Clinging to — and pushing — sexist stereotypes.
By Amanda Marcotte
While the name of Brett Kavanaugh has fallen out of the headline news cycle, the religious right has not forgotten that his recent addition to the Supreme Court now means they likely have five votes to overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to ban abortion. While the endless churn of outrageous Trump stories occupies national headlines, anti-choice activists and politicians are swiftly moving to pass laws that they clearly hope will lead, perhaps within a year, to vacating the current legal protections for abortion rights.
In the stampede to ban abortion, Republican politicians don’t always bother to keep up the pretense that their opposition to abortion is about “life.” All to often, they let slip how much it’s rooted in contempt for women having control over their own bodies and their own futures.
Last week, the Ohio state house passed a bill that would ban abortions at six weeks. That would effectively a ban on most abortions, since performing the procedure before a pregnancy shows up on an ultrasound, which happens at just about six weeks, is not medically recommended. During debate over the bill in the Ohio state house, Republican state Rep. Christina Hagan brought her infant twins onto the floor to shame women who aren’t mothers about their alleged selfishness.
“Motherhood isn’t easy but it’s necessary,” Hagan dramatically declared when arguing for her bill to make motherhood mandatory.
Resentment of childless women
Perhaps we should be grateful to Hagan for using her floor time to unsubtly suggest that women who have abortions are lazy and selfish. There should be no doubt that this is the belief that motivates the anti-choice movement in general, but most abortion foes have become media savvy enough to realize that they get more sympathy if they ascribe views to a religious delusion that equates embryonic life to that of actual babies. So at least Hagan showed her true colors, revealing the resentment of childless women and desire to exert control over other people’s lives that lies at the center of the anti-choice movement.
Still, this rhetoric is enraging on a couple of levels. First, there’s the deep sexism of assuming that a childless woman has nothing to offer society, that our value is only in the womb and not in the brain and the heart.
Furthermore, Hagan’s insinuation — that forced childbirth is needed to ensure the continuation of the human race — simply doesn’t reflect reality. The majority — nearly 60 percent — of women who seek abortions are mothers already. Among the rest, plenty plan to have children in the future, but are waiting for stability in both their economic and romantic life — because that’s best for the child. …
(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L.Taylor, 2018. Open source and fee for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )
Revealed: Acting AG Matthew Whitaker Favors Hardline Anti-abortion Policies
Earlier that year, Whitaker said judges needed a “biblical view of justice” and raised doubts about the judgment of non-religious lawyers.
By Jon Swaine
The Guardian (11/26/18)
As Republicans prepared to battle Barack Obama’s re-election in 2011, Matthew Whitaker bounded on to a stage in Washington to rally the party’s troops on the “culture wars” between conservatives and liberals on social policy.
“They’re not over,” Whitaker assured his audience, at an event convened by Steve King, the rightwing Iowa congressman. “We’re still fighting.”
Whitaker and his allies lost ensuing battles on issues such as same-sex marriage. But civil rights activists fear that having now been installed as Donald Trump’s acting attorney general, Whitaker is readying a counterattack.
A review by the Guardian of previously unreported remarks revealed Whitaker has advocated for hardline anti-abortion policies that would drastically reshape laws affecting American women seeking to terminate a pregnancy.
Whitaker, a conservative Christian, endorsed “personhood” bills that would effectively outlaw abortion, and said as a Senate candidate that he would spend every day in Washington pushing anti-abortion policy.
He also once said that as a federal prosecutor, he personally disagreed with having to use a clinic protection law against a man who crashed his car into a women’s health facility and tried to set it on fire while complaining about abortion.
The comments position Whitaker, a conservative Christian, as an even more forceful opponent of abortion than his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, whose own record on the issue raised concerns among abortion rights advocates. …