Time is going to honor Adam Serwer for defining in simple fashion the Republican Party that has been built in this country over the past five decades, and for summing up in a sentence the ultimate manifestation of the prion disease that has been eating away the party's higher functions ever since Ronald Reagan fed it the monkeybrains in the late 1970s, that ultimate manifestation being the current presidency*.
The cruelty is the point.
In Alabama on Tuesday evening, the state senate voted to approve a measure that would ban virtually all abortions in that state, a measure that its own sponsors admit was designed to force a final challenge to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. From the good people at AL.com:
The bill passed exactly as it was introduced by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, about six weeks ago. It includes only one exception -- to allow abortions in cases of a serious health risk to the woman. The goal is to trigger a legal challenge to Roe v. Wade. “I would say that we’re all very pleased to have this done,” Collins said at a press conference after the vote. “We’re excited about the possibilities that it could mean. It’s been difficult at times, and then at times it’s been really good. I felt really good about it all the way through.”
Amendments that would have carved out exceptions in the law in cases of rape and/or incest were resoundingly defeated. As is typical of this kind of law, and of the kind of politicians who would support it, there's a whole layer of complete chickenshit at its heart.
Under the bill, a woman receiving an abortion would not be criminally liable. The doctor would be charged with a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison.
See? A lot more women vote than do doctors. And it achieves the same outcome. Also, this is guaranteed to drive more doctors out of a state that's already second only to Mississippi in its infant mortality rate, so that's a thing.
And, lastly, there's this cat, Clyde Chambliss, the Pride of Prattville, who was one of the prime movers of the law, and who was asked whether in vitro fertilization clinics that discard embryos could be criminally liable under this new law. Of course not, Chambliss replies. After all, people Chambliss knows might need to use those.
"The egg in the lab doesn’t apply. It’s not in a woman. She’s not pregnant."
Game? Given away. This wasn't about protecting god's little embryos. It was about asserting control over women, taking away their physical autonomy in the most intimate fashion. Are you a victim of rape? Chambliss has an answer for that, too.
Figures questioned Chambliss about the opposition to the rape and incest exception and its effect on victims of those acts. “To take that choice away from that person who had such a traumatic act committed against them, to be left with the residue of that person, if you will,” Figures said. “To have to bring that child into this world and be reminded of that every single day. Some people can do that. Some people can. But some can’t. But why would you not want a woman to at least have that exception for such a horrific act?”
Chambliss said, “Because I believe that when that unborn child becomes a person that we need legal guidance on when that is." “But that is not your business,” Figures said. “You don’t have to raise that child. You don’t have to carry that child. You don’t have to provide for that child. You don’t have to do anything for that child. You want to make that decision for that woman that that’s what she has to do.”
“I want to make the decision for that child,” Chambliss said.
Chambliss, of course, is a Penis-American in good standing, so why shouldn't his judgment prevail over those of thousands of Alabama women who he'll never meet? He is a Republican, full in the flush of the prion disease, and so were all 25 state senators who voted for this act of oppressive cruelty. And so is Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, who has not yet said whether she will veto it, but which way are you betting? In any case, the legislature could override a veto by a simple majority vote of both houses of the state legislature.
Overlooked in the sensation surrounding the Alabama bill was a decision by the Department of Justice aimed at making it easier for states to kill people in grotesque fashion. From CNN:
"We conclude that articles intended for use in capital punishment by a state or the federal government cannot be regulated as 'drugs' or 'devices' under the (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act)," Steven A. Engel, the head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel, wrote in a 26-page legal opinion signed May 3. "FDA accordingly lacks jurisdiction to regulate such articles for that intended use."
This was in response to an FDA crackdown on the substances used to poison inmates to death, and to an injunction granted by a federal court in 2012 aimed at blocking the importation of these drugs on the grounds that they were "unapproved and misbranded" for use in killing people. The DOJ now has said that the FDA has no authority over any drug that can be used by the government to kill people.
The FDA, the Justice Department said, can't regulate an article that's intended for capital punishment in the US. "FDA did not expressly assert the authority to regulate articles intended for use in executions at any time before 2017, and we believe that such an assertion cannot be reconciled with the [Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act] and other federal law."
The Department of Justice simply does not care how barbaric a state might want to be in its efforts to kill people. The cruelty is the point.
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