Today in North Carolina

[Content Note: Hostility to agency.]

As you may recall, last week in North Carolina, Republicans rammed through the state senate HB695, which tacked on to a family court bill a collection of profoundly restrictive anti-choice regulations. Yesterday, the North Carolina house Health and Human Services Committee met to discuss the legislation, which is expected to soon be put to the full House for a vote.

Robin Marty describes what's happening outside the capitol:
While the committee argued about whether the house should concur with the senate version of the legislation, pro-choice activists met outside the capitol to protest government interference in personal decisions, building on the previous day's Moral Monday protest, at which dozens of protesters were arrested.

...While politicians and advocates inside the capitol debated HB 695, outside the movement against the bill continued to grow. Gathered on Halifax Mall, pro-choice state politicians spoke out against the restrictions. They were joined by Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "North Carolina is not alone. In too many states, politicians are carrying the water for a radical minority who think they know how to live our lives better than we do," said Hogue. "And these folks believe the ends justify the means. They don't care if women get hurt, if children are lied to, and they certainly don't care if politicians skirt due process, the laws of our land, to get their way."

...Tuesday's rally came less than 24 hours after a Moral Monday protest that focused largely on the bill. The Monday event drew roughly 2,000 participants, which Reuters called one of the biggest crowds since the NAACP began organizing the events this spring. Sixty-four protesters were arrested Monday, including Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina President and CEO Janet Colm.
Jessica Luther has a round-up of ways to support choice in North Carolina, locally and not.

Republicans' primary defense of abortion-restrictive legislation is some deeply mendacious variation on the contemptible fallacy that Republican lawmakers, the vast majority of whom are men, are just "helping women make good choices." (Without a trace of irony, since the explicit objective is to give women and other people with uteri no choice at all.) Even with thousands of engaged and passionate and informed and decisive and strong women et. al. showing up at statehouses to demand the right of self-determination, risking harm and exposure and arrest to do so, Republican lawmakers refuse to be honest about their gross agenda.

It is a damnable fairy tale that women are incapable of making the best decisions for themselves and their own bodies (and, frequently, for the children they already have).

The reality is this: There is an inextricable link between the economy, the funding of social services, access to contraception, and abortion. If "pro-lifers" really wanted women to want to have babies, they would start arguing for universal healthcare, just for a fucking start, considering about one-fourth of women seeking abortions cite their own health or possible health problems with the fetus as reasons for the termination, owing to concerns including "a lack of prenatal care." If "pro-lifers" really wanted to reduce abortions, they would start advocating easy and affordable access to contraception, just for a fucking start. Et cetera ad infinitum.

But they're not pro-life. They're just anti-women.

And they can caterwaul about how that's not true all they fucking want, but, the truth is, they refuse to listen to women, to the millions of women and other people with uteri who are telling them we don't need waiting periods or ultrasounds or parental/spousal consent or anti-abortion counselors or any of the other disincentives being proposed to deter us from terminating unwanted pregnancies, and we sure as shit don't need 20-week bans, but do need jobs and healthcare and childcare and parental leave laws and associated institutional framework that supports successful parenthood, and access to a spectrum of reproductive options that allows us to plan and control when to become, or not become, parents.

And when you refuse to listen to women, your argument that you're not explicitly anti-women holds precious little water.

Particularly when your party has failed utterly to fund a robust social safety net, but has been trying, with various degrees of success, to chip away at Roe virtually since the decision granted people with uteri the right to terminate pregnancies.

You know, maybe the failure to trust women isn't, in fact, the great political attribute we're meant to believe it is, but is instead evidence of precisely why it is that lawmakers who don't trust women shouldn't have the power to legislate women's et. al. agency and bodily autonomy. Ever.

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