I didn’t realize that triggering court challenges is the point of extreme anti-choice legislation:
Ohio Republicans this week gave up on their so-called “heartbeat” bill, which would have banned abortions so early that many women might not realize they were pregnant by the time they needed to make a decision. You might think Ohio Republicans pulled their bill because voters sent a strong enough signal this month that restrictive social policies do not make for a winning agenda.
But that’s not why. The point of a bill like Ohio’s is to get sued over. Backers want supporters of abortion rights to challenge the law in court, and the higher the court, the better. With President Obama now in charge of picking Supreme Court nominees for the next four years, Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus (R) decided he didn’t like his chances. From the AP:
Ohio anti-abortion activists were fiercely divided over the bill, with some fearing a court challenge could undo other abortion restrictions already in place.
"The risk became, do you send a bill to the U.S. Supreme Court that has the potential to undermine all of the good work that the right-to-life community has done over the previous decades?" Niehaus said. "Could it have undone Roe v. Wade? I don’t know the answer to that question. That appeared to me to be an extreme risk to take, and I was not willing to take that risk."
The Obama reelection has set back the national anti-choice agenda for another 4 years at minimum and perhaps much longer if he ends up appointing another Supreme Court justice or two.
- Reproductive Rights Network of Santa Cruz County
- ACCESS Women’s Health Justice
- Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP)
- Make a Difference Fund
District Of Columbia
Distrito Federal (Mexico City)
- Roe Fund
- North Florida Justice Fund
- Emergency Medical Assistance Inc.
- Women’s Emergency Network
- Broward Women’s Emergency Fund
- Central Florida Women’s Emergency Fund
- Illinois Reproductive Justice Fund
- Planned Parenthood of Illinois Reproductive Justice Fund
- Chicago Abortion Fund
- Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund
- Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts
- Jane Fund of Central Massachusetts
- Abortion Assistance Fund of Planned Parenthood New Mexico
- New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
- Abortion Fund of Planned Parenthood of NYC
- Joan Bechhofer Fund
- New York Abortion Access Fund
- Access Fund of Aphrodite Medical
- Haven Coalition
- Third Wave Foundation Emergency Abortion Fund
- Women’s Medical Fund
- Vivian Campbell Fund
- Margaret C. Rubin Freedom Fund
- Planned Parenthood of Northeast and Mid-Penn Fund for Choice
- Western Pennsylvania Fund for Choice
- North Idaho Fund
- Women in Need Fund—Renton
- Women in Need Fund—Tacoma
- Abortion Access Network
- Community Abortion Information and Resources Project (CAIR Project)
My state is not on this list :( My state is horrible. For everyone whose state is NOT horrible, I hope this helps you.
Bringing this back.
Most people aren’t even aware that Abortion Funds even exist.
It wasn’t long before pro-life racists got ahold of the story.
This part was great, though:
“Claims about Indians and sex-selective abortions are a cheap way to attack Savita’s Indian heritage, MY heritage, as one which is violently disproportionate in favour of men. However, if you consider that India (1966 & 1980), Sri Lanka (1960* the first female head of a modern post-colonial state), Pakistan (1988 and 1993), and Bangladesh - the “Battling Begums” (1991, 2001, 1996, 2009) all have had female heads of state far earlier than any western country did (including the UK with Thatcher in 1979 and Mary Robinson in Ireland in 1990), you have to wonder – for countries which are portrayed as being so patriarchal and male dominated – we didn’t too badly did we bredrens?.”
Good blog post. I am glad to see some pushback from Indians and anti-racists about the ways some feminists, anti-choice assholes, and bigots have been misappropriating Savita Halappanavar’s life and death.
A reminder of how racism and xenophobia intersected with misogyny in the tragic and needless death of Savita Halappanavar:
According to Savita’s widower Parveen, his wife’s requests for a termination were met with the response, “This is a Catholic country”. When I read that I went cold. I’ve heard things like that before.
If someone starts telling you what country you’re in, or telling you screamingly obvious facts about that country, it’s time to look at them sideways. If your appearance, name or accent mark you out as foreign, you want to be wary of people who say that.
I’ve heard that turn of phrase used in schools to shut down kids from immigrant backgrounds. I’ve heard workers use it to intimidate and undermine colleagues.
People simply do not bring up the country they are in in a context like that unless they are being racist.
The only reason I can see that an educated adult woman of Indian origin would be suddenly, randomly, informed of the dominant religious belief of the country in which she was begging for medical treatment is that her ethnicity and religion were an issue for the medical staff treating her. That her pleas for a termination were taken less seriously because they were perceived as the pleas of an unchurched foreigner who should have more respect for Irish Catholic beliefs…
I’m not saying that racism killed Savita Halappanavar.
I don’t think it was medical incompetence, or institutional misogyny, or even Catholic dogma.
It wasn’t one of these things. It was, I believe, all of them: a fatal intersectionality, if you like, of oppression.
…[I]in 2010, Sister Margaret McBride, an administrator in a Catholic Hospital in Phoenix, was fired and excommunicated after she approved a first-trimester abortion for a woman with life-threatening pulmonary hypertension. What happens in Catholic hospitals when there’s no Sister Margaret willing to risk the bishops’ wrath? With conscience clauses expanding to cover not just individual doctors but whole hospitals, a pregnant woman may find her care is being dictated not by standard health protocols but by a religion she doesn’t even follow…
The repudiation of openly misogynistic candidates by voters in the 2012 election doesn’t mean we can relax. Religious zealots and conservative misogynists in our country are still trying to roll back reproductive rights at the cost of women’s lives, health, and freedom:
Some background on the Irish legal/political anti-choice clusterfuck that resulted in the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar:
…Chief amongst the social crises of 1992 was the X-case. A fourteen year-old girl, pregnant as the result of rape by a neighbor, sought to leave the country to have an abortion in England, as thousands of Irish women did and still do. Her parents asked the police whether it would be possible to collect any DNA evidence during this process, which brought the matter to the Attorney General’s attention. He sought, and was granted, a court injunction preventing her from traveling for the abortion under Article 40.3.3 of the Irish constitution, which had been passed in 1983 as the “Pro-Life amendment” and which prohibited abortion in Ireland. The resulting constitutional crisis saw the Supreme Court issue a hasty ruling permitting the girl to travel, but under a strained interpretation of the law. So in November of 1992 the Government introduced three new amendments meant to clarify things. The result was that things reverted much to the status quo ante, which essentially allowed Ireland to export its abortion problem to the United Kingdom while leaving it unclear what doctors facing a medical emergency during pregnancy were in a position to do.
So the X Case ruling established that a woman in Ireland is legally entitled to an abortion when it’s necessary to save her life. But Ireland failed to implement the court ruling into actual legislation, which means doctors are reluctant to make the medically and ethically correct decision in the case of an emergency for fear of breaking the 1983 anti-abortion law.
One of the most horrible things about a horrible case is that anti-choice Catholics have forced their religious beliefs on people who aren’t even Catholic, like Savita. When informed by hospital staff that they wouldn’t terminate the pregnancy because “[Ireland] is a Catholic country”, Savita reportedly responded, “I am neither Irish nor Catholic.”
It’s nearly 2013—Ireland has to decide: is it a modern democracy that protects the life and rights of all of its people? Or is it a theocracy run by bishops and religious zealots?
Tonight, right now, over two thousand infuriated Irishmen and Women have gathered outside the Dáil in protest over the death of Savita Halappanavar, who died of septicaemia in Galway University Hospital after she had a miscarriage. They protest over our governements failure to legislate for the X Case.
This was a protest organised over a matter of hours. The response has been overwhelming.
Ireland needs a change. All these people are there to voice this chance.
This issue is what’s ratcheting up my anxiety levels about this election. What these conservative legal scholars are dreaming of is my nightmare: a pre-New Deal America. That’s right, the America where it was legal to discriminate against racial minorities, where big business could despoil the environment and crush workers with impunity, where anyone who wasn’t a rich, heterosexual white man was treated as a second-class citizen, where plutocrats drove the economy off the cliff leading to a global depression. This is the America that conservatives are hoping a Romney presidency will restore.
Roger Pilon, director of the libertarian Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies and a member of the Federalist Society, told TPM that one more solid conservative vote would pave the way for “fundamental shifts on the Court” toward “a revival of greater protection for economic liberty and a direct assault on the modern regulatory state.”
“If Romney were to appoint [conservative] justices and lower court judges, then we would see greater protection for economic liberty and greater scrutiny for regulation — whether they be environmental regulations, regulations for property rights, regulations for affirmative action, regulations of all sorts,” Pilon said. “That to my mind would be a return to the Constitution as it was originally understood prior to the New Deal constitutional revolution. And that is basically what the Tea Party movement has called for.”
Then there’s Roe v. Wade, the sine qua non of abortion rights. It survives now on a fragile 5-4 margin, which would likely flip if Ginsburg, Breyer or even Kennedy were to be replaced by a down-the-line-conservative justice.
“Women’s access to abortion is likely to be significantly curtailed under a Romney court,” said Adam Winkler, a constitutional law professor at UCLA School of Law. “If Roe wasn’t entirely overturned it’s likely that the Supreme Court would continue to gut it.”
And the expansion of gay rights would likely hit a wall, Winkler adds, perhaps ending same sex marriage advocates’ hope that the Court will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
That’s the limited scenario. Cato’s Pilon believes that replacing one liberal justice with a conservative could pave the way for a slow return to the Lochner Era — a pre-New Deal period when the Supreme Court invalidated minimum wage and child labor laws as unconstitutional.
“Yes, but not for a while,” the conservative scholar said. “Because there’s just too much to roll back. The court could find Social Security unconstitutional tomorrow, and that would be a good thing, but that would be suicidal for them because many people depend on it. We didn’t get into this mess overnight and we’re not going to get out of it overnight.”
“but still support him”
“but still support him”
“but still support him”
“but still support him”
“How can we spin this so we make it seem like we’re both pro-life and pro-choice at the same time?”
The world wants healthy babies and intelligent workers.
Today we refuse to allow the combination and force thousands of intelligent workers to go childless at a horrible expenditure of moral force, or we damn them if they break our idiotic conventions. Only at the sacrifice of intelligence and the chance to do their best work can the majority of modern women bear children. This is the damnation of women.
All womanhood is hampered today because the world on which it is emerging is a world that tries to worship both virgins and mothers and in the end despises motherhood and despoils virgins.
The future woman must have a life work and economic independence. She must have knowledge. She must have the right of motherhood at her own discretion. The present mincing horror at free womanhood must pass if we are ever to be rid of the bestiality of free manhood; not by guarding the weak in weakness do we gain strength, but by making weakness free and strong.
The so-called “pro-life” movement’s philosophy.
One of the best political cartoons that I’ve seen.
You know what pisses me off about this? Really, REALLY pisses me off? That’s George (H.W.) Bush holding that umbrella. He was president 1981-1989. Do you get that?
It means that the right have not budged an inch on their ridiculous pro-foetus, anti-actual-persons position in THIRTY GODDAMN YEARS. We should not still be having this argument! Thirty year old political cartoons should be bafflingly opaque, not crystal clear!
^ Reblogging again for that comment.