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October 07, 2005


Jail for unwed mothers? The notion is more madness from the American Talaiban. But our friends at the Woodhull Freedom Foundation -- whose work I greatly appreciate -- have sent Baby_gives_fingeraround an article published last week by the Indianapolis (Indiana) weekly, NUVO, with the rather startling news that the Republican-controlled Indiana legislature has been "drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant 'by means other than sexual intercourse.'”

St_sen_patricia_miller This particularly deranged brand of sexual fascism is the brainchild of Republican State Senator Patricia Miller (left), chair of the Health Finance Commission and the bill's author and sponsor. The draft of the new law, introduced on September 29 and being considered by Miller's committee, specifies that every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation and egg donation must first file for a “petition for parentage” in their local county probate court. The neanderthal bill is partly motivated by hatred of lesbian couples who want to have a baby in vitro -- the thought of which makes the Christer right crazy.

Furthermore, NUVO reports that the draft law stipulates, "Only women who are married will be considered for the 'gestational certificate' that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the 'gestational certificate' will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents...an intended parent 'who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure' without court approval, 'commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor.' The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit 'unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction.'"

Miller explained that, “We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents — a mother and a father — do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children,” she explained. When NUVO asked Miller specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill’s intention, Miller responded, “Yes. Yes, I do.”

The Indiana blog Bilerico describes Miller thusly: "Indiana State Senator Patricia L. Miller is a longtime homohater-in-denial, one of the 'some of my best friends are...' kind and a leader of Indiana's overpopulated AIDS Hall of Shame who, among other offences, ignored the constitutionally required things like criminal intent or criminal negligence that make a crime a crime and championed criminalizing HIV transmission even when due diligence to practice safer sex was undertaken and the sex was between consenting adults (ask me later about the related rubber tree story), supported reinstatement of sodomy laws for consenting adults as well as all the usual antigay family laws and more, and tried again and again, by hamstringing and irrationally penalizing mental health professionals, to protect abusive parents not just from the consequences of the recovered memories of their victims but from their children even getting the chance to recover them, and on and on in her long career in a protected district -- all while being the legislative version of a cash cow for doctors and dentists and hospitals and nursing homes and carrying enough water for the wingnut fringe that, if she'd been in a race with the Army Corps of Engineers to empty NOLA, she'd have won." Yikes!

If you live in Indiana, NUVO provides a handy list (with e-mail addresses) of the members of Miller's Health Finance Commission so you can tell them what you think of this latest barbarity from the Christer fundamentalists, and you can find that list by clicking here. Miller has apparently pulled her bill back from consideration for the moment for fine tuning -- but this threat to a woman's right to become a mother without being married if she so chooses is still quite real.

Posted by Direland at 04:33 PM | Permalink


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Posted by: laptop battery | Oct 12, 2008 10:45:17 PM

Paul Lyon,

I myself prefer the term "Christofascist." I think it says it all...

Posted by: If This Goes On | Oct 25, 2005 2:44:42 AM


Classic example of why we need to separate church from state. If we let these WHACKOS make legislation, you will soon be beaten for not attending church, jailed for not giving money to churches, and the list goes on, and on.

Us real christians do have something against these pshcho christian taliban whackos. They give us all a bad name, and all we want to do is honor and follow Christ. We do not need to cram him down other people's throats! Force them to live "our way" which much of the time is based on hypocricy.


Posted by: dan | Oct 9, 2005 3:22:47 PM

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