Alabama Voters Will Get to Decide Whether Women Who Have Abortions Will Be Prosecuted as Murderers

A ballot referendum will determine whether life begins at conception and therefore whether aborting that life is murder...
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A ballot referendum will determine whether life begins at conception and therefore whether aborting that life is murder...

Over the weekend, misshapen demagogue Ted Cruz responded to a question regarding his one-time support for banning the sale of dildos, vibrators and artificial vaginas in his home state of Texas. When asked whether he'd move to ban retail sales of sex toys if elected president, Cruz backpedaled.

“Look, of course not, it’s a ridiculous question, and of course not,” Cruz told Sliwa on Friday. “What people do in their own private time with themselves is their own business and it’s none of government’s business. (Via Steve Benen)

Interesting. So, the government shouldn't interfere with private, personal activities. Hmm. I suppose this could include smoking marijuana, or engaging in a same-sex marriage, or, yes, having an abortion. All of these activities occur during "private time," and Cruz clearly said "it's none of the government's business" what people do in that time. 

Well, then, case closed. The 14th Amendment's right to privacy just received a tacit endorsement from one of the most notorious anti-choice, far-right senators in existence today. Too bad it's not really the case. Cruz doesn't really believe anyone should have the constitutional right to an abortion. Of course. The Republican Party's small government conservatism ceases to exist when they believe the private activity is a sin against God and his messianic offspring, Ronald Reagan.

Such is the case in Alabama where voters this November will have the bizarre opportunity to ban (or not) all abortions, without exception. 

NBC News reports:

[T]he Personhood Amendment would allow Alabama voters to answer the question of whether or not life begins at conception through a referendum vote on the November ballot. If enacted as is, Williams says the bill will totally ban abortion at any time during pregnancy with no exceptions.

He does expect amendments to be added to the bill to address situations of pregnancy resulting from rape or pregnancies that pose life-threatening complications for the mother.

Yes, voters in Alabama, known for their obvious expertise in theology, fetal biology, gynecology, and philosophy will have an opportunity to exercise their erudition on those topics while voting in the November general election. [End snark.]

This is not unlike asking yokel voters whether neutrinos make up the majority of interstellar dark matter, or whether neutrinos aren't involved because they generally move about the universe quickly and are therefore incapable of maintaining cohesion. Um. What?

Whether life begins at conception is a vastly complicated medical and ethical issue which is still being hotly debated by supremely educated experts with knowledge in embryonic development, as well as those with advanced degrees in theology. Banning abortions across the board because the great unwashed said so is ludicrous on its face, which is clearly why the Republicans want the referendum to be on the ballot.

Not only that, but it'll have the added bonus of driving up far-right evangelical turnout -- always a bonus when the GOP is busily self-destructing with just months to go before the vote.

Mainly, though, classifying fertilized eggs as persons with full human rights protections would, de facto, criminalize women and doctors involved in abortions, which would have to be classified as homicide. If fetuses are people, then killing a fetus would have to be homicide. And in the case of the Alabama referendum, it'd be homicide without exception, even though there are legally mitigating circumstances even when it comes to killing a birthed human.

Once again, Donald Trump was right. Republicans absolutely want to punish women, and crap like this is exactly how. In this case, Alabama voters, with zero expertise on the matter, will likely classify fetuses as people, and the courts will have no choice but to either overturn the law, or to prosecute those who abort these so-called people.

Oh, and one last thing. 

If you're planning on not voting in the general because your Democratic presidential candidate of choice isn't on the presidential ballot, you're out of your goddamn mind. Additionally, we've all heard the excuse that red state Democrats have nothing to lose by staying home in protest since the Democratic nominee for president won't win there anyway. This is nothing short of mind-numbingly stupid, especially knowing how dozens of other names and initiatives will appear on our ballots -- even in red states like Alabama. 

Staying home because Bernie or Hillary, for that matter, isn't the nominee totally ignores the creeping GOP control over everything from the state legislatures, where voter ID laws are disenfranchising good people, and anti-LGBT laws are stripping citizens of their civil liberties; to school board elections, where Republicans continue to shoehorn religion and total fiction into public school curriculum and text books; to horrendously misogynistic ballot initiatives like the one in Alabama, dooming women to premature death or unjust incarceration. When they talk about political naivete and ignorance, this is exactly what they're talking about -- failing to see the rest of the ice berg due to a tunnel vision focus on the presidential tip as if it's the only thing. It's not.