For eight years, America's women have been safely ensconced (on a federal level at least) in a cocoon created by President Obama and his tireless support for women's rights, but that is all about to end. In six very short days, anti-choice extremists will finally have what they have been craving: a Republican president, backed by a Republican Congress and the freedom to attack women's rights at will--and it is already beginning.
This week, one of Congress' most vile members, Rep. Steve King, introduced a bill that would essentially ban abortions if passed. The legislation would make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy once a fetal heartbeat is detected on an ultrasound, possibly as early as four weeks into gestation, before many women even know they are pregnant. According to Right Wing Watch the woman who drafted the bill hopes it will be the one that finally takes the country back to the days of back alley abortions:
The bill was drafted by Janet Porter, a longtime radical Religious Right activist, who bragged that it was designed to “be the arrow in the heart of Roe v. Wade” because it would eventually bring the issue before the Supreme Court, where President Trump’s appointees would finally give anti-choice activists the “green light” to outlaw abortion in America. Porter said earlier this month that she hoped that “as technology improves,” the cutoff date for legal abortion under her bill would be pushed earlier and earlier into pregnancy, ultimately until “before the mother even knows she’s pregnant.”
And the heartbeat bill was not even the only way the GOP attacked reproductive rights this month. Earlier this week, Republicans in the House and Senate took the first steps to repeal Obamacare and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan promised that Planned Parenthood would be defunded as part of the repeal. During a CNN town hall event the speaker said,"We don't want to commit taxpayer funding for abortion, and Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider."
The problem with the GOP's anti-Planned Parenthood crusade logic is that it is already illegal to use taxpayer money to fund abortions because of the Hyde Amendment. And while Planned Parenthood may very well be the largest provider of abortions in the country, so what?
Republicans have this misguided notion that it is their business what women do with their bodies. They tell the American people that it is because they want to protect the right to life, but are they protecting that right when they send our citizens to war based on lies? Are they defending that right when they are supporting the death penalty, even for the mentally ill? Did Paul Ryan protect that right when he tried to cut funding for school lunches because he thinks children should pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Of course not, because the Republican party doesn't give a shit about the "sanctity of life," their actions have proven that. Their sick obsession with our rights is all about punishment and their puritanical belief that women should not have sex.
It's important to note though, that while women's rights will certainly be under an intense assault by the right-wing extremists for the next couple of years, we will persevere. The women of this country will remember this when we go campaign for the 2018 and 2020 election and we are going to scream it from the rooftops. Every single member of Congress who voted to strip us of our constitutional right to privacy will have a giant target on them. If the GOP thought they saw a "silent majority" rise up in the last election, they ain't seen nothin' yet.