Abortion in the age of Trump
In case you are not aware, abortion laws have just gotten scary. Seriously. Terrifyingly scary.
Yesterday, when my 20 year old daughter asked me if I knew about the abortion bill the Governor of Georgia just signed into law I told her, "No, not really." I saw something briefly about it in a tiny box on a mainstream news media site. But that was it. It mentioned the possible boycotting by Hollywood film production companies due to a new abortion law. One mention in the news, somewhere...
So then she started reading to me information she had discovered on her social media. Something that was beginning to light up the social media of her peers. What she read to me made my jaw drop. My first thought was : " How much of this is untrue? How much misconstrued?" So, as I often do when something does't seem right to me, I then started to research the issue online. Once again, the only sources found around this new Georgia Abortion law were regarding the entertainment industry reaction to the law. Rolling Stone and Business Insider had articles. A few others as well.
Even from the Hollywood perspective ( should the entertainment industry boycott Georgia) it was scary. I had to really DIG to find an article that was not Hollywood related, that was just about the new law.
This morning she asked me if I knew what was happening in Ohio regarding abortion. This morning, lots of articles popped up about this Ohio law, and an attempt at a new law in Alabama, and surprise surprise, a whole bunch more about Georgia.
Read. Read about theses bills, these signed laws. We are living in the age of Trump.
Over the past 2.5 years, how many times have we thought" it" ( insert your 'it" here) couldn't happen here? "It" is happening here. " It" can get worse. There is the fear that with the Georgia law, a women who crosses the boarder to get an abortion in a DIFFERENT state could be criminally prosecuted AND anyone who helped her. Up to 30 years in prison. A rape victim would have to file a police report in order to get an abortion. In Ohio, after 6 weeks, a female would not be able to get one even if she was raped. Even if she was a child. What if you have a miscarriage? You might need to PROVE it was a natural miscarriage. Yes you actually might. There are so very many ramifications I don't even know where to begin. Georgia will consider an embryo a human being with human legal rights.
So, read up about what is happening in our country. Even the BEST case scenario of these new bills and laws are very scary. We can't expect the ACLU to be able to challenge every dystopian law or practice in our country.
Lovendures - you hit the tips of the icebergs, and you are right it can get worse. The ACLU and NARAL are both working on these new laws. These laws were created in part to challenge Roe v. Wade in SCOTUS, the evangelicals want federal law in favor of legal abortion to be abolished. Notice I don't refer to them as Christians. SCOTUS will most likely strike down R. v. W., and when it does so, each state will be entitled to set its own laws without challenge ("states' rights"). This will increase the patchwork care which already exists in this country. Only privileged women will be able to travel to other countries to get abortions (like in the old days). So this is also a push forward in the War on the Poor, Women, and Minorities.
The GA law in particular creates a new dilemma that I have chosen to call "Habeas Fetus". Are you familiar with Habeas Corpus? That means you can't keep someone imprisoned who has not been convicted of a crime. Take a minute... see where this is headed? GA would have to release every single pregnant inmate, regardless of what they were convicted of, because the fetuses would be granted personhood, and therefore are not to be kept imprisoned due to the "sins of the mothers".
It's very Gilead. And very awful. GA law also says that women who get abortions will be charged with murder and possibly subject to the death penalty.
Women are going to have to figure out where they can reasonably emigrate to, like CA or NY or Canada. Smart women in the backwards states are not going to want to stay. This is another factor that may end up influencing whether or not the US ends up broken up into separate regions/provinces/countries.
Thanks for bringing this issue up. The fact that they would prosecute someone who leaves the state to get an abortion makes the law so much more onerous. The logic behind pro life boggles the mind. Proponents act like life is sacred yet they are against providing the means to support the thousands of children who will be born because of their law.
I worry about the ultimate future of our democracy, but I feel strongly that abortion rights will survive, or be revived where outlawed.
I feel that these extreme laws will ultimately have the effect of shaking people awake. In most counties in the US, Roe is already dead, and that's been achieved incrementally, by chipping away at the right to an abortion little by little. More modest legislation that looks innocent on its face is the smarter way to kill Roe, and it's worked beautifully. These extreme laws, on the other hand, look so crazy that I think they'll have the opposite of their intended effect. Will SCOTUS overrule Roe? Maybe, but if they do then the right wing will be the dog that catches the car. They will transfer the momentum to the other side, and I think eventually that will lead to more sensible abortion laws. While I support Roe, it's not a great decision. It rests just as much on a physicians right to counsel a woman as a woman's right to the procedure. It's patriarchal and a relic of a bygone age. Maybe it's demise will lead to something better -- a woman's right to control her own body.
Women will suffer as the right to choose is further limited, but that's happening already. Women are already being jailed for inducing their own abortions (in NY State!). Again, I feel these laws are short-sighted and will ultimately fail. Twenty five percent of women under 45 will have an abortion. Those aren't just liberals or women who believe in choice. The right to choose will only exist if women wake up, and I think these crazy laws will have that affect.
One last thing -- some states are actually liberalizing their abortion laws (CA, NY), and the Kansas (!) Sup Ct found the right to an abortion in the Kansas constitution. More evidence to support Jeanne's prediction that states will lead the way.
Last, last thing -- the right to interstate travel is guaranteed in the US constitution. Any law that prevents anyone, including women seeking an abortion on another state, from traveling to another state, will be struck down. I can't see even an extremist court abandoning this right.
You're absolutely right Salbh. These laws fall harder on poor women and women of color, but it's already the case in states where women have to travel hundreds of miles to the lone abortion clinic, sometimes twice because of mandatory waiting periods. How can they afford the travel expenses and time off from work now? All under the guise of "legal abortion." It's already not accessible in most states, yet I feel many American think it's legal and accessible. I feel that as the laws start to reflect the reality, maybe it will wake people up enough to fight. Before Roe there was a huge movement to make abortion legal. I think this will happen again. I don't want to sound unsympathetic to women who will suffer as the laws become more and more strict, my point is that a lot of this suffering is already happening, and that maybe the shock of seeing the right to choose totally disappear in some states will galvanize a new movement, especially in those states. I think it will.
Absolutely right lynn. One thing to remember as long as Roe v Wade is not overturned abortion is still legal. Someone on twitter just posted a very true statememnt. Men want to make abortion illegal, deny women birth control coverage on insurance and oppose insurance for all. And they have the nerve to say they are not anti-women.
On a lighter note. I found a video on youtube everyone who dislikes McConnell as much as I do should watch. I will post the name of it (I am not smart enough to post a link). I appologize if I am not supposed ot do that. Look up Appalachian Grandma onyoutube and prepare to cheer. This is what McConnell is facing in Kentucky.
I've long held the conclusion that this country cannot stop the cultural fissures within it from tearing itself apart. This absolutely terrifies me but I also know that many blue states have abortion laws on their books that would still be in effect if roe was overturned. This is one indication of many that this country will regionalize - those that are anti abortion in particular the flat earthers and creationists are immune to reason - they will never listen nor will they ever stop fighting for their visions. The best protection is create enclaves of blue states that keep that poison at bay - let them have their horrible states - but stay out of ours.
Here is Yogagirl's Appalachian Great Grandma. It was made in Dec 2017 to oppose the GOP tax plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR7sTciOVjI. 🙂
Thank you, Jeanne. Please note these ladies are from Appalachia which is Eastern Ky and coal country. They have been fighting since Mitch lied to them about voting for the bill that would grant the coal miners there retirement and benefits from bankrupt corrupt coal companies. My hope is these ladies are still activeand getting madder by the minute!