March of the Fetus People

Last week, David Atkins predicted that anti-abortion fanatics will drag the U.S. into a “cold civil war.”

Republican legislators fully intend to criminalize abortion. They fully intend to jail women as murderers for taking control of their own bodies, to prosecute them for leaving the state for medical aid, to punish any doctor who attempts to help with a lifetime in jail. They really mean to do it—damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead.

But unlike any issue since slavery and Jim Crow, morally decent Americans in blue states will not stand by and idly watch as their fellow American women are dragged before theocratic tribunals and sentenced to life in prison for exercising the basic rights and freedoms that have become standard practice across the western world. They will not keep calm as thugs attempt to drag women refugees back across state lines for the crime of seeking a better life, free from their abusive partners, and endure the forced births of unwanted pregnancies. Like no other issue in American politics, decent citizens will demand aggressive action to defend the downtrodden and abused victims of patriarchal theocracy.

I think it’s as likely as not that the draconian abortion laws being passed in Alabama and other red states will be struck down by federal courts, and if the Supreme Court takes the cases Chief Justice Roberts will vote with justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, and Sotomayor to keep them struck down. Roberts may not like abortion, but I believe he has enough sense to know what’s good for the Repubican party. However, this may be wishful thinking on my part.

There is a school of thought out there that these state legislatures want the SCOTUS to kill their abortion laws. Deep down, the thinking goes, they must realize there will be a nasty backlash if women and doctors are really imprisoned for abortions. Politicians want to be able to wave their anti-abortion bona fides in front of their hard-right constituents and then blame the courts for nor turning their states into real-world Handmaid’s Tales. They don’t want to be the dog that catches the car.

Maybe, but I’m inclined to agree with

Why? It’s beyond obvious that red states’ attempts to chip away at abortion rights have nothing to do with “protecting” women. Considering that Alabama has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the U.S., and the Alabama legilsature appears to be doing nothing about that, one assumes they don’t give much of a hoo-haw about children, either. See Michael Hiltzik, States with the worst anti-abortion laws also have the worst infant mortality rates.

Alabama is one of two states, with Georgia, that enacted new abortion restrictions over the last week. Their records on maternal and infant health are shameful. Alabama is tied for fourth-worst place in infant mortality, with a rate of 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. Georgia, with a rate of 7.2, is tied for seventh-worst.

“In a state that has some of the worst health outcomes for women in the nation—such as the highest rate of cervical cancer — Alabama is putting women’s lives at an even greater risk,” said Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Of the 12 states ranked highest in infant mortality rates, all with rates of 7.0 or higher, 11 are described by the abortion rights organization NARAL as imposing “severely restricted access” on abortions. The one exception, West Virginia, is listed as having “restricted access,” a notch better. But NARAL reports that 90% of women in the state live in counties without a single abortion clinic.

The biggest reason for this appears to be that state legislatures that spend all their time thinking up ways to restrict access to abortion tend to be the same states that didn’t expand Medicaid and which are stingiest at providing access to health care for women and children. They piously claim to be “saving babies,” but only until they are born.

And what about protecting women? Paul Waldman:

The anti-abortion activists who push these bills and the legislators who write them always say that they aren’t interested in punishing women for having abortions; I’m reminded of the time in 2016 when the recently pro-life Donald Trump said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions and was then quickly silenced by Republicans whispering “ixnay on the unishment-pay!” out of the corners of their mouths, since this is a truth you’re not supposed to mention.

But the Georgia bill quite purposely didn’t include any language saying women couldn’t be prosecuted.

That brings us to Alabama, where on Thursday the all-white-male Republican contingent in the state senate tried to sneak through an amendment to their own even more radical bill, which would outlaw all abortions, heartbeat or no, and make abortion a felony punishable by 99 years in prison.

 

My gut-level take is that at the core of right-wing men is a deep fear and loathing of women’s sexuality. The gives them a means to act out those feelings by punishing women for being sexual.  The cruelty is the point. It’s not going too far, I don’t think, to call anti-abortion activism a form of vicarious rape. And yes, women get sucked into this same sickness. There may be some self-loathing involved, and I also think a lot of women are too conditioned to find their own self-worth in male approval, so they take part in their own subjugation. And there’s the religious element also.

9 thoughts on “March of the Fetus People

  1. I read both the Georgia and Alabama laws. Both punished the physicians. And punish the doctor more than the rapist who could have caused the pregnancy. Both mention exception is serious health risk. Whatever that is. No mental or emotional anguish exceptions. Kicker is no medical exception for suicidal woman. So if she kills herself and baby, that is okay.  So much for being prolife, especially the woman's life. The Georgia  law says only exception is medical emergency what ever that is but says there must be verbal communication of risk of pregnancy and rusk of abortion. So in a true emergency there is no way to give 24 hours notice.so really there is no exception.and it says the father has to pay medical bills related to pregnancy. How could you verify paternity and court order payment at 6 weeks heartbeat age? Obviously you could not. Also says it's will allow the 6 week fetus to be claimed as dependent. Verify? Social Security number for unborn dependent. Totally unverifiable and impractical to implement.  Haw do you verify miscarriage  and fight charges against you?

    Alabama law is for child in uterus regardless of it's  viability.

    Republicans gamed the electoral system. This is gaming the legal system by passing ridiculous laws to force court rulings in jurisdictions they assume they will win in.

  2. I want to strike back at these states – hard. Organize a boycott of companies based in these states and/or agricultural products from these states. Require labeling of products from AL in states like CA and NY. No conventions or business that would help these states economically. Have the major sports leagues boycott completely – refuse to play the Falcons. Forfeit the game if it's going to be played in Atlanta. 

    No, I don't think this will be done but it should. They want to claim state's rights to outlaw women's rights let the states that really believe in women's rights put the hammer down where it will hurt – in the wallet.

  3. I'm sure all these folks took mom out for dinner Sunday. 

    It's time for the one meal a year payment to be protested. When mom is an 11 yrs old having Daddys ' baby are we gonna buy her a burger once year for her trouble?

  4. I guess I am supposed to be erupting, spewing lava, steam, raining ash down and other things volcanic.   I just, as I have since my younger days, feel a sense of pity for the people of Alabama.  I know they want me to feel rage.  I know they want to show all the other states how things in America should be.  They want to set the example as true Americans.  Well all they get from me is pity.  Many of them will never know of the rigid class structure they live in and the incredible suffering and waste of human resources it generates.  It was shocking when I first encountered it and continues to shock me to this day.  They are somehow proud of their situation, and do not see what I see.  I see a tail attempting to wag a dog.  I see a state putting people in pigeon holes and propagating metaphysical speculation and substandard Christianity as a rationale for law and suppression.  I see political power being misused in a really pathetic way.  I see a state that looks itself in the mirror and sees itself still as a slave state.  So it puts on a little makeup and presents itself as an enslaving one. What a really bad idea.  

  5. One of the sponsors of the Alabama bill gave the game away: asked if the law would apply to fertilized eggs (which by the logic of the law, should count as people, and which get discarded regularly) at fertility clinics, he said no–because they weren't in women.

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    • That is a metaphysical fact I was unaware of until now,   Souls only go into fertilized eggs when they are in a woman.  Oh how silly it gets when we let politicians try to masquerade as metaphysical philosophers.  It's like a city guy walking through a cow pasture.  They lack the necessary training and experience to avoid a mess.  

  6. I have you fellow commenters as my witnesses.

    I have used the term "Cold Civil War" for well over a decade!

    And not just here, but at many other sites.

    I'm not sure if I coined it, but I can honestly say I never heard or read it before I wrote it.  The term fit the subject of the post I was reading when I first used it.

    I'm not jealous.

    Actually, I think it's kinda cool that a term I may have been the first to use, is now starting to become popular. ?

     

  7. I think states that put in such restricting laws against women should forfeit their right to be part of the United States of America.  Leave the USofA and form their own country. I, for one, would not miss them one bit.  I am sure that they would miss receiving the taxed they receive from all the blue states.

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