"Hello? 911? I would like to report someone exercising their constitutional right to abortion? Yes, she's walking into the very last abortion clinic in the state right now. Yes, I suppose she could be going in for an STI screening or birth control or an ob-gyn appointment, but it could be an abortion, so I'd like you to check up on that and arrest her if need be!"

Abortion, for the time being, is still legal everywhere in the United States of America. But in states like Missouri, they're partying like Roe v. Wade has already been overturned. They're passing laws banning abortion after eight weeks, forcing patients to get medically unnecessary and invasive pelvic exams before having an abortion, and trying to shut down the state's last remaining abortion clinic by tracking the menstrual cycles of patients there.

And when the state legislature begins its 2020 session, they will have a fun new "fetal personhood" bill waiting for them.


House Bill 1799 — the "Right To Due Process Act" — is being introduced by Rep. Mike Moon (R-Ash Grove). Previously, Rep. Moon proposed the "Never Again Act," calling for an exhibit at the state museum at the Capitol in Jefferson City representing the "history of abortion" and comparing it to the Holocaust and slavery.

Like most "fetal personhood" laws, the "Right to Due Process Act" confers, upon globs of cells, all the rights and privileges of a citizen of the United States.

Effective January 1, 1988, the laws of this state shall be interpreted and construed to acknowledge on behalf of the [unborn] child in a woman's womb at every stage of development, all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.

I'm going to assume the "1988" part is either a typo, or that Rep. Mike Moon has become unstuck in time and thinks he is living in the year 1987. That would explain the mustache, at least.

The thing that really makes this bullshit law stand out is a provision requiring law enforcement to step in and stop people from having abortions ... somehow.

Law enforcement officers, officers of the court, and any licensed or state regulated entities in the state shall affirmatively enforce Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution of Missouri, which specifies that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

Given that the state has the third highest murder rate in the country and a pretty serious police brutality problem, I would think that Missouri Law Enforcement's time would be better spent preventing actual murder and also getting better training so that they don't murder anyone themselves. If I were a Republican lawmaker who was creepily obsessed with forcing people to give birth, the last people I would put in charge of that dream would be Missouri police.

This is perhaps one area where the shitty things about America actually work in our favor. As Republicans have repeatedly reminded us, no one has the right to food or shelter. What is a pregnant body to a fetus if not shelter and a means of procuring nutrients?

Missouri, for the record, also enforces "castle doctrine" — which means that if someone comes into your house and you don't want them there, you can legally kill them.

As far as squatter's rights go, in Missouri, adverse possession doesn't kick in until the squatter has resided in the abandoned property (or, in this case, the uterus) for 10 years. If someone is pregnant for 10 years and the fetus is somehow not calcified, then I suppose we can talk about that fetus having a right to their body.

Of course, as much as Rep. Pornstache might want to see the police of Missouri spending their time arresting people trying to have abortions, even if the act does pass, it can't be enforced until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, so he's gonna have to stick that itchy 911 finger up his butt for a while.

[Rewire News]

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Robyn Pennacchia

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. In addition to her work at Wonkette, she also has a biweekly column at Dame. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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