If you've been to the movies recently, you might've seen James Franco, starring in "Oz: The Great and Powerful," saying with utter sincerity, "There are plenty of good men in Kansas. I want to be a great one."
Well, you won't find any good — or great — men in the Kansas state legislature. A bill currently circulating in the state House (and which has already passed first-round approval) would require doctors to inform women seeking an abortion of the link between the procedure and breast cancer. The catch? No such link exists.
The decision to include the requirement in the bills stems from a 2003 review of scientific research on the subject by the National Cancer Institute. The NCI then stated that a majority of previous studies on the heightened risk of breast cancer after an abortion were "flawed." Since then, however, the institute maintains that "better-designed studies have been conducted ... The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk."
Of course, science has never stopped the likes of Kansas and the pro-"life" movement from anything. The bill in question would also define life as beginning at fertilization; exclude the costs of abortion services from tax deductions for medical expenses; and finally, ban abortion providers from tax exemptions.
I can accept a lot of conservative, evangelical baby-blanket tactics — such as banning abortion providers from tax exemptions or calculating the financial cost of gay marriage — but the part of the bill that really takes the cake is its ban on abortion providers giving literature about women's services to sex ed instructors.
No one likes abortions. Not the women who have them, not the providers, no one. And you know what would greatly decrease — maybe even end — the number of abortions? Comprehensive sexual education. Maybe if men and women understood safe sex practices and how to use a condom and birth control, we wouldn't have abortions, because no one would need one.
But no, it would be a violation of someone's beliefs, somewhere in America, to have their son or daughter learn about safe sex at school. Fine, teach them at home. But no — it would be a violation of one of the many ancient laws, in one of the many translations of the Bible, to teach that premarital sex is not a sin. Because you can only have sex to procreate, and when you do, a life has begun, because my God is better than yours, and His word — or at least the words of various rules and laws, authored by many different figures, in many different translations of the Bible — stands.
I wrote earlier this week about the GOP admitting to a branding problem, but I was sure they'd decided they didn't have a policy problem. I'm having trouble, then, imagining a voting bloc, comprised of educated women who believe in the separation of church and state, as well their rights to their own body, which would vote for these policy-making dinosaurs. Dorothy and Toto are right. We should be glad we're not in Kansas.