I stopped watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” when it got too real.
Now in its second season, the Hulu adaptation of Margaret Atwood‘s seminal 1985 novel has always been more extreme than its source material, but its central conceit — America transformed into a theocracy that reduces women to captive wombs — seems eerily prescient in light of today’s headlines.
On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled Alabama Senate approved a law that would criminalize nearly all abortions, including cases of rape or incest. The law imposes prison sentences of up to 99 years for doctors who perform abortions. This latest assault on reproductive rights comes on the heels of “fetal heartbeat” bills in Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio. Fetal heartbeats are typically detectable about six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women know they’re pregnant.
Because Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, all of these measures are easily judged unconstitutional. That’s why they’re happening. Since the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, anti-choice activists see their best chance ever to overturn Roe v. Wade. The goal is to fight appeals of these draconian laws all the way to the nation’s highest court.
“Pro-life states are more hopeful than they’ve been in a long time because they see some of this shifting at the federal level, so they’re being more bold in their efforts to restrict abortion activity,” Sue Swayze Liebel told The Hill in a story you can read here..Liebel directs state policy for the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List.
“In some instances, they’re rushing to out-pro-life each other,” she said.
Of course, pro-choice forces are rushing to defend reproductive rights, but if (when) these cases reach the Supreme Court, anything can happen. Anything.
MEMO: I believe abortion should be safe, legal and rare. I don’t have a uterus. I don’t have any right or desire to control the lives of other human beings, and I damn sure don’t want government making decisions that should be handled between a woman and her doctor. If men could get pregnant, there would be an abortion clinic on every corner. You could get one at Walmart.
Overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortion. It will make women less safe and more vulnerable to other restrictions dreamed up by self-righteous hacks like Sen. Clyde Chambliss, sponsor of the bill in the Alabama Senate. In a New York Times story you can read here, Chambliss defended the omission of exceptions for rape and incest.
“When God creates the miracle of life inside a woman’s womb,” he said, “it is not our place as human beings to extinguish that life.”
So a 13-year-old girl raped by her father should embrace his child as a God-given “miracle of life” and carry it to term? And any doctor who ends her pregnancy should spend 99 years in prison?
Yes to both in Alabama. Coming soon wherever Republicans rule.