Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life In Tennessee

Via TPM:

On Election Day, Tennessee voters will be asked to do something very unusual: Amend the state constitution to eliminate all protections for abortion, including in cases of rape, incest and when a woman’s life is in danger.

The ballot initiative “Amendment 1” is the culmination of more than a decade of plotting by anti-abortion advocates, who are finally ready to strike. It says:

“Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion. The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”

The amendment itself doesn’t impose a new law, so it cannot be challenged in federal court. But it wipes out all state protections for abortion, paving the way for Tennessee Republicans — who control the governor’s mansion and enjoy massive majorities in the legislature — to enact restrictive abortion laws.

I have a few questions: If Amendment 1 passes and the state legislature bans any form of abortion, who will pay for the care of the child who is born from a rape or incest, or will the mother be forced to be reminded every day of the crime for the rest of her life?  What if the mother dies or is incapacitated from the pregnancy?  Who will provide for the care of a child that is born with a horrendous birth defect and may be incapable of any kind of meaningful life?  Who will provide for the care of the women who are brutalized by this law, and how many women in Tennessee will die because of it?  I don’t see any language in the amendment about that.

Unwanted or dangerous pregnancies happen no matter what happens in the courts or in the legislature, and the human body doesn’t pay attention to the voters or the screeching of misogynist religious fanatics.  Abortion is a reality, and no amount of political pressure or Jesus-shouting fear mongering will change that.

As Steve Bates puts it, “This isn’t about religion and this isn’t about the fetus.  These people hate women.”

4 barks and woofs on “Life In Tennessee

  1. Your questions have been mine as well for the entirety of the resurgent anti-choice movement. There is no plan for caring for the children, and no intention of helping mothers through pregnancy and childcare. But I wouldn’t say that they hate women: this is more a strike against feminism, and the idea that women should be able to have professional lives outside the home. Most of the GOTea female leadership would try to argue, but with even Bachmann on record advocating the “women: submit to your husbands” approach it’s difficult to see this as anything beyond ensuring women maintain their proper place in society and shaming any who step outside that role. And since Life (but not sustenance), Liberty (but not means) and the Pursuit of Happiness (but not opportunity) are enshrined in their Holy Writ founding documents, then providing for the basic human rights they demand only goes so far as enabling those with the capacity to pursue them.

  2. Any burden would of course fall upon the woman, in that pregnancy — even in rape and incest — is the woman’s fault, because “in legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” And there would be no social safety net available to the women, because it’s all their fault. Plus, of course, “every sperm is sacred”… at least until it’s born. Then it’s AMF, YOYO. What I find interesting is that they’re even overturning their own “sodomized virgin” rule (“a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it…”)

    • What I find interesting is that they’re even overturning their own “sodomized virgin” rule

      Brutalized daughters/sisters are an acceptable price to pay if the results are a) adulteresses unrelated sluts to be stoned shamed; b) rapists to be prosecuted; c) more Baybeez for Jeebus.

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