Good news first – New York and Vermont are protecting abortion rights. However, as of 5/17/19, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah have passed new antiabortion laws, and similar bills are pending in other states. These laws are designed to oppress and control women. The goal is to overturn Roe v Wade, using the new makeup of the US Supreme Court with Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
Excellent political cartoon by Ann Telnaes of Washington Post shows some of the worst of them.
Alabama is the most heinous – it bans virtually all abortions, with no exceptions for rape and incest. The Alabama law (signed by a female Governor) targets doctors by making performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment!!
Comedienne Samantha Bee noted the bill sponsor Clyde Chambliss, said really impressively ignorant things. ” Chambliss admits he doesn’t “know the proper medical terminology and timelines.” Chambliss even “argued that, under his law, women would be free to get abortions during this period of time — so long as they don’t yet know they are pregnant.” Bee quipped “If you’re not smart enough to be pregnant, you’re definitely not smart enough to legislate it.”
In response, Alabama’s Biggest Newspapers Published Essays By 200 Women On Abortion Ban. Kelly Scott, the vice president of content for the Alabama Media Group, wrote the following in an editorial introducing the package.
“They are women who live here, and some who have left. Those who have prayed for this very law, and those who now live in fear. Mothers, trying to understand the message this law sends to their daughters and sons. And women who are angry that a majority of men in the state legislature spoke for them.”
Ohio is trying to ban insurance from covering almost all abortions. Snopes.com clarifies that HB 182 would limit access to, but not criminalize use of, certain types of birth control.
According to “Everything you need to know about the abortion ban news,” 5/17/19, Washington Post,
“Lawmakers in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Utah have passed new antiabortion bills, and similar measures are pending in other states. The new laws have prompted questions about whether women who have abortions could be punished and why some of the pieces of legislation are called “heartbeat bills,” among other topics.”
So called “heartbeat bills” had passed in at least 6 states. People need to realize that when the medical community says a woman is 6 weeks pregnant – they are *NOT* counting from conception, they are counting 6 weeks from first day of last period. So what we call ‘6 weeks pregnant’ could really be only a few weeks after conception.
Bee says clearly the people writing these bills have no idea how the female reproductive system works! So she does a tutorial for them, teaching sex ed to Senators! Bee really captures many women’s outrage at these ignorant lawmakers.
The Georgia law also says that doctors who perform abortions will be prosecuted, but is more vague about women [being prosecuted]. According to the Washington Post, “The [Georgia] measure could not be used to successfully prosecute women, Planned Parenthood’s Staci Fox previously told The Post. But if a woman had a miscarriage, she could be pulled into an investigation looking at whether someone performed an illegal abortion on her.”
What the ignoramuses in Georgia don’t seem to know is how common miscarriage is. About 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. And also, a woman’s behavior is again questioned to first and foremost, blame and punish her.
Ignorant lawmakers are in the midwest as well. Rewire.com wrote about Ohio Rep. John Becker in Tell This Ohio Legislator You Can’t Move Ectopic Pregnancies Into the Uterus., 5/9/19, rewire.com.
“In defending his bill, Rep. Becker has claimed that contraceptives cause abortion (they don’t) and that ectopic pregnancies—in which the embryo implants somewhere other than the uterus, usually the fallopian tube—can be fixed by simply sticking the errant embryo into the pregnant person’s uterus.”
These laws are designed to oppress and control women. And to overturn Roe v Wade.
There is a lot of irony with these laws as well. Some lawmakers claim their bills ‘protect’ women, but the bills contain nothing that supports women through these enforced pregnancies – not even free prenatal and post-partum care – and they NEVER propose any punishment for the men who irresponsibly cause an unwanted pregnancy.
There is more to the unfairness of the bans as well.
The abortion bans will not stop abortion. Wealthy women will still find a way to have one if they want one. Those of lesser means will turn to dangerous and unsafe methods. As it was before Roe v. Wade. And again, the lives of women are devalued. There was a dramatic drop in the maternal death rate following Roe v. Wade. Expect maternal death to rise.
And there is more irony in this. The anti-abortion lobby is also against accessible, affordable contraception. As mentioned, in Ohio, the law takes away insurance coverage of some birth control.
NC has a so called ‘born alive’ bill in play (another junk science bill), and other anti-abortion bills in committee. Some have not made crossover, but the current NC legislative leadership plays fast with the rules. NC NOW’s legislative updates track these bills, of course.
These abortion bans must be overturned.