America's Worst Legislature? By a mile of rotting oranges, I'd say.
I've been having an interesting e-mail conversation with friends around the country, and the consensus so far is that Florida is definitely right up there (or down there, as it were), running neck-and-neck with Arizona for the honor of America's Worst Legislature. I am obviously biased, but I think we win this one. You have to admit, we've got some uniquely awful new stuff coming out of Tallahassee these days (and considering how much fun the tabloids and pundits have always had with Florida's general lunacy over the years, that's really saying something).
So far, in the Florida column, we've got:
Doctors will be prohibited from talking to patients about gun safety. Hey, a patient has the right to not hear about what a gun can do his, er, health and well-being.
BUT, a patient does not have the right to not hear about that which she is already well-aware of: "Hey, you're pregnant!" (or she wouldn't be seeking an abortion in the first place, but these are old white guys making the rules, and this is their sadistic idea of "logic"). In sum, doctors will be required by law to force women to submit to ultrasound imaging (sonograms) before abortions, even very early procedures and terminations induced via oral medication, which before the three month point means the ultrasound wand must be used vaginally. If it isn't clear already, let me point out that for a woman (or girl) who was raped and abused--and indeed may be seeking a termination as a result of said rape--this penetration would subject her to further trauma. Cruel and patently needless trauma. For SHAME, Florida.
AND...people who have the temerity to be poor and in need of access to Florida's miserly and wafer-thin safety net (aka "welfare") will be henceforth required to submit to drug testing via forced urinalysis. And pay for said testing themselves, up front. If your private bodily fluids are not acceptably drug-free for Rick Scott, no soup for you. Or your kids. (Stay away from poppyseed bagels and definitely hope and pray your submitted sample doesn't fall into that category the labs like to call "margin of error".) Oh, and you forfeit the money you spent on the drug test you were forced to take. Let them eat...what, exactly? Lab receipts?
No sex with animals. Hey, they're serious and they mean it.
(Next up: a proposed constitutional amendment to rework the species cladograms so as to give humans a brand new kingdom all our own. Ergo, Floridian biology classes will now teach kids about the three kingdoms: Plant, Animal, and now--brought to you by your friends at BP, Exxon Mobil, and Monsanto--a brand-new kingdom of creatures: Those Life-forms Who've Generally Fucked The Other Two.)
No already-several-years-out-of-fashion showing of the human bottom, or, as one legislator put it back in the day when they were busily banning thong bikinis on our beaches, "we must ban clothing that shows the anal cleft".
Somewhere out there in the cosmos, Charles Darwin is either weeping copiously or completely rethinking the notion of human brains being capable of evolving.