Across the United States, the lives of women are on the line as Republican lawmakers in state after state vote to implement chokeholds on abortion rights. After an all-white male bloc of the Alabama state Senate voted this week to approve a near-total abortion ban, many commentators noted a simple fact — none of those responsible for the bill will ever be personally responsible for carrying a pregnancy.
As Canadian legislator Nahanni Fontaine noted alongside a photo collage of those responsible for the ban:
‘These 25 men, who will never be pregnant, just legislated more rights to rapists than to women, girls & victims of rape/incest. This is some backwards, archaic, intentionally repressive crap. Now’s not the time to be complacent. DO NOT ACCEPT THIS!’
These 25 men, who will never be pregnant, just legislated more rights to rapists than to women, girls & victims of rape/incest.
This is some backwards, archaic, intentionally repressive crap.
Now’s not the time to be complacent.
— Nahanni Fontaine (@NahanniFontaine) May 15, 2019
As she indicates, the Alabama ban has no exceptions for cases of rape or incest, meaning that those who are victims of sexual violence would be forced to bear a potential result of that violence rather than keeping it from proceeding into a human being who will have that issue hanging over their head for their entire life. The bill quite literally erases the rights of victims of sexual violence like a dystopian nightmare.
The punishments for seeking to perform an abortion in spite of a ban are fierce. Doctors would face a minimum of 10 years in prison if they were caught in the process of preparation and be sentenced for up to a full 99 years meaning life in prison if they carried the procedure out — which is longer than the maximum sentence for second-degree rape in Alabama, which currently sits at only 20 years. There are no added punishments for rapists in the legislation, which now moves to the desk of Republican Governor Kay Ivey, who declined comment as it made its way through the legislature but has now signed it.
Besides Alabama, other GOP-led states including Georgia and Ohio have recently enacted harsh abortion bans along similar lines. Further back this year, Kentucky and Mississippi have also enacted abortion bans after six weeks of pregnancy, at which point many women don’t even know that they’re pregnant.
Planned Parenthood Southeast’s President Staci Fox shared:
‘We’ve seen the continual chipping away year after year in Alabama and efforts get bolder and bolder each year. I think with the President and now [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh on the court, the politics in Alabama just feel emboldened to take this egregious swipe at women’s health care.’
During his confirmation process, controversial Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh suggested that he would uphold Roe v. Wade — the Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide — but it’s not like in reality, upending it isn’t the goal of his political party. Alabama Republicans have explicitly said that they hope their new ban provides a vehicle for bringing a case before the currently Republican-majority Supreme Court that would allow Roe v. Wade to be overturned.
Following Ivey signing the legislation, it would go into effect in six months, during which time legal challenges will no doubt ensue.
Check out Twitter commentary:
Siri, why is it important to have a gender quota in a political party?
— Van Badham (@vanbadham) May 15, 2019
The only ban there should be is on men legislating what women can and can’t do with their bodies.
— Rachel Murray (@gotacommonname) May 15, 2019
25 white, republican, male, senators just voted to ban abortion in Alabama… Can America PLEASE start policing men’s testicles instead of women’s uteruses? Overturning Roe v Wade wont stop abortions happening, it will just result in more poor women dying. https://t.co/IKJpvqpURS
— Megan (@meggiemerc) May 15, 2019
Appalling that 25 white men tell all women what they can do with their bodies & they think feminism has gone to far!
It’s only just begun guyshttps://t.co/iyvBYpv8yZ
— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) May 15, 2019
25 men just voted to ban abortion in Alabama – unless the mother’s life is in danger. Ive studied the history of illegal abortion – backstreet butchery. I can tell you as long as there is no access to safe abortion, the mother’s life is always in dangerhttps://t.co/DDnymhjLXs pic.twitter.com/HeFrcy0XjV
— Whores of Yore (@WhoresofYore) May 15, 2019
These 25 white men – all Republicans – just voted to ban abortion in Alabama
— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) May 15, 2019
Featured Image via screenshot