The Republican war on women in Alabama has reached epic ridiculousness

Abortion is a right in the United States. Women in the United States have a legal right to abortion procedures, as decided by Roe v. Wade in 1973. Yet, every day we hear stories about attacks on these rights and they get worse by the day. After reading this story, if you still think there’s no war on women then I’m not sure how else to convince you.

There is a case unfolding in Alabama which has sparked anger among progressives. An incarcerated woman known only as “Jane Doe”, has been denied an abortion by an Alabama court which has led to a lawsuit. The case of Jane Doe turns out to be worse than it sounds already.

Jane Doe has a legal right to an abortion procedure, even though the closest clinic for this procedure is located in Huntsville, over seventy miles from her current location. Alabama authorities have so far denied her requests to travel to Huntsville for an abortion, which has garnered a lawsuit on behalf of Doe.

What’s frustrating about the case is that so little is known about who Jane Doe is and her circumstances. We don’t even really know why she is in jail to begin with, only that she may have possibly been a drug addict. This is assumed because of reports that she was arrested based on an Alabama law designed to protect children from industrial chemicals.

In Alabama, this law is twisted by right-wingers to include fetuses as “children” and recreational drugs as part of a “dangerous chemical” classification. Essentially, it is illegal to be pregnant and have drugs in your system in Alabama. We aren’t even sure what drug was in her system when she was arrested. For all we know, she could have smoked a joint. Yet, Alabama has locked her up rather than help her perceived addiction.

This case is especially disturbing because of the irony surrounding it. Jane Doe’s right to a legal abortion is not only under heavy assault, but we are faced with the blatant hypocrisy of the so called “pro-life” Republicans. Alabama is considering taking away her parental rights, going so far as to give her fetus a lawyer. I’m not kidding. Jane Doe’s fetus has legal representation on its “behalf.”

It’s clear that the wishes of the mother are not considered at all here, and that Alabama is doing everything to keep her from her legal right until it’s too late. Of course, once Doe has the baby, then those same Republicans would do nothing to adopt or help take of the infant. No, they’ll just be glad to see the baby dumped in foster care, and expect it to pull itself up by the bootstraps it doesn’t have yet.

Republicans only care about a child before its born. Afterwards, they could care less what happens. They especially have no concern for viable lives, unless they are unborn. This is true for Jane Doe, of course. Her wishes are of no concern to Alabama. Based on what we know, she really shouldn’t be in jail to begin with.

Because we know so little of Jane Doe and her actual case, we can only go on what little has been revealed. Based on the accounts so far, Jane Doe is yet another victim of the Republican crusade against abortion rights. Hopefully her full story will be known one day. Hopefully it won’t be too late. As of last month in Alabama, it is illegal to have an abortion past 20 weeks.

So let’s summarize shall we? A woman in Alabama is in prison, presumably for having drugs in her system while being pregnant with a baby she doesn’t want. Not only are they preventing her from having the abortion by taking away her parental rights, she may not get out in time to have one legally in Alabama.

On a somewhat positive note, the Republican attempt to defund Planned Parenthood has been temporarily blocked in the Senate. Yet, I stress “temporarily.” The Republicans don’t give up very easy on issues like this. Much like their dozens upon dozens of tries at repealing Obamacare, the Planned Parenthood attack will come up again.

The plight of Jane Doe is but one of many examples of the war on women, but her’s is a shockingly blatant example of how cruel this war can be. What’s even more shocking is the potential that many more women like her could be incarcerated in Alabama. Despite whether she had a drug problem or not, Jane Doe’s legal rights are under assault, and the very reason she’s in jail is ridiculous.

Hopefully this issue is not as widespread as I fear, but it is clear that so-called “moral” Republicans are driving nails into women’s reproductive rights.

9 COMMENTS

  1. We women have the choice not to have sex, and that is as far as choice goes. What about the baby’s right to life? The heart begins to beat at 8 weeks, you can’t tell me that is not a living human being. Your rights end when you infringe upon another’s rights, plain and simple. Putting her in jail helped her child, too, since she can’t do any drugs in there. She should lose her parental rights, since she was abusing the baby already.

  2. julian – great article and i’m totally on your side but “afterwards, they COULDN’T care less what happens”. not COULD care less. how can a writer make that mistake ? arghhhhhh !!!

  3. During a conversation tonight at my gym with a University of South Carolina coed—just beginning her sophomore year—per the ethics of stem cell research, I was amazed to hear her articulate something which I have believed for a long, long time: Many Republicans/Conservatives/Evangelicals are anti-abortion and anti-birth control less out of concern for “life” than out of the desire to punish young women for having engaged in pre-marital sex. “For a baby to represent ‘punishment,'” she said, “doesn’t really seem to elevate “life” to any kind of “sacred status.”

    We didn’t get into the fact that older women as well as married women also occasionally seek abortions and, unless they are women of means, are faced with the same dilemmas as those of younger, unmarried women. But her insight was striking. And, I think, accurate per many in what she refused to call the “pro-life” movement. She termed it the “anti-abortion, anti-birth control, anti-sex, anti-women’s” movement.

    Okay. That’s good enough for me.

    • I agree completely. And our education is also controlled, in that all the herbal solutions to an unwanted pregnancy are available and effective but the knowledge of them is largely hidden; unless one is familiar with a library, search engine, or mid-wife. There are myriad (and safe) ways to deal with problematic pregnancies. Learn and teach, learn and teach. In this issue, and many, many more, we don’t need no stinkin’ laws…

  4. I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR A LONG TIME THAT THE ONLY WAY I WILL BELIEVE IN THE “GOOD INTENTIONS OF THE PRO-LIFE PEOPLE AND REPUBLICANS” IS WHEN THEY PARK THEIR CARS IN FRONT OF AN ABORTION CLINIC AND ADOPT “EVERY UNWANTED CHILD”, FEED THEM AND RAISE THEM. SO FAR ONCE THE CHILD IS BORN THEY DON’T GIVE A DAMN WHAT HAPPENS TO HIM/HER. “TALK IS CHEAP”……THEY ARE A BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES AND DEMAGOGUES!

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