Alabama’s Republican legislators are confident that the harsh abortion bill they’ve enacted will become the Supreme Court case to overturn Roe v. Wade. They may be right. From their appalling viewpoint, any notion that a pregnant girl or woman has rights concerning her own body is meaningless. The same is true for a host of red state legislatures, including North Dakota's. If a girl or woman is pregnant, she becomes her womb and only her womb. The state is in charge.
And doctors? Oh, pshaw. Forget their years of learning and training to become OB/GYNs or pediatricians (they know nothing). Forget the strong support for legal abortion from professional medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics (like anybody’s listening to them). Alabama’s legislature says if medical care includes abortion care, those docs are headed for the Big House—up to 99 years.
In today’s world legislators have anointed themselves as medical Grand Poobahs.
Ohio Rep. John Becker, R, displayed his medical expertise when he put forth a bill premised on preserving ectopic pregnancies by saying, “Part of that treatment would be removing that embryo from the Fallopian tube and reinserting it in the uterus….”
Do we even have to say ectopic pregnancy never has been or can be “reinserted”? Real world ectopic pregnancies are doomed pregnancies, which demand timely intervention to save maternal lives. (Maternal death: such a bothersome detail.)
Right after Ohio passed its “six week ban,” a pregnant 11-yr-old made the news. Self-righteous Ohio legislators who love puffing and blowing about zygotes appear unbothered that a repeatedly raped 11-yr-old child would be forced to go through pregnancy and give birth under their new law. (Compassion for living breathing children? Oh, puhleeze.)
Note North Dakota passed a six-week abortion ban six years ago, but it was blocked in federal court, as were similar bans in Mississippi and Iowa. That didn’t stop Georgia’s legislature from upping the ante by including a provision for law enforcement to investigate miscarriages. Indeed, Georgia women who miscarry in their own bathrooms may want to call a lawyer before calling their doctors.
Georgia’s law identifies “unborn children [as] a class of living, distinct persons” with “full legal recognition.” (Hmm. Can a fetus with “full legal recognition” be sent to prison with his/her mother-to-be who robbed a bank? Can fetuses receive state benefits when their undocumented mothers aren’t eligible? )
Commonly, red state abortion laws treat women as irrelevant to their own pregnancies. That’s not what America wants. Yet, just as the NRA has scared politicians into taking America down a rabbit hole of absurd gun policies, so has the anti-abortion movement “purified” Republican legislators to ignore the complicated nature of human reproduction: it’s all anti-abortion all the time.
No wonder America has one of the world’s worst maternal mortality rates . Public health and reproductive rights concerns for pregnant women have gone the way of rotary dial phones.