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Anti-abortion fuckery roundup

This Oklahoma anti-abortion law is completely deranged — and comes with a big bill

It’s bad enough when the government requires institutions to post political propaganda. Now it wants them to pay for it, too.

A law passed last summer in Oklahoma requires licensed bathroom facilities open to the public to post signs containing anti-abortion messages. What the law did not include was funding to purchase and provide the signs businesses and other public institutions will need in order to be in compliance.

The “Humanity of the Unborn Child Act” requires all facilities licensed by the state department of health with restrooms available to the public to post a sign containing the following words by January 2018:

There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place him or her for adoption. The State of Oklahoma strongly urges you to contact them if you are pregnant.

Big Brother is watching and wants your baby.

While the law says it’s up to the department of health to provide the signs, it budgets no funds for them, creating confusion as to whether or not affected institutions need to purchase them to be in compliance. The Associated Press estimates the costs of giving signs to every required location in the state to be about $ 2.3 million.

Because the state department of health is responsible for licensing restaurants, every hotel, motel, and restaurant in the state, as well as many other establishments regulated by the department, has to put the signs up. This didn’t make any sense to Jim Hooper, president of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association, who spoke out against the law to the AP.

“It’s just another mandate on small businesses,” Hooper said. “It’s not just restaurants. It includes hospitals, nursing homes. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The unfunded sign mandate is getting the most attention, but it’s worth noting that the rest of the law is pretty bad too, creating a system for government-funded anti-abortion propaganda. Other provisions in the law include:

– Develop educational materials and public service announcements “for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society.”
– Creating an anti-abortion curriculum to be distributed to local school boards.
– Include information on getting prenatal care, but forbidding referrals to facilities that also provide abortions.
– “Include no component of human sexuality education” [OP: !!!!!!]

Guess no one needs to donate to anti-abortion activist groups anymore. Oklahoma taxpayers are picking up the tab.

The anti-abortion legislation that’s scarier than the heartbeat bill you’ve been hearing about

A horrifying bill that would essentially ban all abortions cleared the legislature in the state of Ohio earlier this week. Justifiably, abortion rights advocates are freaking out. The clearly unconstitutional measure would ban all abortions once a fetus’ heartbreak can be detected, which can happen just six weeks after conception.

Another piece of legislation the Ohio legislature has passed is perhaps even scarier because it will almost certainly stick as Stassa Edwards explains for Jezebel:

The 20-week ban, SB 127, was approved by the legislature [Thursday] night and is now on Kasich’s desk. He has ten days to decided whether or not to sign the bill. The ban has no exceptions for rape, incest, fetal anomalies, or the mental health of the woman. It’s very likely that [Gov. John] Kasich, who loves to sign abortion restrictions, will sign the 20-week ban which could be a greater overall restriction on abortion rights than the Heartbeat Bill (a bill that’s designed to do many things, but hold up in court is not one of them).

The 20-week ban has become a favorite restriction among anti-abortion groups. Fifteen states currently ban abortion after 20 weeks. Though Planned Parenthood recently filed a challenge against North Carolina’s 20-week restriction, numerous states, including Texas, are also looking to add this restriction.

While the 20-week ban is a surer bet, that doesn’t make the heartbeat bill any less of an affront to women’s rights. Even if it’s not upheld by the Supreme Court, it could limit women’s access to abortion in the meantime. More than that though, the heartbeat bill could actually be upheld, thanks to “shifting political realities” as Fusion’s Katie McDonough wrote earlier this week:

“If Donald Trump holds to his word and appoints Supreme Court justices who will reopen Roe, then even the paper-thin constitutional protections in place right now become vulnerable. And states like Ohio, unshackled from that legal precedent, may pass six-week bans, or total bans, without fear of a costly battle in court.”

Ohio’s extreme abortion bill is a reminder that if a fetus is considered a person, then women are not

The Ohio legislature voted this week to ban abortion at first detection of a fetal heartbeat, which is banning the procedure before some people even know they are pregnant, which is largely indistinguishable from banning all abortion. Now Republican Gov. John Kasich will sign it or veto it. Either way, the measure has done something significant.

The point of a heartbeat bill is bigger than policy. It’s also marketing. Pass or fail, it carries a message: We will never stop trying to take your body from you.

Ohio is not the first state to use a heartbeat as a milestone to ban abortion all but outright. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Arkansas’ Human Heartbeat Protection Act, a 12-week ban, leaving in place two lower court rulings that struck it down.

And it was 2014 when a federal court overturned a nearly identical six-week ban in North Dakota, citing 40 years of constitutional precedent established by Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court had made the law clear, according to the judge’s ruling, and “this court is not free to impose its own view of the law.”

It was an inevitable outcome, really. North Dakota’s governor had signaled that it was unconstitutional even as he signed it, and the same split among anti-abortion Republicans that played out in Ohio—some liked the bill’s intent but not its brazen lack of constitutional standing, some thought go big or go home when it comes to banning abortion—happened there, too.

Even Kasich, who has signed virtually every abortion restriction that has reached his desk, indicated last year that he was skeptical of the measure on similar terms: it’s an invitation to expensive litigation. (North Dakota spent at least $ 200,000 to defend its legally indefensible law.)

And then as now, women put their own lives up for scrutiny to try to make a point about decency and medicine and what it means to have a hand on the levers of your own life.

While the bill was debated in Ohio in 2015, state Rep. Teresa Fedor, a Democrat from Toledo, joined the list of female lawmakers who openly shared their own abortion stories in the hope of wringing some humanity out of their colleagues.

Fedor, who became pregnant after being raped, and chose to terminate the pregnancy, said on the House floor: “You don’t respect my reason, my rape, my abortion… What you are doing is so fundamentally inhuman, unconstitutional, and I’ve sat here too long.”

It didn’t move them, which is both shocking and not. Other women have tried, and failed, to use personal, often wrenching, appeals to convince others that they are people deserving of basic rights.

Now it’s a question of what happens next, and why this go-round might be different even through we’ve seen this before. If Kasich makes good on his earlier skepticism and vetoes the bill, then it will die. But it’s also possible that the Legislature will try to send it back up again.

Times are changing, after all.

“A new president, new Supreme Court appointees change the dynamic,” Ohio Senate President Keith Faber, a Republican from Celina, told the Columbus Dispatch when asked about the timing of the amendment. “And there was consensus in our caucus to move forward.”

The message has always been the message. But the magical thinking of anti-abortion lawmakers—a state will introduce an abortion ban that has been struck down elsewhere because maybe it will stick—has become more rooted in shifting political realities.

If Donald Trump holds to his word and appoints Supreme Court justices who will reopen Roe, then even the paper-thin constitutional protections in place right now become vulnerable. And states like Ohio, unshackled from that legal precedent, may pass six-week bans, or total bans, without fear of a costly battle in court.

And so an embryo in Ohio could gain legal personhood at six weeks. And at six weeks, women could lose theirs.

Texas is about to enact horrifying new rules about abortion

Despite vehement protests from women’s health groups and abortion rights activists, new Texas rules will mandate that hospitals, healthcare centers, and abortion providers cremate or bury all fetal remains–regardless of how far along the pregnancy was.

The new rules, which are set to take effect on December 19, were proposed by Gov. Greg Abbott, who said in a summer fundraising email that fetal remains should not be “treated like medical waste and disposed of in landfills.”

As the Texas Tribune reports, the state’s abortion providers and hospitals currently dispose of fetal remains in sanitary landfills. Now, the cost of burial or cremation–which can run into the thousands of dollars–will be thrust onto healthcare providers, a massive new expense that state officials claim will be “offset by the elimination of some current methods of disposition.”

But curiously, Health and Human Services Commission officials clarified in the final rules on Monday that the requirement does not extend to miscarriages or abortions that occur at home.

You read that right: If you perform a risky home abortion–rather than seeking treatment from a state-licensed medical provider–Texas women can avoid the horror of cremating or burying their unborn fetus.

The sketchiness doesn’t stop there. The proposed rules were published with little to no advance notice in the Texas Register and, according to the Tribune, are being adopted with few changes despite 35,000 public comments and multiple hours-long hearings on the rules.

Reproductive rights groups are already spoiling for a legal battle over the rules, with lawyers for the Center for Reproductive Rights arguing in a letter to Abbott that the regulation is plainly unconstitutional because it placed an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions. (The Supreme Court struck down another Texas abortion law on those grounds in June.) A similar measure in Indiana, which Vice President-elect Mike Pence proudly signed into law, was later blocked by a federal judge.

Source of all the above articles: Fusion

Those wacky anti-choicers, they just never stop, do they? And I have a feeling the shit has only just begun to hit the fan. Since the election, they’ve already started to get bolder and bolder. After the inauguration, look out!

Source: ONTD_Political

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