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Holy shit. It's a good thing Joe Biden had that sudden about-face on the Hyde Amendment and decided to notice what abortion rights advocates have known for years, which is that the GOP is absolutely hellbent on taking away the constitutional right to an abortion from all Americans in possessions of a uterus, and that, barring that, they're ready and willing to punish any woman who wishes to exercise that constitutional right.

If you've been following the news, you know that Missouri's Republican governor, Mike Parson, has signed one of those very early-term abortion bans that are so popular in the GOP these days. Sometimes they call it a "heartbeat bill," in order to give people emotional feelings about how there is a real live baby in there with a heartbeat at six weeks, even though that is not what's going on with a fetus at that stage of development. They pulled that shit in Kentucky, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio. Other times, they just stick an arbitrary number on it, like they did in Louisiana (six weeks), and like they did in Missouri (eight weeks), with no exceptions for rape or incest. Meanwhile, Alabama went OFF and decided to make it a felony for doctors to perform abortion for pretty much any woman who wants one, upon penalty of up to 99 years in prison!

You also might know, if you've been following the news, that in Missouri, ban or no ban, the one clinic that provides abortion care in the state, the Central West End Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, may get shut down for failing to comply with the state Department of Health's very insane and ever-changing rules for abortion clinics. (This is also one of the anti-abortion Right's bullshit tactics. On top of putting up as many roadblocks as they can related to the procedure itself, they like to say, "Oh sure, abortion is legal, but all breakrooms in clinics must have 48-foot ceilings and also the doctors must all be named Boris The Bullheaded Beaver. What do you mean, that places an 'undue burden' on a woman's right to choose? Pshaw!" They're called TRAP laws. Learn about them if you don't know about them.)

Planned Parenthood is in court against the state of Missouri right now to keep its license and stay open, and a decision should be coming very soon, but Rachel Maddow exclusively reported on Thursday night that, just in case the Republican government in Missouri hasn't made its point about how all women who want abortions are evil sluts who deserve punishment but don't deserve constitutional rights, the department of health has stuck a whole new rule in for the one clinic that still exists. It is trans-vaginal wanding all over again -- remember that, in Virginia? -- but slightly different!

The new rule, which has been in place since last Thursday, says all women seeking an abortion must be subjected to an intrusive and entirely medically unnecessary pelvic exam, to be administered by doctors who 100 percent absofuckinglutely do not want to do that, because they know it is not in the best interests of their patients, and could very well be traumatic. For God's sake, it's atrocious for everyone, but think about somebody who came in for an abortion because she was raped. The state of Missouri is here to victimize them all over again!


Missouri Forcing Invasive Pelvic Exam On Women Seeking Abortion | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC www.youtube.com

As Maddow explained, Missouri already has an arbitrary bullshit 72-hour waiting period for obtaining an abortion. So, with one clinic in a state that covers almost 70,000 square miles and spans 300 miles from north to south -- St. Louis is approximately the halfway point, on the eastern side of the state on the Mississippi River -- that means women who don't have tons of extra bucks lying around for childcare or for travel, or maybe who can't get off work that many days in a row, were already required to jump through that hoop to exercise their constitutional right to have an abortion. This new rule says the unnecessary and intrusive pelvic exam must happen before that 72-hour waiting period. You know, not actually as part of the procedure itself. Just a little extra probing!

Here are some more restrictions Missouri has placed on abortion care, via Rachel Maddow's graphics department:

Maddow's team spoke to doctors working out of that Planned Parenthood in St. Louis, who said they're complying with the law, telling patients very clearly that this is not necessary, they do not want to do this to them, and they are so, so, so very sorry, but that the state of Missouri is requiring them to do this to patients who want abortions. One doctor said the whole experience is so gross for everybody involved that their patients are apologizing to them, saying how sorry they are that the state of Missouri is requiring them to hurt patients who simply are there to exercise their fucking constitutional rights and have an abortion.

This is goddamned outrageous, and if you weren't mad yet, it's time to get very angry, and if you are able to get involved, please do, because while The Handmaid's Tale might appear to be fiction, there are a lot of fucking people in America right now who wish it was a documentary.

A good place to go for resources on how to get involved, especially in protecting clinics and fighting back against state legislators trying to destroy abortion rights -- have you noticed yet it's the state-level politicians who do the worst damage? -- is the Abortion Access Front (Abortion AF, get it?), AKA the artist formerly known as the Lady Parts Justice League, which was founded and is led by our pal Lizz Winstead. Along with all their other work, one of the ways they get people informed and involved is by using VERY FUNNY comedy to educate people in their own backyards, connecting them on the ground with the clinics and activists in their areas who can get them plugged in where they'll be most effective. If there's a horrible abortion rights situation happening in your state right now, chances are they're coming to a town near you very soon.

Oh yeah, and watch Maddow again tonight. There's a Part Two of her report on Missouri's fuckery, because Maddow's team found more fuckery.

Can't hardly wait!

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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