Last night, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who is well past the age where an unwanted pregnancy might be a concern, signed a bill outlawing abortion entirely, except in the case of the "life of the mother." It is -- so far -- the most restrictive ban in the country, following several six-week abortion bans popping up in Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky and Mississippi.

While legislators in these states are very excited for the chance to see Roe v. Wade overturned—which it will be, why even pretend anymore—and to see abortion banned entirely, that does not seem to be what the majority of people in this country, even in their own states, want. In fact, there is not a single state where more than 20% of the population actually wants this.

But banning abortion is not the only thing these states have in common. They also all have sky-high infant mortality rates, maternal mortality rates, or both.

Source: America's Health Rankings

Neo-natal mortality? Not great.

JEEZ. It is almost as if the very people who go around falsely accusing Democrats of murdering babies right after they're being born, for funsies, are the ones from the states where said infants are more likely to actually die soon after being born. What gives?

General child mortality rates are not looking too good either.

Wow! It sure seems like there is some kind of correlation between reproductive rights and reproductive care! Who would have thought, except for everyone on earth who pays any attention to this kind of thing at all.

Another fun thing these states have in common is that they also have far higher than average teen pregnancy rates.

Source: CDC

And high rates of unintended pregnancies in general...

Source: Guttmacher Institute

They're apparently not doing too well on chlamydia, either...

I am not pointing this out to be judgy about STIs: The problem here is really that chlamydia is pretty simple to treat if people have access to antibiotics early on. It really shouldn't be spreading this much. The other problem is that untreated chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to a host of problems, including ectopic pregnancies.

Treatment for a whole lot of things is difficult, as many of these states are also dealing with very serious primary physician and ob-gyn shortages, particularly in rural areas.

More than half of the rural counties in America do not even have a hospital where one might give birth.

Now, while there are probably lot of reasons for the doctor shortage in rural areas, pay is not one of them. Rural doctors are actually likely to make far more money than their urban or suburban counterparts.

You know what's also a problem in these states? The opioid crisis.

And that's a problem because in states like Ohio and Alabama, the foster care system is already overburdened as a result of said crisis. They do not have enough people to take in all the kids who are being taken away from their opioid-addicted parents.

These states also have very low ranking public school systems. (Hover over the states to see their public schools' ranking.)

Source: WalletHub

In Alabama, the state is currently $35 million short of the budget they currently need to provide healthcare to children. Twenty-six percent of children in the state live in poverty. Thirty-one percent of children in Mississippi live in poverty. Georgia and Kentucky, 25% each. They, quite literally, cannot and do not take care of the children they have now.

Let's consider another chart, shall we? How about a chart demonstrating that education, even more so than gender, is the most reliable predictor of support for abortion rights.

Hey, you know what group of people tends to be pretty well-educated? Doctors! The exact people these states need to move into them. Maybe I am an idiot of some kind, but it sure seems like a really bad idea to pull this kind of shit when people in your state cannot go to the doctor without driving an hour. Especially since the increase in unwanted pregnancies would obviously mean that your state would need an increase in ob-gyns.

These laws are not just going to make it so doctors are less likely to move to these states. They are going to make it really difficult for businesses to move to, open up or even stay in these states. If you own a business, one of the things you need to consider is your ability to attract the best employees for that business. It is going to be hard to do that if the only people you can attract are anti-choicers willing to give up their reproductive rights and their children's reproductive rights. It's a smaller pool of people. No one needs to officially "boycott" these states for there to be some pretty serious economic consequences.

Then you've got colleges. How many kids are gonna want to go to college in a state where they have no reproductive rights? How many smart kids raised in Alabama and Mississippi with the ability to leave are gonna decide to just stay in a state where they have neither reproductive rights nor a whole lot of job opportunities? In states that just recently came in second and third in a list of the worst states to live in? Not too many!

What they will have are a bunch of young women who didn't graduate from high school or go to college because they got pregnant.

I am not saying all or any of this for the purpose of schadenfreude. I am not so vindictive that I am sitting here thinking, "You know what? Fuck them. Let them screw themselves here. Let them live out their pathetic Handmaid's Tale fantasy until it fucking destroys their economy and kills them all, I don't care anymore."

OK, fine, I am thinking that, but only about the assholes who wanted this. I certainly don't feel that way about the people these laws are actually going to hurt most. Because the people who are going to be hurt most by these laws and their effect on the state's economy and tax base are the poor. They're people who are already economically disadvantaged and aren't able to leave the state for whatever reason and don't want to lose their reproductive rights. Shit, a big chunk of the people these laws will hurt the most cannot even vote yet.

And given how far these states have just let things go in other areas, it doesn't seem like they'll change their minds and decide the costs of these laws are too much after all.

[America's Health Rankings]

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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. 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

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Image: Marriott Hotels

Great GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, the guy who gave us the "death tax" and who urged the George W. Bush administration to talk about "climate change" since it was less politically motivating than "global warming," did some more of his characteristic word magic today! While staying at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, Luntz offered this cautionary tale about the evils of socialism, as illustrated by the shoddy conditions in a 5-star luxury hotel owned by Dubai's "Al Habtoor" conglomerate and operated by Marriott:

Talk about your grim hellholes! Apparently, there's only one elevator in the entire building, and it's been broken for three days, proving that European-style socialism is a failure that should never be imported to the USA, where -- damn it! -- all buildings work!

As some smartass pointed out, now Luntz may have to take the STAIRS, like a common Bolshevik!

We're still trying to get our heads around how a delay in getting an elevator fixed in a luxury hotel owned by the United Arab Emirati proprietors of Dubai's

  • Habtoor Grand Resort
  • Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah
  • Habtoor Palace, LXR Hotels & Resorts
  • V Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
  • Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City
  • Metropolitan Hotel Dubai
  • Al Habtoor Polo Resort

as well as

  • Imperial Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vienna (Austria)
  • Hilton London Wembley (United Kingdom)
  • Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand (Lebanon)
  • Hilton Beirut Metropolitan Palace (Lebanon)
  • President Abraham Lincoln Springfield – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel (United States)
  • InterContinental Budapest (Hungary)
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Budapest (Hungary)

is an example of the horrors of socialism, but then, we don't earn the big bucks like Luntz does. Austria is among the 14 richest countries in the world, so we're fairly certain it's not a commie hellhole. Then again, there is a very strong social safety net, so maybe people in subsidized housing stole all the elevator parts. Or perhaps the elevator would have been fixed sooner if only Austria didn't have such strong unions. It's a mystery.

Or maybe it's that NATIONAL socialism that's the problem, seeing as it has socialism RIGHT IN THE NAME!

Adolf Hitler, once a day labourer outside the Hotel Imperial Vienna, returned as the Führer and "delivered a speech to a rapturous crowd from [the hotel] suite's balcony, on 14 March 1938", according to

We suppose it's worth noting that the Imperial is decidedly not owned or operated by the Austrian government, where a far-Right coalition has recently imploded -- although maybe Luntz is confused about that, since official state guests are traditionally housed there. In any case, the elevator's busted, it's in Europe, Europe is socialist, and Frank Luntz is homesick for America, where no elevator ever goes unrepaired for an entire weekend. It simply has never happened because of our efficient free market!

Still, Luntz's tweet inspired some valuable reflections on how economic theory shapes the reality of everyday life. This is the kind of Austrian economics we can support.

In conclusion, capitalism always allocates resources efficiently and fairly, although that still doesn't explain why Frank Luntz has a job. And now it would be your DOKTOR ZOOM'S BIRTHDAY PARTY OPEN THREAD, if only the socialists would fix the elevator, the end.

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