The current 2019 Republican message to women is, ‘Rape is no biggie, but don’t you dare make a medical decision for your body: Your body belongs to men.’
Our bodies belong to men to rape and then refuse medical care as they see fit. This is modern day America under Republican rule.
Republican attacks on women’s liberty are, and not by accident, incentivizing rape and making abortion a worse crime than the crime that often necessitates an abortion. Twenty-five white men in Alabama just incentivized rape. Again.
This is not a one-off for Republican white male legislators.
“This is a sad day in Alabama,” Alabama state Sen. Bobby Singleton (D), who sponsored the amendment to to exempt rape and incest from the Republican assault on girls an women, said during a floor debate Tuesday. “What you just said to my little girl, that it’s okay for a man to rape you and you got to have his baby if you get pregnant… you just said to my daughter, ‘You don’t matter. You don’t matter in the state of Alabama.’”
Yes, and this is not a surprise because as I wrote shortly after the Russians helped Trump cheat his way into the White House in 2016, this country has turned their backs on American women, causing Trump Traumatic Stress Syndrome Disorder:
“The sobbing isn’t because they lost an election. Women know all about losing power, since they don’t actually have it in the most important ways politically. We are used to taking a backseat. It’s not about a woman losing, although the excitement to be represented for the first time ever – to have our bodies respected by someone who has been there and doesn’t need coaching – was thrilling.
It’s about the fact that our beloved country decided to give the most powerful position in the world to a man who admitted sexually assaulting women.”
Business Insider pointed out the following regarding Georgia’s law:
In addition to banning abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, the law’s personhood provisions:
• Allow fetuses to be claimed as dependents for tax purposes.
• Count fetuses as people in official population surveys, which would have implications for political representation.
• Allow for women who perform their own abortions outside a formal medical setting to be charged with first-degree murder, which could carry a sentence of up to life in prison or the death penalty.
Republicans are not satisfied with making abortion hard to get or impossible, they are also incentivizing rapists and this should come as no surprise since they put one in the White House and another credibly accused rapist on the Supreme Court, as well as running many times accused child and woman sexual predator Alabama Judge Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate.
Rape, or credible accusations of, is kind of a Republican Gold Star Resume Builder at this point. Republican voters love a rapist. The power, the cruelty, the disregard for the law – it’s systemic within Republican voters now. This is what they love about Trump. He gets away with the things with which they feel entitled to get away.
To really see just how sick things are, and how little value is placed on women’s liberty, there’s the story, and no this isn’t really that unusual, of a 12-year-old Michigan child whose lawyer says she wasforcibly raped by serial child raper Christopher Mirasolo who also threatened to kill her (no biggie to kill a woman or girl; apparently “pro-life” means anti-women’s liberty, not pro actual life).
He was then “awarded joint custody of her child despite being convicted of her rape and another sexual assault on a child.” He was found guilty “but only served six and half months.” For rape of a child. “Since his conviction for the rape in 2008, Mirasolo, from Brown City, Michigan, has been convicted of *another* child sex assault, for which he served four years in prison,” my emphasis.
Four years for the second conviction of child sexual assault in Michigan in 2010, which he wouldn’t have been able to commit had he been sentenced properly the first time. There is a high repeat rate among rapists.
A woman could ostensibly and arguably get the death penalty in Georgia for having a miscarriage if it seems like she caused it since the Georgia law gives a 6-week-old fetus the legal status of a human being.
A provider of an abortion could get 10 to 99 years in jail in Alabama.
How about Republicans trying to refuse treatment for ectopic pregnancies in Ohio, when ectopic pregnancies can explode and kill a woman. Yes, Republicans want insurance to stop covering life-saving medical treatment for women, because they feel like this fetus that cannot grow to a full baby because it’s implanted in a fallopian tube instead of a uterus, should be re-implanted.
“But the new bill currently introduced by Republicans in the Ohio state house would preclude doctors from pursuing the standard of care in cases of life-threatening ectopic pregnancies, and ban private insurance companies from covering it by calling it an abortion and forcing them, instead, to cover a re-implantation procedure whether the woman wanted that or not.”
This is the part where you’re not sure whether to laugh, cry, or scream or all three, because it is not possible to “reinsert” an embryo, and many women who suffer the pain of an ectopic pregnancy, which is an emergency, wanted a child. If re-implantation were possible, we wouldn’t have needed a know-nothing Republican from Ohio to order us to do it.
These values add up the opposite of a Christian love and protection of the vulnerable. They come from and lead to a callous disregard of human life, so long as the human is a woman or girl. They come from a desire to inflict pain and lord power, as State Sen. Kim LaSata, a Michigan Republican female lawmaker, exposed, when she declared that abortions “Of course it should be hard! And the procedure should be painful!”
Women are the unsung heroes of this country, and we are treated like disregarded dirt and I for one am so fed up with it and with the smirking smarm of certain mainstream media TV hosts who tell us it’s not really this bad and we ought to be polite.
In fact, when I shared Alyssa Milano’s “Sex Strike” reaction to the assault on women, I got a lot of responses from liberals and conservatives lecturing me that this is not the way to go about change, and that women should instead be protesting and speaking up.
You know, like women have been for the last 60 years — and we currently have less rights than when we started. Now our very lives can be at stake – we can be imprisoned and even put up on capital murder charges with the death penalty on the table in Georgia for…
a miscarriage or attempted self abortion.
We should know how to protest this attack on our very right to live. Somehow we should maintain appropriate boundaries, even though the men legislating our lives away are not even dealing with reality.
The rape that might have caused the desire to get an abortion is, of course, not a problem. Most rapes go unreported anyway, and Republicans have weaponized that to — like in Alabama — make it illegal to get an abortion resulting from a rape if the rape hasn’t already been reported to police.
Often times, women and girls do not know they are pregnant at 6 weeks. That is one missed period, which is most likely to be noticed when one is trying to get pregnant. Often enough, a young girl won’t tell anyone she’s been raped until she finds out she’s pregnant, and even then she often doesn’t have the words to know what happened. A ban after six weeks is effectively a ban on abortion, and a rape exception that only applies if reported to the police before one sees a doctor is effectively not an exception for rape and incest.
Just how often do these Republicans think young girls report incest and when it is reported, how often do these same Republican men treat the reporter so horrifically that she is a lesson to other young girls and women to never tell. (For a prominent example, see Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who is still being threatened and harassed to this day for simply testifying about Judge Kavanaugh’s sexual assault.)
They know women won’t be believed. They know women will be punished. So they know by making a rape exception tied to reporting of it to police they are effectively spitting on women again. For kicks.
In case you still think this is about love of the unborn, Republicans are clear that it doesn’t apply to a fertilized egg in a lab:
Chambliss, responding to the IVF argument from Smitherman, cites a part of the bill that says it applies to a pregnant woman. "The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant." #alpolitics
— Brian Lyman (@lyman_brian) May 14, 2019
So, life begins at… the point at which Republicans can dominate and control women.
And, good points made here in the comment section:
Life begins at conception but only when someone can be punished for conceiving.
— Julia (@The0therJulia) May 14, 2019
The intention is to call a fertilized egg a person when it can assert rights against a woman but not a person when it can assert right against a corporation. Because of course.
— loafingcactus (@loafingcactus) May 15, 2019
This feels like a good time to mention that America already has a much higher maternal mortality rate than most advanced nations.
So all of this pearl clutching over fetuses is not actually about babies. It’s not about maternal care. It’s not about anything but a power grab by a certain kind of man who wants to go back in time to erase women’s hard-fought for advances in the work force, where we still do not have equal rights to equal pay, because their toxic brand of masculinity can’t deal with somewhat free women who can and do make choices about what is best for themselves.
It’s time to stop telling women how to fight for equal rights and the right to live; it’s time to activate and show your support.
Y’all will have to forgive us if we’re angry and thus not polite. When they come for your right to live, you might recall then that it was women who spoke up for you. Women who took to the streets for you. Women who willingly took a backseat every time the men had an issue that was allegedly more urgent than women’s rights.
We were there for you. Will you be there for us?
If you support women, pledge to vote Democratic in every election from dog catcher up. Pledge to cast aside your purism in any race in favor of whoever can win who supports women’s right to live.
The time for long-winded arguments about the Supreme Court are over. You are either with us or against us now. You can see exactly what third party votes and disdain for a front-runner’s lack of purity have gotten women. We don’t want to pay for other people’s feelings with our lives and liberty anymore.
Stand up for women like you stand up for any other cause: We are real, we are right here, and we are in a crisis heretofore unseen. Republicans aren’t taking us back to back alley abortions; they are taking us forward to a country where women are criminalized for our bodies. We have not been here before, except perhaps the Salem witch trials.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.