Georgia Just Criminalized Abortion
May 7, 2019 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Women Who Terminate Their Pregnancies Would Receive Life in Prison. On Tuesday, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a “fetal heartbeat” bill that seeks to outlaw abortion after about six weeks. The measure, HB 481, is the most extreme abortion ban in the country—not just because it would impose severe limitations on women’s reproductive rights, but also because it would subject women who get illegal abortions to life imprisonment and the death penalty.

HB 481 would also have consequences for women who get abortions from doctors or miscarry. A woman who seeks out an illegal abortion from a health care provider would be a party to murder, subject to life in prison. And a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct—say, using drugs while pregnant—would be liable for second-degree murder, punishable by 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment. Prosecutors may interrogate women who miscarry to determine whether they can be held responsible; if they find evidence of culpability, they may charge, detain, and try these women for the death of their fetuses.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis (151 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
Georgia sure keeps pickin' 'em.

For a definition of pickin' 'em that means "having them shoved down their throats by a corrupt system."
posted by aspersioncast at 12:24 PM on May 7, 2019 [23 favorites]

when can we sentence georgia lawmakers to the death penalty
posted by poffin boffin at 12:26 PM on May 7, 2019 [70 favorites]

I live in Georgia. I did not vote for Kemp, and I certainly did not vote for this. But god, thinking about the people around me who did makes me feel ill. (Statistically, you're much more likely to find Fox News on a TV in a restaurant here than anything else.)
posted by JHarris at 12:32 PM on May 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

For a definition of pickin' 'em that means "having them shoved down their throats by a corrupt system."

agreed in part but let's not let the (horrible racist hateful evangelical white) people who actually voted for him off the hook.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:33 PM on May 7, 2019 [29 favorites]

By what percentages did these politicians carry their elections?
posted by amtho at 12:33 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Horrible, dangerous, unnecessary, terrifying, fascism. This is terrorism. Let's just go ahead and put all women in jail proactively. That's all they really want. Let's just do handmaids tale and get it over with.
posted by bleep at 12:36 PM on May 7, 2019 [21 favorites]

"Because every life has value, every life is sacred. We're concerned with the sanctity of life, which is why 'Hanged by the neck until dead' is the wording we're leaning toward."
posted by Floydd at 12:37 PM on May 7, 2019 [56 favorites]

posted by supermedusa at 12:44 PM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

I suspect most of these extreme abortion bills that are getting passed lately are simply Supreme Court bait...they hope/expect them to get struck down by the courts so they can appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to get Row V. Wade reversed/overturned.
posted by Captain_Science at 12:45 PM on May 7, 2019 [43 favorites]

I care deeply about protecting reproductive choice, and I have a lot of concerns about these types of scare tactics, including the passage of obviously unconstitutional legislation that is not currently law yet, because it could deter people from exercising their current constitutional rights. From the ACLU:
“As we speak — Georgia has one of the worst maternal death rates in the nation. And the most recent data indicates that black women are almost three times more likely to die from childbirth than white women are. This is morally outrageous,” stated Andrea Young, Executive Director, ACLU of Georgia. “The proposed legislation – HB 481 – represents a callous disregard for their health and wellness and contempt for the Constitutional Rights of Georgia’s women.”

“If this bill becomes law, it will be challenged. We will see you in court,” Young continued.
Also, it is not currently enforceable law, even though it was signed by Gov. Kemp. From TIME Magazine:
The legal director of the ACLU of Georgia, Sean Young, has said that the group is preparing a legal challenge. “Under 50 years of Supreme Court precedent, this abortion ban is clearly unconstitutional,” Young said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Every federal court that has heard a challenge to a similar ban has ruled that it’s unconstitutional.”

Under current law, women in Georgia can seek an abortion during the first 20 weeks of a pregnancy. If it’s not blocked in court, the new ban would take effect Jan. 1.
These are terrifying times, but there are ways that lawyers are fighting back, including the SIA Legal Team, which offers a confidential and anonymous legal help line at (844) 868-2812 for people who fear being questioned by police or run into any legal trouble when trying to obtain a telemedicine abortion.
posted by Little Dawn at 12:49 PM on May 7, 2019 [53 favorites]

By what percentages did these politicians carry their elections?

The governor (Kemp) was previously Secretary of State and refused to recuse himself from overseeing the gubernatorial election he was running in. That plus substantial voter suppression overseen by Kemp's office made his narrow victory very questionable. That direct voter suppression alone affected about as many people (most of them likely Democratic voters) as Kemp's margin of victory. Kemp is a racist who misused his office to further his political career.

The General Assembly elections were not as close, with Republicans winning a more comfortable (but shrinking) majority of the total votes cast: ~54%, which was a ~10% decrease from the prior election.
posted by jedicus at 12:50 PM on May 7, 2019 [25 favorites]

If you’re in Georgia and pregnant: this law isn’t effective until 2020, and abortion is still available right now. Planned Parenthood’s across the state and the feminist women’s health center in Atlanta are safe places to get accurate information about and treatment for unwanted pregnancy. The ACLU is fighting to overturn the ban. If you need help figuring out how to get to one of these centers, memail me. This is scary, but you still have options. You still have the right to make your own choices.

I’m so fucking mad.
posted by a hat out of hell at 12:50 PM on May 7, 2019 [57 favorites]

By what percentages did these politicians carry their elections?

Kemp won 50.22% of the vote, winning by fewer than 55,000 votes over Stacy Abrams. Though, we'll never know for sure because of Georgia's outdated electronic voting machines that have no paper records. And guess who ran Georgia's election system ahead of the governor's race?
posted by cyclopticgaze at 12:50 PM on May 7, 2019 [39 favorites]


fuck everything about this
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:51 PM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is so scary, god
posted by coffeeand at 12:57 PM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm just not sure how executing a mother is "pro-life".
posted by kevinbelt at 1:00 PM on May 7, 2019 [25 favorites]

At this point, can we assume that federal courts will strike this down?

I don't feel confident about that.
posted by wellred at 1:02 PM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

This is objectively the worst thing to have happened this year among a seemingly unending list of shitty things that are happening on a daily basis for the past few years.

With the full understanding that this affects the people who can least afford to have kids, I've still come to accept I have zero power or influence to change this. Can we people in blue states do anything at all to arrest the contagion? I know they will make a wide and long belt to force the no-financial-assistance-or-maternity-leave-or-childcare-help having women to have a child because of course God wills so.

On further thought, can California and other blue states say fuck it and just secede? This is a serious question.
posted by savitarka at 1:03 PM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

So wierd. I live in WA. But have a group of people from Georgia that I hang with once a year. They all seem like decent people. But this shit...
posted by Windopaene at 1:07 PM on May 7, 2019

Hey, let's not let them frame this as a red state blue state thing. I live in Alabama, where a similar shitty law was just passed, and am very much not OK with this. Besides, remember that this is brought to us in part by our president from New York, and our latest SC justice from Maryland.
posted by Maxwell's demon at 1:09 PM on May 7, 2019 [29 favorites]

At this point, can we assume that federal courts will strike this down?

The entire point of this law (and the other similar laws being pushed in other states) is to eventually get it before SCOTUS on the assumption that the current court would use it to revisit and strike down Roe. Conservatives play the long game.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:10 PM on May 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

Conservatives play the long game.

The play to win and they also play dirty.
posted by Fizz at 1:11 PM on May 7, 2019 [17 favorites]

Exactly. I lived my life with everyone assuming that Roe is here to stay, which is a bad assumption. We don't have that kind of SCOTUS now and it is poised to get worse.
posted by wellred at 1:12 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

On further thought, can California and other blue states say fuck it and just secede? This is a serious question.

You do recall how it went the last time a bunch of states seceded, right?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:13 PM on May 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

Conservatives play the long game.

Yeah, that's why they backed the most divisive president in living memory and alienated a generation of young people.
posted by JHarris at 1:16 PM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

Also, there's an apparently enormous anti-choice rally and counter protest at Queens Park (Ontario legislature) the day after tomorrow. We're just steps behind up here, holding tight as we can.
posted by wellred at 1:17 PM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Mod note: Couple deleted. Folks let's not go down the "just secede" path, we've had that discussion many times; there are a lot of people who live in the south/Georgia/etc who don't think that's a good idea.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:19 PM on May 7, 2019 [16 favorites]

It's not just the forced-birth stuff, either.
This radical revision of Georgia law is quite deliberate: The bill confirms that fetuses “shall be included in population based determinations” from now on, because they are legally humans, and residents of the state.
It's no coincidence that this law takes effect in a year ending with a zero -- they're trying to game the Census by claiming that any fetus in Georgia counts as a resident of Georgia, so they have a higher population and therefore get more Representatives.

Also, as that paragraph goes on to say, it means that as of 2020, thousands of legally human fetuses will be imprisoned in Georgia.
posted by Etrigan at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2019 [43 favorites]

Apologies for the derailing secession talk. I am in no way holding the residents of Georgia responsible for the dumbfuckery. This is clearly a law that came from a stolen election and I understand that. My comment came out of powerlessness to help in anyway the people who would be affected the most by this.
posted by savitarka at 1:26 PM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

they're trying to game the Census by claiming that any fetus in Georgia counts as a resident of Georgia, so they have a higher population and therefore get more Representatives

My first thought when I read that was that the fetuses would then be able to vote.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 1:32 PM on May 7, 2019 [4 favorites]

And this is why I no longer vote for a man if I have any other reasonable option.
posted by Automocar at 1:35 PM on May 7, 2019 [28 favorites]

Also, as that paragraph goes on to say, it means that as of 2020, thousands of legally human fetuses will be imprisoned in Georgia.

Huh. The court case on behalf of a fetus carried by an incarcerated woman, suing the state for illegal incarceration, would certainly be... interesting. I mean, in a "holy crap this is totally stupid and we shouldn't be in this situation in the first place" sort of way. But that sure does seem like it would put the state of Georgia in a bind.
posted by eviemath at 1:37 PM on May 7, 2019 [14 favorites]

If you're not down here, some things you can do:

1. Give some support to Barber, Abrams, and the movements around them. Support them on campaign trails and in the courts. Support the direct action of civil rights groups in the South.

2. Read Barber because he's probably one of the more important prophets of this decade.

3. Support boycotts as well. Republicans down here do, in fact, blink when Disney threatens to pull millions of dollars in location shoots for everything from Marvel movies to direct-to-streaming.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 1:39 PM on May 7, 2019 [56 favorites]

Yes, indeed. See: North Carolina and basketball tournaments.
posted by Melismata at 1:41 PM on May 7, 2019 [10 favorites]

It would seem that the RFRA would prevent the traditional religious belief on ensoulment, the Jewish belief that the moment of ensoulment is NOT conception, from being trampled by heretical Christians.
posted by mikelieman at 1:43 PM on May 7, 2019 [14 favorites]

Yeah I think the most impactful way for someone outside of Georgia to try and help would be to help pressure some of the entertainment companies that have set up shop there. Many Republicans are totally willing to go full asshole, right up until they start getting calls from deep-pocketed corporate donors. That's how at least one of the "bigot bills" in Texas got canned.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:49 PM on May 7, 2019 [16 favorites]

The court case on behalf of a fetus carried by an incarcerated woman, suing the state for illegal incarceration, would certainly be... interesting.

the state would simply charge the fetus as an accomplice, either during, or after the fact
posted by pyramid termite at 1:59 PM on May 7, 2019 [11 favorites]

Goddamn this has been a long day. As a native of rural Georgia and the father of two healthy, empowered daughters born via (illegal) midwife-assisted home births, I'd like to say fuck this noise, fuck this state, and fuck these fuckin' motherfuckers. My heart goes out to all the people that will suffer because of this shameful, backwards nonsense.
posted by Bob Regular at 2:10 PM on May 7, 2019 [12 favorites]

As someone who lives here (in Kemp's home town to boot) I just gotta emphasize the strength of the opposition to this in Georgia. Kemp spent years putting his finger on the scales of the election system, and beat Abrams by the skin of his teeth (or did he?). She scared the shit out of them, and they can read demographic charts as well as anybody else. Atlanta is growing. The rural areas are dying—literally: no MedicAid expansion. The state senate might stay red for a while, but they foresee a democratic governor.

Kemp is widely considered Not Smart. He thinks this will help him win re-election (it won't). But while he's still in office, his betters are using him to spearhead their national agenda, spurred on by McConnell's continued stacking of the courts.
posted by cyclopticgaze at 2:10 PM on May 7, 2019 [23 favorites]

So... where’s the best place to donate? Georgia ACLU? I know Midwest action coalition is good for helping women get abortions out of state. Anyone know of a GA resource I can throw some cash at? Hard to do much more from 3,000 miles away.
posted by greermahoney at 2:11 PM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

The court case on behalf of a fetus carried by an incarcerated woman, suing the state for illegal incarceration, would certainly be... interesting.

the state would simply charge the fetus as an accomplice, either during, or after the fact

Or charge the mother with kidnapping and child endangerment and lengthen her sentence.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:13 PM on May 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

Next up on the agenda: Firmly establishing male ownership of women and the legalization of rape.
posted by nofundy at 2:17 PM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

Or... maybe men become legally obligated to sustain the lives of others.
posted by amtho at 2:19 PM on May 7, 2019

The threatened loss of Hollywood location shoots was influential in getting a veto on anti-lgbt legislation a few years back.
posted by GenderNullPointerException at 2:35 PM on May 7, 2019 [7 favorites]

From The Washington Post:
“The Handmaid Coalition of Georgia” marched to the statehouse to protest the legislation, chanting “shame” and “dissent” while clad in the red cloaks and white bonnets of characters in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a book and TV series that depicts a dystopian future where women are enslaved to rear children. The protesters have been an almost daily presence, along with heavy security.

The #ReclaimGeorgia campaign by NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia and Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates aims to spend six figures to mobilize activists and “put unprecedented pressure” on supporters of the measure ahead of next year’s election.

Laura Simmons, the NARAL state director, said it’s designed to “educate voters and put lawmakers on notice that advocates for reproductive freedom will not let legislators off the hook for turning their backs on women and families by voting to criminalize abortion and punish women.”
posted by Little Dawn at 2:36 PM on May 7, 2019 [8 favorites]

Let's just go ahead and put all women in jail proactively.

They don't want women in jail. They want women dead because they think death is the appropriate penalty for any woman who has sex outside of marriage, much less even thinks about having an abortion. Dead women is the actual endgame here.

I'm just not sure how executing a mother is "pro-life".

They don't give a fuck about life. They never have. This has nothing to do with the sanctity of life; it's about controlling women. The only lives they genuinely care about are the lives of middle-class white people. They've made that clear time and time again for decades now.
posted by holborne at 2:45 PM on May 7, 2019 [43 favorites]

Dead women is the actual endgame here.

Which doesn't make any sense, since they still need the women for sex servicing, as well as cooking and cleaning and other slave labor.
posted by Melismata at 2:53 PM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

"Georgia, no peace I find
Just an old XXXXX song keeps Georgia on my mind"

-Hoagy Carmichael.

"Since 2010, the U.S. abortion landscape has grown increasingly restrictive as more states become hostile to abortion rights. Between 2010 and 2016, states enacted 338 new abortion restrictions, which account for nearly 30% of the 1,142 abortion restrictions enacted by states since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade."
posted by clavdivs at 2:53 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

they want women enslaved, only dead if they resist.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:54 PM on May 7, 2019 [26 favorites]

Yeah, that's why they backed the most divisive president in living memory and alienated a generation of young people.

In 1980 the same demographic that voted heavily for Carter voted in 2016 heavily for Trump. They're betting on the younger generation becoming more reactionary as they get older, just like previous generations.

I'm not convinced that it's a losing bet.
posted by tclark at 3:22 PM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

We're still living in the Middle Ages, but with better science and technology to allow more people into heaven or hell.
posted by Brian B. at 3:25 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

ACLU Massachusetts (May 2, 2019)
A federal court has recognized Massachusetts’ standing to challenge a Trump administration rule that would limit access to contraception and prevent women from fully participating in society and the workplace. Decisions about birth control are best left to doctors and their patients, not to an employer’s religious beliefs or moral objections. The ACLU of Massachusetts continues to stand with women and those who use reproductive health care services, and will do so in the streets, in the legislature, and in the courts.
Roe v. Wade is at risk, but abortion rights groups see surprising opportunities for gains (Vox)
For some supporters of abortion rights, the confluence of President Trump and Kavanaugh has created not despair, but determination to effect change. “There’s real fear and frustration and anger,” Hogue said, “but that’s matched by resolve.”
posted by Little Dawn at 3:26 PM on May 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

Heart tissue will beat in a petri dish. It doesn't mean anything. In my first pregnancy, I saw a strong and steady heartbeat at 6w2d. It didn't mean anything. The fact that my intense and private grief could be interrupted by some cops looking to blame me for my miscarriage is the cruelest thing I've ever heard.
posted by muddgirl at 3:32 PM on May 7, 2019 [65 favorites]

on demand and without apology
posted by vibratory manner of working at 3:37 PM on May 7, 2019 [27 favorites]

In 1980 the same demographic that voted heavily for Carter voted in 2016 heavily for Trump. They're betting on the younger generation becoming more reactionary as they get older, just like previous generations.

I'm not convinced that it's a losing bet.

It’s a losing bet. The older generation has seemed to get more conservative since the Boomers were just an outlier in generational size due to WW2 and the improvements in health post Great Depression meant they lived longer. People just pick a team and stick with it. For right or wrong team Boomer is team Republican. The two or three generations behind them are more likely to be on Team Democrat, but not really large enough in numbers to sway things, but mortality has been catching up with the Boomers. This has been the writing on the wall for quite a while and while Bush 43 tried to change the party’s direction, they powers that be weren’t having it and just doubled down.

The other half of the more conservative with age is that younger generations want to improve things, they do and this becomes the new baseline to conserve. Since they remember the bad old times, the new times aren’t that bad. For those just experiencing the new times, they can see the cracks in the system that need to be repaired and want changes. So it seems like they get more conservative with age, but they’re not supporting the policies that were standard decades before.
posted by jmauro at 4:01 PM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

Confederate Evangelical Califate (est. 2020)
Build it and they will flee.
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:34 PM on May 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

For right or wrong team Boomer is team Republican.

44% of Boomers voted for Clinton.

The two or three generations behind them are more likely to be on Team Democrat, but not really large enough in numbers to sway things

Millennials alone outnumber Boomers. But they show up to vote at half the rate of Boomers.
posted by JackFlash at 4:48 PM on May 7, 2019 [8 favorites]

Confederate Evangelical Califate (est. 2020)

Under his eye.
posted by RakDaddy at 5:41 PM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

(Of course charging women and doctors with first degree murder for terminating pregnancies is also unthinkably cruel.)
posted by muddgirl at 6:18 PM on May 7, 2019

I donated to Planned Parenthood today. I hope others do, if they can. The legal fight will happen, but the services need to continue.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:33 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's part of the collapse.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 6:51 PM on May 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sounds like I left Georgia at just the right time! Between this and that ugly business in Hoschton, I'm ashamed of my home state.
posted by webwench at 7:12 PM on May 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

So... where’s the best place to donate? Georgia ACLU? I know Midwest action coalition is good for helping women get abortions out of state. Anyone know of a GA resource I can throw some cash at? Hard to do much more from 3,000 miles away.

ARC Southeast is the abortion fund that covers the area and will pay to send folks out of state.

There's one other abortion fund in the area, the women in need fund, but they only take checks. It looks like the magnolia fund closed up in 2018, even though they're still the number 1 search result.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:52 AM on May 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

This is the same state where killing your wife gets you a light slap on the wrist, if I remember correctly from the article on domestic abuse in America? Very pro life and not anti women at all!
posted by Cozybee at 4:05 AM on May 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have lived in Georgia most of my life. I find this bill appalling but like others here I do not believe it will stand. It is not the first such bill and it will not be the last.
Like many, I believe Kemp corrupt, his election corrupt and I hope..well I better not say ..

Just like every other states, we have good people and not so good people and some truly horrid ones. It does not mean I give up on the state in which my children were born, where most of my memories were made.
I have seen good changes happen here in GA and I will continue to work towards a better future and I hold faith that the my daughters and their generation will make it even better.
posted by ReiFlinx at 4:24 AM on May 8, 2019 [11 favorites]

Another brilliant law courtesy of America's evangelicals.
posted by james33 at 4:54 AM on May 8, 2019

I have lived in Georgia most of my life. I find this bill appalling but like others here I do not believe it will stand. It is not the first such bill and it will not be the last.

Welll.... That's the question isn't it?

This bill, like so many others being passed, are basically there to give the newly Trump dominated Supreme Court a chance to overturn Roe v Wade. It's been the defining Republican issue since about 1978 [1] and they've been waiting with increasingly less patience for the payoff for decades.

I think they'll get it. With Gorsuch and that rapist alcoholic Kavnaugh on the Court that makes Roberts the deciding vote. I don't think he will want to go down as the man who denied Christian America their most prized religious law.

[1] Fun historic fact! In 1973 when Roe was first decided the leading Evangelical Christian organizations were fully in favor of it and many Evangelical magazines had editorials lauding the decision.

The American Evangelical movement largely grew out of white supremacy and segregationist movements, and after the defeat of segregation it had been looking for a new signature issue to care about and make the litmus test for who is and isn't Evangelical. A few years after Roe they had latched onto abortion as their issue and suddenly they had retroactively always been opposed to abortion. Some of the same people who wrote glowing articles praising Roe are still major figures in Evangelical Christianity and they never, not once, wrote about changing their minds on abortion, instead they've all decided to pretend that they were always forced birth advocates.
posted by sotonohito at 12:30 PM on May 8, 2019 [13 favorites]

And then there's this horrifying bill in Ohio that's even more restrictive.

The bill would ban nontherapeutic abortions that include "drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.”

And Becker says the bill also speaks to coverage of ectopic or tubal pregnancies where the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb.

“Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus so that is defined as not an abortion under this bill," Becker explains.

posted by Ostara at 12:32 PM on May 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

Why don't we just remove fertilized eggs from women's uteruses and implant them into willing legislators? Since we are now in the realm of legislating based on sci-fi.
posted by muddgirl at 12:48 PM on May 8, 2019 [15 favorites]

Um. Reimplanting an ectopic embryo is so effing Handmaid's Tale. You don't DO that. I can't find any stats on success rates because you don't DO that.
posted by wellred at 12:54 PM on May 8, 2019 [10 favorites]

The non-abortifactant option is to remove the entire fallopian tube. I've never understood why that's OK in their minds but just aborting the non-viable pregnancy isn't morally acceptable.
posted by muddgirl at 1:13 PM on May 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Catholics have this thing called the "doctrine of double effect", which is basically the belief that you can trick God. Abortion is a deep moral wrong and intrinsically evil, so giving a person with an ectopic pregnancy an abortificant would make God mad.

But God, apparently, is kind of stupid. If you say "I'm not performing an abortion, I'm simply removing this fallopian tube and, purely as a side effect and with no intent of performing an abortion, the fetus will be aborted." And God, being very gullible and easily deceived, is not mad.

Evangelicals don't have quite the same legalistic and clearly laid out doctrine, but will adopt basically a similar approach.
posted by sotonohito at 5:01 PM on May 8, 2019 [11 favorites]

You can also repair the tube; success rates are pretty equal for methotrexate vs tube repair (as is subsequent fertility). But complications (and recovery time etc ) are higher for surgery, and as there is no known way to save the (always very early because the woman would be dead otherwise) pregnancy, chemo is the more common choice.
posted by nat at 5:05 PM on May 8, 2019

Why don't we just remove fertilized eggs from women's uteruses and implant them into willing legislators? Since we are now in the realm of legislating based on sci-fi.

Uterus transplants are sci-without-the-fi for women; I'd assume it would be a bazillion times more complex to transplant to a male body that's never had a uterus but since hearing about the research it's seemed to me that it might be healthy for democracy to talk as though that possibility is just around the bend for science, and as though men who are so enthusiastic for laws like these and slouching towards Gilead, as it were, need to consider the possibility of their own body being commandeered by the state too...
posted by XMLicious at 5:33 PM on May 8, 2019 [4 favorites]

But God, apparently, is kind of stupid.

That's what bugs me most. These crazy evangelicals think that G-d is an idiot, installing souls into embryos He KNOWS IN HIS OMNISCIENCE aren't going full term...
posted by mikelieman at 9:18 PM on May 8, 2019 [7 favorites]

The bill would ban nontherapeutic abortions that include "drugs or devices used to prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum.” And Becker says the bill also speaks to coverage of ectopic or tubal pregnancies where the fertilized egg attaches outside of the womb.

So no pill, no implant, no IUDs, no tubal ligations. I thought men hated using condoms. It's like they want to make them legally mandatory for consensual non-procreative sex. Or do they hate sex as well as women? Incels are everywhere, I can't tell anymore.
posted by heatvision at 3:20 AM on May 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

Conservatives have always been anti-contraception. After they strike down Roe v Wade and start working on passing a nationwide forced birth law, the next step in the courts will be an attack on Griswold v Connecticut.

Thing is, if you read some of the stuff conservatives write, you'll find that they are basically of the position that men and women inately despise each other. Men, per a great many conservatives, can't stand women and only want women for sex. And women, per a great many conservatives, hold men in contempt and dislike sex but will grudgingly put up with sex in exchange for economic security and the social status of having a man.

They **WANT** shotgun marriages between people who don't like each other, and marriage next to impossible to get out of. Because, to their way of thinking, that's literally the only way men and women will ever get together and stay together and raise families.

So they need women economically dependent on men, contraception gone so that when a woman is pressured into sex by a guy she will get pregnant and then force him into marrying her, and marriage as a lifetime trap with no escape so the man will be forced to contribute his paycheck to the family he hates.

It's another factor in their extreme homophobia, and why the conservative homophobia also seems to have that weird idea that gay sex is better than straight sex. Because to them it's 100% natural for men to hate being around women and want much more to be around men, but the temptation of gay sex must be stamped out because otherwise, again, we see the destruction of society and the family unit. Lesbians, of course, do not exist because women are asexual.

They seem incapable of considering that people might get together because they actually like each other.

The weird thing is that you can see a lot of that attitude reflected in older humor. The TV show Married With Children is the most recent example I can think of, but you go back and look at a lot of older "comedy" movies from the 1960's and 1950's, or old newspaper or magazine cartoons, and you'll see a truly surprising amount of "comedy" centering around the basic premise that men and women are natural enemies who are forced into loveless marriages.

Henny Youngman's "take my wife.... please" springs to mind. The movie "How to Murder your Wife". A massive amount of old New Yorker cartoons are basically variations of the idea of married people hating each other.

We see it in one of the zombie newspaper comics that's still, inexplicably, being produced: the Lockhorns, which has really only one joke it tells over and over: the titular married couple hates each other.

All that reflects a very real aspect of how conservatives think about relations between men and women, which leads inevitably to the conclusion that abortion and contraception must be outlawed, men trapped in loveless shotgun marriages, and women economically broken so they are forced to stay married to men they hate.
posted by sotonohito at 4:05 AM on May 9, 2019 [30 favorites]

Alabama senators delay abortion ban vote as shouts break out (AP)
Shouting broke out in the Senate when the exemption for rape and incest was removed from the bill, which would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony, without a roll call vote.

Democrats and at least one Republican objected to the motion being quickly gaveled through on what they said was an important exception to the proposed abortion ban.

“You’ve got 27 men over on the other side ready to tell women what they can do with their bodies,” Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton said. “You don’t have to procedurally just try to railroad us.” [...] “I hope that the 27 men on the other side of the aisle are able look at the women in their family in the eye, or the women who are in their district, and be able to explain away their votes to them,” Singleton said.

The bills signal a shift from some conservative states attempting to chip away at the edges of abortion access to a go-for-broke strategy of pushing outright abortion bans.

Critics have promised a swift lawsuit to challenge the ban if enacted and people on both sides say they expect lower courts to block the measure from taking effect. They differ on their expectations of what will happen when an appeal gets to the Supreme Court.
Alabama: chaos breaks out in state senate over nation's strictest abortion bill – live (Guardian)
This year, 15 states considered or enacted “fetal heartbeat” bills, which outlaw abortion at six weeks based on the cardiac activity of an embryo.

Physicians argue the bills misrepresent science – a pregnancy is not considered a fetus until nine weeks into a pregnancy, and the tissues of an embryo have not yet formed into heart chambers at that stage.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:28 AM on May 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

Thing is, if you read some of the stuff conservatives write, you'll find that they are basically of the position that men and women inately despise each other. [...] The weird thing is that you can see a lot of that attitude reflected in older humor. The TV show Married With Children is the most recent example I can think of

John Derbyshire once wrote an NR piece praising Married... as "one of the most conservative shows on TV" for more or less that precise reason.
posted by non canadian guy at 4:30 AM on May 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Georgia’s Terrible Law Doesn’t Have to Be the Future of Abortion (Cari Siestra, NYT Opinion)
A self-induced abortion with misoprostol can be a safe, reliable way to end an unwanted pregnancy.
Forced pregnancies and prosecutions are not our only possible future, though. If Americans who believe abortion should be safe and accessible work together, we can significantly reduce the risks inherent in making abortion illegal. We must start by shifting our mind-set away from the perception that a self-managed abortion is a dangerous last resort, to a recognition that medication abortion is an empowering tool that enables us to privately control whether we carry a pregnancy to term.

I have spent years working in places where abortion is always, or almost always, illegal. What I’ve learned may be surprising. I’ve come to understand that self-induced abortion with misoprostol, often called miso, can be a safe, reliable way to end an unwanted pregnancy in legally restricted settings. [...]

In fact, those of us with social privilege should consider openly carrying or displaying the medicine — something Irish activists did during Ireland’s recent successful campaign to legalize abortion. Imagine if those old coat hanger pins warning against unsafe abortion were replaced by pins with pills on them to show that we have access to this medicine and can help others? Maybe “open carry” isn’t only for guns?

And finally, we can strengthen existing abortion funds and referral networks so they can better support the small percentage of people for whom this type of medication doesn’t work; they will need follow-up care and clinical abortions in progressive states. The National Network of Abortion Funds will be their lifeline.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:05 AM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

Could miscarriages land women in jail? Let’s clarify these Georgia and Alabama abortion bills. (WaPo)
The abortion bills are not simple. “In Georgia, you have to go down a rabbit hole and have to be a lawyer to understand what you’re reading,” said Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, director of Planned Parenthood state media campaigns.

Since Tuesday, fear has spread, confusing further reporting on the bills. Information has been misconstrued, criminal penalties have been misstated, and social media platforms have morphed into prime false-narrative territory. And while there has been much attention on the issue of bans on early-stage abortions, women who miscarry are not going to be sent to prison for life.

So, let’s correct the record. [...] Neither Alabama’s proposed ban nor Georgia’s abortion law is currently in effect. [...] Several states have signed abortion legislation into law, but any law that has moved through the courts has ultimately been blocked or struck down, Zeigler said. Iowa, North Dakota and Kentucky have seen related laws blocked. “Women who are panicked should know they have time,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, and patients should not cancel their appointments.

Kolbi-Molinas was also confident that the ACLU would “be able to overturn these laws because they violate decades of Supreme Court laws.”

“We’ve been inundated with calls from patients who think abortions are already illegal,” said Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast. “They don’t understand that we’ll challenge this in court and it will likely be blocked.” What worries her more, though, are the patients who aren’t calling. They need to know that “compassionate, nonjudgmental care is still legal.” [...]

On Tuesday, Slate published an article with a not-entirely-accurate headline: “Georgia just criminalized abortion. Women who terminate their pregnancies would receive life in prison.” It suggested that under the Georgia law, women who terminate their pregnancies would be prosecuted and sentenced to either life in prison or death.

That is incorrect.

“The news headlines and social media headlines that speculate about the bills’ unintended consequences are – at the very least – not productive. At most, they’re harmful,” Planned Parenthood’s Staci Fox told The Post on Friday.
Emphasis added. Also, as to why the ACLU is feeling confident in the rule of law and the strength of the right to reproductive choice at this time:
The justices prefer taking cases that are disputed in jurisdictions across the country, according to Sanger. They want uniformity across the states, and since no state has upheld the durational requirements, there has not yet been a split circuit.

The antiabortion legal and political community seems confident it has the votes to overrule Roe. “They’re saying, ‘We dare you to take us to court because we think we’ll win,’” Collins said, but there are rules that govern when it’s appropriate for the Supreme Court to overturn a case. According to a doctrine known as stare decisis, judges are bound by precedent. They cannot overturn a case simply because new justices have joined the court.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:20 AM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

That's some good fact-based analysis. Though people's fears are understandable, given that women in other countries that have abortion bans have in fact been jailed for miscarriages. So in the unlikely event that a state law like the Georgia law does ever go into effect, that is a thing to potentially worry about. Good reason to fight hard against these bills. Good reason to make info about medical abortion, as well as birth control, and the distinctions between hormonal birth control and abortion, widespread. Not quite reason for morale-destroying panic or despondency yet.
posted by eviemath at 7:45 AM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Not quite reason for morale-destroying panic or despondency yet.

Agreed, eviemath, and your comment reminds me of a quote from Isis the Scientist, in a blog post titled, "Be Not Afraid..."
There’s no point in getting through doors if you can’t help others find them and walk through them with you. I have been helped substantially along the way and am thankful for it. I also think that I should speak out when I think something is not just. Otherwise, what’s the point? I am neither brave nor revolutionary. I sit in a place of privilege compared to where I came from and I see no point in having it if I don’t use it for what I think feels meaningful and right.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:24 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

That is incorrect.

Well, the problem is the law is so broad and poorly written that all it would take is an over zealous prosecutor and it wouldn't be incorrect. Slate did a follow-up, an interview with a Georgia state senator opposed to the bill. Which explains more.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:49 AM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

Okay, but I just spent the morning yelling my head off about it marching through the streets of Atlanta with a bunch of other terrified people because the courts haven’t stepped in yet, and 2020 is only 6.5 months away. I hope that y’all aren’t opposed to us protesting, too.
posted by hydropsyche at 8:50 AM on May 11, 2019 [10 favorites]

Please, hydropsyche, I'm your ally in this, and I wholly believe that we must remain vigilant, that we must protest, and write our elected representatives, and vote, and raise our voices against these horrific attempts to attack our fundamental civil rights. I also think protest includes calling out click bait that inadvertently panics people into thinking the situation is worse than it actually currently is, and risks depriving people of the rights they currently have.

We are all in this together, and I really don't think that fighting amongst ourselves is going to help us protect the rights of those who don't have the privilege to understand how to obtain access to safe and legal contraception and abortion, so I'm hoping we can call a truce on this.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:08 AM on May 11, 2019

Also, I also believe that if possible, we should donate money, e.g:

Donate to Planned Parenthood.

Support the ACLU Foundation of Georgia.

There’s no point in getting through doors if you can’t help others find them and walk through them with you.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:22 AM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

The part that freaks me out the most is the part where they make it illegal for a Georgia woman to leave the state and get an abortion elsewhere. That’s.... I just can’t even. And don’t the big charities collect money to help women cross state lines when they have to? Will they get trouble for that?
posted by Weeping_angel at 9:52 AM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

And don’t the big charities collect money to help women cross state lines when they have to? Will they get trouble for that?

Time will tell, but history can be telling, e.g. Freedom Riders:
Freedom Riders were groups of white and African American civil rights activists who participated in Freedom Rides, bus trips through the American South in 1961 to protest segregated bus terminals. Freedom Riders tried to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters at bus stations in Alabama, South Carolina and other Southern states. The groups were confronted by arresting police officers—as well as horrific violence from white protestors—along their routes, but also drew international attention to their cause.
So yes, there is all kinds of potential trouble, and if these laws go into effect, people should have no illusions about the risks involved, and seek legal advice so they know their rights. Fortunately, it is not the law yet, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be worried.

I'm not saying don't protest, but I am saying please don't panic, and I'm trying to call for calm resolve and working together to protect reproductive rights. I think it can be seen as a win for the anti-abortion movement when misreporting and misinformation convinces anyone that abortion is currently banned, so I am trying to speak out against the damage that may be caused by coordinated scare tactics from the anti-abortion movement.

The civil rights movement is more organized and better funded than it ever has been, and the millenial generation is already organizing a global protest that would have been unthinkable in the 1960s. We surely have reasons to fear the scare tactics, but we also have reasons to take heart and support the organizing and nonviolent protesting against attempts to scare us and violate our fundamental rights.
posted by Little Dawn at 11:24 AM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

Also, even though the ACLU has an excellent record defending reproductive rights in court that is ongoing (Kentucky, May 10, 2019), it will likely require more than the courts to protect reproductive freedom:
The ACLU is a nationwide leader in fighting back against ongoing and persistent attacks on reproductive rights. As the only pro-choice organization with lawyers and advocates on the ground in all 50 states, the ACLU works to ensure access to birth control and abortion for women who often have nowhere else to turn. Over the last five years, our advocates have helped block over 300 laws aimed at restricting reproductive rights.
ACLU of Georgia Statement on Abortion Ban Headed to Governor's Desk (March 29, 2019)
“If Gov. Kemp signs this abortion ban bill into law, the ACLU has one message: we will see you in court,” stated Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia.
A Threat Of Violence As Georgia Abortion Bill Awaits Signature (WABE/NPR, April 4, 2019) (cw: graphic language)
“There’s been a connection between certain militias and anti-abortion violence over the years,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors militia activity. [...] American anti-abortion violence peaked in the 1990s. That includes the 1997 bombing of a Sandy Springs clinic that injured six people. Since that era, violence has become more rare.

However, the numbers of protests, obstructions and threats against abortion providers are on the rise again. That’s according to the Very Rev. Katherine Ragsdale with the National Abortion Federation, which tracks those threats.

“We hear this kind of language in the hate mail and the online harassment all the time. The actual threats of violence made from a public platform, I don’t think we’ve heard before,” Ragsdale said. She believes those threats are a natural extension of exaggerated, graphic talk about abortions and providers. “It’s the same thing we heard back in the Clinton era: ‘one inch and a few minutes from life,’ which created another groundswell of violent, dehumanizing language and then, consequently, violent actions,” said Ragsdale.

She points to a more recent example: President Donald Trump’s State of the Union description of a New York law he said would rip a baby from a mother’s womb moments before birth. [...] Ragsdale says the militia’s speech does make her nervous, mostly for abortion providers. She has a clear message for people who want abortion access: clinics do everything possible to keep patients safe.

Please make sure that people understand it’s safe to go get the care they need,” she said.
Emphasis added. In related news, the MeFi Wiki ThereIsHelp page now has a more clearly-defined section for resources offering help with access to abortion and contraception, including funding, clinic escorts, and legal assistance for telemedicine abortion. The anti-abortion movement is trying to scare us (TIME), but my hope is that we can work together against the fear and help ensure safe and legal access to reproductive choice for all women.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:01 PM on May 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

Here's a tweet that has the right idea, I think: "It's time for Hollywood to stop shooting shows and movies in Georgia, and to make it clear why. Fuck a tax break. Put up or shut up" - posted by JHarris at 4:15 PM on May 7

I posted this to the main political thread yesterday:

The Wrap: Four companies so far have pledged to boycott the state of Georgia for new film and TV productions until the new legislation that bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy is reversed.

“The Wire” creator David Simon and his Blown Deadline Productions, Killer Films CEO Christine Vachon (“Carol,” “Vox Lux”), Mark Duplass and his Duplass Brothers Productions and “Triple Frontier” producer Neal Dodson on behalf of his CounterNarrative Films alongside J.C. Chandor, have so far publicly condemned the law that’s being called the “heartbeat bill.”
[own links for context]

David Simon@AoDespair, on Twitter today:

Can only speak for my production company. Our comparative assessments of locations for upcoming development will pull Georgia off the list until we can be assured the health options and civil liberties of our female colleagues are unimpaired.


I'm sorry, but there is no conceivable way that I can, as an employer, ethically ask any of my female colleagues to work in a jurisdiction that limits their health care options and impairs their civil liberties. It isn't possible.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:22 PM on May 11, 2019 [7 favorites]

Senator Jen Jordan represents southern Cobb County, GA in the state senate, where she worked hard against this bill, and is a lawyer. Her dissent on the Senate floor went viral, and she was later invited to testify before the US Senate Judiciary Committee about the effects of anti-abortion laws. Here is her explanation of the effects of this law on people with uteruses in Georgia.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:34 AM on May 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wait, the new law tries to prohibit women from leaving the state for an abortion?
posted by sotonohito at 5:37 AM on May 12, 2019

As for the question of how to portray this law, I'll make a deal with you. I'll agree to be critical of the critics the very **INSTANT** they misrepresent this law more than the Republicans misrepresented Hillary's emails. But not before then.
posted by sotonohito at 5:38 AM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

Wait, the new law tries to prohibit women from leaving the state for an abortion?

The law defines a "natural person" as "any human being including an unborn child" and "unborn child means a member of the species Homo sapiens at any stage of development that is carried in the womb". The law is poorly and maliciously written, and it is hard to guess exactly what implications that has in the hands of a prosecutor, but once we've called a zygote a "natural person" all bets are off. And given the state of the criminal justice system in Georgia, the test case will be a black woman who pissed off a racist misogynist cop and racist misogynist prosecutor.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:35 AM on May 12, 2019 [11 favorites]

In addition to criminaliizing abortion, criminalizing miscarriage also seems awful. And if you are seeing conservative family members on Mother's Day, you might want to press them on that point. It seems possible to me that one could be held 'responsible' for having a miscarriage if one worked too hard or lifted the children that we already have. I can't even.

And you know if there is a big surge in young women getting sterililzed, that will be 'regulated' out of existence also.
posted by puddledork at 7:13 AM on May 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

I'd just like to add one more voice to the efficacy of big business boycotting here. I called some kid answering the phone for my intractably red state rep about the bathroom bill. I threw a bunch of arguments at him and he seemed to falter twice - when I mentioned that it is a threat to the economic progress that has made us stand out in the South as a place where people love to do business (he said "we're in talks" with the companies I mentioned) and when I compared the arguments made to the segregationist arguments against combining black and white bathroom facilities.
posted by Selena777 at 8:33 AM on May 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

As for the question of how to portray this law, I'll make a deal with you. I'll agree to be critical of the critics the very **INSTANT** they misrepresent this law more than the Republicans misrepresented Hillary's emails. But not before then.

As a lawyer who actively follows these issues, and after spending as much time as I did working as a legal aid attorney, I certainly will take an online punch (or the many online punches I feel I have taken over these issues as I try to call for calm and and try to explain where we are at in the legal process) and turn the other cheek. As a general matter, I often do feel clumsy in my writing here, and I try to rely on credible sources to make my points, so that we argue with the evidence, not the person making the case. Reproductive rights are a deeply painful subject, and we often don't know each other here, but I wouldn't be speaking up if I wasn't trying to protect women who are scared and don't understand that they have more rights and resources right now than they might otherwise believe.

It's the Washington Post reporting that people are incorrectly believing that Georgia now criminalizes abortion, and that there are real fears that people not calling to confirm they still have rights may be facing real health and safety risks because of it. Sure, I said that, too, but in my vague lawyer way. I was worried about the impact of fear-mongering by the anti-abortion movement, and then a credible source confirmed it, and as hard as it is to say, my concern is that fear and catastrophizing gets co-opted by opponents of abortion when people act like these laws are already in effect and as if similar laws haven't been struck down over and over again by the courts, and as if the ACLU and other civil rights organization aren't working hard to protect us.

It's not that we shouldn't be worried about what is happening in and outside of the courts, and I've been watching our new swing justice Chief Justice Roberts closely, and at then end of the day, no lawyer can predict the outcome of any case. But I do think it is interesting that he voted to uphold a ruling blocking Louisiana from enforcing new abortion regulations (AP), and that he actually spoke out against Trump (New Yorker), and that Pence recently had the audacity to suggest (NYT) that District Courts should no longer have the authority to issue nationwide bans on federal polices. All of this is unprecedented, but I can't reassure anyone that it's all going to be okay, hence my willingness to take an online punch or two, because that tends to be an occupational hazard for lawyers who care about civil rights.

When people misunderstand what I am trying to say, that's on me, and I am sorry. I am not trying to make this any worse than it already is, or to make people feel any worse than they already do. I think of my former clients, and how they already have it so hard, and how they need us to be better for them and for all of us.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:39 AM on May 12, 2019 [6 favorites]

Jessica Valenti has been following this story closely, of course, and she did a Twitter thread on the natural consequences of anti-abortion laws.
posted by LindsayIrene at 8:52 AM on May 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

For people looking for folks already on the ground working, advocating, and caring for Georgians to donate to or support, here are a few (this list is Atlanta-biased because that's where I live and most of the state is otherwise completely lacking in abortion services anyway):
Feminist Women's Health Center
Spark Reproductive Justice Now
Southeastern Alliance for Reproductive Equity
Planned Parenthood Southeast

And of course, in Georgia, or anywhere in the US, Planned Parenthood and The National Abortion Federation maintain lists of abortion providers, and those providers are likely your best source of information regarding the current legality and current stupid hoops you are required to jump through to obtain an abortion. Right now, from the NAF:
Abortion providers in Georgia are required to distribute materials prepared by the state and/or conduct state-directed counseling. In this state, women must contact and/or visit an abortion provider and then wait 24 hours before obtaining an abortion. Patients in Georgia under the age of 18 who are not emancipated must notify one parent 24 hours before obtaining an abortion. Patients who are NOT able to notify their parent can proceed through a process known as "judicial bypass." For more information about judicial bypass in your state, contact our hotline at (800) 772-9100.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:09 PM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

Oh, and Georgians who want to come protest, we will be doing so pretty regularly, and I'm glad to keep you posted about future marches. Just shoot me a MeMail.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:11 PM on May 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

Now that the foeti has been 'personized', their containers can hire lawyers to sue the corporations generating the poisons & plastics in the polluted air, water and food, being administered through the provisional womb juices and placenta nutrients, that are causing miscarriages, infant leukemia & other cancers, sexual mutations, and other 'diseases' of the 21st century the gestating generations are now cursed with.

yeah, happy mother's day.
posted by Mesaverdian at 3:31 PM on May 12, 2019

Could abortion become illegal in America? All signs point to yes (B Jessie Hill, Guardian Opinion)
Then again, this outcome is not inevitable. First, although Roberts has shown himself to be no friend of Roe – he voted against abortion clinics in the 2016 case of Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt – he is also known to be concerned about his legacy and about avoiding politicization of the courts. He famously rebuked Donald Trump for criticizing an “Obama judge”, saying, “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

Second, the supreme court gets to choose which cases it hears. It is not required to take any of the cases currently in the pipeline; it can simply let lower courts’ decisions stand, without explanation or justification. To avoid the appearance that the court is a political body whose decisions are driven by changes in personnel rather than legal principle, it might just let stand all lower-court decisions striking down the “heartbeat” bans. If that’s the case, then anti-abortion advocates will have overplayed their hand.

They will have tried to push the supreme court to decide their case too early, and by doing so, reduced their chances of winning.

Still, there is plenty of reason for concern for those who want to preserve Roe.
B Jessie Hill is the associate dean for academic affairs and Judge Ben C Green professor of law at Case Western Reserve University. She teaches, writes and litigates in the field of reproductive rights
posted by Little Dawn at 9:31 PM on May 14, 2019 [3 favorites]

The Supreme Court is smashing precedents. But Roe v. Wade might still be saved. (Laurence Tribe, NBC News Opinion)
The Ninth Amendment offers some hope as Justice Stephen Breyer rightly warns that reproductive rights are at risk.
Most commentators have assumed Breyer was signaling mortal danger for the Court’s 1973 and 1992 abortion precedents, the latter of which — Planned Parenthood v. Casey — he mentioned explicitly.

I’m not so sure that was the best way to decode Breyer’s message, especially because those decisions have come to occupy much more central positions in our culture and law than a relatively marginal ruling like Nevada v. Hall. I wouldn’t lightly assume that the chief justice, in particular, would be as willing to overrule the abortion precedents as he was willing to upend the relatively minor interstate sovereign immunity precedent set by Nevada v. Hall. Watering the abortion precedents down gradually would be one thing; overturning them entirely and relegating the entire matter to the states would be quite another.

Indeed, rulings about reproductive liberty and equality have been the focus of much more significant life-shaping reliance, especially by women throughout society, than most other judicial decisions of the past half-century.

Laurence H. Tribe is a professor of constitutional law at Harvard University and is co-author, most recently, of “To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment.”
Here’s why women have fled the GOP (Jennifer Rubin, WaPo Opinion)
Even women who had been amenable to regulations of abortion clinics or to restricting late-term abortions can see how Trump’s GOP has gone off the deep end. (This is why you see support for Roe spike in polls.)
Alabama abortion ban: Republican state senate passes most restrictive law in US (Guardian)
Democratic leaders reacted with outrage, and pledged to fight for abortion rights.

“This ban is dangerous and exceptionally cruel – and the bill’s authors want to use it to overturn Roe v Wade,” tweeted Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator and Democratic 2020 presidential contender. “I’ve lived in that America and let me tell you: We are not going back – not now, not ever. We will fight this. And we will win.” [...]

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood “will file a lawsuit to stop this unconstitutional ban and protect every woman’s right to make her own choice about her healthcare, her body and her future. This bill will not take effect anytime in the near future, and abortion will remain a safe, legal medical procedure at all clinics in Alabama,” the ACLU of Alabama said on Tuesday.

“To the Alabama politicians that voted for this bill, our message is this: you will forever live in infamy for this vote,” said Staci Fox, president of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, which supports reproductive health and family planning. “And Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates will make sure every woman knows who to hold accountable.”

The group created a separate phone line in response to an influx of calls from women confused about how the vote would affect their access to healthcare. “Imagine how many more women are too scared to call – who feel alone and abandoned by their state – to even reach out to make an appointment, who assume abortion is already illegal,” Fox said. “Those are the women I am losing sleep over every night.”
posted by Little Dawn at 9:54 AM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm feeling not even slightly secure in the idea of John Roberts, the conservative's conservative, being the swing vote in the upcoming battle over Roe. And the fact that we're literally one very old, very ill, heartbeat away from Trump getting to appoint another Kavanaugh to be the sixth Republican in a 6-3 Republican majority on the Court is even more worrying.

It's quite clear that the Republican states are assuming that Roe will be overturned.
posted by sotonohito at 10:03 AM on May 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Flashback: Before Roe v. Wade, the Jane Collective served Chicago women (Chicago Tribune)
Before the 1973 decision, terminating pregnancies was a monopoly of back-alley abortionists. Some were medically competent, others were butchers, and a desperate woman couldn't be choosy. In Chicago, as in most parts of the U.S., a woman who wanted to terminate her pregnancy had few safe options — unless she found her way to the Jane Collective, a medical underground that emerged on the city's South Side.

Officially, it was the Abortion Counseling Service of Women's Liberation. But the name scarcely conveys how it enabled thousands of women to safely end an unwanted pregnancy in those final years that abortion was illegal. [...] The Jane Collective began as a referral service, putting pregnant women in touch with reliable abortionists. By the time it closed, female members of the collective were trained to perform abortions. The women hadn't been to medical school, but their skills were attested to by a doctor who risked his license by doing post-operative checkups on the clients.
See also: The Story of Jane: The Legendary Underground Feminist Abortion Service
posted by Little Dawn at 10:43 AM on May 15, 2019 [4 favorites]

It's quite clear that the Republican states are assuming that Roe will be overturned.

The advantage for them is that it's win-win to try. If they get what they want, great. If they don't they still have a tremendous rallying opportunity at every stage. We're taking the fight to them plays while court challenges proceed, any setback is a chance to rile up folks to show up and vote, any failure is doubly so. So long as the dems continue to whishy-washy around and compromise with these nuts - okay okay, how about we only just burn half of everything down? - they'll always have that advantage.

I wish we had half the passion for we have to take up the messaging opportunity on abortion that we do on calls for impeachment. "And rare" is a failed approach precisely because it leaves the forced birth crowd with this weapon.
posted by phearlez at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2019 [8 favorites]

Dahlia Lithwick, Alabama’s Extremist Abortion Bill Ruins John Roberts’ Roe Plan
Why, then, do I feel sorry for John Roberts? Because what keeps the Supreme Court in business is often the polite subterfuge of complex legal doctrine. We don’t so much suppress minority votes as protect the dignity of the states. We don’t so much enable dark money to corrupt elections as invite free speech. And we don’t so much punish women for bearing children as celebrate God and babies. This is all the kind of democracy-suppressive language the justices can get behind. It’s why Americans don’t riot on the streets.
What is interesting is that these pretexts were already falling apart at the high court.
As Joan Biskupic and Noah Feldman and Laurence Tribe all argue, the likelihood of John Roberts taking on an absurd-on-its-face abortion statute like Alabama’s, in advance of an election year, is close to nil. But it doesn’t matter. This can still be done by stealth. What happened this week in Alabama is small ball.

But no matter what he does next, the story Roberts likes to tell—and that we prefer to hear—about the slow, incrementalist, precedent-loving Supreme Court, is falling apart.
posted by zachlipton at 3:47 PM on May 15, 2019 [3 favorites]

Missouri is on it, too. Our state government is Republican controlled. We have only one clinic in the state now that Columbia cannot because of intentionally onerous admitting privileges regulations.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:15 PM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Gateway Women's Access Fund if you want to help. They work with providers in MO,IL,KS, and NE.

Also, NARAL-Missouri for political activism.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:21 PM on May 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

Good god, can you imagine being the pilot on that plane? It's a Hitler's Barber moment if there ever was one.
posted by Kadin2048 at 5:34 PM on May 16, 2019 [3 favorites]

This Ohio anti-abortion bill says that ectopic pregnancies can be moved to the uterus — but that isn't scientifically possible (CBS News)

GOP Rep. John Becker introduced House Bill 182, which allows for two situations where insurers could offer coverage for abortion services. One is a "procedure, in an emergency situation, that is medically necessary to save the pregnant woman's life." The other, the bill says, is a procedure for an ectopic pregnancy, "that is intended to reimplant the fertilized ovum into the pregnant woman's uterus."
Some doctors have also taken to social media to refute the claim that a fertilized egg can be re-implanted into the woman's uterus. "Unfortunately, an ectopic pregnancy cannot be 'reimplanted' into the uterus," wrote Dr. Daniel Grossman, a clinical and public health researcher on abortion and contraception, according to his Twitter bio. "We just don't have the technology. So I would suggest removing this from your bill, since it's pure science fiction."
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:24 PM on May 16, 2019 [6 favorites]

Worth reading: "The only moral abortion is my abortion"

It's a collection of anecdotes "directly from abortion doctors and other clinic staff in North America, Australia, and Europe" about what an anti-choice woman does when she experiences an unwanted pregnancy herself. Initially found in a now dead link in a decade-old FPP comment.
posted by msbrauer at 6:51 AM on May 17, 2019 [9 favorites]

At the Cut:
What You Can Do to Help Women in States With Extreme Abortion Bans (with donation link round-up)
Here’s How You Can Become an Abortion-Clinic Escort
Rebecca Traister's terrific, incendiary Our Fury Over Abortion Was Dismissed for Decades As Hysterical (How Extreme Abortion Bans in Alabama and Georgia Happened) [hat tip to zachlipton, for linking it in the current political megathread]
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:27 PM on May 17, 2019 [6 favorites]

Jessica Valenti: Anti-Abortion Laws Will Put Women in Jail: We know because women are already being punished
As more states try to adopt what are essentially full bans on abortion, I’ve seen some on the right argue that criminalizing the procedure won’t really punish women — that no matter what the law says, in reality no one is going to put a woman in jail for getting an abortion.

This is absolutely not true, and we have proof: Women are already being arrested and put in jail because of anti-choice laws — even with the protection of Roe v. Wade.
Anti-Abortion Lawmakers Have No Idea How Women’s Bodies Work: We cannot ask women to follow laws written by men who believe our bodies work like a game of ‘Marble Run’
Women’s bodies, lives, and futures are quite literally in the hands of men who seemingly couldn’t pass a high school health class. That’s part of what’s so hard about watching these debates: It’s not just that women’s rights and autonomy are being legislated away, but that it’s being done by complete morons.
posted by homunculus at 5:54 PM on May 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Madeleine Schwartz: "A few years ago, I interviewed former members of an underground collective that performed abortions before Roe. In the 1960s, abortion in Chicago was run by the mob and women were usually blindfolded."

Jane Does
From conversations between Madeleine Schwartz, a journalist, and members of the Abortion Counseling Service of Women’s Liberation, later known as Jane, an underground railroad for reproductive care that was started in Chicago in 1969. According to The Story of Jane, by Laura Kaplan, the service provided 11,000 abortions before it was shut down in 1973.
posted by homunculus at 5:59 PM on May 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

The Criminalization of Women’s Bodies Is All About Conservative Male Power: The goal of the wave of anti-abortion laws in America is to put female sexuality under strict and brutal state control.

And like race baiting, ten commandment shrines, and gun extremism, these policies are all secretly funded to divide people emotionally along preexisting lines. The wealthy play this game to keep us from rationally uniting and taxing them, so as to tax ourselves instead.
posted by Brian B. at 6:48 AM on May 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

Yeah I don't think you need to introduce some sort of evil conspiracy by the wealthy to explain this. Those sorts of theories are very, very seductive, because it eliminates the uncomfortable truth, which is that we are surrounded by millions of really fucking awful people who despite appearing nice on the surface, and probably being nice in some contexts, actually, genuinely, actively want to oppress others around them, and are willing to work and vote towards that end.

It's like saying that slavery was a conspiracy by rich Southern plantation owners. Well, sure, they benefited from it and may have helped keep it going, but on a daily basis it wasn't some cabal running things. It was lots of everyday people who actually, genuinely, and actively believed that black people were racially inferior and deserved to be owned, worked, destroyed, and disposed of as property of their white masters. No cabal keeps things running like that without lots of active, unforced, un-coerced, enthusiastic participation.

More often than not, evil is not the work of conspiracies. It's the work of lots of people, doing banal little jobs, exacting petty cruelties on people they don't know (or sometimes do), bolstering their prejudices at Sunday church services and at the barber shop and over beers with like-minded people, and then going to the polls and voting that prejudice and hatred good and hard.

If there are wealthy people out there funding 'wedge issues' there is a very simple and non-conspiratorial explanation for it: it's because they believe in that issue, too. Being wealthy doesn't mean you can't also be evil. The dickbags who run Hobby Lobby probably are just as anti-contraception as they appear to be; there's no reason to assume some ulterior motive when there's a very plain motive right there.

I have noticed that a lot of people on the left of the political spectrum seem very receptive to conspiracy theories, and I think it's because it avoids the awkwardness of realizing that democracy can fail, and fail terribly. That you can give all the people all the power and sometimes 51% of them will turn on the other 49% percent (or even the reverse); that perfectly well-educated people can decide that it's a perfectly good idea to have their neighbors murdered for having the wrong color skin or going to the wrong church or whatever. Not everyone who disagrees, even if they disagree fundamentally and terribly, is simply misinformed, or being manipulated by those dastardly Capitalists. Some of them really just are shitty fucking humans.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:23 PM on May 20, 2019 [7 favorites]

I've been reading up on why people believe in conspiracy theories lately, and apparently research indicates that they are quite widespread and pretty evenly distributed - across political affiliation, gender, class, race, religion or lack thereof, etc.
posted by eviemath at 8:16 PM on May 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

I have noticed that a lot of people on the left of the political spectrum seem very receptive to conspiracy theories, and I think it's because it avoids the awkwardness of realizing that democracy can fail, and fail terribly. That you can give all the people all the power and sometimes 51% of them will turn on the other 49% percent (or even the reverse);

It's not a conspiracy, and it's perfectly legal unless a foreign government does it. The point is that the wealthy are only interested in tax cuts and deregulation, and they don't care about most social issues. But poor religious voters care a lot about other people's business, and guns and race especially, and the Republican party knows it. So the platform takes on a religious or righteous tone, so that a majority can be persuaded to vote against their worldly interests, but for their other-worldly interests. What may be disturbing to deniers is that they have a hard time believing that wealthy people will donate billions of dollars against their personal opinions (as if that matters for the sake of making many billions more and having more control and power). Some may remember when nobody cared about abortion until they learned its ability to make some voters switch sides, thwart feminism, and hide their racism too.
posted by Brian B. at 8:19 PM on May 20, 2019 [4 favorites]

tl;dr people are the woooooorst
posted by LizBoBiz at 12:23 AM on May 21, 2019

Mississippi abortion law ‘smacks of defiance,’ judge says (Politico)
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves heard arguments about a request from the state’s only abortion clinic, which wants him to block the law from taking effect July 1, as scheduled. Reeves is the same judge who ruled last year that Mississippi’s 15-week ban is unconstitutional because it would prohibit access to abortion before a fetus could survive outside the pregnant woman’s body. Viability is generally considered to be about 23 or 24 weeks.

In an indication of which way he is leaning on the request to block the new law, Reeves asked attorneys: “Doesn’t it boil down to: Six is less than 15?” [...] Reeves criticized Mississippi lawmakers for passing an earlier ban after he struck down the one at 15 weeks.

“It sure smacks of defiance to this court,” he said. [...]

Zakiya Summers of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi said outlawing abortion will not get rid of the procedure but will make it more dangerous. “The decision whether to become a parent is in the hands of those who are involved. It is not the politicians’ decision to make,” Summers said. “Bodies do not belong to the government.”
posted by Little Dawn at 5:06 PM on May 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

'I don't feel safe': Alabama newspapers publish letters by women on abortion ban (Guardian)
Three major Alabama newspapers devoted their Sunday editions to letters from women across the state, offering an expansive look into the reactions after a nearly all-male state legislature passed the nation’s strictest abortion ban last week.

The Alabama Media Group, which operates the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Mobile Press-Register, filled their Sunday papers with 200 essays from Alabama women of various backgrounds, ages and political leanings. The essays were also available as a package online under the title “It’s time to hear Alabama’s women”.

Though the state was “the talk of the nation last week”, wrote Alabama Media Group’s vice-president, Kelly Ann Scott, in an introduction to the series, “missing from many of those conversations were the voices of women from this state”.

Scott continued that in less than 24 hours, more than 200 Alabama women wrote in with their perspectives.
posted by Little Dawn at 5:09 PM on May 21, 2019 [4 favorites]

Abortion-rights activists rally across US against extreme new state bans (Guardian)
About 400 events are set to take place across the US in what groups are describing as a Stop Abortion Bans Day of Action
US abortion-rights campaigners, including several Democrats running for president in 2020, rallied in front of the supreme court and across the country on Tuesday to protest against extreme new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states.

According to the website #StoptheBans, about 400 events were set to take place across all 50 US states. [...]

On Tuesday, nearly two dozen states and municipalities sued the federal government to stop a new rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs. The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court asked a judge to block a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that is scheduled to take effect in July.
posted by Little Dawn at 7:10 PM on May 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

Revealed: 21,000 US women order abortion pills online in past six months [The Guardian]
Data shared with the Guardian reveals that 21,000 women requested abortion medication between October 2018 and March this year from the charity Aid Access. Between a third and a half of the women who made the requests were then sent abortion pills in the mail. The majority of the recipients live in states with hostile abortion policies. [...]

Since 2006, [Rebecca]Gomperts has run the charity Women on Web, which enables women in countries with abortion bans to terminate their pregnancies through online consultations. Doctors at the charity prescribe the two pills – mifepristone and misoprostol – that will terminate a pregnancy within the first 10 weeks. The pills are sent to women from a pharmacy based in India.

Gomperts launched the US operation, Aid Access, last year after seeing a steady increase in demand, with about 6,000 requests for abortion pills between October 2017 and August 2018. Three-quarters of requests came from states that have introduced strict anti-abortion laws, such as Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

The charity said it had also heard from women who said they were considering extreme measures, such as drinking alcohol or getting someone to punch them in the stomach. [...]

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning letter stating that Aid Access is violating federal law by selling “misbranded and unapproved” drugs.
6K requests over 10 months, to 21K in the past six months, and that's solely the people approaching this organization.

Also, Alabama is having a banner month: here's HB 544, a new bill which would make false rape allegations a crime. []
The bill, introduced by Rep. Dickie Drake, R-Leeds, would make falsely reporting a sex crime a Class C felony and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. If the accused is found not guilty, the accuser would be responsible for paying the accused person’s legal expenses.

It is already illegal to make a false police report in Alabama.

Kathleen Connolly, director of the Alabama Coalition Against Rape, said this bill would deter people from reporting sex crimes, which are already one of the most under-reported crimes.

“It’s not solving a new problem,” Connolly said. “It is a problem if someone makes a false report, and that’s rare. It’s an effort to silence men and women who are coming forward about sexual assault. It’s an effort to make them afraid to come forward.” [...]

Drake said he decided to create the bill because of a friend whose ex wife falsely accused him and his new wife of sexually abusing their kids.

“If they make an accusation, they better make sure it’s true and make them think twice before they make a false accusation,” Drake said.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:34 AM on May 22, 2019 [4 favorites]

For non-twitterers, the Thread reader version.
The graphic:
AT&T: $196,600 in 6 states
Eli Lilly: 66,250 in 5 states
Walmart: 57,700 in 6 states
Pfizer: 53,650 in 6 states
Coca-Cola: 40,800 in 5 states
Aetna: $26,600 in 4 states

There's a fire sale on bodily autonomy.
And these donations to individual politicians are insultingly rinky-dink -- often only a few thousand dollars. (Upper management commands greater compensation: Eli Lilly gave $30K to Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama.) Are the bulk of the monies supporting this effort coming from private donors, then?

Incidentally, there's one distributor of mifepristone in the States, and it's not Eli Lilly or Pfizer: privately-owned Danco Laboratories. Mifepristone (abortion pill brand name: Mifeprex) is not just an abortifacent; for example, as "Korlym," it's used in treating Cushing's disease:

How a Drugmaker Turned the Abortion Pill into a Rare Disease Profit Machine (HealthLeadersMedia/Kaiser Health News, April 10, 2018)
The difference in price between Korlym and Mifeprex is striking, even though the ingredients are the same: One 200-milligram pill to prompt an abortion costs about $80. In contrast, a 300-milligram pill prescribed for Cushing’s runs about $550 before discounts. Patients wanting an abortion take only one pill. People with Cushing’s often take up to three pills a day for months or years. [...]

When the Food and Drug Administration approved Korlym in 2012, it was designated as an orphan drug, giving Corcept seven years of market exclusivity as well as other economic incentives. Congress approved orphan drug incentives to encourage the development of medicines for rare diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 patients. Since the drug’s approval, Korlym’s price has risen about 150 percent, and last year the company’s revenue nearly doubled to $159.2 million. (Korlym is the company’s only product and treats about 1,000 patients in the U.S.) [...]

The company’s pipeline is also full of potential oncology drugs that hold the promise of using molecules to influence the cortisol receptors, with wide-ranging effects in the body. Korlym in combination with another drug is being tested for the treatment of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, which tends to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer. And relacorilant [Korlym’s successor] is in the very early stages of testing to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer. [...]

Korlym came to market in 2012 with an average wholesale price of $223.20 per pill before discounts, according to the health care technology firm Connecture. Corcept boosted the price $20 to $50 each year. By December 2017, each pill had an average wholesale price of $549.60 before any discounts or rebates were negotiated for patients.
(Emphasis mine)
Fellow kids may remember that Corcept first formed to develop mifepristone as an anti-depressant drug treating psychotic major depression.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:30 PM on May 23, 2019 [4 favorites]

Augh, missed one: Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers have shown that mifepristone, a drug currently FDA-approved for chemical abortion, prevents the growth of vestibular schwannoma (also known as acoustic neuroma) cells. This sometimes-lethal intracranial tumor typically causes hearing loss and tinnitus. (Massachusetts Eye and Ear infirmary press release, April 3, 2018; findings)
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:04 PM on May 23, 2019 [1 favorite]

Abortion providers report 'alarming' rise in picketing, vandalism and trespassing (Guardian)
US abortion providers reported an “alarming escalation” in incidents of disruption and intimidation in 2018, according to new findings report by their professional association, the National Abortion Federation (NAF).

Trespassing reached the highest level since the NAF began recording such incidents in 1999, while incidents of obstruction of facilities grew 78% from 2017 to 2018. Providers also reported record levels of picketing (99,409 incidents) since recording began in 1977, and the highest number of incidents of vandalism (125) since 1990.

The group also recorded decreases in incidents of stalking, burglary, and assault and battery. [...]

“Anti-choice individuals and groups have been emboldened by the rhetoric of President Trump, Vice President Pence and other elected officials and we are seeing this play out in more instances of activities meant to intimidate abortion providers and disrupt patient services,” said Katherine Ragsdale, interim president and CEO of NAF, in a statement.

Trump and other politicians advocating for the restriction of access to abortion have frequently engaged in false and inflammatory rhetoric about the practice, using emotive and inaccurate language such as “infanticide” or “late-term abortion”. [...]

“Demonizing health care providers and women who rely on them for abortion care has become one of the go-to tactics for anti-choice politicians,” added Ragsdale. “Those lies have consequences and it is not the anti-choice politicians who are facing those consequences; it is those who are denied abortion care and the providers targeted by threats, harassment, and violence who are.”
posted by Little Dawn at 11:56 PM on May 24, 2019 [3 favorites]

Not wishing to shade the apex of meritocracy that implemented these newest restrictions - but as a mother, and having had a few miscarriages, I look at these white men, and see why abortion might be something they should fear. Because if I was their mother, I would gladly have accepted that circumstances were not propitious.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 6:05 AM on May 25, 2019 [1 favorite]

And these donations to individual politicians are insultingly rinky-dink -- often only a few thousand dollars. [...] Are the bulk of the monies supporting this effort coming from private donors, then?

Those donations strike me as basically the table stakes for a big corporation with a presence in a particular state, probably not especially connected to abortion per se; if you dig down, there may be legislation that some of the companies are trying to push or stop, but it's probably more immediately business-relevant. E.g. I suspect AT&T has very specific legislative priorities concerning 5G infrastructure deployments and stuff that are driving their political "outreach".

But because this is 2019 and the Internet panopticon goes both ways, you can ask them if you're interested. They apparently hired a new lobbyist Regional Director - Legislative Affairs back in 2017, one Elizabeth Harwood, formerly of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Ready Mixed Concrete Association (which I really want to think is the perfect organized-crime front but probably isn't). They helpfully give her contact information: (404) 216-3166 (mobile, naturally), or I'm sure you'll get a zero-information corporate response, but still, it might not be totally worthless if they started hearing from some of their customers in Georgia that their actions are being noted. Working up the chain from Ms. Harwood, you get to Kevin F. Curtin, Assistant VP - Legislative Affairs, who is a little less free with his contact information, but has a personal twitter account at @Kevin_Curtin. His LinkedIn says that he "Manages all contract legislative lobbyists for AT&T in Georgia" so, really, he should be perfectly capable of giving an answer.

I'm not sure that receiving a lot of hate mail from people outside Georgia is likely to be productive, and I suspect that the most effective strategy is probably for an organization with significant reach to threaten a boycott or negative PR campaign, not for random individuals to light them up on Twitter. But to each their own. (TBH I'm not sure what Google Ads run these days, but it's not like a suitably motivated person couldn't make up a one-page site—say ""? I'm sure someone else can do better—and start buying ads related to wireless and wireline services in the Georgia market, targeting their customers. Dollar for dollar that's probably the most effective way to punish companies for their lobbying.)

Anyway you could do the same for the other companies that have donated to supporters of the law.

I still suspect that their motivation isn't actually related to the law, but calling them out as de facto collaborators with what's in effect an oppressive, human-rights-violating regime is probably about right.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:38 AM on May 25, 2019 [2 favorites]

Dan Savage: "I talked about abortion rights and Georgia's abortion ban on the top of a recent Lovecast and someone involved in the fight on the ground there wrote in with some great points..."
I'm a lawyer and reproductive justice advocate in Georgia working around the recently signed anti-abortion law. I wanted to thank you for using your platform to talk about the abortion law but also provide some clarifying information. My colleague Oriako Njoku (Executive Director of ARC Southeast) and I recently co-authored an article explaining why alarmist responses to this law are dangerous to Georgians' health.

Abortion is still legal in Georgia. The new law is scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020 - if ever. There are lawyers from the ACLU, Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood working to file a lawsuit challenging the law and are expecting to file shortly. Every other law banning abortion at this stage of pregnancy has been enjoined or struck down by the courts. Resources like the Abortion Care Network and the National Network of Abortion Funds exist to help provide people seeking abortion services with logistical and financial support. The Georgia fund is Access Reproductive Care (ARC) — Southeast.

While the this law is appalling it's important to remind people in Georgia—and across the country—that safe and legal abortion services are still accessible. Promoting the narrative that abortion is now illegal is dangerous as it may deter people from seeking care. Clinics and abortion funds in Georgia and across the Southeast are already reporting a significant uptick in calls from worried patients asking if they can still come to their appointments and receive care. While this bill raises some serious concerns—that are unsettled under current law—focusing on the potential effects of the bill can spiral out and cause patients unnecessary fear.

Further, you highlighted several studios that have committed to not shooting in Georgia and called on other studios and businesses to do the same. Advocates on the ground—including Stacey Abrams, following the 2018 Gubernatorial election—are urging businesses and people with platforms to NOT boycott Georgia. Boycotts and strikes will do little to sway the minds of the lawmakers who championed this bill and will instead cause further harm to the workers and families most impacted by this bill. The best thing studios, businesses, and individuals can do is support the advocates on the ground who are leading this work. Over the weekend Jordan Peele and JJ Abrams pledged to continue filming their projects in Georgia and will donate the proceeds of their work to the local advocacy organizations.

There have been calls to support orgs with a national presence but it's important to also support the WOC- and QTPOC-led, local organizations that are leading this important work. The organizations in Georgia I'd recommend include Access Reproductive Care (ARC) – Southeast, Feminist Women’s Health Center, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), Georgia Chapter, SisterLove, Inc., SisterSong, SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Inc., URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, and Women Engaged.

Thank you again for using your platform to amplify this issue. If you have any additional questions I'm happy to be a resource.

Jillian Heaviside, J.D.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:40 PM on May 25, 2019 [4 favorites]

The Doctors Who Put Their Lives on the Line (NYT Editorial Board)
Today, abortion providers face an even more volatile political backdrop than Dr. Tiller did during his lifetime. In the years after Dr. Tiller’s murder, state legislatures passed hundreds of anti-abortion regulations intended to shut down abortion clinics and make it harder for women to access the procedure. Then came Donald Trump, who became president thanks in large part to the support of evangelical voters counting on him to deliver anti-abortion Supreme Court justices and other judges — a promise that he has fulfilled, leading anti-abortion lawmakers in states around the country to pass a rash of near-total abortion bans this year.

Since the 2016 election, abortion providers have reported a spike in incidents of vandalism, trespassing, harassment and picketing. According to the National Abortion Federation, which tracks such data, in 2018 abortion providers were subject to at least 1,135 trespassing incidents in the United States and Canada — up from 823 incidents in 2017 and 264 in 2013, when there were more abortion clinics in America than there are today. And last year they experienced nearly 122,600 disruptive events, including internet harassment, bomb threats and picketing. In 2017, that number was fewer than 97,000, and in 2013 it was fewer than 6,500.

Many providers and experts are concerned about enforcement of the federal Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which was passed during the Clinton administration to bar the use of “force or threat of force or … physical obstruction” to keep people from entering reproductive health clinics. Hesitant to wade into a heated political issue, local police officers allow violations of the law to slide, further emboldening the activists.

Amy Hagstrom Miller, the founder and chief executive of the Whole Woman’s Health network of abortion clinics, has had reason to call on law enforcement recently: In April, she said, someone set fire to the fence outside the Whole Woman’s clinic in McAllen, Tex. The clinic, which is the only abortion facility for nearly 250 miles, has become a hotbed of anti-abortion activity, sometimes attracting hundreds of protesters at a time. It is less than 10 miles from the Mexican border and serves mostly women of color, and Ms. Hagstrom Miller said that it has started to attract protesters with white nationalist tattoos.

Ms. Hagstrom Miller also worries about President Trump saying at his rallies, wrongly, that women and doctors routinely “execute” babies. “This kind of language and rhetoric,” she said, “doesn’t just fall on the ears of well-balanced people.”
posted by Little Dawn at 7:52 AM on May 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Christian rightwing figures warn abortion fight could lead to civil war (Guardian)
Though such dire predictions are not necessarily new on the extreme right wing in the US, the passing of a wave of hardline anti-abortion laws in numerous states this year appears to have amped up the conspiracy-minded predictions that depict abortion squarely as a root cause of a coming conflict.

Republican lawmakers such as Ohio’s Candice Keller have openly speculated that the divide over abortion rights might lead to civil war. Last month, Keller drew explicit comparisons with the antebellum situation over slavery, telling the Guardian: “Whether this ever leads to a tragedy, like it did before with our civil war, I can’t say.”

Earlier this month, the Guardian revealed that the Washington state republican legislator Matt Shea had also speculated about civil war, and the “Balkanization” of America, predicting that Christians would retreat to “zones of freedom” such as the inland Pacific north-west, where Shea is campaigning for a new state to break away from Washington. [...]

In the past year, Charisma magazine, the leading media voice of Pentecostal and charismatic Christians, has run at least half a dozen articles contemplating the possibility of an imminent civil war in America. One recent article profiles pastor, broadcaster and author Michael L Brown, who blames a “coming civil war” on “militant abortionists”. [...] An upcoming book from Brown also warns that abortion is among the signs that “the demonic spirit of Jezebel is powerful in America”. In another column this month Brown wrote: “A civil war is certain. The only thing to be determined is how bloody it will be.” [...]

But is the possibility of an abortion-centred civil war likely?

Journalist Robert Evans hosts the breakout podcast It Could Happen Here, which canvases scenarios for a new American civil war. He said that the Christian right “generate a lot of the extremist language in mainstream politics”, but that “there’s more talk about violent insurrection from the white nationalist right than the Christian right, because there’s less faith in politics”.

For now, as demonstrated by the abortion bills passed in several states in an apparent attempt to get a case to the supreme court and overturn abortion rights nationally, the Christian right is reaping dividends from engaging with the political process. But, Evans notes, the danger may come if “they see victory slip from their grasp”. And unlike the fractious and small subcultures of the racist far right, “the Christian right is really good at keeping people working together for years at a time”.
posted by Little Dawn at 8:16 AM on May 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Supreme Court upholds block on abortion law signed by Pence (Politico)
The justices declined to review a lower court's decision overturning a law restricting when and why an abortion could be performed. Vice President Mike Pence signed the measure into law in 2016 when he was Indiana governor, and it was blocked by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals last year.
Missouri's last abortion clinic says it may lose its license this week (CBS) (h/t, also)
Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit requesting a restraining order against the state, hoping to restore the license and avoid service disruption. A circuit court judge will hear arguments on Wednesday.
posted by Little Dawn at 3:39 PM on May 28, 2019

How Kamala Harris Plans to Block State Laws Restricting Abortion (Fortune)
California Senator and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has a plan for combating state-level abortion restrictions being passed in states across the country.

Modeled after the Voting Rights Act, the Reproductive Rights Act has a preclearance requirement that would require that states with a “history of violating Roe v. Wade obtain approval” from the Justice Department before any laws that would restrict abortion can go into effect.
More details of her plan at [Kamala Harris for the People].
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:44 PM on May 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

Even if Roe is upheld, abortion opponents are winning (Politico)
Six states are down to only one abortion clinic; by the end of this week, Missouri could have zero. Some women seeking abortions have to travel long distances, and face mandatory waiting periods or examinations. [...] Doctors and clinic staff have to face protesters, threats, proliferating regulations and draining legal challenges; clinics have closed. In remote parts of the midwest and south, women may have to travel more than 300 miles to end a pregnancy. [...]

Data from the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion rights, shows that 788 clinics in the U.S. provided abortion services in 2014 — a drop of 51 clinics over three years. Since 2013 about 20 clinics have closed just in Texas. Further, one in five women would have to travel at least 43 miles to get to a clinic, according to a Guttmacher analysis from October 2017. In North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, at least half of the women between 15 and 44 years old lived more than 90 miles from a clinic. Six states — Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia — have only one clinic left that performs abortions, according to a recent analysis from Planned Parenthood and Guttmacher. [...]

The ramifications of the anti-abortion movement’s sustained assault against Planned Parenthood are perhaps no clearer than in Texas, where lawmakers have passed dozens of restrictive laws, including mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods and state funding restrictions. The Supreme Court overturned another set of Texas restrictions in 2016 — but not before about 20 clinics shut down, many of which were never able to reopen. Providers retired, staff found other jobs and clinics had to start from scratch to get licensed and staff up. “All of those things take time and a significant amount of money,” said Kari White, an associate professor in Health Care Organization and Policy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an investigator with the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. [...]

The evaluation project found that while the number of abortions overall declined after the Texas law went into effect, the number of second-trimester abortions rose as women were forced to wait and travel longer distances. Currently only about 22 abortion providers, mostly in urban areas, are operating in Texas, a state with roughly 6.3 million women of reproductive age.

Low-income women are disproportionately affected by abortion restrictions, said Kamyon Conner, executive director of the Texas Equal Access Fund, which helps women who can’t afford an abortion, which costs between $500 and $10,000 dollars depending on the point in pregnancy. The nonprofit was part of a group that challenged dozens of Texas abortion restrictions in court.

Calls to the group’s hotline have tripled over the past few years to 6,000 in 2018, but it only funded about 1,000 women last year, she said.
posted by Little Dawn at 3:57 PM on May 30, 2019

Today's Democracy Now! had a retrospective on the Jane Collective (previously) (starts at around 34:50 in the full show .mp4, alt link, .torrent)
posted by XMLicious at 8:29 AM on May 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

While the this law is appalling it's important to remind people in Georgia—and across the country—that safe and legal abortion services are still accessible.

So this is really pernicious because no. No, abortion services are not accessible. In many states there's ONE clinic for the whole state. What if you live on the other side of the State? Insurance doesn't cover abortions in most states. What if you can't get the money? What if you can't get someone to drive you? What if your abusive husband would kill you if he caught you? What if you know if you were seen walking in to the clinic you'd be shunned by the community? Abortion is *not* accessible in the country unless you are wealthy enough so that the existing restrictions don't effect you. And that's before the new restrictions. Blithely tossing out "don't worry abortion isn't banned! Don't scare women" isn't helping. Because for a lot of women in this county, abortion is practically banned already.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:10 AM on June 1, 2019 [10 favorites]

I am a state employee in Georgia. The legislature tried to pass a bill banning our state employee insurance from covering abortion, but they failed. In response, then Governor Deal issued an executive order doing the same thing. That ban still exists for the 70,000 or so direct state employees, 150,000 or so employees of the university system, and 150,000 or so employees of the public schools.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:09 PM on June 1, 2019 [6 favorites]

So this is really pernicious because no. No, abortion services are not accessible.

Yeah, I get what the quoted person is saying - it is important to note that the laws have not yet gone into effect and will can be in contention for years, but the wording is misleading. There's a difference between 'abortion is legal' and 'abortion is accessible', and the last twenty to thirty years really should have taught everyone that abortion can be legal and still be inaccessible. The fact that the general public has somehow decided that technically legal but logistically impossible is an acceptable state is the great failing of the reproductive justice movement.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:14 PM on June 1, 2019 [3 favorites]

Blithely tossing out "don't worry abortion isn't banned! Don't scare women" isn't helping.

I tried to address this issue in the Prochoice gatekeeping Askme thread, because I don't think it's fair to characterize the concern as simply a matter of 'scaring' women. It's a real harm to women, if they believe that abortion is currently banned. Especially if they don't call to clarify that abortion is still legal.

As noted by several news outlets, resources that could otherwise be spent assisting women with obtaining access to a safe abortion now have to be redirected to staffing hotlines dedicated to countering the fear and misunderstanding created by incomplete reporting on the current status of the law, including, unfortunately, the title and lede of the article used to create this post (which was noted by the Washington Post for its imprecision). The current actual restrictions and barriers are horrific, as noted in the Politico article posted above, and the call for more precise language about whether abortion is legal at all is designed to help ensure that additional barriers are not created by the anti-abortion movement's attempts to pass near-total bans.

Imprecise language about attempts to pass near-total bans is a win for the anti-abortion movement every time it convinces a woman that abortion is now banned. When the request is made for abortion to not be referred to as 'banned' when we talk about the recent legislation that attempts to ban abortion, it does not diminish the need to take action to address the actual barriers that currently exist. If anything, it can be used to call attention to the barriers that exist (Guardian) and the resources that are mobilizing to overcome them.

It is not blithe to try to limit the impact of anti-abortion propaganda when it takes the form of attempts to ban abortion. It is hard enough for many reasons to obtain access to a safe abortion (and if anyone wants to help collect and/or promote resources that support women obtaining safe access to abortion and contraception, please check out the MeFi Wiki ThereIsHelp page), but when condemning the latest heinous laws attempting to ban abortion, we can call them 'attempts,' and defang the propaganda that the anti-abortion movement so desperately wants pushed out into the news and social media.
posted by Little Dawn at 6:21 PM on June 3, 2019 [3 favorites]

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