by Lina Thorne |
Criticizing other state legislatures that have put together various “heartbeat” abortion ban bills, the author of the Alabama law that just passed said, “Why not go all the way?” His Alabama ban includes no exceptions for rape or incest, and promises to punish doctors that perform abortions with sentences for up to 99 years in prison.
Eric Johnston, the Birmingham lawyer that wrote the Alabama ban, has been fighting for more than 30 years to overturn Roe. He, like many others in his movement, are now chomping at the bit to take down the immediate barrier to their goal of banning abortion throughout the country: the Supreme Court decision from 1973 that ruled that no law could interfere with a woman’s private choice to end a pregnancy (with some limitations). They’re quite certain that one of these oppressive laws will make it in front of the Supreme Court and set a new precedent, with Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch in position to make that ruling.
There’s no question, we’re teetering on the brink of a post-Roe reality in this country. The point is, what do we do about it? Some of the various and assorted plans I’ve heard:
– Hunker down and stockpile Plan B (the emergency contraception pill).
– Lobby to pass as many pro-abortion laws in the “blue states” that aren’t yet controlled by fascist legislatures. If you’re really ambitious, talk about developing underground railroads to bring women from fascist-controlled areas to these oases if they need abortions.
– Train yourself (or make friends with someone who is trained) in how to DIY home abortions using a few handy household tools!
– Look into the development of more floating clinics ala the Women on Waves boats that assist women in countries like Ireland, Poland and Guatemala (Ireland has since lifted its anti-abortion law).
And then we have this opinion in the pages of the Sunday Review of the New York Times: let’s just develop networks of misoprostol distribution.
Cari Sietstra writes: “…we can work to fully decriminalize self-induced abortions. This is an area where all Americans, including pro-life Americans, can work together. ”
Um, no. With all due respect to Ms. Sietstra for what I’m sure is genuine concern for women’s health… you’re missing the point. Abortion is more than healthcare, and the “pro-life” forces you refer to are in fact Christian fascists – many of whom are not only more than okay with forcing a 12 year old to give birth to her brother, but have been willing for decades to commit acts of terror to force women and girls into this position of utter and complete subjugation. It was Birmingham, for example, where Eric Rudolph carried out the bombing of the New Woman, All Women Health Care Clinic in 1998 which resulted in the death of a security guard and the maiming of a nurse… Previously he had bombed the Olympic Park in Atlanta in 1996 – because he was angry that the Olympics “celebrate the ideals of global socialism.”
Under Trump, the anti-abortion movement is not attacking clinics (for the most part) or murdering doctors – that’s because they see the regime carrying out their agenda for them. But if we lose sight of what that movement is all about, we are lost. There is no middle ground with those who want to strip half of humanity of our fundamental right to control our own bodies. Abandoning the women in fascist-controlled states to the dominion of their oppressors is not an option, either.
Safe and legal access to abortion is essential to the bedrock foundation of a functioning, humane society (or one approaching that status). The right to abortion can’t be abandoned in the name of “more realistic” solutions: whether technocratic or absurdly individualistic. There’s simply no way to avoid that this is going to come down to a struggle for power throughout society – and in the name of humanity, for women and everyone here and around the world, it’s past time we take to the streets and demand that the Trump/Pence regime must go. Nothing short of removing this whole illegitimate regime from power will stop this nightmare.… let’s unite and make it happen before clinics are dismantled, doctors are locked up, and more women die from self-induced or back alley abortions.