just thinking ahead

Arizona Making Headway With Bill Defining Conception As…Two Weeks Prior To Conception

but i'm not even here yet

Arizona has now “outdone everyone,” as another media outlet puts it, by trying to establish that really when you think about it, a baby is made during that unpleasant time of the month during which a woman discards last month’s egg in preparation for a new one that she may or may not intend to meet with a sperm in holy zygotrimony. Yes, that’s right, AZ has already passed a bill in the senate, now making its way to the house, stating that the “age” of a zygote should be “calculated from the first day of the last menstrual period of the pregnant woman.” Sometimes it takes a couple of penises who don’t know anything to show us how the world really works. How things really should be. Life begins at conception, yes indeed, and conception is a bloody mess during which it is statistically nearly impossible to get pregnant.

Yes, so. HB 2036 passed the Arizona state senate last Thursday, and it is going before the house this week. The main tenet of this disaster is to ban abortion after 20 weeks. But how long is a week, really, and how might Arizona’s fat old men eke out two more weeks from somewhere in time? How about the time when eggs aren’t technically around and babies are just ideas, figments, concerns, nightmares, cauchemars, dreams, reveries?

The bill has some other nasty clauses. Anyone performing an abortion 18 weeks after conception (20 weeks after menses):

…can be charged with a crime, have his or her license revoked or suspended, and can be held liable for civil penalties if the father of the fetus decides to pursue legal action.

Seeing that this is America and 2012, women would also be required to have an ultrasound prior to having an abortion. The performing doctor would also have to “show a pregnant woman the ultrasound, describe it to her verbally and provide her with a photo of the unborn child.” Great, what else is new.

So, all in all, a nice new way of looking at menstruation: as a friendly reminder to schedule that abortion! THINK AHEAD, LADIES. Stop procrastinating! [Mother Jones via RH Reality Check]

About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

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    1. upthruster

      Okay. Then the official human population just jumped four hundred-thousand percent today.

      1. MissTaken

        Silly, you're a boy. You're supposed to think about sex. And you're supposed to have sex. This has to do with slutty girls.

        1. SorosBot

          Yeah, you're the problem; we know women are supposed to try and keep your legs closed from the men who just sex, because women don't enjoy and want sex yourselves, you just use it as means to snag a man and make babies.

        2. GemlikeFlame

          And where, purely out of scientific curiousity, might these so-called slutty girls hang out? I want to perform a survey or two…in the name of science. Yep, science.

  1. Barb

    Keep it up Arizona and we gals will move there and apply for welfare for our 75,000 ovum.

    1. HippieEsq

      Be careful. Working on the assumption that everything normal people do on a daily basis is potentially criminal in Arizona, I'd avoid AZ like Jim Morrison avoided Dade County.

      1. Biel_ze_Bubba

        Maybe women should avoid Arizona. That might get the attention of the fuckwits in the state legislature. Some of them. Probably.

        1. Dr. Nick Riviera

          Yeah, all those closeted Republicans would be very sorry to see their wives gone for an extended period of time.

  2. CogitoErgoBibo

    As much as these ridiculous bills infuriate me (being a personal owner/operator of lady parts), I also can't imagine being a doctor forced to comply with this crap day in and day out. They do remember that women and doctors vote, right?

    1. V572 Hogan Gidley

      Proposed Amendment 1: Women can't vote when they're menstruating, because they're so irrational, if not [wink, nudge] hysterical.

  3. V572 Hogan Gidley

    Really, conception begins when the male gets a hardon. So let's track it back to that point, if we can pin it down to a single incident.

      1. sewollef

        Wouldn't that be considered Manslaughter One [at least], as far as Law & Order SVU's Detective Stabler is concerned? Since his [and their] concern is for the childrens.

  4. JudasPeckerwood

    Unless there's an actual labyrinth and minotaur involved, it's still "abortion on demand" as far as I'm concerned.

  5. terriblyfamous

    Only as long as it takes them to work out a voter identification bill that targets women and doctors.

  6. dedc79

    Soon, Arizona will start locking teenage girls in giant bubbles the moment they have their first period, only to let them out when they get married if they swear not to go on the pill.

    1. SorosBot

      "I'm the hypothetical father of the conceptual fetus we could have if we fuck without protection within the next two weeks."

  7. Baconzgood

    Jumping Jesus playing frisbee while listening zither music. AZ! JUST FUCKING LEAVE ALREADY! Baconz'll give you bus fare!

  8. terriblyfamous

    Ladies, are you menstruating? SURPRISE, that means you're expecting! Congratulations.

      1. terriblyfamous

        I like to fantasize about tying up a bunch of Republican sixty-something white guys and then carefully explaining to them a four-foot-tall diagram of my reproductive organs. I would take at least two or three hours over it.

        1. Generation[redacted]

          One of them looks up at the chart and says, "Really? Is that what it looks like? Wow. Okay."

  9. samsuncle

    So, whatever happened to the all the tea party BS about getting the government out of peoples lives?

      1. SorosBot

        Yeah, we're talking about a movement that's all about wanting government to control people's sex lives. By "freedom", they mean to protect their right to go take a shit on their neighbor's lawn and not have to pay any consequences for it.

    1. CommieLibunatic

      Government needs to shrink so it can personally inspect your uterus from the inside with a flashlight and magnifying glass.

    2. Negropolis

      No, no. You misunderstood. They simply want to make government so small that it can fit inside you.

    3. Dr. Nick Riviera

      Well, they ARE rallying around that person in FLA who had two pet tigers and leopard taken away just because they escaped and bit a few people. But that individual had a peen so….you know…priorities.

  10. PuckStopsHere

    Once again, the sperm, each and every sacred and precious one of them, escapes scott-free! Yea, America!

  11. Trannysurprise

    It's hard enough to get a reservation at the Abortionplex and now this. We are really going to have to start planning all of our abortions beforehand.

    1. HippieEsq

      Since Ex Poste Facto is written into the Constitution in a foreign language, I am pretty certain Arizona would gladly toss that protection aside and send you to the Arpaio Farm. Tread lightly aborter!

    1. Barb

      Let me know when you are "riding the cotton pony" and we can have an angry, carb-filled party.

          1. Biel_ze_Bubba

            That doesn't exactly mesh with "cotton" pony … or "angry", for that matter. You're thinking of a very different sort of party.

          2. Guppy

            I dunno, I've been told several times that orgasms ease cramping, but it's also possible the women who've told me this were just looking for an excuse…

    1. terriblyfamous

      I also read somewhere that the bill will make it illegal to conceive female babies. They want to solve this whole vagina problem once and for all.

  12. valthemus

    "Madness takes it's toll."

    They might also want to add a little amendment to that bill saying something like "Women aren't allowed to possess pitchforks or wield torches in the presence of legislators."

      1. sewollef

        I'd like to see the concealed pitchfork in operation though…

        "Is that a concealed pitchfork in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?"

    1. Biff

      So there's people willing to pay a buck so their iphone will tell them when they're gonna bleed? For fuck's sake!

      1. SorosBot

        But I have this box of condoms with me – the parents are going to be so disappointed.

        1. Guppy

          Weren't you paying any attention to the curriculum in AZ high schools? Condoms cause pregnancy!

  13. CogitoErgoBibo

    Can we just declare Arizona the winner of the "We Hate Women The Mostest" award so that they can stop competing?

  14. metamarcisf

    Someone just told me that the penalties included in this law do not just apply to veteranarians.

  15. Baconzgood



    Texas senate just passed a bill saying that females have their eggs while fetuses therefore any abortion or miscarrage is now a multiple homicide.

  16. MissTaken

    Ah hell, does this mean sicko moms-to-be will keep the used tampons from their pre-preggers period in their baby books?

    "See Little Billy, this was either your big sister or big brother that we called Peanut"


  17. Schmegeg

    AZ now needs a law requiring Senators requesting lobotomies need to have transrectal ultrasounds to locate their heads.

  18. Jus_Wonderin

    Given that most of us have the ability to reproduce if we are one of the lucky (unlucky?) non-aborted, shouldn't we be locked up at birth so that we don't possibly decide to abort?

    My head hurts.

    1. Baconzgood

      Being born then locked in jail, if you're a minority or libural, is the tea party's wet dream.

  19. Extemporanus

    Does this mean that women who get their tubes tied can be charged with false imprisonment?

  20. edgydrifter

    I'd suggest cutting off the sexytime for AZ men until they stop acting like such bastards, but something tells me they'd just legalize rape. You know, because they have uncontrollable urges, and God needs more babies made NOW.

    1. V572 Hogan Gidley

      The Lysistrata Solution. But the ladiez of AZ find those pot-bellied, horseback-riding pre-melanomic cowboys irresistible.

  21. a_pink_poodle

    Well next time don't be born as a female! You were given the option at the sex assignment desk before you were born!

  22. Goonemeritus

    Does Arizona know there is a doctor shortage and therefore doctors can pretty much start a practice anywhere? Go ahead lock a doctor up or publicly take away his license and the whole state will be back to leaches and mustard plasters by the end of the month.

  23. MissTaken

    Lemme guess, there's a 21-week waiting period to see your pre-abortion ultrasound, too.

  24. chascates

    Then she'll have to sing a lullaby to the fertilized cell and tell it a bedtime story before being approved for an abortion.

    1. prommie

      She'll be visited by 3 fetuses, the fetus of christmas past, the fetus of christmas present, and the fetus of christmas future.

      1. Gleem McShineys

        Also, mandatory spammy website photo-morphing technology must be applied to the woman and man to see WHAT THE BABY WILL LOOK LIKE!!!!1

          1. Gleem McShineys

            President Bush came out vehemently against human-animal hybrids. He won't be pleased.

  25. Callyson

    So when I get my period, I should be grateful for the free abortion. God works in mysterious ways…

  26. FakaktaSouth

    I have been a girl all my life and I STILL haven't thought about being on the rag as much as these fucking weirdos in Arizona. I take a pill every single day so that I don't have to think about it at ALL besides how long it takes to swallow (which will be banned in AZ next, the swallowing AND the pill) I cannot believe every single thing is so perfect in the desert now that they have so much time to think about things they apparently know so little about. Just gross. Gross!

    1. V572 Hogan Gidley

      In July, all of Arizona south of Sedona is one power failure away from ghost-town status.

  27. sullivanst

    On the plus side, at least they're giving up the medically unfounded "life begins at conception" line.

  28. BornInATrailer

    Maybe those premenopausal nuns should start fucking already so they aren't constantly killing their babies every month.

  29. CogitoErgoBibo

    OMG. I just realized something. I had a tubal ligation, but of course still menstruate. I can be pregnant and not pregnant all at the same time. I'm the Schrödinger's cat of pregnancy!

  30. Gopherit

    You all think you know, but you really don't, how crazy these bastards are. They will declare a woman's memory of the date of her last period to be inaccurate, and will require them to keep a period passport that gets stamped and dated using their own menses by a notary.

    1. Wile E. Quixote

      I've come to the conclusion that the only way to deal with an Arizona conservative passing stupid laws is to use the same strategy used for dealing with zombies trying to eat your brains.

    2. Barb

      I see London
      I see France
      I see your blood tinged underpants.

      Congratulations, you're pregnant!

  31. SayItWithWookies

    So now having your period can be called an Arizona pregnancy. Bumpkinism — it's not just for the 20th century anymore.

  32. chascates

    Arizona outdoes everyone on everything! From ThinkProgress:
    Proposed Arizona Law Defies Constitution, Outlaws Being ‘Lewd’ And Annoying On The Internet
    As proposed by Arizona lawmakers, the bill amends a previous law to expand an already unconstitutional ban on telephone speech that might offend someone else to the Internet:

    It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone ANY ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL DEVICE and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person. It is also unlawful to otherwise disturb by repeated anonymous telephone calls ELECTRONIC OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS the peace, quiet or right of privacy of any person at the place where the telephone call or calls COMMUNICATIONS were received.

    1. NYNYNYjr

      Arizona should out-arizona Somalia: give Arizona Marshall's the authority to go to any state to arrest them for breaking this law. Arrest or shoot. I'm not sure how they could pay all the extra Marshall's they'd need…can't raise taxes… let them confiscate whatever money or property the offender owns.

  33. elviouslyqueer

    If I were a betting person, I'd wager all this hostility goes back to that leathery old hag in the Arizona statehouse who probably hasn't been touched by a man since her doctor slapped her on the behind at birth.

  34. MissTaken

    I'm currently writing the What To Expect When You Are Not Yet Expecting But Are Currently Bleeding So Shut Up You Stupid Woman And Be Thankful For This Gift You Don't Even Have Yet book for just this occasion.

    1. SorosBot

      By the way, you have been on a total roll on this thread today; no wonder your P-ness has gotten bigger.

    2. HippieEsq

      If you were the actual author of those books I'd suggest a very, very late term abortion for you.

  35. Rosie_Scenario

    I must repeat that oldie but goodie: "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."

    1. Barb

      It would be a sacrament, abortions would be government funded and they would have a drive-thru window at the Abortionplex.

  36. CapnFatback

    I think we finally have the answer to What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

    Clearly, she changed her name to Arizona and declared statehood.

  37. weejee

    Could this sorta shit be behind why Barry has a 2:1 lead over Mittens among womenz under 50? Just a little bit? Maybe?

  38. Steverino247

    "How dare you dispose of what I gave you?" and "Well, she had her fun" are the kinds of thoughts behind such legislation.

    And Barb, I'm sorry, but since you had your parts removed, you're going to have to answer for no longer being fertile. The punishment? Well, you know…

    1. Barb

      Yeah, that reminds me that I have an appointment with the Vagina Whisperer in an hour. It's snowing here in the desert and I don't feel like taking a shower and going out.

  39. ElPinche

    It makes sense. God was a man (Charlton Heston) who made woman. So men know best about a woman's vaginal plumbing. Cased closed cunts!

  40. Biff

    So that makes Jan brewer 2 weeks older than previously thought? I'd have thought at least 2 decades, but whatev.

    1. Biel_ze_Bubba

      More like aphids, I think. (They probably have a trace of respect for tribbles.)

  41. SorosBot

    So wait, if the rule defines conception as beginning at the end of the last period, are women going to have to prove when it was their last time of the month? Great, ladies you better hang onto the receipts for your tampons just in case.

  42. WiscDad

    For fuck sake….is there not enough real life issues in Arizona to legislate? They can't get off this shit…fucking weirdos.

  43. CapnFatback

    I can't fucking wait for the "Life Begins at Menstruation" bumper stickers plastered on the bumpers of Caravans and Suburbans all over Arizona.

    Betcha they come in red.

  44. EmileZoloft

    When your OB calculates "gestational age" it's from the start of the last period the mother-to-be had before getting pregnant. So at the moment of fertilization that zygote is about two gestational weeks old. This makes sense to do because it's a lot easier to know when your period starts than when a couple of cells do their thing. Of course it doesn't make sense to base any kind of actual law on that, but what do you expect from Arizona? They can't figure out Daylight Savings Time and they sold their own state capital.

    1. GunToting[Redacted]

      The lack of DST is one of the few benefits of living in AZ. DST is about as relevant as buggy whips, and I don't miss changing all my fucking clocks. It doesn't quite make up for the insanity of our legislature, however.

    2. Biel_ze_Bubba

      "they sold their own state capital."

      Can't the landlord just evict the bastards?

  45. BornInATrailer

    It's kinda cool that I'm rereading The Handmaid's Tale right now. Adds a little extra flavor to stories like this.

    1. terriblyfamous

      Maybe it should be re-printed with a disclaimer on the cover that this novel was not intended as a manual.

    2. CrankyLttlCamperette

      I just dug that out of the bookcase and reread it about a week or so ago. It's been terrifying to see how many plot points have been cropping up lately (freedom to v. freedom from, most recently). I'm really starting to think someone is using it as a playbook.

  46. WiscDad

    I'm going to sue those fucksticks for discrimination. Isn't my fucking sperm alive? Where the fuck are my rights? Will I get arrested for jacking off and flushing down my spermies with a wad of toilet paper?

  47. thefrontpage

    Dear Conspiratorial Evildoers and Evil Villians:

    Please–stop spiking the waters in Arizona, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Iowa, Utah, Idaho, Florida and other Evil States with your dangerous, mind-altering chemicals!

    Your dastardly experiment works! We get it! Now, please, move on!

    Get back to your world domination and cold war plans!

    Thank you.

    United States General Populace Living in Normal States.

  48. teebob2000

    "another media outlet??" Is that any way to refer to kind, elderly Mother Jones??? Respek for your elders, yo!

  49. teebob2000

    I can't wait to see the courtroom artist sketch from the first trial, where they bring in a forensic pathologist, holding up a year-old crusty tampon, to testify to an exact date the sloughing-off in question occurred.

  50. pdiddycornchips

    Why not declare all AZ lady's hoohoo's the property of Sheriff Joe and end it?

  51. poorgradstudent

    I really have to think this is a competition.

    "Okay, guys, we can make our understanding of reproductive science really bad, even worse than the Catholic Church's!"

  52. OneYieldRegular

    Arizona: the only state where one can get six months in prison just for a twinkle in the eye.

  53. ttommyunger

    So, by extension, any male having vaginal sex with a pregnant woman in Arizona is also a child molester, amiright?

  54. Jerri

    Huh. Then I better get at least 200,000 Mother's Day presents this year. And good ones, too. No "I'll clean the house" coupons, Eggs. That shit doesn't fly with me.

    Edited for maths.

  55. Gainsbourg69

    Are there any sane people in Arizona? How the fuck do these psychos get away with shit like this?

  56. Jerri

    I can't wait to run home and tell my husband the good news: "Honey, I'm pregnant…with possibility!"

  57. rickmaci

    "This life's hard, man, but it's harder if you're stupid!" The Friends of Eddie Coyle, 1973.

    I have pretty much given up on hoping that Aryanzona will again one day be a safe place to travel.

  58. marinmaven

    I knew it was just a matter of time before they would ultimately reveal laws that suggest menstruation is murder. Soon having a box of maxi pads will be evidence of premeditation for homicide. If you can menstruate, you should be knocked up or in a convent – so sayeth the GOP.

    And you thought Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" was fiction. Silly Rabbit.

  59. NYNYNYjr

    Doctors will be required to show the woman a picture of their child at age 12 and say "We just got this picture from the future, your son/daughter sent it back to us and asks you not to abort him/her."

    1. Dr. Nick Riviera

      Age 12 because photos of mouthy teens would result in record business for the abortosseum.

  60. sbj1964

    Arizona really life begins 30 days before life begins? WTF? Christains are of control! A womans right to control her own reproductive future must not be infringed upon.

  61. Dr. Nick Riviera

    Called the boss to let her know I'll be taking my two weeks of Mensturnity leave now.

  62. Dr. Nick Riviera

    I have just calculated that I have been prego 192 times. I guess those stereotypes about us Mexicans really are true.

  63. Bill_Mars

    Can someone just please tell me when I am supposed to sterilize the coat hanger? This is so confusing.

  64. ibwilliamsi

    I guess that this means that women have been washing dead babies down the drain for millenia.

  65. dzymzlzy

    I wish someone had told me about this before I spent all that money on fertility treatments! Just think, all those months of crying because I thought I wasn't pregnant!

  66. LadyRenaissance

    Once again, I find myself fighting the battle between being well-informed versus being happy and sane.

    You know, I've been saying that it's only a matter of time before the GOP really does decide that Every Sperm is Sacred and every egg that isn't fertilized is akin to murder. Only a fundie Republican could insist that conception starts before sex.

  67. Baconzgood

    They are like the Montreal Canadiens, New York Yankees and Manchester United combined. Only in bat shit crazy.

  68. Biel_ze_Bubba

    We'll throw in $20 billion. Come on, the state's like new! Hardly used, and in almost mint condition if you ignore Phoenix.

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