The assault on constitutional rights and civil liberties coming from the religious right and the GOP continues, as conservative Republicans set their sites on purging life-saving care and abortive services from women’s healthcare.
In Wisconsin, Rep. Andre Jacque (R), has introduced AB206, a bill that would make it difficult, if not impossible, for University of Wisconsin medical students to learn how to perform abortions. The bill, which is currently awaiting vote, exclusively targets the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “I’m trying to get UW out of the abortion business,“ Jacque told the Journal-Sentinel. “I’m on pretty firm ground here.” If passed, this bill would prevent any employee or medical professional from the University of Wisconsin System or the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics from performing abortions, assisting in abortions, providing abortions at an outside private facility, training others to perform abortions, or receive public funding for programs, facilities, or physicians that provide abortions. Medical professionals worry that the passage of this bill will only contribute to the decline of women’s health care providers in the state. Such a measure would not only put women seeking abortions at risk but any woman in need of reproductive health care.
Rep. Jacque’s bill is predicated upon the common conservative idea that abortions are wrong and shameful. This bellowing of fear and guilt spewing from the GOP’s bullhorn is nothing new and has been invigorated this week by the evangelical Christian doctor who is promoting a new way for women to “take back” the abortion they regret by receiving an abortion reversal injection. This injection would work only for women who have received non-surgical abortions via the two-part abortion pill process consisting of mifepristone and misoprostol. The pills, which are to be taken twenty-four to forty-eight hours apart to ensure a successful and safe termination, could now be disrupted by an injection of progesterone, given after the first pill (mifepristone) is taken. Obviously, the second pill (misoprostol) would be discarded. While the reversal pill procedure has been successful on occasion (about 55 percent success rate), the studies and data to back up the drug’s efficacy and safety aren’t quite there yet.
The Abortion Pill Reversal program is offered by the Culture of Life Family Services in San Diego, California, just one more of numerous fake women’s health clinics popping up across the country. Neglecting to communicate vital information, falsifying scientific and medical information, and even offering false empathy and compassion are just some of the common ways this group hooks vulnerable women into making decisions that might not be best for them. Although, their website suggests they are “here to help support pregnant girls and women and their developing babies,” they don’t offer continued counseling or medical care after the reversal of the abortion. While they say they will “connect you with couples who are either unable to have children of their own or who are simply looking to provide a child with a loving, stable home,” they offer no actual family adoption resources or services.
The attacks on women’s healthcare are increasing. From violent attempts on abortion clinics to relentless legislation attempting to erase the very existence of the practice, abortion and women’s reproductive health are unvalued, attacked, and disposable to the religious right and current administration. It has become commonplace to hear anti-women rhetoric from the mouths of our leaders, for example the nominee for the US Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, who compares abortion to slavery as “the two greatest tragedies in our country” and the president of the United States calling for the punishment of women who receive abortions. Moreover, when a twelve-year-old rape victim whose mother has a history of physical abuse and who wants an abortion is deemed not mature enough to make that decision, we know we have clearly entered a phase where women’s mental, emotional, and physical health is not a priority.