Thursday, May 16, 2019

America's new normal for women - red capes and white hoods

Well, brothers, we’re not quite ready to make over our sisters into handmaids yet but a couple of dozen states, led by Alabama, would be perfectly happy with that.

In this morning’s Subscriber’s Post, Judd Legum (popular.info) reports on The corporations backing Alabama’s war on women.

On Wednesday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a draconian bill that would effectively ban all abortions in the state. The radical legislation would be a dramatic step backward for women’s rights and gender equality – banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions in Alabama could face up to 99 years in jail.

The effort was spearheaded by Alabama’s Republican leadership: Speaker Mac McCutcheon, Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter, Senate President (and Lt. Governor) Will Ainsworth, and Majority Leader Greg Reed. The bill was sponsored by a Republican Senator, Clyde Chambliss.

McCutcheon stressed that the purpose of the bill was to prompt the Supreme Court to reverse Roe v. Wade. “Alabama, as a whole in the state, is a pro-life state. What we as a state are doing, is trying to address the national problem,” he said.

There are just four women in the Alabama state Senate.

Meanwhile, some of America’s most prominent corporations are backing these politicians – and their war on women’s rights – with campaign cash. These are the same companies that publicly claim to support gender equality and women’s rights.

Coca-Cola
AT&T
Exxon
Pfizer
Walmart
Boeing
State Farm
Eli Lilly
Caterpillar
Koch Industries
Draft Kings
Altria
Comcast
Caremark
Anheuser-Busch

The companies highlighted in bold print donated to my favorite ’bama GOPlin, bill sponsor Republican Senator, Clyde Chambliss. Why? Check out Rachel Maddow’s report from last night’s show. What this dildo head is arguing is that abortions are OK until you know you’re pregnant. An abortion a day will keep the Republicans away?

Here is more from the New York Times editorial board in How to Help Protect Abortion Rights in Alabama and Georgia. America is in an era of extreme anti-abortion laws.

All eyes were on Alabama on Tuesday as the State Senate debated, and then passed, what could become the most restrictive abortion law in the country. Under the legislation, which the Republican governor, Kay Ivey, signed Wednesday, women in Alabama would be forced to carry unwanted or nonviable pregnancies to term in nearly all circumstances, including when a pregnancy results from rape or incest. Doctors who perform the procedure would face felony charges and up to 99 years in prison — which is more prison time than convicted rapists face in the state.

Showing just how far to the right the anti-abortion movement has pushed the “center” of the abortion debate, it was the bill’s rape and incest exceptions, since removed, that dominated the conversation in the Alabama Senate. It seemed forgone that the state would ban abortions for a vast majority of the women there. Lawmakers supporting abortion rights were left arguing to preserve the rape and incest exceptions.

There is a strategy behind this law’s remarkable cruelty, and its supporters have not been subtle about it. The bill’s sponsor in the Alabama House, Terri Collins, said that the legislation was designed to produce a legal case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. When asked the purpose of the bill on Tuesday, Clyde Chambliss, the Senate sponsor, said, “So that we can go directly to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade.” (Highlighting the ignorance behind so much anti-abortion legislation, Mr. Chambliss also seemed to argue repeatedly on Tuesday that women in Alabama would still be able to get abortions — but only before they knew they were pregnant.) From that ABC News report in the above link:

Chambliss said that abortions could only be provided “until the woman is known to be pregnant”

If you want to know where this is going, check out the Trumpian plans for contraception.

Back in November (2018) Rolling Stone reported that the Trump Administration Quietly Unveils New Rules Targeting Birth Control and Abortion.

A record number of women — mostly Democrats, many of them galvanized by the threat the Trump administration poses to reproductive freedom — were swept into Congress during in the 2018 midterm elections. The results were still being tabulated on Wednesday when Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services quietly finalized two rules empowering employers, universities and nonprofits to refuse birth control coverage to women.

A third rule, also announced Wednesday, would require insurers on the Affordable Care Act marketplace to charge women a separate monthly bill for abortion coverage — a change that advocates say would be so prohibitively expensive it could force insurers to stop offering the procedure altogether.

The new rules were announced just hours after voters in Alabama overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment granting full legal rights to fertilized eggs — a law so far-reaching that not only would it ban abortion in the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned, reproductive rights groups say it could ultimately mean the criminalization certain types of birth control, including IUDs and the morning after pill.

So, about the trend toward women as handmaids, check out what Stephen Colbert had to say. He ends by asking us to consider making vasectomies felonies. Dark humor, to be sure, but it is a logical extension of the morphing of anti-abortion legislation to state control of contraception to total elimination of reproductive rights.

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