Reproductive Rights Updates: Arkansas, Virginia, & National

Earlier this year, Arkansas legislature overrode the governor's veto to enact one of the most restrictive anti-autonomy laws in the country, banning abortion after 12 weeks of gestation.

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted a temporary injunction, putting the law on hold. For now. Judge Webber Wright hasn't given any clear indicators in how they will rule about the law:
Wright on Friday sided with lawyers for the groups who argued that the ban could harm the doctors and their patients.

“I believe that there is a threat of irreparable harm, because these doctors ... could face loss of their licenses,” she said Friday. “... They also have established that their patients could suffer irreparable harm by not being able to have abortions post 12-weeks but during that pre-viability period.”

However, Wright said she believes parts of the law may not pose an undue burden to a woman’s right to have an abortion.

“I do not believe it would be an undue burden on a woman’s right to have an abortion for the doctor to determine whether she has a fetal heartbeat and to tell her when she does,” Wright said, referring to another part of the law.
Meanwhile the bill's main sponsor, Jason Rapert (R-Eprehensible), had this completely ironic horseshit to say:
“When there is a heartbeat, there is life. And it is time in this nation and in our state, when you have 55 million human beings that have been taken, we must have a more rational and a more humane policy in abortion in our nation.”
But the life of the person who is pregnant is inconsequential, right Jason?

Look you arrogant fuck, if you want "more rational and more humane" policy around abortion: YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG. I'm sure you're all up in arms about Kermit Gosnell but you know what? It's laws like yours who drive people to be taken in by charlatan opportunists like Gosnell. Restrictive measures such as yours do not create or celebrate a "culture of life", they do the exact opposite. Hopefully the courts will not let the likes of you further harm people with your narcissistic, sanctimonious bullshit.


Virginia GOP! What are you doing? I mean for fuck's sake.

First, the new Lt. Gov. nominee, E.W. Jackson, had these things to say:
"The Democrat Party has created an unholy alliance between certain so-called civil rights leaders and Planned Parenthood, which has killed unborn black babies by the tens of millions. Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was. And the Democrat Party and the black civil rights allies are partners in this genocide."
And now the GOP has picked asinine douchecanoe Mark Obenshain to be Attorney General. Obenshain once intro'd legislation that req'd a person who had a miscarriage outside of a doctor's presence to report it to police or face fines and/or jail time. ATTORNEY GENERAL.

Virgina has been plagued with anti-autonomy measures in recent years and these two nominees show the VA GOP have no desire to back away from a militant line.


In national news:

At RH Reality Check, Jessica Pieko details how the fight over contraception is moving into the next phase of court action:
Federal courts of appeals will hear arguments this week in three cases that could frame the coming Supreme Court battle over the birth control benefit in the Affordable Care Act.
It seems like it's all but destined to be heard & decided by SCOTUS.


Recently the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was intro'd in both the House and Senate. From Congressman Nadler's press release:
[T]he Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – to ensure that pregnant women are not forced out of jobs unnecessarily or denied reasonable job modifications that would allow them to continue working. Currently, pregnant working women around the country are being denied simple adjustments – permission to use a stool while working a cash register, or to carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated, or temporary reassignment to lighter duty tasks – that would keep them working and supporting their families while maintaining healthy pregnancies. The legislation will close legal loopholes and ensure that pregnant women are treated fairly on the job.
Physicians For Reproductive Health has a letter you can fill out to send to encourage your congressperson to support this legislation.


Expanding on his one-trick pony show, Arizona republican Trent Franks has decided to take his "legislation for DC" national:
"I know when the subject is related in any way to abortion, the doors of reason and human compassion in our minds and hearts often close, and the humanity of the unborn can no longer be seen. But I pray we can at least come together to agree that we can and should draw the line at the point that these innocent babies can feel the excruciating pain of these brutal procedures.


"To this end, I have re-introduced the D.C. Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act, which will now be amended to broaden its coverage so that its provisions will apply nationwide.
That 'Act' is a 20-week gestation abortion ban. Arizona rep Franks is notorious for using DC has his own personal crusade testing ground. In 2011 he also introduced the nigh-Orwellian-titled legislation: "Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011", which prohibited abortions done on the basis of biological sex.

Franks is, of course, using Gosnell as an excuse to push rights-restrictive legislation based on the debunked theory that fetuses can feel things after a certain period of development, so abortions shouldn't happen.

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