I know I haven't been around much. Frankly, keeping up with the insane and nonstop political assaults on abortion and related care has been nearly too much to bear. You'd think I'd be writing nonstop, because SO MANY FEELINGS, but at times the feelings kinda drain my emotional energy. I know some of my co-bloggers have been feeling that same drain, lately, in various ways -- and I bet fellow abortioneers in the field have, too.
So it seems almost futile to single out one law and one group of politicians. But if any law has earned that, I guess it'd be the latest restriction out of the magnolia state. Mississippi, come on down!
Maybe you've heard? The lawmakers who passed Mississippi's House Bill 1390, while claiming to be motivated by a desire to protect women from dangerous abortion providers, are also cheering the fact that the bill will have the effect of shutting down the only existing legal abortion provider in the state.
Sen. Kenny Wayne Jones (D-Canton) asked Sen. Dean Kirby (R-Pearl), who chairs the Senate Public Health Committee*, whether ending abortions in the state would force women to resort to dangerous, back-alley abortions.*I would also like to call your attention to the fact that Sen. Dean Kirby chairs the Senate Public Health Committee. Presumably, that is a Senate committee on public health. But maybe it's...a Senate committee against public health? I guess the title isn't super specific.
"That's what we're trying to stop here, the coat-hanger abortions," Kirby replied, in reference to the abortions provided at the clinic in Jackson. "The purpose of this bill is to stop back-room abortions."
Oh, speaking of the Legislative Brotherhood Against Public Health, see also the breathtakingly cavalier Rep. Bubba Carpenter announcing afterward:
"We have literally stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi. Three blocks from the Capitol sits the only abortion clinic in the state of Mississippi. A bill was drafted. It said, if you would perform an abortion in the state of Mississippi, you must be a certified OB/GYN and you must have admitting privileges to a hospital. Anybody here in the medical field knows how hard it is to get admitting privileges to a hospital.Wow. Was that a sneer I just heard? And then...a shrug?
"It's going to be challenged, of course, in the Supreme Court and all -- but literally, we stopped abortion in the state of Mississippi, legally, without having to-- Roe vs. Wade. So we've done that. I was proud of it. The governor signed it into law. And of course, there you have the other side. They're like, 'Well, the poor pitiful women that can't afford to go out of state are just going to start doing them at home with a coat hanger.' That's what we've heard over and over and over.
But hey, you have to have moral values."
He has a point, right? Sure there might be some poor pitiful women who can't afford to go out of state for their medical care and end up injured or dead using coat hangers and home remedies -- but aren't we pro-choice people (the other side) just talking about those women to score political points? I mean, why else would you bother talking about them? We say it over and over and over because we don't have better talking points, I guess. But hey! Those deaths are so trivial we can mock them and the people who talk about them.
(Later, Rep. Carpenter also shrugged off his coat hanger 'quote' as "just some language that some of the African-Americans used.")
(You thought I made up that last bit, didn't you? But no. He really did. I mean, it sounds like he's saying that therefore those accounts amount to nothing worth examining? But hey! That's okay, because African-American women (and other black women, and other women of color) definitely don't have even more experience with unsafe abortion than white women.)
Gosh, wonder why I feel so tired?