Recently, a transgender woman was harassed on the Metro by someone parroting the hateful “transgender folks are pedophile child-groomers” talking point that’s come to accompany this state-level legislation.
Thankfully, the woman wasn’t physically harmed, but she could have been; DC police report an increase in hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression in just the first few months of this year over past years.
Local activists who work with members of the LGBTQ community report that family members have begun spewing the same hateful, fact-free talking points being used to “justify” these bills in Republican-controlled states.
So if you’ve been thinking that the fact that you live in a safely “blue” part of the country that this bigotry won’t infiltrate, think again. It’s everywhere, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
But this week we’re gonna take a moment to catch up with all the ways and places women are losing control over their own bodies.
Measures banning abortions after 15 weeks became law in Florida and Kentucky this very week.
Also this week, the Republicans running Oklahoma made performing an abortion a crime—a freaking felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
In the long ago time of … January of this year, I admonished readers to not underestimate Republicans’ creativity and dedication to the cause of controlling women’s bodies (which is what undermining reproductive rights is about—if it were actually about babies, we’d have free child care, free pediatric healthcare, all manner of stuff that actually helps babies), especially with the conservative SCOTUS majority all but certain to eliminate the rights protected in Roe v. Wade this summer.
- And yes, as an erudite consumer of this missive, you probably recall that, if (sigh WHEN) bans on abortion become constitutional, they’ll go into effect immediately in the eight states that retain enforceable pre-Roe abortion bans in their code:
- West Virginia
- Also, 12 states have laws on their books that would trigger automatic bans on abortion if Roe were overturned:
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
And as an erudite consumer of this missive, you also probably don’t need me to point out that the thing that all of these states have in common is a GOP-controlled legislature.
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Also back in January, I predicted that GOP-trifecta states not listed above would get to some abortion-banning shit this year.
And wow have they.
I mentioned Florida above, but the Sunshine State is, of course, not alone.
Arizona now has a 15-week abortion ban on its books.
So does Kentucky.
Ohio is currently considering legislation that would make it one of those states where a full abortion ban would be “triggered” by the fall of Roe.
Last month, one of these “trigger bans” became law in Wyoming.
Again, this shit is everywhere … and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Speaking of worse … well, what’s worse than haranguing a local school board into taking Beloved off of library shelves?
Passing a law that gives local (mostly Republican) politicians the power to appoint library boards all across the state.
Which is exactly what the GOP-controlled Kentucky legislature did this week.
And before you’re all, Hey, wait, doesn’t Kentucky have a Democratic governor?
It sure does, but fat lot of good that’s worth when a simple majority vote in each chamber is all it take to override a gov’s veto.
This new law gives the (again, mostly Republican, though there is at least one who identifies as a Whig, no joke) county executives (known as judge/executives) the power to appoint local library boards.
At a different point in time, this would seem less sinister, but with right-wing ideologues attempting to dictate what books kids read in schools, what sports they play, and whether or not it’s okay to teach that racism is bad or that LGBTQ people even exist, it’s more than fair to expect that political authority over libraries will mean partisan-skewed boards with ideological stakes in the material on the shelves.
I mean, shouldn’t libraries be nonpartisan and open to people of all viewpoints?
In Kentucky, not any more.