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No, seriously, they want this to be the Republic of Gilead

By Amanda Marcotte
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 21:43 EDT
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While the Republicans in the federal government unleash an unprecedented attack on women’s access to abortion, STD screening, contraception, and cancer screening (as well as sexual health services for men), on the level below that, the turn to the right is even more severe. Right now, a lot of Republican politicians are doing things that even two years ago, we suggested they’d do in non-serious bouts of hyperbole.

Example #1: A Georgia legislator is trying to pass a law that would literally treat every miscarriage as a crime scene, requiring investigation to make sure that the woman didn’t do anything to cause the miscarriage. The bill is the standard issue wingnuttery of trying to ban abortion illegally by defining fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses as people, but then it goes a step further.

A report of spontaneous fetal death for each spontaneous fetal death which occurs in this state shall be filed with the local registrar of the county in which the delivery occurred within 72 hours after such delivery in accordance with this Code section unless the place of fetal death is unknown, in which case a fetal death certificate shall be filed in the county in which the dead fetus was found within 72 hours after such occurrence.

This is so the police can follow up and make sure the doctor didn’t perform an abortion, or, god forbid, provide medical assistance to a woman who arrives at the hospital with a pregnancy that’s already aborting. This bill hopes to ban abortion, and would, if Roe weren’t restricting the enforcement, treat all miscarriages as potential crime scenes that need to be investigated. I will note that the bill also says that the word “fetus” defines every stage of human development after the sperm joins with the egg. Since many fertilized eggs are expelled without ever attaching to the uterine wall, I suppose every menstruation should be called in for a police investigation, as well. I’m not exactly sure if it’s scientifically possible to discover if any one menstruation has a fertilized or unfertilized egg in it; at the end of the day, I think what we should probably settle on is to put all fertile women in jail until menopause, giving them regular doses of semen to make sure they get pregnant frequently, and never let them out of sight, less they try to do something to free themselves of the burden of being turned into literal baby factories. That’s the only way to make sure the proper levels of uterine control are in place. And whip anyone who menstruates, just to be safe. After all, some crafty women might try to sneeze really hard and expel what might be a fetus, or might just be her period.

Example #2: Right on the heels of South Dakota nearly sneaking in a bill that could create a defense loophole for those who assassinate abortion providers, a Republican candidate for the mayor of Jacksonville, Florida “jokes” that he entertains the thought of bombing abortion clinics.

Hogan, a Baptist, said he will be “loving” the day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision allowing abortions. He told the audience of about 100 people at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church that “it was an awful decision by an awful court.”

Hogan added that the only thing he wouldn’t do was bomb an abortion clinic, then the law-and-order advocate added, with a laugh, “but it may cross my mind.”

The Mandarin crowd applauded.

Let’s be clear that the lip-smacking disapproval of domestic terrorism from so many anti-choice nuts is a show put on because they know that they need to in order to continue to have access to the mainstream. But actual disapproval of domestic terrorism? After Dr. George Tiller’s murder, the denunciations were half-assed and based around the “well he had it coming” hedges. Watch, for instance, Phill Kline and his supporters from last night’s Rachel Maddow Show.

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Let’s be clear: The man that Kline targeted for a witch hunt is dead now, murdered by one of the anti-choicers that supported Kline using his powers as attorney general to harass an innocent man and his patients. And yet, do you get the feeling that this bothers a single one of these fuckheads that claim they’re “pro-life”? Absolutely not. Instead, they blather on about how righteous Kline was, even though he set in motion a series of events that led to a political assassination. If they really did give a shit about domestic terrorism and stopping it, they’d be a little more humble, a little less rabid. Instead, they clearly don’t give a flying fuck who gets killed in their obsessive hunt to eliminate women’s access to reproductive health and services. Kline especially is unbelievably arrogant for a man who painted a target on someone’s back and then went on his merry way as someone else pulled the trigger.

I think we need to be very clear about what we’re up against here. These are the people that House Republicans are pandering to, and they’ve laid out exactly the world they want, and it’s one where women who have sex give up any right to decent health care, be it STD prevention, contraception, safe maintenance of miscarriages or abortion as needed. (Lesbianism is no dodge, either, because they sure as shit don’t want lesbians to have rights.) The world they want is a bleak one indeed, especially for women, but also for the children who depend on women and the majority of men who don’t hate women.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
 
 
 
 
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