To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Friday, July 19, 2024

Observercast

GOP Aborting Women’s Rights

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A great rallying cry for funding and votes from the [usually wrong] right is the phony threat to the 2nd Amendment. Any look at a U.S. map will reveal that there is no way a repeal would pass the 38 states needed to change the Constitution.

Too many Southerners and Westerners have grown up in homes where guns are nothing special, but nothing they want to get rid of, either.

Of more concern to me is the continual erosion of the equality suggested in the 19th Amendment that extended voting rights to women.

Conservatives argued the Equal Rights Amendment to failure by claiming that women already had equal rights. But when Forbes tells us that women still make 84 cents of every $1 men earn, we might demur.

Then, the Republicans’ continued assertion that women in Republican-controlled states are incapable of making basic health care decisions raises questions as to how far they will extend that reasoning. The 19th Amendment is as safe as the 2nd, but it only prohibits voter discrimination based upon sex – not the mental incapacities inherent in GOP misogyny.

This is not satire, but Sad Ire.

Though he waffles and lies about his position now, when campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2023, convicted felon Trump claimed responsibility for overturning Roe v. Wade through his appointment of right-wing Supreme Court justices.

“After 50 years of failure, with nobody coming even close, I was able to kill Roe v. Wade, much to the ‘shock’ of everyone,” Trump bragged on his social media platform.

“Without me,” he said, “there would be no 6 weeks, 10 weeks, 15 weeks, or whatever is finally agreed to.”

His “accomplishment” has been devastating.

Oklahoma, Idaho and Texas have “bounty” laws that permit anyone to sue a person who performs an abortion in violation of state statutes. The vagueness of this threat has caused many medical providers to refuse to treat pregnant women experiencing life-threatening complications.

Then, too, some states, looking to extend their suppression of women, have indicated a desire to prosecute women in their states who get abortions in states where such procedures are legal – and anyone who abets their claim to adult health-care competence.

In Missouri, Texas and Arkansas, a pregnant woman cannot get a divorce regardless of the abusive conditions which she might be experiencing. In other states, judges have the leeway to delay the divorce in order to determine paternity or child support.

Christina Cherry, a program manager at a domestic violence housing program with a Kansas City-based organization called Synergy Services, told National Public Radio that it enables a form of abuse called reproductive coercion: “The abusive partner utilizes pregnancy and children as a way to control their partner.”

And a May study from Tulane highlighted the danger such enforced union create:

“Women who are pregnant or recently gave birth are significantly more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than non-pregnant, non-postpartum women of reproductive age, implicating the risk of fatal violence conferred by pregnancy itself.”

But, the subjugation of women is more important to Republicans than their health.

In an April interview with Time magazine, Trump suggested as ploy to defer his complicity that all abortion policies should reside with individual states, including the possibility of monitoring of women’s pregnancies to make sure they come to term.

Then, on cue, GOP Sen. Katie Britt of Alabama introduced a bill that would create a national registry of pregnant women. No intrusive overreach there.

Slashing and burning more women’s rights last month on Pittsburgh’s KDKA, Trump floated the idea of a national ban on contraceptives such as birth control pills – again leaving the dirty work to the states.

Of course, he weaseled away from his stated position within a few hours, and blamed Democratic “misinformation” for quoting him accurately. [Maybe his short-term memory is shot.]

On point, Louisiana’s Republican-controlled Legislature – which had earlier refused to grant rape and incest victims abortion exceptions –  reclassified mifepristone and misoprostol, two such abortion pills, as controlled and dangerous drugs – the designation sane people confer on addictive drugs. The Republican governor signed it into law later.

Before the GOP approved the bill, more than 200 Louisiana doctors sent an open letter of protest:

“Neither mifepristone nor misoprostol have been shown to have any potential for abuse, dependence, public health risk, nor high rates of adverse side effects,” they wrote.

But, as always with the Republican assault on women’s rights, the issue is not health but subjugation. The only danger here is having fully empowered women with equal say in their health care that men possess.

Just last week, Senate Republicans blocked consideration of a Right to Contraception Act. Britt twitted, “There is no threat to access to contraception” though her party continues to attack any meaningful birth-control.

As Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed out:

“Today was not a ‘show vote’ – this was a show-us-who-you-are vote. And Senate Republicans showed the American people exactly who they are. They showed that they’re not willing to stand up and protect something that 92% of Americans support.

“To Senate Republicans who argue federal protections for birth control are unnecessary, go ask the people of Virginia what they think after their Republican governor vetoed a bill that would have protected contraceptives at the state level.

“Go ask the people of Nevada what they think after their Republican governor also vetoed a bill to protect access to birth control.

“And to those who say birth control will never fall at risk, go ask the people of Arizona, or Florida, or Idaho, or Iowa, or Missouri. In each of these states, Republican governors or Republican state legislators are on record blocking protections for birth control access in some form or another.”

Earlier, Sen. Elizabeth Warren claimed the anti-choice advocates have used the issue as part of their ultimate goal of “controlling women’s bodies and futures.”

Vice President Kamala Harris was more blunt: “Donald Trump is to blame.”

Earlier, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, President Biden’s campaign manager, summed up the situation facing American women thusly: “Simply put: November’s election will determine whether women in the United States have reproductive freedom, or whether Trump’s new government will continue its assault to control women’s health care decisions.”

Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson
Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democrats. He lives in Duncan, following a sporadic career as a small-town journalist, mostly in Texas, and as an editor of educational audio-visual materials. Some days he's a philosopher/poet, others a poet/philosopher.