Georgia On My Uterus: State Becomes Seventh This Year To Pretty Much Ban Abortion
Before I start in on this one, I'd like you all to take a moment and consider the last time someone smugly told you (or perhaps the last time you, yourself, smugly said) "They're not ever actually going to make abortion illegal, you know."
Oh, we've been told this for lots of reasons. Because it would never get through the Supreme Court, because if they outlawed abortion, Republicans wouldn't have anything left to run on. As an excuse to not make being pro-choice a "litmus test" for Democrats running for office. As a reason for why it's not worth worrying our pretty little heads about things so much and take things so seriously. As someone's bad excuse for how they can be "pro-choice" but vote Republican anyway.
Well. Here we are, in March of 2019 and as of yesterday, seven states have passed laws effectively banning abortion. Yesterday, Georgia became the latest state to do so, with its Senate passing a bill backed by Gov. Brian Kemp that would outlaw abortions after six weeks. Mississippi did it the day before. And before that, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky all passed similar bills.
Georgia, like several other states, is calling the bill a "Heartbeat Bill" -- so named because people who are really shitty at science made up a whole thing about how a fetus has a "heartbeat" at six weeks into a pregnancy. Thus, they reason that six weeks should be the cutoff for abortion, which is pretty inconvenient given that this is before most people even realize they're pregnant.
As Democratic Senator Jen Jordan explained, "Every physician has said that the fetal cardiac activity present early in pregnancies is not a beating heart, and no matter how many times you say it, no matter what you call this bill, it does not make it so."
Several Republican legislators remained committed to the mythology bit and expressed their support for the bill by sharing their personal religious views.
"I don't know how many of us are in this room right now, probably 200, but I am looking at 200 miracles," Sen. Greg Dolezal said, at which point he looked around the audience and started telling people they were "miracles." This is the kind of behavior that would get someone kicked off of a subway, but apparently it's par for the course in the Georgia senate.
"There are many scriptures that make it clear to me that God knew us and had a plan for us when we were still in our mother's womb," said Republican Sen. Greg Kirk. "The word abortion is not going to be found in the Bible."
Uh, I've never read the Bible and even I know that "God" definitely murdered a whole bunch of pregnant ladies on multiple occasions. I mean, didn't he just straight up drown everyone at some point? Bet you there were some fetuses caught up in that one. I would think that if God had some super special love for fetuses in particular, he wouldn't have gone and done that. Also, if God were super against abortion, one would think that the word would be found in the Bible. He certainly spent enough time listing the other shit he didn't like. Dude had a whole little section on not wearing polyester.
That being said, it's fine if people who are Christian want to believe that for themselves, but not everyone believes in their religion or believes in God, so it's not really a very good legal argument.
And yet, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. They don't need a good reason or a good legal argument. They know they've almost definitely got the Supreme Court on their side.
Earlier this week, abortion rights activist Robin Marty (full disclosure, we're friends) wrote an article for Politico stating that she hopes the Supreme Court actually does overturn Roe -- suggesting that doing so would put an end to liberal complacency on the issue and lead, eventually (once everyone realizes how bad of an idea this actually is) to stronger abortion rights laws. As terrified as I am of the idea of Roe being overturned, and as skeptical I am of people ever not being complacent boiled frogs, I'm starting to see her point.
But in the meantime, everyone who ever said "Oh, they'll never actually get rid of abortion" can kiss my ass.
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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. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse