During the lead up to the recent midterm elections, Republicans had nothing whatsoever to run on except that they hated African Americans, Hispanic immigrants, poor people, Muslims, peace, living wages, overtime pay, Social Security, Medicare, sick leave, education, women, unions, science, and most of all, President Barack Obama. With consistent good news on economic growth, impressive job gains, record Wall Street numbers, falling gas prices, world-leading oil exports, Affordable Care Act satisfaction, falling debt and deficits, and increased revenue, about the only thing they could do was follow the lead of many Democratic candidates and run away from President Barack Obama’s successes on the economic front. Their tactics were adequate to garner enough electoral support from racists and religious fanatics to increase their numbers in the House and gain control of the Senate. Now, the Republicans’ first order of business with Mitch McConnell sharing Senate Majority Leader duties with Ted Cruz is precisely what they did when they won the House majority in 2010; attack women’s right to choose when they give birth.
In an interview in the Wall Street Journal, McConnell said that as part of the GOP’s campaign pledge to institute a robust “small government agenda,” Republicans will use their new power as the majority in the Senate to pass a federal ban on abortion after 20 weeks. It is true that the Vatican legislation, like all GOP proposals, will not create one job, reduce the deficit, cut taxes, or enhance national security, but it will advance the religious right’s crusade to abolish Roe v. Wade and comply with the Vatican’s Humanae Vitae. It is the ultimate hypocrisy from the party that champions small federal government severely restricted from interfering with, or attempting to control, the private lives of American citizens.
Theocratic Republicans lust to pass a 20-week abortion ban based on absurd evangelical science that fetuses feel pain after 20 weeks. A claim that real scientists assert is not the case, but the evangelicals bent on controlling women do not acknowledge real science. Like many upcoming pieces of religious legislation, The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed the religious Republican House in 2013, but Senate Democrats under the impression that America was not a theocracy rejected the Vatican bill; McConnell intends to remedy that secular decision right away. He said, “There’s no reason our constituents should be kept from having their voices heard on the issue in the Senate. I look forward to the Senate passing similar legislation in the next Congress.”
Several theocratic state legislatures have already passed 20-week abortion bans modeled after template legislation from the anti-women’s rights group National Right to Life that claims non-existent fetal pain supersedes a woman’s right to decide when to have children; Republicans hold the opinion that the choice belongs to evangelical extremists and congressional Republicans. The goal is clear; continue chipping away at legal protections under Roe v. Wade which guarantees the right to a legal abortion until about 24 weeks of pregnancy.
According to medical professionals and researchers, fetal pain is a highly complex issue and not any kind of reason to legislate the Vatican’s edicts banning, or legislating restrictions on, abortion on America’s women. In fact, it is abundantly clear that scientists say that if a fetus can feel pain at all, and that is a very BIG if, the physical facts are that the necessary neurological wiring for sensory stimulation (pain) is not in place until much later; well after the time when nearly all abortions occur.
However, the people using superstition to exert control over American women, the Vatican, patriarchal Republican males, and fanatical Christians have concluded that they know more than scientists and, by the way, their own bible’s god. It is worth repeating again that the almighty god of the Christian bible determined that a fetus at any stage of development is not a living being until it breathes air (Genesis 2:7, Genesis 1:30, Job 33:4); on its own and after it exits the mother’s womb. But Americanized Christians, and the Vatican, have not demonstrated any fealty to the book they claim empowers them to control women, and have taken up the mantle of overriding and playing god as a matter of course.
Abortion opponents claim a couple of scientists have done research that shows that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks after conception, but the one scientist the anti-choice fanatics cite, and two other scientists, say their work or current empirical evidence certainly DOES NOT provide scientific evidence to support any kind of fetal-pain laws. However, it is noteworthy that the same medical science indisputably proved that all birth control methods are not abortion, but the Vatican and anti-choice evangelicals claim they are, indeed abortifacients. That was the logic behind the Vatican-Five’s High Court Hobby Lobby ruling when they admitted all medical science was right that contraception was not abortion. But since Hobby Lobby’s “deeply-held religious belief” said they were abortion, then medical science be damned; contraception is abortion because god. Except god never said that; religious fanatics did and in a developing theocracy, religion always trumps science.
These are the same religious zealots who are certain that the moment a sperm cell punctures an ovum, the woman forfeits her 14th Amendment and citizenship rights to the resulting zygote; the single-celled organism the Vatican, evangelical fanatics, and Republicans claims is a living person and has supremacy over the mother. In fact, the idea that women are second class citizens and subservient is part and parcel of Republican policies as they proved directly after taking control of the House after the 2010 midterms, and that includes employers, rapists, abusive spouses, and of course, theocrats in the patriarchal Republican establishment.
If America’s women, or the men who love them, thought the religious Republican war on women of 2011 through 2014 was brutal, and it was brutal, they will look back endearingly at that four-year onslaught now that Republicans control both houses of Congress. They can look forward to personhood laws effectively criminalizing contraception, bans on working while pregnant, reduced wages, and restrictions on healthcare coverage simply because they are women. It is a bad omen indeed that the first item on Republicans’ agenda is restricting women’s right to choose, and it leads one to wonder just how long it will take Republicans to abandon the Vatican’s anti-women agenda and embrace the anti-women policies espoused by the Taliban because it is certainly coming soon.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.