A law that would have shut down three out of five abortion clinics in the state of Alabama has just been temporarily struck down by a judge using the most immaculate analogy of all reproductive time. U.S. District Judge Myron Thomson ruled that the Alabama legislation, passed in 2013, imposed the unnecessary restriction of having admission privileges to hospitals and therefore posed an “undue burden” on women to get the, let us reiterate, legal, procedure in the state.
Since the proposed law threatens to close down all clinics except for those in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, the judge suggested that the same law applied to guns would face gross opposition.
According to Al.com, he proposed a scenario in which gun regulations would force the state to close down all but two stores who sell guns, forcing residents of the state to only buy guns at these two stores.
Oh, that’s delightful.
I agree that single-payer is preferable, but coverage for birth control would become politicized anyway. Republican politicians would keep trying to strip out coverage either through amendments to budget bills or through executive orders once one of them won the presidency. The problem isn’t single-payer vs. exchange-based health care. It’s the existence of a significant constituency of misogynists and a Supreme Court willing to do their bidding.
Let me get this straight.
The closures are not an undue burden, write the judges because “it takes less than three hours on Texas highways” to get to Corpus Christi. (The Corpus Christi clinic is expected to close in September.) “Although some clinics may be required to shut their doors, there is no showing whatsoever that any woman will lack reasonable access to a clinic within Texas,” they add, but only heed evidence from the trial in October, when the law had barely taken effect.
Taking several days off from work and driving 560 miles to the nearest abortion clinic (pdf) is not an undue burden. Filling out paperwork is.
See you godfuckers in November.
I’m kind of tired seeing all the “but birth control can be used for other things like irregular periods so it’s important!” arguments on the news. Obviously it’s a huge and valid point. But our sexual health is defined in large part by reproductive choice, and we already spend so much time validating everything in our lives, so let’s just not.
Equating contraception with abortion is a feint that the religious right is using to confuse people. What they’re really after is ALL contraception, as the Supreme Court’s clarification on the Hobby Lobby ruling today makes clear:
The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed that its decision a day earlier extending religious rights to closely held corporations applies broadly to the contraceptive coverage requirement in the new health care law, not just the handful of methods the justices considered in their ruling.
Today, evangelicals make up the backbone of the pro-life movement, but it hasn’t always been so. Both before and for several years after Roe, evangelicals were overwhelmingly indifferent to the subject, which they considered a “Catholic issue.” In 1968, for instance, a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism, refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility” as justifications for ending a pregnancy. In 1971, delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, Missouri, passed a resolution encouraging “Southern Baptists to work for legislation that will allow the possibility of abortion under such conditions as rape, incest, clear evidence of severe fetal deformity, and carefully ascertained evidence of the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental, and physical health of the mother.” The convention, hardly a redoubt of liberal values, reaffirmed that position in 1974, one year after Roe, and again in 1976.
When the Roe decision was handed down, W. A. Criswell, the Southern Baptist Convention’s former president and pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas—also one of the most famous fundamentalists of the 20th century—was pleased: “I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person,” he said, “and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed.”
Although a few evangelical voices, including Christianity Today magazine, mildly criticized the ruling, the overwhelming response was silence, even approval. Baptists, in particular, applauded the decision as an appropriate articulation of the division between church and state, between personal morality and state regulation of individual behavior. “Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision,” wrote W. Barry Garrett of Baptist Press.
“The Real Origins of the Religious Right”, Randall Ballmer
Ballmer makes the case that evangelical elites seized uponabortion as an issue that would mobilize Christian voters but would be more politically palatable than another cause close to their hearts: defending the tax-exempt status of racially segregated schools.
Racism and tax breaks and hurting women when they get a chance. THIS is what contemporary conservatism is all about.
I was wondering how your daily report is coming along? I know you have to send one to the other tiny white men in all the other ladies’ underpants so you can all figure out how best we can manage our squishy parts. And for that, I’m truly grateful. One less thing to worry about, am I right? Now I can concentrate on more important things like polishing this glass ceiling and dreaming about how much I love giving a good BJ.
Though the ending kind of ruins it. No one should do anything for penises.
While today’s pair of horrible decisions might seem like distinct issues, in fact they are both part of a larger war on women and workers.
The absurdity of the Hobby Lobby decision…is obviously part of the Republican war on women, but it is also very much a war on the poor. An IUD costs about a month’s worth of wages at the minimum wage. If an executive can’t get birth control because her employer gets too hot and bothered thinking of her having sexy time, she can afford it on her own. A Hobby Lobby floor worker? Probably not. For women workers at closely held corporations, this decision will be devastating.
The Harris case is specifically about home care workers in Illinois. Who are home care workers? Women. Poor women. Lots of African-Americans, lots of Latinos, lots of undocumented workers. Home care workers are a major emphasis for SEIU right now…But moreover, it shows how little Alito and the boys care about rights for women wherever they are. It’s hardly coincidental that this case comes down the same day as the contraception mandate. The Court evidently believes that the home is not a workplace, but of course it is a workplace, especially if someone is getting paid to do work. That it is women working in the home, as it has always been, just makes it easier for conservatives to devalue that work.
— The SCOTUS War on Women and Workers, Erik Loomis
Key findings: Women who are denied abortions “are more likely to wind up unemployed, on public assistance, and below the poverty line” and “were more likely to stay in a relationship w/an abusive partner than women who got abortions.”
The study also seems to debunk the oft-repeated conservative claim that abortions are somehow more traumatic to women than being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term:
We have found that there are no mental health consequences of abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. There are other interesting findings: even later abortion is safer than childbirth and women who carried an unwanted pregnancy to term are three times more likely than women who receive an abortion to be below the poverty level two years later.
One annoying habit of (male) political pundits is a tendency to lump everything related to women’s reproductive health together as “social issues” ignoring the very real economic policy stakes….[T]his Martha Bailey, Brad Hersbein, and Amalia Miller paper [shows] that contraceptive access is an economic question for women on both the cost side and the labor market side:Decades of research on the U.S. gender gap in wages describes its correlates, but little is known about why women changed their career paths in the 1960s and 1970s. This paper explores the role of “the Pill” in altering women’s human capital investments and its ultimate implications for life-cycle wages. Using state-by-birth-cohort variation in legal access, we show that younger access to the Pill conferred an 8-percent hourly wage premium by age fifty. Our estimates imply that the Pill can account for 10 percent of the convergence of the gender gap in the 1980s and 30 percent in the 1990s.
From my friend Jennifer:
pro-choice & abortion access friends: your financial help is needed! Georgia Reproductive Justice Access Network, one of the only abortion funds in the southeast, is down to $89. they need an infusion of money FAST so they can keep their fund up and helping those who are pregnant afford abortion care. please give as much as you can!
I say this often about abortion funds but they help people who desperately need to get an abortion but cannot afford it. These are people in the most dire of circumstances.
When you donate to an abortion fund you 1) know your money will go directly toward helping someone and 2) you will make someone’s life better.
If you can, please donate to this abortion fund.
In a historic move this week, Uruguayan President José Mujica has signed into law a bill that waives criminal penalties for abortion in the first 12 weeks of gestation, with certain procedural requirements, and in the first 14 weeks of gestation in the cases of rape.
The law marks a significant development in realizing women’s human rights and preventing unsafe, clandestine abortions in the region.
Read more after the jump.
© 2012 Reuters
A huge development on the women’s rights front.