Culture of Control, Cruelty & Jackassery

[Trigger warning for misogyny; rape culture.]

Last Friday Kate posted about the current anti-abortion effort in Louisiana, noting that it is out to ban abortion all together. The LA House was supposed to vote on it yesterday but the main sponsor, Rep LaBruzzo, asked for it to be held off because of concern it would affect the state's Medicaid funding. It is scheduled for floor debate today (nearly all the way down the page, under #5).

I'd like to highlight some of the things said by the people behind this legislation. The main sponsor is Rep. John LaBruzzo and he's very upfront about his goals:
The bill by Republican state Rep. John LaBruzzo defines human life as beginning at the moment of conception and makes it a crime to terminate a pregnancy except when the birth would endanger the mother's life.

"Our first intent is to save unborn babies' lives," LaBruzzo told Reuters. "Our second intent is to have an opportunity to mount a challenge that makes it to the Supreme Court."
This new legislation removes exceptions that had existed regarding cases of rape and incest. It only allows an exception for the health of the woman. Which, while not reasonable, doesn't sound as horrifying as it could be without the medical exception...right? Well:
Last week, a Senate committee passed state Rep. Frank Hoffman’s (R) bill that would further imperil woman’s access to health care by allowing anti-choice health care providers to summarily reject providing any kind of abortion service even if the woman’s health is at stake. In 2009, Louisiana passed a law allowing any health care provider to refuse abortion-related services if it “violates his conscience to the extent that patient access to health care is not compromised.” Hoffman’s bill would eliminate “the qualifier that a medical professional’s decision cannot threaten patient’s right to care.”
Which makes the medical exception pretty much useless.

In debating the bill during a hearing, LaBurzzo was questioned regarding the efficacy of banning abortion in reducing abortion rates. Labruzzo responded:
It’s not our stance here to say, “Just because people smoke pot and break the law, or people use heroin and break the law, that then we should legalize it.” There are many who say we should. But we don’t agree; we don’t think so. We think it’s wrong and it’s best to keep it illegal … and that’s where I am with this bill. If we believe this is wrong, this is the ultimate question you are going to have to ask yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’ve voted for every pro-life bill that’s come to this committee. This is the pro-life bill. This is the pro-life bill. And I think you’d be in a difficult situation if you voted against this bill and tried to convince everybody that you are ardently pro-life. And I would not want to be in that situation.
Women who need or want medical procedure = just like heroin addicts. Gotcha. In this same hearing, Personhood USA (remember them?) had a lawyer who also testified saying:
During the hearing, Keissling [Rebecca] said that abortion “protects the perpetrator,” and that if rape or incest victims have their baby, the rape will likely stop on its own: “We know with incest, it is the perpetrator who is protected by the abortion. Not only does the rape typically end after she gives birth, but also for all the other young women in the household who are being raped.”

According to Keissling, “all the major research on abortion” shows that, after an abortion, women are ”four times more likely to die within the next year. They have a higher murder rate, higher rate of suicide, drug overdose, domestic violence, divorce, abuse throughout their lives, depression and on and on. … So if you really care about a rape victim, you would want to protect her from an abortion and not the baby. A baby is not the worst thing that could ever happen to a rape victim. An abortion is.”
I cannot believe someone is testifying at a congressional hearing that a rapist is protected by abortion. WHAT. That a person who is a victim of incest should "keep the baby" to protect anyone else in the home who may be raped? WHAT. No. No. NO. How about "we" convict the fucking rapist and not force his victim to carry a pregnancy as a way to protect others in the house? Then there's everything else she said. Just...what. I don't even. The depths of cruelty are astonishing.

Speaking of illogical bullshit, let's go back to LaBruzzo who said, when questioned about how declaring a fertilized egg to have full person rights may affect contraception use/ability since some forms of contraception can prevent implantation:
This is not about interfering with anyone's ability to receive or participate in birth control," he told Reuters. "What the bill says is that life begins at conception, and a baby who is pre-born should enjoy all the rights that a 1-day-old baby does."

This person, this person who said THAT, is trying to pass legislation he wrote to control the autonomy of women in Louisiana--and all over the country. And he's far from alone.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus