Repro Rights Roundup: The Mifepristone Wars
Dispatches from the war on our bodies!
RNC Wonders: Can It Be Even More Terrible About Abortion? It Can!
Part of the reason the foretold "Red Wave" failed to materialize back in November was that while people were excited about the prospect of outlawing abortion for other people, they were less than thrilled about outlawing abortion for themselves, their children, or their mistresses. As such, the Republican National Committee has passed a resolution encouraging Republican candidates to just let their forced birth freak flags fly.
WHEREAS, The Democratic Party and its allies spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the issue of abortion during the 2022 midterms, concealing their extremism while mischaracterizing and vilifying pro-life Republican candidates; and
WHEREAS, Instead of fighting back and exposing Democratic extremism on abortion, many Republican candidates failed to remind Americans of our proud heritage of challenging slavery, segregation, and the forces eroding the family and the sanctity of human life, thereby allowing Democrats to define our longtime position; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee urges all Republican pro-life candidates, consultants, and other national Republican Political Action Committees to remember this proud heritage, go on offense in the 2024 election cycle, and expose the Democrats’ extreme position of supporting abortion on-demand up until the moment of birth, paid for by the taxpayers, even supporting discriminatory abortions such as gender selection or when the child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome.
This would be such an incredible own if these creeps could find even one person demanding "abortion on-demand up until the moment of birth." But they can't. Because that's not a thing. No one is stabbing babies in the head on their way out of the birth canal or advocating for it. That is a thing invented by Republicans to describe a thing that does not actually happen in real life. For the 12,000th time, sometimes labor is induced to save the life of the mother or because a fetus is not capable of surviving outside of the womb or is already deceased, but it's not an "abortion." And it's far less "on-demand" than it is "by necessity, because death."
Unfortunately, it's not the most stupid move they've ever made. Right now, the GOP has two options — try not to be so wacky about abortion in hopes of reeling in some voters who are more moderate on abortion while abandoning their base, or energizing their base and trusting that they will do the groundwork necessary to bring people over to their side on abortion. Either is a gamble but the latter is likely the smarter move, considering how quickly people adjust to bad shit that does not affect them personally.
Prison Time For Tennessee Residents Who Get Abortions Without Proving They Were Raped
In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. That being said, less than only about 0.7 percent of them actually result in felony convictions.
This week, Tennessee legislators proposed adding a rape exception to their near-total abortion ban, but it may end up being far more trouble than it's worth for those hoping to not give birth to the spawn of the person who violated them in the most intimate and horrific way a person can possibly be violated.
As Jessica Valenti's Abortion Every Day newsletter first reported this week, Senate Bill 857 would allow victims of rape ages 12 and younger to obtain an abortion up to 10 weeks from their last menstrual period and those 12 years and older to obtain one up to eight weeks after their last menstrual period. In order to "take advantage" of this exception, victims would have to file a police report (something two-thirds of victims choose not to do, for their own reasons), submit to a forensic evaluation, and also require the doctor performing the abortion to ensure "that a sample of the embryonic or fetal tissue extracted during the abortion will be preserved and available to be turned over to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for use in the investigation into the offense."
If, for whatever reason, the police determine that the victim filed a "false report," the victim will be sentenced to a minimum of three years in actual prison. There is no age range mentioned in the bill, so we can assume that state Sen. Ferrell Haile (R) and state Rep. Iris Rudder (R), who introduced the bills in their respective chambers, have every intention of sentencing 10-year-olds to hard time if their police report does not result in a conviction. This would be terribly shocking if the state had not been known to jail 8-year-olds for non-existent crimes.
20 Republican AGs Get Together To Warn Pharmacies About Mailing Abortion Pills To Their States
Last month, the FDA finalized a new rule allowing certain pharmacies to mail abortion pills to people in states where abortion is outlawed, on the grounds that the drugs are still legal in these states for other purposes and one cannot determine the intent of the sender.
U.S. Code does not prohibit the mailing of certain drugs that can be used to perform abortions where the sender lacks the intent that the recipient of the drugs will use them unlawfully. Because there are manifold ways in which recipients in every state may lawfully use such drugs, including to produce an abortion, the mere mailing of such drugs to a particular jurisdiction is an insufficient basis for concluding that the sender intends them to be used unlawfully.
On Thursday a bunch of whiny bitch Attorneys General from states with abortion bans got together and wrote some whiny bitch letters to CVS and Walgreens demanding that they not mail abortion pills to their states.
The 20 AGs argued in the letter that, contrary to the Biden administration's assertion, the Comstock Act of 1873 does in fact bar the mailing of abortion pills, and that states have the right to bar all medication from being mailed, period.
"We reject the Biden administration’s bizarre interpretation, and we expect courts will as well. Courts do not lightly ignore the plain text of statutes," the letter read.
Grotesquely, the Attorneys General argued in the letter that their nonsense "protects women," erroneously claiming that medication abortions are unsafe by comparing them to the safety of surgical abortions.
"These state laws reflect not only our commitment to protecting the lives and dignity of children, but also of women. Abortion pills are far riskier than surgical abortions, according to established scientific consensus," they wrote, adding, "Abortion pills carry the added risk that when these heightened complications invariably occur, women suffer those harms at home, away from medical help."
To be clear, abortion pills are safer than Tylenol. They are also safer than throwing oneself down the stairs or other methods people have been known to resort to in order to end an unwanted pregnancy. If these states are so very concerned about the "lives and dignity" of women, they shouldn't have made abortion illegal to begin with.
These AGs can make all the claims they want, but they basically cannot outlaw people sending abortion pills in the mail for the specific reason the FDA made clear in the new rule: They cannot determine intent. They cannot determine that the misoprostol people are taking is not being used to treat stomach ulcers or that the mifepristone they are taking is not being used to treat Cushing's syndrome. So there.
Iowa Republicans Hope To Banish Mifepristone From The State Entirely
On Monday, a group of Republicans in the Iowa state Legislature introduced a bill that would make it illegal to “manufacture, distribute, prescribe, dispense, sell or transfer” mifepristone in the state and impose a 10-year prison sentence for anyone found doing so.
This is certainly an interesting proposal given that abortion is currently legal in the state up to 20 weeks. The state passed a law back in 2018 barring the procedure after eight weeks but was blocked from doing so by an injunction, though Governor Kim Reynolds is hoping to reinstate it in light of the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision.
Even so, medication abortion is the standard treatment for first trimester abortions. Why they would want to force people to undergo actual surgery is a mystery, unless they've just committed to the bit about medication abortions being unsafe when they actually are not.
Senators Ask Drug Companies To Approve Mifepristone For Miscarriage Management
Sens. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sent out their own letter on Thursday, asking Danco Laboratories, one of the manufacturers of mifepristone, to petition the FDA to approve the drug for miscarriage management.
Mifepristone taken in combination with misoprostol is the most effective and safe way to terminate a pregnancy, but it's also the most effective and safe way to manage a miscarriage. Still, it's not currently approved for this purpose by the FDA. The senators hope that the FDA approving it for this purpose will allow those in states that ban abortion to be able to safely manage their miscarriages in peace without worrying about the abortion police coming to get them.
“Some of us are doing everything we can to make available the kinds of treatments that women should have available to them, including this particular drug for early miscarriage management — especially because miscarriage hits Black women and minority women disproportionately,” Sen. Hirono said, 19th News reported.
This is just one example of how little those who are banning abortion understand about these drugs and procedures and the reasons why people take them or get them. And, you know, that's fair — because the whole damn point of Roe v. Wade was that these kinds of medical decisions ought to be made between patients and doctors, not patients and their state legislatures.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse