Off The Record: On Religion, Politics & Equality
Is this thing on?
The contents of a woman’s body is the canvas on which right-wing Republicans have chosen to scrawl out the coordinated blitzkrieg on women. Their microphone? The tip of a vaginal probe.
A little dramatic? Yes! Call me Chicken Little. Hyperbole? Of course! Women aren’t stupid enough to believe a vaginal probe is a microphone – but are apparently stupid enough to not know what goes on inside her body when sperm meets egg.
A landslide – and I mean a landslide – of the most overreaching (vive le small government!) anti-women bills are being introduced and passed through state legislatures. Get a load of this line-up (a partial list) coming out of Mississippi, paying special attention to the GOP lofting a boatload of bills aimed at granting an egg full citizenship:
HB 790 (Related: HB 1378)
What they call it: “Relating to regulating the use of certain drugs used to induce an abortion.”
What it really is: preemptive strike against telemed abortions which will limit access to abortion care for rural women. Iowa is the only state providing telemed abortion services – with success and safety – and Wisconsin just passed an almost identical bill through the Senate.
Status: Referred to House Judiciary Committee – contact them here.
What they call it: “Relating to requiring sonogram on women and verbal explanation of sonogram results before performing of an abortion.”
What it really is: See Virginia and Texas
Status: referred to committee on House Insurance – contact them here.
What they call it: Relating to prohibiting an abortion without the informed written consent of the pregnant woman except when a medical emergency necessitates.
What it is: nonsense suggesting there is a rash of forced abortions or as it is known in Wisconsin “coercive abortions” a fantastically deceptive tool in the anti-choice quiver.
Status: referred to House Judiciary Committee – contact them here.
There are straight up abortion ban bills heading through committee and Mississippi and the always entertaining if they weren’t so threatening attempts to establish egg citizenship including my favorites: “Relating to creating the Adoption of Human Embryos Act and Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act” and; “Relating to creating the Mississippi Human Embryo Adoption Act.”
And the obligatory attempt to amend the state Constitution: Relating to amending the state Constitution to provide that the right to life is a fundamental right and “person” applies to all humans from conception.
There are also a bunch of Medicaid “reform” bills in the hopper. I haven’t had the chance nor the stomach to read all of them but if Texas and Indiana are indicators it’s continuing the mission to defund that ultimate bogey (wo)man Planned Parenthood. They have a smattering of other bills including the erroneous anti-science “fetal pain” bill, multiple consent bills including a revisiting of the parental consent law and on and on and on.
And Mississippi is one state – one! Thankfully we can take Iowa off our list to monitor as the House had the good sense to kill all the anti-woman anti-choice legislation that went into the magical bill funnel last week. According to the Iowa House Democrats all anti-abortion bills rightfully failed to make the cut to move to hearings (they did throw in the caution – for now).
Facts don’t work (life begins before conception isn’t a fact). Logic doesn’t work (if you insert a probe into a woman’s vagina without her consent it is sexual assault and the doctor is criminal). Protection under a constitutional right to privacy doesn’t work (get the FUCK out of my body and my daughter’s body while were at it). Pointing out the GOP hypocrisy doesn’t work (defund Planned Parenthood! Fund our fraudulent CPCS!). Taking the fiscal angle doesn’t work (Texas turned down Medicaid funding so as not to provide repro health care via Planned Parenthood so on the backend supporting unwanted and unplanned pregnancies will revisit the taxpayer say three-fold).
So what to do? We have to get real.
These forced trans-vaginal ultrasound bills are state sanctioned rape. They are felonies – forced object penetration for Virginia and as Alabama State Senator Linda Coleman told me of her state’s bill “you can put icing on it you can dress it up but it is the forced penetration of a woman’s vagina without her consent – that is rape.” A lawyer friend told me that in practice these bills likely wouldn’t hold up as rape under the law. However, she told me it was her opinion that they indeed violated the spirit of sexual abuse and rape laws making that connection must be done.
This can be applied to every other bill aimed at women, our reproductive health and by proxy our family’s health. For example, Alabama’s “Woman’s right to know and see” bill can simply be called “Menfolk think womenfolk are stupid and they want to punish her for sexy time out of wedlock bill,” the egg citizenship bill, “Humpty Dumpty’s Law“
Or we could just make a blanket statement, something broadly applicable; “I am a fundamentalist Christian man and I want to impose my beliefs and ideology on you lady seeking to reclaim this country for Jesus (while maintaining there is a war on religion in this country) and to reduce women back to their role in the home, baby on hip, shoes no where to be found bill.”
Like I said, call me Chicken Little.
#blitzkriegonwomen – a swift intensive military attack, esp using tanks supported byaircraft, designed to defeat the opposition quickly.