In just two states, another Republican candidate, Matt Burke, running for lieutenant governor in Minnesota, described arguments that abortion care in cases of rape and adultery should be treated as “playing the rape card.” should As Bess reports for Levin Vanity fair:
“Rape is obviously a terrible thing,” Birk said. “But abortion is not going to heal her wounds. Two wrongs, it’s going to fix it. … One argument I probably saw online 20 times today was about rape. And you know, obviously, they always want to go on the rape card.
Watch Burke express her fierce sentiments—including railing against career women, and comparing abortion to slavery—below.
10 years ago, statements like those of Birks and Dixon would have alienated enough voters to sink the political ambitions of most of the far-right. Now they are considered legitimate speech by many, and probably earn a day or two of scolding or shaming on Twitter before being lost in the shadows of the next outrage.
In Indiana, Republican legislators are being praised for banning abortion in that state while allowing exceptions for rape, immorality, or where “the life of the mother” is in danger. To his credit, Democratic state Sen. Shelley Yoder called the Republican legislation “unforgivable” and “Violation of women’s well-being, freedom and livelihood.“
Yet this is all a normalization process in action. As described by the misogynist Aunt Lydia in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale:
Normal, said Aunt Lydia, is what you’re used to. It may not seem normal to you now, but after a while it will. It will become normal.
As a practical matter, with cry Gone are the so-called “exceptions” for rape and indecency, or the life of the pregnant person is effectively irrelevant in states banning abortion. What doctor or clinic, facing criminal penalties including loss of license and imprisonment, would be willing to take a patient’s word regarding the cause of her pregnancy? What medical practitioner, as a matter of sheer self-preservation, would not insist on a legal determination – which could take months – before performing such a procedure on a desperate patient?
And who would shut the door firmly and ward off such requests?
The birther crowd knows this well; In fact, they are banking on it. But it’s telling that the movement no longer feels compelled to offer such fig-leaf displays of compassion to anyone facing an unwanted pregnancy.
Reporting for Jess Bidgood Boston Globe, Interviewed Laurie Bertram-Roberts of the Alabama-based Yellowhammer Fund, an advocacy group for people seeking abortions:
“Discount [were] It’s a way for the GOP to say, you know, ‘Don’t worry now, now, or there, there, don’t worry your pretty little heads,'” said Yellowhammer’s Bertram Roberts, though he said it was telling them they’re letting them go, given the optics. “They should at least say ‘Hey, we’ll still be here when you need your good abortion.’ Now, they’re just being blunt about it and saying, ‘Honestly, we don’t care.’
And indeed, there is currently a concerted, coordinated effort underway by the Forced Birthers and their supporters. They are determined to convince Americans that what is being done to people who get pregnant is no big deal, that they should not concern themselves – because, in fact, nothing has changed.
As reported by Kiera Butler and Maddie Ottman mother jones:
Late last month, Shortly after the US Supreme Court struck down federal protections for abortion rights, Dr. Christina Francis, an OB/GYN based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, took to Instagram with an urgent message: She wants her followers to know that even in states where abortion will soon be illegal, doctors still Will be able to terminate the pregnancy to save the life of the mother. “Treating ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages or other life-threatening conditions in pregnancy is not the same as abortion,” she said in a video she shot of herself from inside a car. “This is very important to clarify because I know many women are afraid that they may not be able to get life-saving care if they need it.”
As Butler and Ottman explain, this completely false post, which quickly went viral on Instagram and TikTok, “had the effect of offering a clear path forward,” boldly assuring thousands of viewers that Is their life, they have to endure unfortunate, life-threatening. Pregnancy will not be at risk.
But the post was a deliberate lie, deliberately spread on social media by people who had previously pushed the law.
Dr. Frances left out some key information about herself: she is a member of the anti-choice organization American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), as well as the anti-choice think tank Charlotte Lozier Institute. Her video was part of an all-out smear campaign by the anti-abortion movement to downplay the impact of the decision. cry— with the help of powerful social media influencers who have built their brand by spreading misinformation about COVID.
Other anti-choice groups, such as Austin, Texas-based Live Action, have deliberately spread misinformation to minimize the devastating impact of these laws on people needing treatment for abortions and ectopic pregnancies. They do so as it was reported that an Austin pharmacy advised OB-GYNs in that state that it would no longer fill prescriptions for methotrexate, the only nonsurgical treatment for ectopic pregnancies — and with It is the only reliable effective medicine against it. Many autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, for which it is widely prescribed.
Again, the point is to create a sense of calm, a false reassurance: “Yes, we’ve taken away a basic right from you, but it’s really not as bad as you’ve heard.”
Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest purveyors of misinformation about the true impact of these laws are the same people who spread conspiracy theories and lies about the effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines. These include self-made “social media” stars who work closely with QAnon conspirators, for whom spreading misinformation about abortion is a small change from their vaccine lies.
A prominent anti-vaxxer “personality” suggested that the Supreme Court rejected cry Allegedly to “cover up” the declining birth rate due to the COVID-19 vaccines. Others, such as anti-vaxxer Naomi Wolf, have equated the passage of such laws with a twisted sense of feminist “empowerment”: “An American woman has choices and powers that did not exist in 1973,” she writes. “She can buy contraceptives.”
Of course, as Butler and Ottman point out, the same groups that have now effectively outlawed abortion in many states are also targeting hormonal birth control, such as Plan B, for its use in abortion. with equality. And as The Daily Kos’ Jon McCarter wrote Thursday, nearly 200 House Republicans voted against protecting access to contraception.
In a 228-195 vote, the House voted Thursday morning to enshrine federal protections of access to contraceptives without government restrictions into law, with only eight Republicans voting “yes” and two cowardly Republicans voting “no.” Yes, 195 lawmakers believe the federal government should not guarantee that Americans have the basic right to plan their families. Put another way, 195 Republicans believe a state government should be able to deny you that right.
one a hundred And. ninety five
So it has to be shouted again and again. And the vote needs to happen in the Senate, can we see again that Republicans think they need to be smack dab in the middle of controlling your personal life.
The unnecessary neglect of those who are capable of becoming pregnant, and forcing them to position only the reproductive vessels, is perhaps the best of the anti-abortion groups’ arguments for opposing termination of abortion in the event of severe fetal birth defects. method is described.
And what about the heartbreaking decision that some pregnant people face when tests reveal that the fetus suffers from serious genetic disorders? Enter another strain of misleading posts, such as the one promoted by Live Action, which tries to convince readers that abortion is not necessary in cases where the fetus has severe birth defects — because, of the group Accordingly, the fetus will die on its own.”
All these distortions and rationalizations, whether by cynical Republican politicians, by so-called “pro-life” tyrants, by the misanthropic Christian Right, or by self-promoting “Internet doctors” trying to monetize their social media presence, all share a common Assumption: They hope that everyone who can get pregnant will gradually begin to accept their inevitable status as second-class human beings. that they would eventually accept this grotesque intrusion on their autonomy as something normal; And most importantly, they will stop their efforts to codify the right to abortion care.
Aside from the sheer audacity of this assumption, history suggests they are wrong. Whether it is the case of a Republican legislator’s daughter being found face down and dead in a hotel after an untimely miscarriage; Is it one of those young, idealistic right-wing women who claim to be part of the “post-“cry” Generation is being denied the process she desperately sought after fleeing her boyfriend’s Christian clutches; Or whether it’s a corporate CEO caught ordering mifepristone online for his mistress, one thing’s for sure: the horror stories of these terrible laws keep coming, and coming.
Yet we should never take them for granted.
These 15 abortion funds are providing financial and practical assistance to people seeking abortion care in adversarial states. Each abortion fund listed works in their communities to remove barriers to abortion access. Please chip in to support their work … and fight back.