Alabama, USA government attacks women’s reproductive rights


This 16 May 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Abortion Ban – What Happens to Unwanted Children When Abortion is Illegal?

What happens to children born because abortion is illegal? Will the new abortion ban leave unwanted children without proper care? A Thom Hartmann listener calls in to tell her story of going through life feeling like she was an unwanted child. Should anyone have to go through this?

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

Alabama abortion ban: Back to barbarism

16 May 2019

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law Wednesday afternoon the most stringent ban on abortion in any state, criminalizing the medical procedure except in cases where the life or health of the mother is in serious danger. An amendment to permit abortion in cases of rape and incest was removed from the bill when it reached the floor of the state Senate on May 9.

The new law imposes a prison term of up to 99 years for any doctor who performs an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman. There is a ten-year term for attempting to perform an abortion. While women who receive an abortion are not explicitly criminalized, the law establishes “personhood” for a fetus from the moment of conception. This opens the door for criminal prosecution for child abuse of pregnant women for any conduct deemed to be potentially damaging to the fetus.

Republican legislators in the state House and state Senate decided to enact the most extreme anti-abortion bill in order to give the US Supreme Court the opportunity to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which threw out state laws criminalizing abortion. Rep. Terri Collins, the sponsor of the bill, was quite explicit that the ban on abortion for victims of rape and incest was necessary in order to assert, in the face of expected legal challenges in the federal courts, the principle that a fetus is a living person from the moment of conception, with full constitutional rights.

The Alabama law is an outrageous act of medieval barbarism. Its consequences, should it eventually be upheld by the courts, would be to force women seeking abortion in Alabama into back-alley procedures at greatly increased risk of death or mutilation. This danger will face working class women especially, since wealthier women will be able to travel to other states to have the procedure. This is in a state so impoverished and with such a deficient social infrastructure that more than half of its counties have no obstetricians.

The law is unconstitutional, not merely because it directly contradicts the Roe v. Wade precedent, but because it represents the elevation of a religious doctrine to state policy in violation of the First Amendment ban on the establishment of religion. Alabama legislators were quite explicit about the religious motivation for the law.

Republican Senator Clyde Chambliss, a sponsor of the bill, argued against exceptions for rape and incest, declaring, “When God creates the miracle of life inside a woman’s womb, it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life.” The House sponsor, Terri Collins, said the bill was the outcome of “prayer”. This directly contradicts the First Amendment, which bans translating into law—imposed on all citizens—the religious prejudices of fundamentalist Protestants or the corrupt Roman Catholic hierarchy.

There is every reason to believe that the five-member ultra-right majority on the US Supreme Court is looking for an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade, despite the perfunctory statements made by four of the five during their confirmation hearings that Roe was a settled precedent. Significantly, the high court on Monday went out of its way to overturn a 40-year-old precedent dealing with an obscure issue of state sovereignty, namely, whether states have sovereign immunity from lawsuits by residents of other states.

Justice Stephen Breyer in his dissent said that the five-member right-wing majority was setting a precedent for overturning well-established precedents and warned, “Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next.” The unstated reference to the 46-year-old Roe v. Wade decision was understood by all court observers.

There are a multitude of abortion rights cases now in the federal courts, triggered by a wave of restrictive legislation enacted by Republican-controlled state legislatures, mainly in the period since Trump entered the White House and appointed two ferociously anti-abortion justices to the Supreme Court. Neil Gorsuch replaced Antonin Scalia, which did not shift the balance on the court on the issue, but Brett Kavanaugh replaced Anthony Kennedy, who had been the swing vote on numerous abortion rights cases and co-wrote the current controlling decision, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which represented a restriction on abortion rights but left Roe v. Wade basically intact.

Just since January, four states—Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio—have enacted “fetal heartbeat” laws that ban abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy. The sole purpose of these laws is to block the vast majority of abortions, since few women are even certain they are pregnant only six weeks after conception.

One law, introduced in Texas but not yet enacted, goes even further: it would remove the exemption of abortion from the state definition of homicide, making every woman who receives an abortion potentially a candidate for Death Row.

These are not merely state decisions. They have national implications. It cannot be ruled out that state laws criminalizing abortion within a state will be interpreted to criminalize the conduct of a woman who travels outside the state to obtain an abortion, as well as the actions of those who help her. This is the barbaric logic of the position that “abortion is murder.”

Moreover, there is no reason to believe that the Supreme Court majority will not go beyond merely reversing Roe v. Wade, which would leave abortion policy to the states. Also possible is a sort of Dred Scott decision in the sphere of women’s rights, requiring states that recognize abortion rights to enforce the prohibitions enacted by anti-abortion states, just as Trump is seeking to compel “sanctuary cities” to enforce the most draconian attacks on immigrants and refugees.

Beyond the legal counterrevolution against Roe is the implacable withdrawal of social support for women seeking an abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 90 percent of all US counties have no abortion provider. In seven American states, there is only a single abortion provider in the entire state. Alabama has only three. Even a large, densely populated Midwest state like Ohio has only 10, down from 45 in 1992. Twenty-seven large American cities have no abortion provider.

And abortions are not covered under Medicaid or Obamacare—because of continuous capitulations by the Democrats on this issue. The result is that for much of the United States, working class women have already been deprived of the right to abortion. They cannot fly to New York, Chicago or Los Angeles to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

Over decades in which the right to abortion has been largely eviscerated, the Democratic Party, always cowering before the Christian right, has done little to defend it.

Nancy Pelosi tweeted this week against “this relentless and cruel Republican assault on women’s health.” But during the 2018 campaign she declared that defense of the right to an abortion was not a “litmus test” and insisted on backing Democrats in some congressional districts who held equally “cruel” views.

Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and other presidential candidates also condemned the decision. But none of them have made the defense of abortion rights, particularly in the South and in rural areas, a major feature of their campaigns. This is despite Trump’s repeated declarations that he intends to make the overturn of Roe v. Wade a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.

Now the incessant talk of “empowering” women—which means, of course, bourgeois women—runs into the embarrassing spectacle of Alabama’s first female governor, once hailed as a moderating influence on the Republican Party, signing into law the most restrictive anti-woman legislation in recent American history.

The reality is that abortion is a democratic right that is of particular importance to the working class. It is working class women who must make difficult decisions about how and when to have children. They face the greatest danger of becoming pregnant through rape or some other form of abuse. The class divide in American society applies just as forcefully in that sphere as in any other.

Abortion rights … can be defended only through the struggle, led by the working class, against the capitalist system and all of its political representatives.

I’m From Alabama And Gave Birth To My Rapist’s Child Because I Couldn’t Get An Abortion: here.

WAVE OF PROTESTS PLANNED OVER ABORTION BANS Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Women’s March, NARAL Pro-Choice America and other groups are organizing nationwide demonstrations on Tuesday to protest the wave of new state laws restricting abortion. [HuffPost]

MISSOURI LAWMAKER BACKPEDALS ON ‘CONSENSUAL RAPE’ CLAIM A Missouri Republican who referenced “consensual rapes” during a debate over his state’s proposed eight-week abortion ban has walked back the remark, reportedly claiming he misspoke. [HuffPost]

Protests erupt across US over barbaric anti-abortion ban in Alabama: here.

Lawyers for the young Alabama woman who was five months pregnant and is facing a manslaughter charge after she was the victim of a shooting that led to a miscarriage filed a motion in Jefferson County Circuit Court this week to have all charges dismissed. The attempted prosecution of 27-year-old Marshae Jones is part of the escalating effort to reverse the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion by granting full legal rights to the human fetus. It is also bound up with a law-and-order frenzy that criminalizes the poor: here.

ABORTION ‘GAG RULE’ EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY Taxpayer-funded family planning clinics must stop referring women for abortions immediately, the Trump administration said, declaring it will begin enforcing a new regulation hailed by religious conservatives and denounced by medical organizations and women’s rights groups. [AP]

11 thoughts on “Alabama, USA government attacks women’s reproductive rights

  1. Dear ,

    Please forward this message to everyone else you know. And we want to take a moment to thank all the people who have written us recently, both by email and by physical mailed letter, to tell us how much they appreciate our messages. It means alot and we thank you for your kind affirmation.

    Our job, in sharing these messages with you, is to look into the future and tell you what is coming, in the hope that you will take action to alter that future reality.

    Of all the lies told by those looking to criminalize abortion in increasingly draconian ways, the biggest of those lies is that, were Roe. v. Wade to be overturned, it would just go to the individual states to make their own laws.

    Case in point is the new law just signed by the governor in Alabama, that purports to outlaw abortion if only the woman KNOWS she is pregnant. Which immediately begs the question of why a woman would seek an abortion UNLESS she knew she was pregnant. “Hey, doc, I don’t know if I’m pregnant or not, but give me an abortion just for the hell of it.”

    The new Alabama law was written to ask the Supreme Court to rule literally that personhood begins at conception, on that basis. If the Supreme Court was to so rule, it is inescapable that abortion would be banned NATIONWIDE, not just in states dominated by hypocritical bible thumpers.

    They were lying when the told us don’t worry about all these doctrinaire Catholics being appointed to the Supreme Court talking about how much they respected stare decisis. And they are absolutely lying when they pretend this is just about individual states rights.

    Think you can go to another state for an abortion now, assuming you can afford the cost of such a trek? Georgia has you covered there, making it a crime to go to another state for the PURPOSE of an abortion.

    We are not persuaded that Chief Justice John Roberts will go for full, across the board, criminalization in one go. It is his style to work such drastic shifts incrementally. But if Trump is permitted to appoint a 3rd justice to the Supreme Court, there is no limit to what cruel decision they might issue in short order.

    And as Alabama also demonstrates, they aren’t even bothering to allow exceptions for rape or incest anymore. They are demanding proof that the woman will herself die from the pregnancy. What will they do to the dead woman then, prosecute her for not bringing the pregnancy to term, calling it abortion by self-death? This is sectarian religious absolutism in its most extreme form.

    We might mention we made some “Rape Is No Choice” bumper stickers a while back. And we’ll send you one right now for a contribution of any amount you can afford.

    Rape Is No Choice bumper stickers: https://www.utalk.us/?g=SR

    Or if you just want to make a contribution of any amount, this is what keeps this free and vital progressive activist resource going, And we’ve been faithfully doing it for a decade and a half already. You can even make it recurrent, but checking the box for that, and we thank you.

    And here is the mailing address if you would prefer to send a check.

    The People’s Email Network, PO Box 35022, L.A., CA 90035

    You may forward this message to any friends who would find it important.

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  2. When Republicans tried to pass a “Heartbeat Bill” in Congress, I was the only woman lawmaker in the room.

    It was truly disturbing to see Republican men try to strip away the constitutional rights and privacy of women everywhere.

    So, I was devastated last week when I heard Republicans in Georgia passed a Heartbeat Bill that bans all abortion after 6 weeks.

    And with anti-choice conservatives like Brett Kavanaugh sitting on the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade is hanging on by a thread.

    That’s why I need you to sign my petition to STOP Republicans from banning abortion. Women across the country are counting on you. Sign on now >>
    STOP REPUBLICANS FROM BANNING ABORTION ➞

    Republicans claim to be on the side of life.

    But they continue to cut health care for mothers, attack programs meant to improve the lives of women and children, and undermine access to contraception.

    And placing extreme restrictions on access to safe abortions doesn’t stop women from having them — it just puts them in danger.

    There’s no telling the lengths Republicans will go to strip women of our constitutional rights, so we have to act.

    It’s up to progressives like you and me to take a stand and protect a woman’s right to choose. Please, sign my petition now to stop Republicans from banning abortion >>

    Thank you for standing up for women everywhere.

    Pramila Jayapal

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  3. Since Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a deadly abortion ban into law last week, big name film producers and directors — including Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams — have spoken out against the law, and many Hollywood production companies have vowed they’ll never work in Georgia while this ban is in effect.1 This is already having an impact on the anti-choice politicians who supported the bill. Gov. Kemp even canceled a yearly visit to Hollywood to drum up business for the state.2

    That means there’s huge momentum around pressuring Netflix — one of the biggest players in the film industry, and a company that brings millions of dollars into Georgia each year — to speak out.3 If we can get Netflix to stop filming in Georgia, we’ll be one step closer to getting this ban repealed and it will be clear to anti-choice politicians across the country that there is an economic cost to putting women’s lives in danger.

    So right now it’s key to ratchet up the pressure — by getting personal.

    One in four women will have an abortion in their lifetime.4 That means nearly every person knows someone with an abortion story. And it is time Netflix hears yours.

    Netflix is active on Twitter and often responds to users who tweet at its @netflixhelps handle. We can keep the pressure on with real stories about the impact these dangerous laws have on people’s lives directly.

    Will you share how abortion bans and restrictions in your state have impacted you, your loved ones, or your community?

    Here is how:

    Click the tweet link below.
    Important: Be sure to edit and personalize the tweet with YOUR story to share with Netflix.
    Make sure to include the hashtag #DearNetflix and the @netflixhelps handle.
    Ask others to tweet at Netflix too!

    .@netflixhelps, #DearNetflix, abortion bans and restrictions hurt me, my family, and my community. Please speak up for women and stop filming in Georgia. #StopTheBans

    Don’t have a Twitter? Netflix still needs to hear from you. You can send us your story and we will make sure Netflix receives it.

    Submit your story on how abortion bans impact you, your family, or your community.
    Thank you for taking action!

    — Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Emma, Natalie, Melody, Pam, Lindsay, Ryan, Sonja, Noma, and Kimberly, the UltraViolet team

    Sources:

    1. J.J. Abrams, Jordan Peele Condemn Georgia Abortion Law, Will Donate Show Proceeds to Fight It, Hollywood Reporter, May 10, 2019

    2. Kemp postpones film event in LA amid ‘heartbeat’ bill fallout, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 14, 2019

    3. Another record-breaking year for Georgia film and TV: 455 productions, $2.7 billion in direct spending, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 21, 2018

    4. Induced Abortion in the United States Fact Sheet, Guttmacher Institute, January 2018

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  4. From gutting family planning funding to striking down protections for people with pre-existing conditions in court to abortion bans in Missouri, Alabama, and states across the country, it is more clear than ever that women’s rights and access to health care in this country are under threat.

    Especially during National Women’s Health Week, we must stand together to fight the relentless attacks on women’s health from President Trump and Republicans in state legislatures and Congress.

    Add your name now to stand up for women’s health and oppose the GOP’s attacks.

    The Trump administration’s attempts to weaken the Title X program could result in hundreds of thousands of patients being denied access to essential care from the providers they trust.

    President Trump is currently arguing in court to take away protections for millions of people across the country with a pre-existing condition—making health care more expensive and out of reach for the families who need it most.

    And it’s not just Missouri and Alabama, Republicans in states around the country are doing everything they can to undermine, and ultimately, eliminate a woman’s constitutional right to a safe, legal abortion.

    Now, more than ever, we must stand up for women’s health. Sign on to join the fight.

    Thank you,

    Senator Patty Murray

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  5. On Wednesday, Governor Ivey signed Alabama’s total abortion ban into law. The authors of the bill have said outright they intend it to overturn Roe v. Wade, and other states are sure to follow. We must do everything in our power to keep abortion safe and legal. Will you rush an emergency donation to UltraViolet Action today?

    CONTRIBUTE

    Linda,

    The Alabama state legislature just passed a TOTAL ban on abortion at any stage of pregnancy, with ZERO exceptions for rape or incest.1

    Under the Alabama abortion ban, doctors who even attempt to provide abortion care face up to 99 years in prison. It’s the most severe abortion ban in the country, even worse than Georgia’s six-week ban. It’s a direct shot aimed at the heart of Roe v. Wade and is sure to be signed by the governor any day now.

    Now, anti-choice politicians all over the country are watching to see how we react. Because if they can get away with this, they’ll go even further by banning abortion nationwide.

    Abortion rights are in greater danger than at any time since Roe v. Wade was decided nearly 50 years ago. Will you rush an emergency donation to UltraViolet Action and help fight back and keep abortion safe and legal?

    UltraViolet is using every leverage point we can find to defend abortion rights:

    1. Economic pressure: UltraViolet Education Fund is pressuring the entertainment industry to boycott Georgia, which has the biggest film industry in the country along with California. Netflix in particular can have an impact by pulling blockbuster productions like “Stranger Things” out of Georgia. This is the same strategy that was used to fight for transgender rights in North Carolina after the passage of the so-called “Bathroom Bill,” and it worked.

    2. Political accountability: UltraViolet Action is making sure politicians who turn their backs on women are held accountable by their constituents. That means Senator Susan Collins of Maine, who has told voters for decades that she’s pro-choice but cast the deciding vote for Brett Kavanaugh. It means governors like Brian Kemp, who stole his election from Stacey Abrams. We will not pull punches and we will not forget.

    3. Protests in the streets: During Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, UltraViolet Action organized rallies and sit-ins in front of key Senate offices around the country and in D.C. And when the Kavanaugh-Gorsuch Supreme Court takes up the Alabama and Georgia abortion bans, we’ll be in the streets again to make sure they know that the credibility of the Supreme Court itself is on the line.

    The wave of abortion bans we’re seeing today isn’t an accident or coincidence. The bans are a direct consequence of the election of Donald Trump, the theft of Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court seat by Mitch McConnell, and the additions of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

    With five anti-choice justices on the Court, anti-choice activists have been emboldened to go after Roe v. Wade and ban all abortion beginning at the very earliest possible point in pregnancy with no exceptions.

    We must do everything in our power to keep abortion safe and legal. Will you rush an emergency donation to UltraViolet Action today?

    Thank you for joining in.

    –Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Holly, Kathy, Susan, Anathea, Emma, Kimberly, Natalie, Melody, Lindsay, Pam, Ryan, Sonja, Noma, and Kimberly, the UltraViolet Action team

    CONTRIBUTE

    Source:

    1. Lawmakers Vote to Effectively Ban Abortion in Alabama, New York Times, May 14, 2019

    Like

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  9. Join us, and over 45 partners tomorrow at 12pm local time, for the #StopTheBans day of action to speak out and fight back against unconstitutional attacks on abortion and reproductive health freedom. We will stand in solidarity, with women, and especially the women of color and low-income women, who are most affected by these cruel bills. You can sign up here to join an event near you or host your own event.

    We know that reproductive freedom does not exist in a silo — that it is closely interwoven with the fight for immigration, the fight to stop endless wars, and several other issues Indivisibles care about. That’s why this week while we rally and push back against anti-choice extremists, we can’t take our eyes off of defunding hate and stopping Trump from starting more wars.

    We’re at our most powerful when we come together in solidarity, and continue to fight for a more inclusive democracy. Join us tomorrow by visiting stopabortionbans.org and finding an event near you.

    Your 5 weekly to-dos

    No more money for Trump’s deportation machine. Trump wants billions more in supplemental funding for detention beds, ICE boots, and deadly border enforcement. We’re hearing that Congressional Democrats have agreed to give him large portions of that money. Tell your member of Congress (MoC) you expect them to #DefundHate by voting no on any additional money for Trump’s cruel immigration policies.

    It’s time to pass the Dream and Promise Act. The markup (debate and amendment period) for H.R. 6 is scheduled for May 22, which means Democrats are on the cusp of finally standing up to Trump’s cruel, racist immigration policies. But there’s still a risk they’ll try to water down this bill in committee before it gets a final vote; make sure to call your MoC and tell them to vote for the Dream and Promise Act, and reject any amendments or motions to recommit that would weaken it.

    Don’t let Trump get us into another endless war. After a week of stories about the Trump administration fueling conflict with Iran, led by noted war enthusiast and National Security Advisor John Bolton, it’s clear that Congress needs to act to prevent another endless war in the Middle East. Call your MoC and tell them to co-sponsor H.R. 2354 / S. 1039 to explicitly deny Trump the authority he needs to go to war with Iran.

    Democrats need to keep their promise on lowering drug prices by passing H.R. 1046. During the 2018 midterms, Democrats promised to unleash Medicare’s power to negotiate drug prices to make medicine more affordable. But now they’re considering a weak, arbitration-based approach, instead of strong legislation that would erode Big Pharma’s monopoly power. Call your MoC and tell them to reject arbitration, and to co-sponsor H.R. 1046 to lower drug prices.

    Take the #WeAreIndivisible pledge. We’ve got 15 candidates and over 28,000 grassroots activists signed up. But this simple ask will take all of us to uphold. So, if you haven’t already, take the pledge and add your name. And if your local group is ready to commit to our weekend of action on July 2020, register your event on the map here.

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