It seems somehow fitting that I looked at my desk and saw my Hillary doll and a box of matches because I’m about to write about reproductive rights and I WANT TO BURN THINGS DOWN.
(Note: The matches are not actually for burning things down. I use them to light scented candles so my office is all atmospheric and shit.)
There was an alert this morning that Mitch McConnell has put a 20 week abortion ban on the Senate calendar. It’s one of those brutally stupid bills that doesn’t deal with the fact that most abortions post -20 weeks are due to health conditions that threaten the life of the pregnant person or due to tragic fetal anomalies. It even makes rape survivors jump through hoops because the patriarchy is real and LET’S BURN IT DOWN BURN DOWN THE PATRIARCHY BURN BURN BURN.
OK, I’m calmer now.
There’s a lot to unpack here, starting with the fact that the bill will need 60 votes to proceed and unless there are 9 Democrats who want to face my burn-the-patriarchy-down wrath, it will never advance. BUT. Any bill that’s introduced has the potential to advance so we can’t disregard this. Not only is this kind of law actively bad for pregnant people, it’s the kind of bill that will draw lawsuits. Lawsuits open a path to the Supreme Court and I have no doubt that anti-choicers would love nothing more than to have the current Court rule in a way that would effectively overturn Roe.
So, write to your Senators and tell them not just no, but HELL NO on this bill.
The other part of this is that it stinks…of desperation. Seriously, think about it. The Senate doesn’t usually bring up abortion provisions. That’s the House’s bailiwick. They’ll add language about abortion to any damn thing and the Senate goes back and takes it out so that it can actually pass. So, why is McConnell bringing this up now?
My husband thinks it’s fulfilling a promise to some anti-choice group that McConnell or lead sponsor Lindsay Graham made. But I wonder if maybe abortion isn’t just the last thing the Republicans have left.
Think about it. They’ve delivered on decades worth of tax promises. No one actually wants them to repeal any more of Obamacare now that they yanked the individual mandate. The immigration fight is about to turn ugly on them and their stupid president and his stupid wall are going to make that even worse. So, what else can they take home to the voters in a very contentious election year?
Uteruses. That’s it. That’s the fallback. When all else is bleak, Republicans can always marginalize women’s right to bodily autonomy and call themselves winners.
I think this might be a signal that McConnell knows this year is going to be brutal for his party and he’s hoping gestures like this one will stop the bleeding. If this goes down on a procedural vote they can all issue press releases that say “Ah tried to save teh behbehs but teh Democrat party hates behbehs! Don’t vote for behbeh haters!” It’s cheap, ugly politicking and it just reminds us that Republicans treat women and other femmes as political footballs, not as people.
Anyway, it’s once again time to call, fax, text, show up and generally raise hell for our right to control our own bodies. Let’s do this. Let’s resist.