In Which I’m Super Angry About The Alabama Abortion Ban

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I guess I have to talk about it, because, well, it’s what I do — thanks to 25 white male congressmen and one female governor, Alabama has effectively outlawed abortion. The only exception is if the pregnancy threatens the woman’s life, like if it’s ectopic. There are no other exceptions, including in cases of rape. If, for instance, an adult man rapes a 12-year old girl and she gets pregnant, she must carry the pregnancy to term and give birth. If she attempts to get an abortion, and doctor who helps her can face 10 to 99 years in prison, the same penalty as her rapist, were he even convicted.

I feel like Cassandra, if Cassandra had also had an army of other Cassandras loudly shouting along with her, all of whom were ignored or just defeated by a corrupt political system. For many years now I’ve talked about how Republican Christians, mostly men, who want to make abortion illegal. I’ve talked about how they failed at the federal level so they get their wins at the state level. I’ve talked about how they walked right over the disgusting, spineless Democrats in Congress to prevent a liberal judge from being nominated to the Supreme Court, and ensuring a vile, drunk frat boy gets in so that when they use their new state laws to challenge Roe v Wade, they’ll win and overturn it.

Alabama has actually passed the worst abortion law that the US has seen since Roe v Wade, and so this absolutely is specifically written to go to the Supreme Court to vote on its legality. That is years away, since first it needs to be challenged in lower courts before being pushed up, and then the Court needs to agree to hear it, which they definitely will so long as they have majority. But look on the bright side, it may be tied up for so long before it gets to them that maybe Brett Kavanaugh will die of a heart attack, or cirrhosis or something. Ha ha, just kidding, evil men who sexually abuse women basically live forever because the universe is a cold indifferent place and those men often have a lot of money and power that enable them to afford the healthcare that they actively deny others.

The other good news, though, is that even a lower court judge can temporarily stop the law from going into effect while they decide on its legality, once a lawsuit is filed (which Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have already vowed to do).

Alabama is the least educated state and the 3rd poorest state, and has the 9th most teen pregnancies and the fifth highest infant mortality rate. It’s basically a garbage can. I’m sorry, but it is. And now the women who live there, some of the poorest, least educated people in the country, are going to be forced to either give birth to unwanted children or else risk hurting or killing themselves in an attempt to achieve an illegal abortion.

Again, as I’ve said repeatedly, outlawing abortion does not reduce the rate of abortions. People still get abortions but they turn to more dangerous methods, so outlawing abortions actually increases the number of deaths you’ve caused. So even if you hate abortion and want it to end, if you care at all about reality than you wouldn’t outlaw it — you would increase your efforts to educate people about safe sex, increase access to birth control, and increase access to affordable healthcare in general. Boom, abortions go down, everyone is happy. So know this: if Alabama’s law is allowed to take effect, more women will die. The same number of fetuses will die, but more women will, too.

And this is truly about controlling women’s bodies, rather than saving lives. They’ve admitted as much: Alabama state senator Clyde Chambliss outright stated that the law will only apply to pregnant women, and not to people fertilizing (and then throwing away) eggs during IVF treatment.

And it’s not just women with unwanted pregnancies who will be affected. Any woman suspected of taking abortion drugs can be investigated, which will include every single person who experiences a miscarriage, which looks indistinguishable from an abortion. Imagine having a pregnancy you wanted, and you have to rush to the hospital to deal with a miscarriage. You’ve lost the child you’ve been dreaming of having, and now you’re dragged to an interrogation room to answer for your possible crime. Maybe you’re arrested. You have to get a lawyer. It’s honestly horrifying.

Many people are pointing out that the law is so extreme that it’s too much for Pat Robertson, who said as much on his show. Before we go around congratulating that asshole, who by the way has aged to the point that he looks exactly like that racist Jeff Dunham puppet. Also as an aside, I forgot Jeff Dunham’s name and had to google “racist ventriloquist” which brought it up immediately.

Anyway, the Alabama abortion ban is not too extreme for Pat Robertson. Robertson’s issue isn’t the ethics of forcing a 12-year old to bear her rapist’s baby, it’s that punishing doctors for 99 years is too much too soon for the Supreme Court. He would prefer a less severe law only to improve its chances at making it through the Supreme Court, because even Samuel Alito might hesitate before saying that that’s in line with the Constitution.

Robertson is voicing a real concern amongst forced birthers — ultimately, yes, they want women to die rather than have safe access to abortions. But they want to take the most strategic path to get there, and they’re afraid that shooting for the moon is going to screw them over.

So don’t feel like there are some “moderate” conservatives out there that are going to save us. There aren’t. We need to support Planned Parenthood, we need to support abortion funds like Yellow Hammer, we need to vote, and we need to vote, and we need to vote. We need to vote these people out of office, not just in Alabama but nationwide, because this is happening nationwide. If this law doesn’t hit the Supreme Court, then the one they’re planning in another state like Georgia will. I don’t care if I sound like a broken record. We need to fight, or we’re headed for Gilead.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon mstdn.social/@rebeccawatson Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky @rebeccawatson.bsky.social

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One Comment

  1. Rate per 1000 women of childbearing age (15-44) in Canada which has no legislation at all restricting women’s access to abortion: 13.1.

    Rate per 1000 women of childbearing age (15-44) in the US, which has many legislative restrictions: 14.6

    Also, abortions are covered by medicare in Canada, but women have to pay for them in the US (correct me if I am wrong about that).

    Clearly, allowing women the right to make choices regarding their own bodies will result in the downfall of civilization and a descent into irreversible moral depravity. /sarcasm

    Anyone who thinks the restrictions have anything to do with saving lives is deluded. It is all about keeping women as second class citizens.

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