Reproductive rights, Women — May 16, 2019 at 12:52 pm

BECOMING GILEAD – Abortion bans in America by state


As has becoming glaringly obvious, the forced birth lobby in America has been operating in a well-coordinated fashion to end the legal right of women to seek an abortion. Like the Sons of Jacob in A Handmaid’s Tale, they want to take away a woman’s right to control her own reproductive decisions and hand those decisions over to misogynistic religious conservatives. And let’s be clear, if this was about “preserving life from conception forward”, we’d see mass protests outside fertility clinics where fertilized human eggs are discarded daily.

That is decidedly NOT happening.

Forced birthers WANT this to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. This is why they are passing such cruel laws, laws that in some cases would force a young girl to give birth to her own sibling after having been raped by her father:

Being overly draconian isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. In fact, it’s the actual intent. In their effort to remake American in the model of the Republic of Gilead, they are pushing things so far that they are guaranteed to be sued which will allow them to take their case to the Trump-stacked Supreme Court which has made it quite clear that precedent, the so-called principle of stare decisis, is nothing but a quaint concept in American jurisprudence today.

As of this week, this is where things stand in America with regard to abortion bans and related laws.

Outright bans on abortion (10 states)

  • Alabama – Makes performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony punishable by up to 99 years. No exception for rape or incest
  • Arkansas – Bans abortions after 18 weeks. Includes exceptions for rape, incest, and medical emergencies.
  • Georgia – Bans abortion after a heartbeat can be detected which can be as early as 6 weeks. Includes exceptions for rape and incest if a police report is filed and to save the mother’s life or if the fetus is nonviable.
  • Kentucky – Similar ban to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill. Struck down by federal judge, will go to the Supreme Court.
  • Mississippi – Similar ban to Georgia’s “heartbeat” bill. Being challenged in court.
  • North Dakota – Bans most second trimester abortions except in the case of emergency. Punishes doctors only.
  • Ohio – Similar to Georgia’s heartbeat bill.
  • Louisiana – Near passage of a heartbeat bill
  • South Carolina – Near passage of a heartbeat bill
  • Missouri – Near passage of a heartbeat bill (no exceptions for rape or incest)

Trigger laws – Complete bans if Roe is overturned (14 states)

  • Kentucky
  • Arkansas
  • Tennessee
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Pre-Roe abortion bans still in place (7 states)

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Michigan
  • New Mexico
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

These are not all happening right now and this quickly by accident. This is a concerted, decadeslong effort by the forced birthers. They are moving quickly now, not because they’ve waited for public opinion to sway in their favor (it hasn’t, only 23% of Americans support overturning Roe), but because they’ve waited for a compliant Supreme Court to be delivered to them. And now, thanks to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, that moment has arrived.

The fight for the soul of our country is now underway and it’s not happening at the federal level so much as it’s happening the states. If you think you can skip voting because you’re somehow not enthusiastic about the eventual Democratic candidate for president in 2020 (or any of the other down-ticket races, for that matter), keep in mind that the conversion of America to the Republic of Gilead isn’t happening at the federal level, it’s happening in the states. And everyone of us should be working overtime to retake Democratic control of our state legislatures.

If you think Republicans are willing to negotiate on this issue, disabuse yourself of that notion pronto. Here in Michigan, House Republicans passed a bill that would prohibit the use of dilation and evacuation procedures to end late-term pregnancies involving nonviable fetuses. When confronted with the fact that D&E procedures are the safest and least painful way to deal with these tragically sad situations, Republican State Sen. Kim LaSata uttered these cruel, heartless words:

Of course it should be hard! And the procedure should be painful! And you should allow God to take over!! And you should deliver that baby!”

The women who are put in the position of having to get a D&E are women who have already been pregnant for quite awhile. Many, if not most of them have already bought baby clothes and diapers and have decorated their nursery. They’ve created space in their homes and lives and hearts for their new child. But Ms. LaSata isn’t content for them to have to go through that excruciating mental and psychic trauma of losing that baby after all of that. She wants them to deal with physical pain and suffering, too. In her mind, it’s God’s will. For forced birth proponents, women are simply host bodies, there to deliver children no matter how painful or how dangerous or how potentially fatal that may be for them. Even if the child will be born deceased.

Welcome to Gilead.

[CC image credit: TitiNicola | Wikimedia Commons]