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Nope, We're Not Done Talking About Abortion Yet This Week!
We must stay vigilant — because Republicans are already trying to nullify the wins.
It has, clearly, been a very big week for abortion — such a big week that even some of the Republican presidential candidates have backed off from trying to outlaw it throughout the land and moved toward “OK, well, all states are going to want different things, we guess!”
Although so far, that’s turned out not to be true. Every state, including red states, that has voted on abortion has voted for abortion.
One of those states is Michigan, which voted by a large majority to restore abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. Unfortunately, Democrats in the state Legislature were not able to even get enough votes from their own members to undo two of the state’s more absurd restrictions on the procedure — one that bars people from using Medicaid for abortions and another that requires an infantilizing 24-hour waiting period. They did, however, pass a law that allowed private insurance to cover abortions and removed some of the nonsensical regulations on abortion clinics.
"I'm questioning: Do we need to pay for Medicaid-funded abortions?" Karen Whitsett, the first Democrat to object to ending the restrictions, told NPR in September. "That was not the conversation during Prop 3. That was not what people agreed to. That was never, ever part of the conversation."
Yes, we literally do need to do that! Because if they could afford to pay for an abortion, they would not be on Medicaid in the first place. Poor people also deserve to have control over their reproductive futures. We all have to “pay” for things, with our tax dollars, that we do not personally want.
I would love it if I could put something on my taxes to specify “not for human rights abuses, please!” just as I’m sure other people would love to put “not for poor people” on theirs. But we don’t get to do that, Karen, do we? No one ever says, “Oh, but what about the people who don’t want their tax dollars to fund Guantanamo Bay? Or who have a sincere moral opposition to the death penalty? Should we not consider their feelings?”
Anti-abortion people are not special. And they should not be treated as such.
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Ohio Abortion-Haters Are Also Planning A Counteroffensive
Oh, they can’t just leave it be, can they? Seemingly seconds after Ohioans voted en masse to protect abortion rights in their state constitution, four GOP legislators issued a press release titled "DECEPTIVE OHIO ISSUE 1 MISLED THE PUBLIC BUT DOESN'T REPEAL OUR LAWS," about their plans to bar judges from reviewing the abortion law so that only the Republican-controlled Legislature would have jurisdiction over it.
An interesting choice given the fact that abortion opponents literally rewrote the ballot initiative to make it sound as bad as possible, but okay.
"To prevent mischief by pro-abortion courts with Issue 1, Ohio legislators will consider removing jurisdiction from the judiciary over this ambiguous ballot initiative," read the press release. "The Ohio legislature alone will consider what, if any, modifications to make to existing laws based on public hearings and input from legal experts on both sides."
“Foreign billionaires don't get to make Ohio laws,” said Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester), pointing to millions from billionaires outside America that helped fund Issue 1. Gross added, “This is foreign election interference, and it will not stand.”
As far as I can tell, Gross may have been pointing somewhere, but it wasn’t at any “foreign billionaires.” We can probably assume she was referring to George Soros, who has had American citizenship since 1961.
“Issue 1 doesn't repeal a single Ohio law, in fact, it doesn't even mention one,” said Representative Bill Dean (R-Xenia). “The amendment’s language is dangerously vague and unconstrained, and can be weaponized to attack parental rights or defend rapists, pedophiles, and human traffickers.”
Unless his definition of defending “rapists, pedophiles and human traffickers” is “not forcing anyone to carry their children to term,” it is hard to see where he is getting this. Is it the whole “rapists and pedophiles will use this to cover up their crimes” thing? Because that, too, makes no logistical sense. Doctors are mandatory reporters, which means they have to report suspected abuse to the police. Why would the police be less likely to find out about a rape because the victim was not taken to a doctor?
Hopefully the people of Ohio will get their amendment, but it’s hard to put anything past dopes like these people.
Florida’s Attorney General Is Trying To Keep An Abortion Initiative Off The Ballot
While abortion rights supporters in Florida are more than halfway to getting the number of signatures they need to get an initiative on the next ballot, the DeSantis gang is already plotting to keep it off.
The initiative would allow abortions up until the fetus is viable, with exceptions for the life and health of the mother. That make sense to you? It makes sense to me. But not to Attorney General Ashley Moody, who is already trying to invalidate the measure on the grounds that words can mean anything to anyone.
Florida requires that ballot initiatives can only address one issue. This means that one could not put an initiative on the ballot calling for, say, both abortion rights and the right to keep five alligators in one’s bathtub. Moody says this is the case with this ballot measure because “viable” can mean different things to different people. It could either mean the same thing it has meant for at least the last 50 years — that the fetus could survive outside of the womb if the woman gave birth right then — or it could mean what she thinks the definition should be, which is that the fetus would survive if carried to term.
No, really, that’s what she’s going with. She’s also claiming that by not explicitly defining “health” and “health-care provider,” that these terms could mean literally anything. I guess it is a good thing, then, that Florida doesn’t license acupuncturists to perform abortions.
Tommy Tuberville Is Still Tubervilling All Over The Place
On Thursday, Tommy Tuberville, who is a Republican US Senator and not the star of some lost Sid and Marty Krofft joint, blocked 364 more military officers from getting promotions in protest of the Pentagon’s policy of compensating service members when they have to travel to get an abortion for themselves or a partner or family member, should they be stationed in an area in which abortions are illegal.
This seems less like a thing they are doing out of the goodness of their hearts and more because they are in the middle of a recruitment crisis and they know that the possibility of being stationed in a state that doesn’t allow abortion is going to discourage a lot of people from joining up.
Tuberville is also trying to tie approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to an end to the policy. Apparently, while he is clearly fine with sending 18-year-olds off to die in foreign wars, the voluntary abortion of a 3-inch fetus with no cognitive awareness of itself is just beyond the pale. That he will not stand for. Because hey, if those fetuses are aborted now, where are we gonna get enough poor kids to fight whatever war we’re fighting in 18 years? Won’t someone please think of the military contractors?