Conservative columnist: The 'cruelty' of forced birth advocates will foster their demise

Conservative columnist: The 'cruelty' of forced birth advocates will foster their demise
Pro-choice protest (Shutterstock).

The impacts of the United States Supreme Court's elimination of abortion as a constitutional right in its June 24th Dobbs versus Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling are upending women's healthcare throughout the nation at breakneck speed.

AlterNet noted on Sunday that "from trigger laws in Republican-controlled states that totally ban or even criminalize the procedure, to patients as young as 10 having to travel hundreds of miles to terminate rape-induced pregnancies, the forewarned consequences of stripping Americans of their reproductive autonomy are rapidly coming to fruition."

The Supreme Court's reversals of Roe versus Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania versus Casey not only validate the right-wing's crusade to legally compel people to bear children against their will. They also endanger patients who miscarry or suffer from life-threatening complications such as ectopic pregnancies. Idaho's ban that takes effect on August 25th, for example, only allows abortions to save the life of the mother. There are no exceptions for preventing serious medical complications. In states where all abortions are illegal regardless of the circumstances, law enforcement could be mandated to investigate and prosecute prenatal losses as felony murder.

READ MORE: Abortion providers' lives in growing peril following Roe reversal: report

On Tuesday, conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin opined that the "proof" of opponents of abortion "being disturbingly indifferent to women and even aspiring to cruelly force women to give birth" is "already here."

The extremism, Rubin pointed out, is rampant.

Over the weekend, two Republican governors – Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Tate Reeves of Mississippi – indicated that they, like Ohio had days earlier, would have required pre-teen rape victims to carry their attackers' future child to term.

Rubin recalled that "Reeves said these are such a 'small, minor' number of cases. He wouldn’t say there should be an exception. Noem defended forced birth, insisting, 'I don’t believe a tragic situation should be perpetuated by another tragedy.' The tragedy of forcing a 10-year-old to undergo a pregnancy and the pain of childbirth does not register with Noem."

READ MORE: GOP governor suggests she would force ten-year-old rape victims to carry pregnancies to term

Mississippi House of Representatives Speaker Philip Gunn (R-56th District) said virtually the same of young incest survivors last week. Georgia GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker, backed by former President Donald Trump, "wants no exceptions. Not even to save the woman’s life," Rubin wrote.

Ohio State Representative Jean Schmidt (R-65th District), meanwhile, "has called forcing a 13-year-old rape victim to give birth an 'opportunity,'" Rubin added.

Rubin finds the prevalence of these positions appalling.

"Indeed, the number of states contemplating abortion bans with no exception for rape or incest might shock you," Rubin wrote. "Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards — a Democrat — just signed an abortion law with no exception for rape or incest. In Arkansas, GovernorAsa Hutchinson (R) seemed open to making an exception, but its absence won’t slow down implementation of the abortion ban in his state."

READ MORE: Mississippi GOP Governor Tate Reeves dismisses 'real small, minor number' of rapes requiring abortions

"The monstrous cruelty of such bills shows how little many conservatives care about the well-being of women and girls who have already experienced the unbelievable trauma of sexual violence," said Rubin. "But it gets worse. Many states no longer consider exceptions for the health of the woman or create dangerous uncertainty that puts her life at risk. In the real medical world, where doctors and patients make decisions based on probabilities, the result of such abortion laws can be deadly for women. If abortion is legal only with the 'imminent' risk of death, women can be left in peril, facing what can become fatal complications later in pregnancy — when the chances of survival have declined."

Rubin cited a law in Tennessee in which "doctors are supposed to prove the woman couldn’t have lived without an abortion. (They must prove 'the abortion was necessary to prevent the death of the pregnant woman or to prevent serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman')."

Rubin stressed that "forced-birth advocates can hardly be called 'pro-life' when they are willing to gamble with the lives and health of women. To say women will die because of abortion laws or will suffer untold harm, both mental and physical, is not hyperbole. It’s reality for women who are now deprived of the right to make their own decision about their health and even their lives."

Rubin, an ex-Republican, concluded with a borrowing warning: "When you treat women like less than competent adults, and insist that others, who may have little or no competency, weigh the risks to her health and life, you wind up not with a culture of life but a culture of devaluing women’s lives."

READ MORE: Economists are ‘racing to study’ the ‘impact’ of Roe’s demise: report

Rubin's full editorial is available here (subscription required).

Correction: This story has been updated. Idaho has not banned all abortions.

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