Other States Already Gearing Up For Some Texas-Style Abortion Bounty Hunting Of Their Own
One question you have perhaps been considering, lo these many weeks of Ron DeSantis's COVID nonsense is "Is it actually possible for Florida to get worse?" Or not, maybe, because you know in your heart that it is always possible for Florida to get worse.
If it is the latter, it should probably not even sort of surprise you that Wilton Simpson, Florida's Senate president and a Republican, told reporters on Thursday that they are already "working on" a so-called "heartbeat bill" of their own. When one reporter emailed him for confirmation on this, he sent that reporter a smiley-face emoji wearing sunglasses.
Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who seems like a real piece of work, also confirmed that state Republicans would be pushing a similar bill, complaining that Republican leaders in the state had previously quashed his dreams of denying people access to safe and legal abortions based on an extreme misunderstanding of what constitutes a "heartbeat."
For YEARS we conservatives in the Florida Legislature have been trying to pass the Heartbeat Bill👇 Yet, so-called… https://t.co/tb8Xi0kieR— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@Rep. Anthony Sabatini)1630598420.0
When asked about it by reporters, Gov. Ron DeSantis took the opportunity to expound on how very, very much he cares about "life."
NEW: @GovRonDeSantis responds to a question from a reporter about whether he supports bringing the Texas abortion b… https://t.co/5vAD3cYpEL— Evan Donovan (@Evan Donovan)1630602226.0
DeSantis, with a straight face, talked about how compelling "the science" is on abortion, and what people know now versus what they knew 40 years ago, with his understanding of "the science" being just as on-the-nose as it usually is. He then, also with a straight face, said, "I've always been somebody that really does support protections for life." Unless they involve a mask or a vaccine, in which case those interested in living can just go fuck themselves.
The Texas bill, SB 8, has already been turned into model legislation by the National Association of Christian Lawmakers (NACL), and Arkansas state Rep. Jason Rapert has announced he's eager to pass it in his own state. It will of course pass because Arkansas has never seen a horrific anti-choice bill it didn't want to enact into law.
I look forward to working with my fellow legislators adding cosponsors and @AsaHutchinson to pass this important le… https://t.co/TSK8k38uFD— Jason Rapert (@Jason Rapert)1630585548.0
Now that Texas has official SCOTUS permission to ask the genie for infinity wishes and Florida's moving swiftly behind them, it's likely that even more states are going to follow. In fact, several other states have got some pretty horrific anti-choice laws of their own ready to go.
Mississippi, of course, has passed a 15-week abortion bill that is headed to the Supreme Court with the avowed intention of overturning Roe v. Wade. There is almost no chance that this will not happen, particularly given the events of this week. Louisiana is pushing for the same thing, but it's waiting to see what happens with Mississippi. Arkansas, also, has a currently blocked bill banning all abortions other than to save the life of the mother, as do Alabama and Oklahoma. In 2019, Missouri banned all abortions after eight weeks, no exceptions, though this has also been blocked by a judge. That same year, the state of Michigan banned D&E abortions, on the grounds that they are not painful enough.
Ohio, Tennessee, Missouri and South Dakota are all currently allowed to enforce their ban on abortions on fetuses with Down syndrome, and several other states have similar laws that are currently blocked.
Should Roe be overturned, abortion will be illegal, automatically, in Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah, as they all have trigger laws that will make abortion illegal as soon as that happens. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin also all have their pre-Roe anti-abortion laws still on the books.
This is not going to end well.
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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