A frequent refrain from gaslighting conservatives in the weeks since Roe v. Wade was overturned goes something like this: “Abortion hasn’t been outlawed, the Supreme Court is just returning the decision to the states. Don’t be so hysterical.” While technically true, in practice, this argument is, of course, total bullshit. Abortion has now been restricted in roughly half the country, eight states banned the medical procedure the day Roe was struck down, and 13 states will forbid it within 30 days of the June 24 ruling. If someone tries to claim to you that the Court’s decision wasn’t that big a deal and/or doesn’t change much, you are legally obligated to inform them they have shit where their brain should be. If you can stand to breathe the same air as them for a moment longer, you should also inform them of the many ways the various states in question have proceeded to use the opportunity afforded to them by the Supreme Court to advocate for not only forced births, but the state-sanctioned murder of pregnant people.
Over the weekend, the Idaho Republican Party voted against adopting an amendment that would have added an exception to its official policy on abortion for cases to save the life of the mother. Scott Herndon, a Republican running unopposed for a state Senate seat, argued to delegates that “for the last 49 years we have essentially lost the argument in the culture because we have focused on abortion as the termination of a pregnancy and not the termination of a living human being.” He added: “We will never win this human rights issue, the greatest of our time, if we make allowances for the intentional killing of another human being.” Obviously, he did not note that withholding life-saving care from a pregnant person, knowing they could die, is also an intentional killing, because that would apparently require too much reflection on his part. The decision not to add an abortion exception to save the life of the mother was decided 412-164; as The Independent notes, the party platform “is used to direct policy within the state’s GOP-controlled legislature.”
Currently, Idaho’s “trigger” law, passed in 2020, outlaws abortions with exceptions for rape and incest, though only if the crimes are reported to law enforcement. (The Idaho GOP platform has no exceptions for rape or incest; a regional Planned Parenthood organization and an Idaho abortion provider have sued to block the law and a hearing is scheduled for August 3.) According to Newsweek, in a Facebook video after the Supreme Court struck down Roe, Herndon declared, “you don’t put to death the innocent child for the crime of its father, but that’s what this [trigger] law would allow.” He also claimed that such exceptions give women “a free pass,” and said that “if a mother really wants to kill her child, she could lie, say she was raped, file a police report, and go get her child killed in the state of Idaho and nobody would be prosecuted.” Because Herndon apparently wanted to make it abundantly clear that not only is he anti-abortion, he’s also a colossal asshole too. (On his website, Herndon says he “believes in preserving and protecting human life” and “has followed this in word and deed as an active Abortion Abolitionist and Pro-Gun advocate.” We’re going to guess that no, he doesn’t see the irony.)
Elsewhere in reports of horrifying repercussions from the Supreme Court merely kicking the abortion question to the states, a woman bled for more than 10 days after suffering an incomplete miscarriage because a Wisconsin hospital wouldn’t perform the procedure; a woman with an ectopic pregnancy had to seek emergency, out-of-state care because a doctor in her home state was worried he’d run afoul of the law; administrators at a Kansas City, Missouri hospital temporarily required “pharmacist approval” before prescribing medications that stop postpartum hemorrhages—as in hemorrhages that occur after someone has given birth—because they are also sometimes used for abortions; and a 10-year-old rape victim in Ohio was told they must give birth to their rapist’s child or seek care elsewhere.
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