or a scold. I, too, enjoy a brimming cup of schadenfreude, a healthy guffaw at Republican foot-in-mouth disease and a well-captioned cat picture.
But I feel bound to repeat a call largely ignored yesterday, a call which is rapidly approaching Too Late status.
If recently-adopted regulations are allowed to stand, every single abortion-providing clinic in the state of Louisiana will be shut down within weeks.
Got your attention? Good. Give a damn? Better.
I do, and have just about no reason to. I will never need access to safe, legal abortion. I guarantee. Neither will my wife. Unfortunate medical history. Most of my female friends are slipping past the age when such access will be of concern to them personally.
But I care about this situation because I have younger friends as well, some of whom may need to make the choice at some point. And if matters are left as they stand now, they will not have that option.
I also care because, for some idiot reason, I have a fondness for the rule of law, for constitutional process and quaint notions of checks and balances. And the right of my fellow Louisianians to make their own choices about whether or not to incubate zygotes is going to be taken away, in weeks, not years by unelected bureaucrats appointed to the state Department of Health and Hospitals by our radical social conservative governor.
There is now less than 24 hours left for Louisiana residents to make their wishes known on this matter.
Details can be found in this diary from yesterday, but here's the gist: the governor's appointees at DHH have issued 21 pages of new "emergency" regulations on abortion providers, including the usual crap about doorway widths and waiting room square footage, which no clinic currently meets. These new regulations empower DHH, with itself as the sole appellate body, to shut down clinics that do not meet their requirements.
This means, and I do hate being so repetitious, Bobby Jindal's appointees will have the power, by next month, to close every abortion-providing clinic in the state.
The regulations were issued in secret before the holidays, and it was DHH's hope to implement them in secret, without review. However, opponents have force a hearing on the regulations, which will be the only time citizens can comment or object.
That hearing is tomorrow. The deadline for written comments (snail mail) is Thursday. And the state's going to be iced over. Pretty convenient, huh?
The New Orleans Abortion Fund is prepared to take your comments to the hearing. They will be entered into the record.
If you are a Louisiana resident and wish to comment, you can address your comments to:
J. Ruth Kennedy
Bureau of Health Services Financing
PO Box 91030
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0930
and email your letter, which MUST have your full name and address, to email@example.com by Tuesday, January 28 at 8:00pm CST (that's tonight, friends).
The letters will be printed and hand-delivered at the meeting.
This will be your only chance to have your voice be heard. The fate of many wonderful women depends on your speaking up.
I ask that you do. Some of them are my friends.
Update: Due to our incipient inclement weather, the Department of Health and Hospital regulations hearing has been re-scheduled to Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 1 pm. While this gives those wishing to comment on the regulations, why delay? Mail or email your comments today. DHH press release on delay of hearing