In his excellent article  in TomPaine.com today about the Child Custody Protection Act, Paul Loeb references a bill introduced in the Ohio State House that would not only ban abortion, but make it illegal for an adult woman to travel to other states to have an abortion. Let me restate: Ohio wants to make it a crime for an adult woman to go to another state to have a legal medical procedure. I think the legislator involved, Ohio Rep. Tom Brinkman, should go even further. Why stop at allowing women to travel freely across state lines to obtain legal procedures? Why not outlaw selling adult women shoes?
It’s been done before. In the early part of 11th century the mad caliph of Cairo, al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, didn’t want women to leave the house at all. He therefore banned the sale and manufacture of women’s shoes , in order to keep them inside. Maybe Brinkman should think about trying to take away women’s drivers licenses to be the modern-day equivalent. If you can’t trust women to make decisions about their uterus how can they be trusted with the responsibilities of driving or controlling their own futures?
Now granted, certain state legislators are just fountains of stupidity, which sometimes translates into truly asinine thoughts how the laws about abortion should be written. (Exhibit A: The raped virgin exemption ).
But aren’t conservatives usually for state’s rights? Don’t they hate the idea that one state might allow gay marriage, therefore their state might be forced to accept gay marriage? After all, why should Massachusetts legislators get to tell Ohioans they have to follow Massachusetts law while in Ohio?
While there are laws that ban taking minors across state lines to commit acts that might be legal in one state, but illegal in another (like marriage for example) I was hard pressed to find a law that actively barred adults from crossing state lines to commit legal acts—even those that would be illegal if performed at home. For example, while nearly every county in America has outlawed prostitution, there are legal brothels in Nevada  and an outside county or state movement can’t prevent its residents from visiting those counties and using their legal brothels. States can’t pass official moral codes of conduct to govern its citizens’ behavior when they are traveling outside of the state.
I guess Brinkman and people like him would want to make it illegal for pregnant Ohio women to come back to the state without a baby in their wombs. If he wants to make certain that doesn’t happen he should just take away women’s right to travel right off the bat.