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. 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.
Look up Appalachian Grandma onyoutube and prepare to cheer. This is what McConnell is facing in Kentucky.
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!
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.
For now I pulled some cards and got that the Supreme Court will review the law at some point and that it will continue to stand. The court will not agree with states that have arbitrarily decided that a six week fetus even has a true heartbeat since there is no heart and no circulatory system.
It is however difficult to predict the outcome when we don’t have a date for the decision. We don’t even have it scheduled in the SCOTUS calendar. I feel we get more accuracy when I can focus on a date.
I just read that Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins both voted Tuesday to confirm an aggressively anti-choice nominee to the 9th Circuit, Daniel Collins. The 9th Circuit is the federal appeals court in CA that's been crucial in stopping a lot of Con Don’s outrageous actions, and it's about to flip in his favor. Daniel Collins has demonstrated his anti-choice views over the years in court filings, arguments, articles, and political donations.
Mr. Collins was also responsible for advancing policies that led to increased incarceration and adversely impacted communities of color. He has also sought to restrict civil liberties and advance executive power claims.
Collins is a member of the Federalist Society and was pushed through the Senate by McTurtle, over the objections of California Senators Feinstein and Harris. I read that this is the first time in modern history judges have been confirmed by an entirely partisan vote over the objections of the senators representing the states where the vacancies are being filled.
I believe this is Senator Collins’ ninth vote for an anti-choice judge. She is up for re-election in 2020. Does anyone know if any Dem has announced to run against her?
@deetoo; Sara Gideon, Maine's Democratic house speaker, will be Collins's likeliest 2020 challenger, although she has not yet declared a run.
Maine is an idiosyncratic state where many voters do not identify with either major party, and this has allowed Collins to maintain healthy approval ratings; to many voters, her commitment to Maine interests over the course a four-term career in the senate outweighs her recent legislative votes. So we shouldn't expect Maine's slight Democratic leanings to translate into a slam-dunk defeat of Collins. On the other hand, Maine instituted ranked-choice voting in 2017 (a wise move for a state where elections often split three ways between the GOP, the Democrats, and an independent candidate), and that makes Collins somewhat more vulnerable. In fact, Democrats were able to flip Maine's Second Congressional District last fall with the aid of the ranked-choice system.
Thanks, Coyote. I had never heard of the ranked-choice system, so I appreciate the link.
I'd been curious about Maine politics ever since Paul LePage became governor. That was a real head-scratcher. (But then what am I saying? Look at who occupies the Oval Office.) Anyway, thank God LePage is out of there.
At this point I thought I was pretty inured to the GOP craziness surrounding abortion. But this week, 19 Republican members of the Ohio legislature sponsored and submitted a bill that directs doctors and the women they're treating to reimplant ectopic pregnancies or face charges of "abortion murder." THERE IS NO MEDICALLY POSSIBLE WAY TO REIMPLANT AN ECTOPIC PREGNANCY. Jesus effing Christ, where do I even begin?
This does it for me. As recently as the mid-term elections, I voted for a few Republicans in local races. But as long as the national GOP condones this type of idiocy, I can't in good conscious offer up even the relatively inconsequential support of a vote in a local race in a deep blue state such as mine. I won't relax until all of these sub-humans are out of government. Gone.
I, too, read that in complete disbelief and still cannot believe anyone would even think that to implant an ectopic zygote is even possible. The absolute stupidity of these so called lawmakers is just mind-boggling. I will be so glad when the republicans are a part of ancient history. I only hope it happens in my lifetime.
According to Frank Schaeffer, who's the son of Fran Schaeffer, one of the architects of the moral majority and the religious right, abortion was never an issue for non-Catholics religious conservatives, until it was make into one for political gain. Read his blog, or any of his books (Crazy for God is a good one). He explains how abortion was turned into a rallying cry and is really mixed in with a toxic stew of racism and misogyny, and just plain ignorance. Reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy or risk jail is just a way to scare doctors out out treating women with this condition, which, if untreated, can be fatal. Sounds extreme, but go to any Catholic hospital (which take federal money) with this condition and see what kind of treatment you get.
No politician or political movement will ever eliminate abortion, ever. They will make it harder, hurt poor women, but will never get rid of it because ultimately you cannot make people do something with their bodies if they don't want to.
What I find most frightening is the sad reality that many of the legislators who are sponsoring this bill probably know that reimplanting an ectopic zygote is indeed impossible, but they are so eager for a constitutional showdown on abortion, they are pushing through this policy anyways (fyi, the bill is 700 pages long, so it's not as if it's purely symbolic). An untreated ectopic pregnancy is deadly, so they may as well have written a law that said they would start shooting people at random until abortions in Ohio were curbed. That's why I very deliberately used the adjective "sub-human" to describe these politicians.