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Attack on Abortion Rights Part of Push for White Patriarchal Theocracy

South Dakota’s Democratic Party establishment has a hard time speaking out boldly for women’s reproductive rights. Too often South Dakota Democrats not only remain silent against but facilitate the SDGOP‘s deceitful war on women’s equality. South Dakota Democrats nominate for Governor a conservative legislator who has called for overturning Roe v. Wade, thinking that help Democrats win elections.

But if we don’t fight for women’s reproductive autonomy—and at the moment, specifically, if we don’t mobilize against Texas’s newly enacted Senate Bill 8, the radical vigilante abortion ban, and similar legislative attacks women’s constitutional rights—we are ceding vital ground on voter rights, economic justice, the rule of law, and numerous other issues that Republicans would crush in favor of their desired white supremacist theocracy.

It’s all connected, says author and activist Sikivu Hutchinson:

It’s important to contextualize the assault on abortion as part and parcel of the white supremacist backlash against voting rights, workers’ rights, LGBTQI+ equity, climate change, and secular freedoms. The Supreme Court’s Christian Nationalist agenda underscores the devastating public health and safety threat that white supremacy poses. Not only will draconian restrictions on abortion further destabilize the lives of poor and working class women of color with no safety net but they will widen the multigenerational wealth gap in communities disrupted by the pandemic.

Nationwide, Black and Latinx essential women workers continue to experience the brunt of pandemic shutdowns, downsizing, and lack of child care. And, as many have pointed out, SB 8’s sanction of Orwellian surveillance, vigilantism, and lawsuits against folks who assist with abortion access will reestablish the back-alley culture that existed before Roe.

Just as this recent SCOTUS decision exemplified the theocratic authority of cisgendered white men, the gutting of Roe is a product of grassroots white patriarchal terror—the long heinous campaign of abortion clinic blockades, bombings, stalking, and physician murders that laid the groundwork for Texas and has its corollary in the January 6th terrorist attack on the Capitol [Sikivu Hutchinson, “The Gutting of ‘Roe’ Isn’t About Religion, It’s a Product of White Terror,” Religion Dispatches, 2021.09.14].

Democrats, we must speak truth to power on all issues, including women’s reproductive rights. Even if you don’t have a uterus, the attack on abortion rights is an attack on your rights. To speak with authority on issues of equality and justice, Democrats must nominate candidates in South Dakota and Texas and everywhere else who will say without equivocation that women have the right to control their bodies.

41 Comments

  1. Kyle Krause 2021-09-21

    Thought experiment – Would you prefer a governor who was a Democrat opposed to abortion or a Republican opposed to abortion? No one has gotten closer to ending our 40+ years of Republican domination than Billie Sutton, and part of that was probably attributable to his abortion stance. It would probably be foolish to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    At least in western South Dakota, it is currently about irrelevant whether abortion is allowed at all in South Dakota. We have one clinic in Sioux Falls. To get an abortion there, a woman from out west would need to travel to Sioux Falls for a Monday appointment, then stay there until Thursday for the procedure. Instead, she can travel a similar distance to Colorado or Billings, get an abortion the same day, and be back home on Tuesday. If not for the sake of just maintaining a presence in the State, it would probably make sense for Planned Parenthood to just set up shop right over the border in Minnesota (as is the case farther north in Fargo/Moorehead).

    After Roe gets officially overturned in the next year or so, the most effective path to legal abortion in South Dakota is likely to be through an amendment to the state constitution rather than by electing people friendly to it.

  2. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    1. A pregnant woman is the patient.

    2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women.

    3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Texas, Wyoming and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.

    4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they’re discriminatory anti-choice extremism.

    5. “Pro-life” is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it’s hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.

    6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

    7. Ending reproductive rights in red states is Balkanizing women’s medical care.

    8. An acorn is not an oak tree so a foetus is no more an unborn child than it is an unborn grandparent.

    In New Mexico Medicaid covers abortions and even transportation in rural areas to get to clinics in Albuquerque.

    But according to SD News Watch 132 South Dakota women traveled to Nebraska for their procedures last year, 152 women scheduled in Minnesota, ten women went to North Dakota, 123 South Dakota women found care in Colorado and Iowa saw a jump of at least 200 out of state women who sought medical care that South Dakota refuses to sanction.

  3. Eve Fisher 2021-09-21

    And Jonathan Mitchell, the architect of the Texas abortion / vigilante law, has filed a new amicus brief with SCOTUS – THOMAS E. DOBBS, M.D., M.P.H., STATE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. JACKSON WOMEN’S HEALTH ORGANIZATION, ET AL.,
    RESPONDENTS – and in it calls for the elimination of LGBQT rights and the recriminilization of anti-sodomy laws (i.e., overturn Lawrence v. Texas), as well as the end of gay marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges).

    “The news is not as good for those who hope to preserve the court-invented rights to homosexual behavior and same-sex marriage. See Lawrence, 539 U.S. 558; Obergefell, 576 U.S. 644. These “rights,” like the right to abortion from Roe, are judicial concoctions, and there is no other source of law that can be invoked to salvage their existence. Mississippi suggests that Obergefell could be defended by invoking the “fundamental right to marry” which is “ ‘fundamental as a matter of history and tradition.’ ” Pet. Br. at 13 (quoting Obergefell, 576 U.S. at 671). But a “fundamental right” must be defined with specificity before assessing whether that right is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition.” See Washington v. Glucksberg, 521 U.S. 702, 721 (1997) (requiring federal courts to employ a “careful description” of conduct or behavior that a litigant alleges to be protected by the Constitution, and forbidding resort to generalizations and abstractions). Otherwise long-prohibited conduct can be made into a “fundamental right” that is “deeply rooted in
    this Nation’s history and tradition,” so long as a litigant is creative enough to define the “right” at a high enough level of abstraction.27 The right to marry an opposite-sex spouse is “deeply rooted in this Nation’s history and tradition”; the right to marry a same-sex spouse obviously is not.
    This is not to say that the Court should announce the overruling of Lawrence and Obergefell if it decides to overrule Roe and Casey in this case. But neither should the Court hesitate to write an opinion that leaves those decisions hanging by a thread. Lawrence and Obergefell, while far less hazardous to human life, are as lawless as Roe.

    Personally, I foresee a recriminalized sex act in a public place scandal in Mr. Mitchell’s future, but in the meantime, he’s going to literally do his damnedest to make it hell for a lot of people.

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketPDF/19/19-1392/185344/20210729162610813_Dobbs%20Amicus%20FINAL%20PDFA.pdf

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-09-21

    The way to wiping out the trumpie party is to abort them. The vast majority of the electorate is fine with Roe v Wade. It’s time for the Democrats to make it an issue and make a higher priority. The Republican Taliban have always wanted to take reproductive rights away from women. In Texas they are encouraging rapists, Abbott says he’ll get rid of rape. Since Republicans do nothing but lie it will be easy to win. I would love to design the billboards.

  5. Edwin Arndt 2021-09-21

    An acorn may not be an oak tree, but as soon as it
    sprouts, it is.
    When I put a seed in the ground it is potential life.
    As soon as it sprouts it is alive. It is alive before
    the plant emerges from the ground.

  6. Edwin Arndt 2021-09-21

    A lot of people were okay with slavery too.

  7. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    A-Butt is pushing more abortion restrictions in Texass on top of vigilante law. At least two people have filed suit against doctor who allegedly defied the 6 week ban. One of them is a disbarred attorney and the other is under house arrest for some damn thing. Neither of them live or filed in Texass.

  8. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    So, Mr. Arndt: is Transubstantiation cannibalism?

  9. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/573150-texas-governor-signs-more-abortion-restrictions-into-law

    Senate Bill 4 — which the Texas Legislature approved during the special session that ended on Sept. 2 — bans the use of abortion-inducing drugs in the state seven weeks into a pregnancy, according to The Dallas Morning News.

    The bill also allows people who “intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly” breach the law to be criminally charged, according to The Dallas Morning News. The penalty for such an action would be a state jail felony, which comes with fines of up to $10,000 and between 180 days and two years in prison.

    The law takes effect in December.

  10. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    Yes, it never ceases to amuse how Republicans paint Democrats as the party of slavery then praise the slaveowners who penned not just the Bill of Rights but the Declaration of Independence, too.

    New Mexico is the political inverse of my home state. It’s where if the lopsided Supreme Court of the United States ultimately overturns Roe v. Wade women will still be free to exercise their reproductive rights because Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Respect New Mexico Women and Families Act that repealed the 1969 state statute banning abortion. In New Mexico Medicaid covers abortions and even transportation in rural areas to get to clinics in Albuquerque.

    Now, red state governors have announced plans to compel even more women to go out of state for their procedures. These actions are not only the way the extreme white wing of the Republican Party raises money it’s designed to break Planned Parenthood in red states and drive abortions even further underground.

  11. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    A fetus cannot survive outside the mother’s womb until age of viability, set at around 24 weeks. Forcing any woman to carry a fetus to term is a violation of the takings act, you can’t take a woman’s uterus without just compensation, for the sole purpose of fulfilling some retarded magat’s religious beliefs.

    A fetus has no constitutional rights and cannot make it’s own decisions until it reaches the age of majority which is years after forced birth. Until then, the Mother should be the only voice heard as to what is best for her and her fetus. And retarded magats need to butt out as they have no and will not accept any financial responsibilities for the woman and fetus.

  12. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    ps oak saplings can be discarded anytime the land owner chooses, even after maturity when they produce acorns.

  13. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    Can’t you just hear magats and farmers screaming bloody murder if the government, state or fed, forced them to set aside acres for conservation reserve without any compensation?

  14. bearcreekbat 2021-09-21

    Cory’s observation that “Even if you don’t have a uterus, the attack on abortion rights is an attack on your rights” is right on the money. Likewise with Eve’s comments about the danger to the right of privacy in marriage decisions (including, e.g., Loving v. Virginia).

    Removing the federal Constitutional restriction on the power of state governments relative to procreation and family planning matters opens the door to much more than criminalizing medical help to women who decide to terminate a pregnancy. Once the right of privacy is gone it will be up to each state legislature to decide when and who should be sterilized and the methods to do so, whether a pregnancy will be permitted or terminated, whether and which adults will be permitted to marry and who they can marry, among many other matters that are currently protected under the penumbra of constitutional rights supporting a right of privacy.

    Those seeking to eliminate this federal constitutional right of privacy either have faith that whatever leaders are elected in the future will always do exactly what abortion opponents currently want by only outlawing behavior opponents object to or mandating behavior that they support, or they simply have not really considered the implications of yielding such broad power to a government over an individual’s most private decisions. If the former, opponents just might be a bit naive and overly optimistic, and if the latter they will be in for a very rude awakening.

    People that find terminating pregnancies abhorrent can take a myriad of actions to help women choose to carry pregnancies to term without abandoning the constitutional right of privacy in family planning decisions and thereby allowing government bureaucrats to decide such matters. Indeed, history has taught us that delegating the power to a government doesn’t stop or even significantly reduce abortions, hence eliminating our right of privacy is unlikely to advance the abortion opponent’s goal of preventing abortions. Instead it will simply make them more dangerous to women denied medical assistance.

    . . . research from the Guttmacher Institute demonstrates just how misguided and dangerous it is to try to limit abortion access. The data shows that abortion rates are roughly the same in countries where abortion is broadly legal and in countries where it isn’t. And abortion rates are actually four times higher in low-income countries where abortion is prohibited than in high-income countries where it is broadly legal.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/abortion-rates-don-t-drop-when-procedure-outlawed-it-does-ncna1235174

  15. John Dale 2021-09-21

    I tend to fall on the more logical side of the spectrum.

    Science informed the abortion debate.

    We learned about conception and zygotes.

    “Humanness” begins at conception. Every other place on the development continuum of human beings is arbitrary for the assignment of rights.

    Therefore, conception is when we get human rights, and taking the life after conception – especially when a woman had consensual sex – is murder just the same as after birth or near the end of life.

    This is a core value of America that relies on society wide respect for atomic family units.

  16. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    That Republicans like Mr. Dale believe fellatio is cannibalism is lost on no one.

  17. Porter Lansing 2021-09-21

    Anthropomorphizing a fetus is white supremacist slight of hand, used to distract from the discrimination against BIPOC rights.

    A fetus isn’t a human until it’s born and God blesses it with a soul.

    Before that birth, the fetus is fully controlled by the pregnant woman’s desires.

    Any man who labels himself a protector of babies is a white supremacist/misogynist, in disguise.

  18. bearcreekbat 2021-09-21

    The argument that human rights should begin at conception is interesting but flawed in more than one way. In addition to the religious and scientific problems with such a position, there is this problem:

    No human currently has any right to use an unwilling human being’s body for any purpose absent consent. And it is fundamental that consent, once given, may be revoked.

    So how can declaring an unborn to be possessed of all human rights provide a basis to use a woman’s body without her consent, when no other existing human has any such right?

  19. mike from iowa 2021-09-21

    Science informed the abortion debate. And magats ignored it because it is science.

  20. O 2021-09-21

    The abortion debate will never resolve because the right will never allow the core of the issue to be explored: WHY do women have abortions ?(hint: it is not because they “can.”). Absent that, we have religious theology against legal right interpretations that never fully clash or resolve — they exist in separate vacuums.

    I also lean toward seeing all this a misogynistic because there is NEVER any accountability for the father’s actions and responsibility for the unwanted pregnancy. If any state would have BOTH the expecting mother AND father face penalties, it would be voted down in a minute as unfair to the father.

  21. ArloBlundt 2021-09-21

    Well…O is right, all this abortion nonsense is just anti-woman. There hasn’t been a bill to increase enforcement of child support introduced in the legislature for many years, to my memory. South Dakota is very soft on father’s responsibility for child support…just read your local court news in the newspaper. It is an on-going scandal. As a right wing lunch buddy of mine observed “We don’t want a perfect world. We just want to get back to the time when a white man could smoke a cigar, Anywhere.

  22. jerry 2021-09-21

    larry kurtz nails it. Well done sir.

  23. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    Thanks, Jerry. Leaving South Dakota is the best decision I’ve ever made.

    BTW, if any readers here need a procedure and can make it to New Mexico we will put you up at no charge for as long as you need. My email address is at my website.

  24. Eve Fisher 2021-09-21

    beercreekbat, you’re exactly right. If someone had a special bone marrow that is the only one in the whole world that could heal a child, and without it that child would die, the parents could not commandeer that bone marrow. The person would have to consent. All transplant donors – or their families – have to sign off on and consent to harvesting organs. Etc., etc., etc.

  25. grudznick 2021-09-21

    Mr. Blundt, I do agree with you. Mr. Pischke would not, but grudznick does. What we need is for people like Mr. Pischke to be drummed out of the legislatures.

  26. grudznick 2021-09-21

    Lar, grudznick often needs procedures. I’ll see you soon.

  27. O 2021-09-21

    I will also add that it is our peril to not acknowledge that there is a VERY earnest element of the pro-life side that sees this issue as purely the saving of innocent life — live that began at conception. It comes from a devout following of religious teachings and treasured as a believe that is good.

    That does not excuse the despicable bunch who are using this group in their sinister manipulations to make women second-class citizens.

    I shiver to think that this Supreme Court will not only overturn Roe, but also define life at conception therefore affording legal protections making abortion illegal in the US PERIOD.

  28. grudznick 2021-09-21

    Oh, wait. You mean on of THOSE kind of procedures. Nevermind.

  29. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-21

    Yeah, I know this is TMI and I don’t write much about the status of my “reproductive system” but I saw this developing in 1983 and I I had ’em tied. They were actually severed, crushed, and clipped, according to Dr. Simon. I NEVER regretted it. I was fortunate enough to have a semi-lame insurance policy and savings to pay for it, and it makes me furious what it must cost women today. I was and truly am an entitled white woman.

  30. Edwin Arndt 2021-09-21

    Science has determined that life begins at conception.
    I don’t see why or how a court ruling can or should determine otherwise.

  31. larry kurtz 2021-09-21

    1. A pregnant woman is the patient.
    6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

  32. Jake 2021-09-21

    No, Edwin, I beg to differ. That ‘egg’ and that ‘sperm’ were alive (life) prior to their mingling and creation of this ‘fertilized egg’ that you call LIFE.
    I know that you don’t advocate a rapist has a ‘right’ of expectation that the woman he rapes against her will should have to carry this impregnated egg thru 9 months and give birth to lawful legal age of this ‘life’ because we say its ‘life’ to be protected?

  33. Porter Lansing 2021-09-21

    Edwin:
    Show documentation that “science” has determined life begins at conception.
    We all know you can’t.

  34. Edwin Arndt 2021-09-21

    Porter, I apologize. After doing some brief google research, I have found that
    there is no scientific agreement on when human life begins. Some scientists say
    human life begins at conception. Some say that it begins at implantation.
    Some say it begins at 14 days. Some scientists make a distinction between
    human life and when a human being begins. There are those scientists that
    will say a human being begins at conception.
    I have to admit I don’t understand what the fight is all about

    I will never ever be able to fathom why some of the people on this blog
    fight so very hard for the right to kill a child.
    Abortion kills a child.

  35. Porter Lansing 2021-09-21

    Apology not needed but accepted.

    As Bear says, you should be admired for your tenacity.

    But, abortion doesn’t kill a child.

    Abortion supports a woman’s choice to dedicate her dreams to a child or to whatever she chooses.

    Abortion is none of any man’s business.

  36. mike from iowa 2021-09-22

    Mr Arndt, you do not get to set the narrative for this discussion. Not one single person here, that I am aware of, has called for anyone to abort a child. It is not up to us, or you, to make the choice, one way or another. If you believe differently, you have swallowed another big lie from magats and should be ashamed of yourself. I has spoken!

  37. mike from iowa 2021-09-22

    Science has determined that life begins at conception.

    Not a discussion about life, but about viability, when a fetus can survive outside the Mother’s warm, loving, embrace magats keep violating.

  38. Edwin Arndt 2021-09-22

    That is a major difference in our views, Porter.
    I do believe that abortion kills a child. So do
    millions of others. You believe differently.
    Let the battle continue.

  39. larry kurtz 2021-09-22

    8. An acorn is not an oak tree so a foetus is no more an unborn child than it is an unborn grandparent.

  40. O 2021-09-22

    The life begins at conception position is a small step away from saying that a woman’s purpose is to mother children, and because life is sacred, all other concerns are irrelevant. It does reduce women to breeding stock.

    If the position is that a fertilized egg is life (albeit not a viable life outside the mother), then we are looking at POTENTIAL human live. In that framework, sperm and egg are both life and both contain the potential for human life; as such, both also need protection. In fact, not only protection but a REQUIREMENT to move forward to create the life of a child. Every egg should be fertilized (or a potential child has been lost), every sperm should be used to fertilize (or a potential child has bee lost). Que the Monty Python music: “Every sperm is sacred . .. . ”

    This line of thinking is why the Catholic Church (among other religious groups) is against birth control, which in and of itself is problematic when discussing reducing unwanted pregnancies — the REAL cause of abortion. Often contraception restriction is the other shoe to drop in the abortion debate and regulation. In the anti-abortion states, note how often contraception (even as an insurance coverage issue) has come under fire. Also see in those same states how sex education is squelched in public schools. Sexually ignorant children have more unwanted pregnancies. Potential life as sacred life is a snake that eats its own tail.

  41. Lui 2021-10-21

    It is so simple. Nobody has a right to tell women – nor men – what to do with their body. They don’t want abortions but neither do they want safety nets for the very women they deny. Maybe men should get vasectomies when they are born and we wouldn’t have to worry about abortions.

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