HB 1449 does a remarkable job of putting all the cards out on the table.

When a young woman goes before the court, seeking to gain abortion access, and essentially forced to beg the court’s permission,

(Emphasis mine) lines 159-182:

Factors the court shall consider include:

1. The minor’s:

a. Age.

b. Overall intelligence.

c. Emotional development and stability.

d. Credibility and demeanor as a witness.

e. Ability to accept responsibility.

f. Ability to assess both the immediate and long-range consequences of the minor’s choices.

g. Ability to understand and explain the medical risks of terminating her pregnancy and to apply that understanding to her decision.

2. Whether there may be any undue influence by another on the minor’s decision to have an abortion.

3. Whether the minor is aware that:

a. Payment of medical expenses associated with carrying the child to term is available for eligible pregnant minors under Medicaid, the Florida Healthy Kids program, many private insurance plans, and numerous faith-based and philanthropic resources; and

b. There is a shortage of newborn babies available for adoption, and that the demand is very high from qualified families.

Now couple point 3, lines 191- 194 alongside the above (emphasis is again, my own.)

The best- interest standard may not include financial best interest or financial considerations or the potential financial impact on the minor or the minor’s family if the minor does not terminate the pregnancy.

(Read the full bill for full context.)

Obviously, there’s a very great deal I could say about this bill, going line by line deconstructing the outright hatred of young women evidenced therein, seeing them as nothing more than a means to an end throughout the bill, but these two sections stand out, in that

  • Financial considerations to the young woman and her family, such as the long term costs of bearing an undesired child (by the woman who bears it anyway) are not only not part of the standard itself by which the court can render a decision on whether or not it will grant abortion access but are to be specifically rejected as a potential criteria by the court, and cannot be any portion of its so called “best-interest standard.” Pregnant young women begging the court for abortion access are expected to recite back to the court their “awareness” of a variety of programs, including explicitly religious programs, that claim, at least on paper, to be able to supply some funding toward pregnancy related medical expenses. (Of course post-birth funding for single mothers under the age of 18 gains not so much as a mention, perhaps because there is so precious little, or more likely due to the second aspect of the bill, which I’ll get to next.)
  • And what I and others can only call Florida’s “brood mare” provision, that said young woman must be “aware” and able to demonstrate that “awareness” to the court that there are already an overabundance of would-be-adoptive couples lined up around the block, waiting to get control and legal custody of her little explicitly undesired womb-trespasser.

The second portion is what is really standing out to those of us in the Bastard and Mother’s communities. These young women are to be propagandized and required to regurgitate back that by having their much sought after abortions they would be in effect ‘depriving’ those already standing on line of what is essentially being billed as  some sick notion of ‘rightfully theirs.’

Or as I paraphrased the legislation’s fundamental approach to pregnant young women a few days back,

Young Lady, you are the means of production and you need to shut up and act like it! Don’t you know someone else is already waiting in line and wants what you have?

The measure reduces young women, their lives, their desires, their very autonomy down to the contents of their uterus and how that would ‘really be better off with someone else.’ It pushes them to breed against their will (they are after all appearing before the court in the first place out of a desire to obtain an abortion) everything from that entry into the process on is simply a matter of attempting to thwart her expressed desire for a course of action, abortion, that some go insane over.

Insane to the point of violence, to the point of harassment, to the point of assassinating physicians (something Florida knows more than just a bit about) and insane to the point of constructing YET ANOTHER nothing but roadblocks piece of legislation designed to force young women down a particular chute of action, into bearing to term and poppin’ out the rare and highly sought little soon-to-be-adoptee to the ‘right’ kind of pre-screened would-be-adopters.

But hey, I suppose we can at least thank Florida for making it’s intentions towards it’s underage female population all too clear, they’re to be the brood mare class, producing kids for the vetted ‘correct’ kind of parents.

Others have also taken note of this legislative abomination:

Marley, on the Daily Bastardette,  Florida Moves to Make Teens the Brood Mares for the Adoption Industry

As well as, importantly, Robin on her Motherhood Deleted blog (she is both currently a Florida resident and a Senior Mother of Coerced Adoption Surrender from the Era of Mass Surrenders, or EMS) See her post, I WAS A TEENAGE BROOD MARE (Scream!!!)

She nails it, speaking from her own personal experience,

I remember feeling like I was defined and valued only by what I carried in my belly. My parents wanted it out and gone and the social workers wanted that baby so that they could “create a new family.”

This reductionism, reducing a woman down to nothing more than what the contents of her womb can do for other people negates women’s very lives, their free agency, their autonomy. It’s a status all too familiar to those who have endured the nightmare of the adoption industry’s or various religious factions’ maternity camps.

Many women and Mothers know this routine, and they know the lifelong damage it does.

It’s long past time Florida began to treat young women as human beings, not as mere breeding stock.

Contact information for Florida House members can be found here and Florida Senate members can be found here.

One Response to “Florida’s Brood Mare amendment to its “parental notice of abortion” bill”

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