43 Comments
founding

This is exactly why The Democracy Decree needs to move forward! Ignoring the will of the people is vile. Democratism.org advocates for eliminating the electoral college. Without them Democrats would have won almost every presidential election since Reagan. We need to make the People's Voice matter again! Majority of Americans believe in abortion rights and yet....

Please feel free to visit the site Democratism.org and see what you can do to volunteer or GET THE WORD OUT! there is another way!

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I've been watching Jessica's Tik Toks for awhile, but just started getting her newsletter. I get Jessica Craven's newsletter too (Chop Wood Carry Water). I love all the information here and am so appreciative of the connection and the hard work that goes into all of this. I would also love a small space for regular Actions to take. Like a script to call representatives, or a Resist Bot text, or political races that need phone bank callers. It would be great to laser focus as a group on the daily/weekly so that our swell of voices could be louder and better heard.

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I wanted to mention a paper I've written on how parental rights rhetoric is used to deny abortion access for minors - it includes a thank you to Jessica Valenti! The Political Language of Parental Rights: Abortion, Gender-Affirming Care, and Critical Race Theory https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4365970

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This isn't technically addressing the story but popped in my head while I was reading it. Because the conservatives are so insidious, you have to try to think three conspiracies ahead.

I was thinking, they try to act like they’re not monsters so they add the “rape and incest exception.” False rape claims happen at about the same rate/ percentage as other false reports of crimes. And just like other false reports, they’re usually seen for what they are and settled there. But for some reason our culture doesn’t believe men rape, they just believe women lie about rape. So now that state after state is banning abortion, with the “humane” states leaving “exceptions” in place, a very, very desperate girl or woman might lie about a pregnancy in order to get an abortion. Considering she’d have to stand in front of a judge, odds are slim of that happening. A 10 yo was denied an abortion after being raped so…

BUT…now they can claim we’re all lying about rape just so we can get abortions. So the first time, possibly only time, a woman lies about rape to get an abortion, and it gets found out, that's it. They win. Because, they will claim, "See? Women lie about rape". So it didn’t happen one time because of a desperate woman or girl driven to lie by these abusive laws. It happens all the time and now they have yet another way of keeping women from reporting and another way to call us liars.

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Preeeeeeach!!!! ✊🏽

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Observation: I prefer the term "pro abortion access" to the term "pro choice" —tjere is no choice without access.

Thanks for a great daily compilation!!

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Yup the pro-life crowd is an American Taliban

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founding

Yes I do think that's the best analogy.

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Good article here. https://wapo.st/3mg9Fq6

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Mar 1, 2023·edited Mar 1, 2023

I really think if that awful Judge rules for banning mifepristone, his ruling should just be ignored. Not sure how Biden and the FDA could do it but there has to be a way not to be held hostage by these extremist’s judges.

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Here's an article about how they might "ignore" the ruling for quite a while:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/02/texas-judge-abortion-case-actually-limited-mifepristone.html

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founding

Very, very informative. Thank you!

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Thanks. Good article. I hope the powers that be will fight and do everything in their power to mitigate the ruling. These extremist’s Judges are making a mockery out of our legal system with their complete disregard for impartiality.

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And I have no doubt whatsoever that he's going to ban the medication.

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founding

My guess is he's trying to come up with reasoning that will satisfy the supreme court. The question is whether there's a fifth justice that would vote to overturn the ruling.

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founding

Yes. Conservatives keep pushing the envelope, so sooner or later there is going to be a court ruling that is so out of bounds, not just in terms of popularity but in its legal reasoning, that the executive branch will have to remember that it is the branch that enforces the law, that the judiciary has no independent power to do so, and that its rulings are obeyed only because they always have been. If it's a failure of the rule of law it would be only because the judges have brazenly usurped the people's power.

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I think reproductive justice should stop calling it fetal personhood and start calling it fetal coverture. Fetuses are a legal fiction conservatives made up to force women back into coverture. Marriage under coverture made wives and daughters invisible by law. In 1765, Sir William Blackstone, in his Commentaries on the Laws of England described coverture and the legal rights of wives, "by marriage, the husband and wife are one person in law: that is, the very being or legal existence of the woman is suspended during the marriage, or at least incorporated and consolidated into that of the husband..." Conservatives can't force them back into marriages to make them invisible under their husbands so they're forcing them into pregnancies to make them invisible under their fetuses, passing laws that declare the uterus as property of the state.

Fundamentalist ideologies like the Curse of Eve Doctrine are based on the premise that motherhood is God's justice system for women's sexual behavior and children are the instrument by which this sentence is carried out. Abortion or contraception is escaping God's justice. If fetuses are persons, the state of pregnancy renders a person's body property of the fetus suspending their individual rights. Since fetuses are not constitutionally considered people until birth, 'fetus' is used as a legal fiction so the state can act as their ward. Meaning fetuses are the property of the state. The pregnant person is therefore carrying the property of the state who can now justify the usurpation of the rights of the pregnant person. By asserting pregnant people carry the property of the state renders anyone possessing a uterus property of the state by extension. Having a womb therefore erases a person's existence from the law. They exist de facto but not de jure. According to the law, they are not people. They're not even chattel. They're public property.

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YIKES!

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founding

I do think we still have a lot of work to do on education and persuasion, but it's of Americans who are instinctively pro-choice, but fuzzy on the details, and may still believe there is such a thing as 'reasonable' restrictions on abortion. This is the legal in 'most' cases crowd, and Republicans are very much looking to exploit their uncertainty. I think this group is also probably not engaged enough on the issue, and doesn't understand the urgency of what's happening.

I'm also not sure democracy is our strongest argument. It wasn't that long ago that most ballot measures to ban same-sex marriage were winning (even in California as I recall), and I'm still doubtful that we have a majority in this country on trans rights, for example.

Most democracies have both democratic and anti-democratic features in their systems, because otherwise you can end up with majoritarian dictatorial rule as in Turkey, for example.

The argument I prefer is that bodily autonomy is a fundamental right, and when you take it away you relegate a woman to slave status, no matter what your intentions. And then support it with real life narratives, which always favor pro-choice, because the atrocities conservatives imagine just do not happen. And that you can't have it both ways, that you always have to choose between a woman and a mass of cells in her body that is utterly dependent on her, and that if a woman is to be a person at all she has to be trusted with her own life.

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I think people are going through serious compassion fatigue with the constant stream of crises they're reacting to. I'm afraid people will become as complacent about maternal and infant deaths as they are to mass shootings. Just "thoughts and prayers" for every mother and baby who dies. But anti-abortion laws will never be to blame just like 2a.

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founding

That is very worrisome. We cannot normalize this.

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Jessica Valenti

This is voter suppression. Changing the rules to prevent voters from making health decisions between a woman (for now) and their doctor? What’s next? Ban vasectomies? How’s that sound guys? Yes, the only way around this is to vote them all out as quickly as possible! I have lost none of the fury I feel for the SCOTUS. Corrupt bastards. Just an extension of the right wing agenda. Always AGAINST the common good.

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Jessica Valenti

I'm still not convinced that this isn't the other way around. Anti-abortion efforts seem more like a cover for undoing democracy and establishing a Christian fascist state.

- They've never *actually* cared about life (obvi)

- They've succeeded in gerrymandering and stacking the courts

- They are enshrining turning neighbors against neighbors into law

- They are eliminating electoral means of popular revolt (ballot initiatives)

- They are creating sweeping laws that can lock up anyone with pro-abortion, pro-Trans kid perspectives > basically any political opponent

Abortion is a great cover because their supporters will go along with anything 'to protect the babies' even the full on destruction of our democracy.

That isn't to say that covering all the anti-abortion leg you're doing isn't vital! I just worry that it's buying into their argument that this *is* just about abortion when it sure looks like so much more.

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founding

Perhaps it's also why pro-choice Republicans seem to be going along for the ride, because they favor the other stuff.

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author

Right, I hear you. I think it's both, honestly - that they're mutually reinforcing. And you're right to point out the attacks on trans kids - because I think that they're seeing now how popular abortion rights are and believe that LGBTQ issues will fire up their base more. (And of course they're just raging bigots who want to punish trans people)

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founding

Is their plan to undo democracy? Subjugate women and have us live in “A Handmaids Tail” society?

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I think Poland is their plan, abortion and female sterilization illegal and religion dictating laws.

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founding

That might be the best comparison, and it's a worrisome one, because Poles seem to be more or less tolerating the situation, and the EU is more or less tolerating Poland. Which suggests such a state of affairs can go on for a long time.

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Agreed, the only good news is Polish youth are rapidly becoming secular and I believe the same is happening in the USA.

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founding

Oh, yes, I do very much believe the young generations will save us. I just don't know what we'll have to go through in the meantime.

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founding

I suppose so, because 'saving' humanity requires the establishment of a Christian fascist state in a lot of their minds.

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Jessica Valenti

Because that is what it feels like.

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author

I mean, that's sure what it looks like!

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Agree, they are going for power so they can put forward an agenda that returns women to kinder, kuche, kirche, that continues the racism that has defined the U.S. since its founding, let loose capitalism--since it is wealthy capitalists who put them in office (that's the population they actually represent)--ignore the destruction of the planet and the life thereon because... after them the deluge! They think that women, Blacks, leftists, the poor are way less than them, they don't want democracy, they want to go back to when white men landowners ran the country. Attacking women, Blacks and LGBTQI+ people are just means to their ends, although they believe what they say.

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Jessica Valenti

Great column! Very clear and strong.

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author

Thank you, Sue!

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Is the only answer to things like this voting this reprehensible people out of office?

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author

I mean, it's definitely a start! But I think the other part of it is making it known that we SEE THEM. Because it's clear to me that these legislators think that no one notices what they're up to.

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Mar 1, 2023Liked by Jessica Valenti

Right. To be clear your efforts, along with those who about your stuff from the rooftops, are a major step. I was alluding to the next step in this battle.

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author

Ah, got it. Right, I think voting them out is the bare minimum - I really do think a huge part of it is for Dems to get out of their defensive crouch.

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Exactly. Which is why Biden’s post the other day low key enraged me. Stop being reactive please!!!

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Irritated me too -- it was empty because Biden knows he won't be faced with an abortion ban bill from congress. I felt it was him placating us. We were not given attention at the SOTU, yet they all sure fundraised and campaigned on "women's right to choose." He is loathe to change tradition -- so I fear the only remedy we have (court reform) won't happen. Maybe if this country passes the ERA and we get something with teeth into it about reproductive rights, we stand a chance.

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I like what the people are doing in Iran in response to their theocratic inhuman rulers. Why can't we do some of that?

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