Gotta say right up front, Dr. Evan Evans' proposed law to do away with abortion won't get adopted.
Not a chance. Even if it weren't aggressively unconstitutional, it is women who get abortions and men (mostly) who pass laws, so there we are.
Still, it's a nifty idea. He doesn't want to do away with Roe v. Wade -- quite the opposite -- he wants to make it irrelevant.
How? No woman gets pregnant on her own. His idea is to clamp an ankle bracelet, a $50,000 obligation that may be funded by military service and other fun things, on guys who go around having random sex. Make them think twice, or thrice.
Evans, a retired Ogden OB/GYN, came by his disgust for abortion in a horrendous three-month stint in the pathology/obstetrics ward at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in the 1950s when he did his residency.
Abortion was illegal but very common.
Rich women went to Europe, or Mexico, or had a friendly doctor take care of them.
Poor women had to seek local "help," and many, bleeding from a botched or self-administered abortion, would show up at Cook County, "nearly dead. I'd give them a shot of morphine and complete the abortion, then transfuse them."
In that three months, "I completed a lot of back-door abortions."
More than 500, which works out to six a day, give or take. And he was just one doctor, in one hospital, and those were the survivors.
When abortion was illegal, more than 100,000 women a year died from botched abortions.They will again if Roe v. Wade is overturned. That's a hard fact abortion opponents, who claim they are saving lives, choose to ignore.
Lose the fetus, or lose the mother? Evans says he once asked Utah's Catholic bishop, "Which is the proper Christian murder?"
You say neither? Funny thing, so does Evans.
Which brings us to his bill, which would:
- Restrict elective abortion to the first 16 weeks.
- Require DNA testing to determine paternity of all out-of-wedlock children, even aborted.
- Require the father to establish a $50,000 trust fund to care for any out-of-wedlock child, even if adopted. If the child is aborted, the fund is used for sex education.
- If the father can't pay, he joins the military and uses his enlistment bonus and salary to pay.
- No man can avoid paternity claiming "she seduced me," or that she claimed she was on the pill, had her tubes tied, whatever.
- Man under 18? His parents are responsible.
There are provisions for mandatory counseling, marriage isn't an easy out, there is no statute of limitations, and if you flee, you can be extradited.
It goes on for three pages.
As I said, this law hasn't got a hope.
On the other hand, mostly male legislatures see no problem passing odious ultrasound laws requiring women to be internally probed with medical instruments before they can get an abortion.
Even Utah's condescending three-day waiting period is meant to deter abortion through intimidation. Evans wants to use intimidation to get men to keep their pants zipped up.
"No boy would dare have sex without wearing three condoms," he said, because one might break, and two can still leak.
His law, he proudly says, would completely shut down abortion clinics.
All pro-choice and pro-life forces need to do, he said, is "join forces and preach contraception and hold the boy responsible. We'd put them out of business because they'd have no business."
Great goal. Never happen. But if any Utah lawmaker out there wants to sponsor his bill, I'll happily provide a copy.
The Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. He can be reached at 801-625-4232 or email@example.com. He also blogs at www.standard.net.