In the past week, two Republican-backed anti-choice bills made their way through their respective state legislatures: 1. Oklahoma’s “Personhood Act” seeking to define life at the moment of conception; and 2. Virginia’s bill forcing abortion-seeking women to undergo invasive ultrasounds. Both of these laws, obviously, are terrible and despicable. (Virginia’s in particular, which has been defined as “state sanctioned rape” and that’s not really far off.) But people seem to miss the point of these bills.
Take Oklahoma’s “Personhood Act,” for instance. Even one of the bill’s backers, Senator Brian Crain went out of his to spell out how the law does not affect much: “[I]f a woman would want to terminate the pregnancy, that is allowed under Roe vs. Wade.” So what does it really do then, other than get people to theorize the sorts of legal cluster-fuckage that will come for abortions, morning after pill-usage, and in vitro fertilization procedures if the bill is passed?
These bills, and really any abortion-related bills introduced during an election year, are just catnip for the religious fundamentalists: Things to get them fired up, but without any real substance. They’re things to point to during stump speeches, showing what progress they’re making in the war against abortion and why they deserve another term to deliver the final blow.
But they’re never going to. Because if Roe v. Wade got overturned, the Republican Party would be fucked.
Since Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court has had 12 new justices, 8 of which were nominees of Republican presidents. And during Bush 43’s reign, there was a four-year period when Republicans had control of both the House and Senate—along with a post-9/11 pass to do pretty much whatever the fuck they wanted. If there was ever an occasion to enact the will of fervent religious voters, it’s been the past decade. And yet still, there it is, acting simultaneously as a carrot (“We’ll end abortions if you vote for us!”) and stick (“Don’t vote for us and apparently you’re just fine with the slaughter of God’s innocent children!”). If the debate were to end, there’d be no sure-fire way to coerce the Bibles-on-their-hips-Jesus-in-their-hearts voters to pierce the holes next to the “R” mark all the way down the ballot.
So why mess with a good thing?
Onto the roundup!
- Hey, look! The creepy purity bear is back, keeping teenagers from making the mistake of having sexual intercourse on first dates.
- New Jersey governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriage in his state.
- Foster Friess, some sort of “American businessman and supporter of conservative Christian causes” according to his Wikipedia page, pretty much said we wouldn’t need to get sidetracked with this nonsensical contraceptive debate if women would just stop being sluts.
- Lawmakers in Tennessee allowed the so-called “Don’t say gay” bill, prohibiting high schools from discussing homosexuality, to get into the next round of voting.
- Senators in Idaho just cold-rejected a bill that would have prohibited employment and housing discrimination against gay folk.
- In Nepal, a mob burned to death a 40-year-old woman who was accused of practicing witchcraft. In positive witch-related news, Germany finally proclaimed the innocence of a woman convicted of being the cause of a caterpillar plague, but proclamation came 385 years after she was burned at the stake.
- More Tibetan monks set themselves on fire.
- A former Scientologist brought a lawsuit against the L. Rons for all sorts of mental and physical tortures that are too lengthy to list here.
- In Uganda, which has become pretty much the worst place on the planet to be gay, the “ethics minister” raided the offices of a gay activist organization because “we do not accept homosexuality in Uganda.”
- A U.S. drone killed five more Islamist militants in Pakistan.
- A mother in Palestine pulled one of those “honor killings” by strangling her 16-year-old daughter after neighbors fibbed and told the mother that the girl was having an affair with their son.
- The FBI arrested a man who was planning to suicide bomb the Capitol building, but instead of packing a real bomb, he packed a dud, because he got it from undercover FBI agents. Sure, there’s a whole lot of weird entrapment issues here, but the fact is, that must have been one embarrassing scene.
- A suicide car bomber in Baghdad killed 19 at a police academy.
- That Nicki Minaj performance at the Grammys intended to anger Catholic leaders? Looks like it worked.
- A Palestinian baker is entering his 10th week of hunger strike protest after being arrested by Israeli police and detained without charges.
- Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the former Archbishop of New York, withdrew his decade-old apology for the church’s handling of that whole priests-diddling-kids thing for no real reason other than he’s acting like a dick.
- And our Hero of the Week Howard Stern, for defending gay rights in the wake of that asinine One Million Moms group trying to get J.C. Penney to fire Ellen Degeneres.
Previously - Your Pocket Guide to Morality
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