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The War On Abortion And Women's Rights


GreyhoundFan
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We've been discussing the draconian new restrictions on abortion in various threads, so I thought we could have a central thread. Missouri joined the ugly crowd overnight:

 Before dawn. As if that would not make news.

Edited by GreyhoundFan
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"Its frontal assault on Roe v. Wade shows that the GOP understands power"

Spoiler

Just in time for the 2020 election, state-level Republicans have decided to stop being cautious and force the Supreme Court to decide whether to uphold Roe v. Wade. After the passage of a series of state laws meant to make abortions almost impossible to obtain, while leaving in place a microscopic fig leaf of legality, the Alabama legislature has gone all the way:

Alabama lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban virtually all abortions in the state — including for victims of rape and incest — sending the strictest law in the nation to the state’s Republican governor, who is expected to sign it.

The measure permits abortion only when necessary to save a mother’s life, an unyielding standard that runs afoul of federal court rulings. Those who backed the new law said they don’t expect it to take effect, instead intending its passage to be part of a broader strategy by antiabortion activists to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.

“This bill is about challenging Roe v. Wade and protecting the lives of the unborn because an unborn baby is a person who deserves love and protection,” Alabama state Rep. Terri Collins (R), the sponsor of the bill, said after the vote Tuesday night. “I have prayed my way through this bill. This is the way we get where we want to get eventually.”

There are many aspects to this story but, for the moment, I want to focus on what it says about the two parties, how they conceive of public opinion, and what constraints they believe it imposes on them.

To begin, one must understand that while we often talk about abortion as though the issue is defined by a line running down the center of the American electorate, with liberals on one side and conservatives on the other, that’s not remotely true. In fact, the Republican position on abortion is rejected by an overwhelming majority of Americans.

That position is that Roe ought to be overturned and abortion made illegal. Let me quote from the 2016 Republican platform, which is consistent with the position the party has held for decades: “we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”

If an embryo is a person under the 14th Amendment, and whose right to life “cannot be infringed,” it would mean that no exceptions to an abortion ban would be permitted — not for rape or incest, and not to protect the health or even the life of the woman carrying that embryo (or, later in the pregnancy, that fetus).

Now, it is true that many — perhaps most — elected Republicans do not actually take the extreme stance laid out in their party’s platform. But what almost all of them agree on is that Roe should be overturned.

That is a distinctly minority opinion. Public support for Roe usually runs between 60 and 65 percent, with a few polls showing even greater support. Take out the people who don’t give an answer and, at most, it’s about 30 percent of Americans who support the Republican position on this issue.

Despite our lengthy arguments about abortion, the shape of public opinion has been remarkably stable over the years. So how have Republicans responded? While there was a majority on the Supreme Court considered to be in favor of upholding Roe, they focused on chipping away at abortion rights and finding ways to make obtaining abortions as difficult and humiliating as possible — especially for poor women. These included TRAP laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers) imposing ludicrous requirements on abortion clinics; waiting periods to make obtaining abortions inconvenient; and things such as forced ultrasounds and laws requiring doctors to lie to their patients about the supposed effects of having an abortion.

But the reason Republicans didn’t do what Alabama just did was simple: The GOP wasn’t waiting for public opinion to come around. It was waiting until it had an antiabortion majority on the Supreme Court. Which, since Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh joined the court seven months ago, they now do.

We should note here that, just as every other Republican-appointed justice on the Supreme Court did before him, Kavanaugh pretended during his confirmation that he would vote to uphold Roe, so deep and profound was his respect for precedent. Precisely no one, with the exception of the impossibly gullible Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), actually believed it.

There is some chance that once the Alabama law or one of the “heartbeat bills” passed in other states reaches the court, they will decline to overturn Roe. The only way that would happen is if Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. decides that, once again, the GOP must be saved from itself, because the political fallout of overturning the decision would be disastrous.

But the rest of the party doesn’t much care. Its attitude comes down to this: We know the public isn’t with us on this, but it’s what we want. Now, we finally have the chance, so we’re going to take it. We’ll deal with the political consequences later.

That is essentially what the Republican Party says on all the things it would like to do. It knows that cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations isn’t popular, but it’s what the party wants, so it does it. The GOP knows that the public doesn’t want to see environmental regulations gutted, but it’s what it wants, so it does it. Every once in a while, the potential danger of a particular action is overwhelming enough to get Republicans to pull back (as with their longtime dream of privatizing Medicare), but for the most part they just do what they want.

And when the next election rolls around, they find other issues on which they can focus the public’s attention. It doesn’t always work (see the 2018 election, for example), but what’s important is that when they have power, they use it.

And Democrats? Never in a thousand years would Democrats pursue a hugely high-profile policy change supported by only 30 percent of the public. It’s difficult to get them to act vigorously on policies that have clear majority support, because they’re always terrified that they’ll offend someone.

Fortunately for them, most of their policy agenda is overwhelmingly popular. But imagine what would happen if Democrats had the same attitude the Republicans have, one defined by moral certitude and ambition, not by fear. Who knows what they could accomplish.

 

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I'm afraid that the only way to turn the tide is for women to start dying and the news to be filled with young girls being forced to be pregnant. 

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I’ve done a lot of research on abortion in the US, and what gets me is that conservatives are going way past what was going on pre-Roe. Before Roe, the main reason abortion was illegal was because of concerns about unlicensed doctors practicing medicine (ie midwives) and because of anxiety about the falling birth rates of WASP women relative to blacks, Catholics, and Jews. Concerns about “innocent life” had nothing to do with it.

As far as I know, women weren’t being jailed for miscarriages or for having diy abortions and doctors who performed abortions were seen as kind of seedy because it was an illegal procedure but not as mass murderers. It was possible for women to get legal abortions, but they had to go before an all-male doctors panel at the hospital to put forth their case, and it wasn’t always approved. These draconian bills (assuming they go into effect) aren’t conservative in the usual sense of the term, since they aren’t about returning to the way things were pre-Roe, but rather radically reactionary.

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I don't know if anyone has read anything about Alyssa Milano advocating a sex strike in Georgia, but I've read some outraged and mocking responses. Isn't that what conservatives advocate, that a woman "keep her legs closed"? Sounds like easy advice, until a woman turns down sex with you.

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OKAY, EVERYBODY, CLUTCH YOUR PEARLS.   I AGREE WITH A TOMI LAHREN TWEET.  Tomi has posted previously that she is pro-choice and it cost her a job.  She's doing it again although a bit more vague than she could be. 

 

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@Howl -- you've heard the old joke that if you put a bunch of monkeys in a room of typewriters, they'd eventually type out the bible? Well, with all of Tomi's tweets, eventually she's bound to tweet something sensible.

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Meanwhile, in Louisiana: 

https://www.nola.com/politics/2019/05/louisiana-heartbeat-abortion-bill-nears-final-passage.html

Edited: I hadn't read all the article. I can't believe our dip shit governor would actually be for this. 

So effin embarrassing. I just want to drag my daughter to the airport & say "run baby, run to France, that's where your heart is anyway"  

Edited by Imrlgoddess
Riffles
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This: 

I literally can't quite catch my breath reading this idiot man's tweet.  Literally, the shallowness and self-indulgence is breathtaking. 

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Medium piece on male legislator's ignorance about how women's bodies work.

Spoiler

Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Have No Idea How Women’s Bodies Work

We cannot ask women to follow laws written by men who believe our bodies work like a game of ‘Marble Run’

Last night, the Alabama Senate voted to make abortion illegal from the moment of conception, punishable by 99 years in prison, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It will be the most extreme anti-abortion law in the nation, voted into effect by men who had trouble articulating the most basic facts about women’s biology, conception, or even how the law itself would function.

When Senator Clyde Chambliss, a Republican, for example, was asked if the law would allow for incest victims to obtain abortions, he responded: “Yes, until she knows she’s pregnant.”

He did not elaborate on how someone would have an abortion before she knows she’s pregnant, outside of claiming, “It takes time for all the chromosomes to come together.”

Women’s bodies, lives, and futures are quite literally in the hands of men who seemingly couldn’t pass a high school health class. That’s part of what’s so hard about watching these debates: It’s not just that women’s rights and autonomy are being legislated away, but that it’s being done by complete morons.

This lack of remedial understanding of women’s bodies is not limited to Alabama. Representative John Becker of Ohio, a Republican, for example, sponsored a bill to limit insurance coverage for abortions, but claimed that it would have an exception for ectopic pregnancies, when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. “That treatment would be removing the embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus,” he said, explaining a procedure that doesn’t exist and isn’t medically possible.

The politicians passing these arcane laws seem to have zero understanding of how the implementation of their legislation will impact real-life women.

There is also Texas state Representative Dan Flynn, a Republican, who believes abortion requires cutting into a woman’s uterus, or Vito Barbieri, the Idaho state Representative, a Republican, who thought you could give a woman a remote gynecological exam by having her swallow a tiny camera.And who among us can forget former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who once claimed that women can’t get pregnant if they’ve been raped because “the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down.” (Akin was not the only Republican congressman who believed this: In 1995, North Carolina’s former state Representative Henry Aldridge, claimed that when women are raped, “the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work, and they don’t get pregnant.”)

We cannot ask women to follow laws written by men who believe our bodies work like a game of Marble Run.

It’s not just that their science is so woefully wrong. The politicians passing these arcane laws seem to have zero understanding of how the implementation of their legislation will impact real-life women.

When asked how the state would treat women who have had miscarriages — how would they be able to prove they didn’t end the pregnancy? — Chambliss, the Alabama Senator, responded that the burden of proof would be on the prosecution. Does that mean that all miscarriages will be investigated? (If you think that’s out of the realm of possibility, consider that a Virginia lawmaker once tried to pass a bill that would require women to report their miscarriages to the police within 24 hours.)

Sometimes, though, lawmakers’ absolute ignorance over the laws they are passing provides necessary ammunition to American women. When Alabama Senator Bobby Singleton, a Democrat, pointed out that Alabama’s new law could punish those who dispose of fertilized eggs at an IVF clinic, Chambliss responded, “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

So much for “life begins at conception.” Chambliss proved what feminists have been saying all along — this isn’t about protecting fertilized eggs. It never has been. These laws are about men controlling women’s bodies. Even if they don’t know the first thing about how they work.

 

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I'm afraid that the only way to turn the tide is for women to start dying


That won't happen here in Alabama. The attitude will be "dirty sluts deserved to die". In fact people are saying that now. They don't care about women at all.
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I feel so sad for American women all over the country right now!

Even if abortion is legal here in Canada, this scares me. It feels like the dystopian Handmaid's Tale is becoming real. I have seen a quote saying how women are always one economic or political crisis away from losing their basic rights, and it couldn't be more true right now. ?

 

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1 hour ago, Ozlsn said:

Medium piece on male legislator's ignorance about how women's bodies work.

  Hide contents

Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Have No Idea How Women’s Bodies Work

We cannot ask women to follow laws written by men who believe our bodies work like a game of ‘Marble Run’

Last night, the Alabama Senate voted to make abortion illegal from the moment of conception, punishable by 99 years in prison, with no exceptions for rape or incest. It will be the most extreme anti-abortion law in the nation, voted into effect by men who had trouble articulating the most basic facts about women’s biology, conception, or even how the law itself would function.

When Senator Clyde Chambliss, a Republican, for example, was asked if the law would allow for incest victims to obtain abortions, he responded: “Yes, until she knows she’s pregnant.”

He did not elaborate on how someone would have an abortion before she knows she’s pregnant, outside of claiming, “It takes time for all the chromosomes to come together.”

Women’s bodies, lives, and futures are quite literally in the hands of men who seemingly couldn’t pass a high school health class. That’s part of what’s so hard about watching these debates: It’s not just that women’s rights and autonomy are being legislated away, but that it’s being done by complete morons.

This lack of remedial understanding of women’s bodies is not limited to Alabama. Representative John Becker of Ohio, a Republican, for example, sponsored a bill to limit insurance coverage for abortions, but claimed that it would have an exception for ectopic pregnancies, when the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus. “That treatment would be removing the embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus,” he said, explaining a procedure that doesn’t exist and isn’t medically possible.

The politicians passing these arcane laws seem to have zero understanding of how the implementation of their legislation will impact real-life women.

There is also Texas state Representative Dan Flynn, a Republican, who believes abortion requires cutting into a woman’s uterus, or Vito Barbieri, the Idaho state Representative, a Republican, who thought you could give a woman a remote gynecological exam by having her swallow a tiny camera.And who among us can forget former Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, who once claimed that women can’t get pregnant if they’ve been raped because “the female body has ways to shut the whole thing down.” (Akin was not the only Republican congressman who believed this: In 1995, North Carolina’s former state Representative Henry Aldridge, claimed that when women are raped, “the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work, and they don’t get pregnant.”)

We cannot ask women to follow laws written by men who believe our bodies work like a game of Marble Run.

It’s not just that their science is so woefully wrong. The politicians passing these arcane laws seem to have zero understanding of how the implementation of their legislation will impact real-life women.

When asked how the state would treat women who have had miscarriages — how would they be able to prove they didn’t end the pregnancy? — Chambliss, the Alabama Senator, responded that the burden of proof would be on the prosecution. Does that mean that all miscarriages will be investigated? (If you think that’s out of the realm of possibility, consider that a Virginia lawmaker once tried to pass a bill that would require women to report their miscarriages to the police within 24 hours.)

Sometimes, though, lawmakers’ absolute ignorance over the laws they are passing provides necessary ammunition to American women. When Alabama Senator Bobby Singleton, a Democrat, pointed out that Alabama’s new law could punish those who dispose of fertilized eggs at an IVF clinic, Chambliss responded, “The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant.”

So much for “life begins at conception.” Chambliss proved what feminists have been saying all along — this isn’t about protecting fertilized eggs. It never has been. These laws are about men controlling women’s bodies. Even if they don’t know the first thing about how they work.

 

First Kentucky and now Missouri this is so infuriating. That article is correct of course its all about controlling women's bodies. They don't give a shit about babies or God. 

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It's all about controlling women, who are only incubators to them.  They don't give a shit about those already born as they won't do anything about mass shootings or even provide basic healthcare.

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3 hours ago, Howl said:

and of course, there's this f**king hypocrite: Anti-abortion Rep. Tim Murphy resigns after report he asked lover to end pregnancy

And you just know there's more where this came from. 
(to be clear, the Tim Murphy resignation was Oct. 2017, but you get the point)

I was actually wondering that when they showed the Kentucky politicians voting on the news wondering how many of them have given money to a girlfriend or mistress to get an abortion.

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5 hours ago, GreyhoundFan said:

@Howl -- you've heard the old joke that if you put a bunch of monkeys in a room of typewriters, they'd eventually type out the bible? Well, with all of Tomi's tweets, eventually she's bound to tweet something sensible.

I was thinking even a broken clock is right twice a day.

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36 minutes ago, JordynDarby5 said:

First Kentucky and now Missouri this is so infuriating. That article is correct of course its all about controlling women's bodies. They don't give a shit about babies or God. 

If they gave a shit then they would have approved the Medicaid expansions, introduced gun regulation, increased welfare and maternity leave payments and the bills would contain increases in funding for medical care for pregnant women and children.

They care about the unborn, the born can suffer as far as they're concerned.

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They are extremely pro-life in Alabama. Oh, wait...

I should have said before birth. They are extremely pro-life in Alabama, before birth. After that, your life is forfeit to their whims and fancies.

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