Fun and Games in the Republican Playhouse

The new Republican House wasted no time in passing bills that (a) will die in the Senate, and (b) show us they still aren’t listening to voters. A couple of these were abortion bills. One was the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which is based on the morbid and possibly prurient fantasy that healthy, viable babies routinely survive abortions, and when that happens doctors kill them (some Fetus People get off on describing the warm, still-twitching flesh discarded into buckets) or deny them care so they die of neglect. Never mind that intentionally causing the death of an infant, no matter its circumstances, is murder under the laws of every state. And as for denying care, all I can imagine is that some of them are mistaking the palliative care given newborns who have no chance with denying them care.

This also ignores the fact that an earlier Congress already passed a Born-Alive Infants Protection Act into law back in 2002 that was supposed to protect all these viable babies who survive abortions from being tossed into buckets. If the 2002 law didn’t change anything, perhaps it was because the atrocities the Fetus People oppose are only happening in their imaginations. Laws can’t change that. And ain’t enough psychologists in the world to deal with these people. Unfortunately, the new law would imprison real doctors for up to five years if they fail to resuscitate babies “born alive” after an  abortion. This is regardless of whether the abortion was performed due to fatal fetal abnormalities. It’s possible doctors would be prosecuted for following standard medical practice for, say, an anencephalic neonate.

The other bill is a resolution that condemns violence directed at “anti-abortion facilities” such as those phony pregnancy crisis centers. And I also would condemn such violence, but of course the bill doesn’t say bleep about violence against abortion providers or facilities. Shooting doctors is okay with these people. So ‘pro life” they are.

As one Republican already admitted, this is about signaling to the forced birth advocates that their elected officials haven’t given up. Since there is no chance either bill will pass in the Senate or be signed into law by President Biden, the two bills are really just legislative theater, and the House Republicans won’t have to face any real-world consequences for passing them.

House Republicans also are still talking about a federal abortion ban and making the Hyde Amendment a permanent, stand-alone law and not a rider attached to appropriations bills.

This would seem to be nuts, given that their forced birth positions cost the Republicans a whole lot of seats in last year’s midterms. Well, it is nuts. These people are not facing reality. The forced birth movement is telling them that the reason Republicans lost so many elections in the midterms is that they didn’t talk about forcing women to give birth against their wills enough. Some elected Republicans are claiming that the midterms really gave them a mandate for more abortion restrictions.

Many GOP lawmakers who sailed to victory in states with anti-abortion laws balk at the idea that Democrats’ focus on abortion rights is evidence the left’s message resonated with voters. Instead, they’re taking their electoral victories as a mandate to pass additional abortion restrictions.

“South Carolina had a huge red tidal wave in this election. We flipped eight seats in the South Carolina House of Representatives … We all ran on pro-life,” said South Carolina Republican Rep. John McCravy, who spearheaded efforts this summer to prohibit abortion in most cases starting at conception. “If anything, we need to ramp our efforts up.”

I guess we should expect members of the Selfishness Is Good party to not care what happens to other members in less deep-red states. Also note that abortion is still legal in Rep. John McCravy’s South Carolina, thanks to the SC Supreme Court deciding the state constitution protects a right to abortion.

That’s not so in other states, of course. A few days ago the FDA announced a policy change that would allow more retail pharmacies, both online and brick-and-mortar, to dispense abortion pills. CVS and Walgreens have already announced they are getting with the program, at least in states where state laws don’t prohibit the sale of abortion pills. The forced birth people are up in arms and organizing pickets outside CVS and Walgreens stores in at least eight states. Well, it’s their time to waste, I guess. But if Walgreens stores around the country start getting bombed, we’ll know why.

The attorney general of Alabama has declared that if he catches any women buying abortion pills he will prosecute them under a state law meant to protect children from illegal drugs like cocaine and throw them in jail. This is causing division in the forced birth movement, since it has long been the official position of the Fetus People that women are not capable of making abortion decisions for themselves and are being misled by the malevolent abortion industry into having abortions it wouldn’t occur to them to have otherwise. Seriously.

And then there’s Virginia. Yesterday Republicans in the state legislature introduced a bill providing a 15-week abortion ban. This was proposed by the MAGA-Lite governor as a moderate compromise.

The party is framing the ban as a moderate compromise: GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin praised it as a “bipartisan consensus,” while the Senate Republican caucus described it as “practical, sensible, and reasonable.”

But these descriptions do not align with the actual text of the law. In addition to outlawing abortion long before viability, the proposal shares several features with the extreme abortion bans adopted by states like Louisiana and Texas. It contains extremely limited exceptions while exposing doctors to criminal liability for performing emergency abortions, including up to 10 years’ imprisonment. In short, the ban would ensure that reproductive health care in Virginia is dictated by criminal law rather than patients and their physicians.

Also yesterday, a Democrat defeated a Republican in a special election for a Virginia state Senate seat. This was a district that had elected Republicans for a decade. It’s suspected that the abortion issue made the difference. Republicans control most of the Virginia government except for the Senate, which has a small Dem majority. Youngkin may have a hard time getting his “moderate” bill passed.

The moral is, though, that the Republican party hasn’t yet been punished enough for their obsession with banning abortion.

Other bills the GOP House passed or is about to pass include defunding the IRS (which will be DOA in the Senate),

In other news, the Missouri state legislature is considering a dress code for women lawmakers to be sure they keep their arms covered. And for some a cardigan isn’t good enough; they want the ladies to wear blazers.