Home / "family values" / Arkansas’ latest anti-abortion law has a little bit of everything for misogynists

Arkansas’ latest anti-abortion law has a little bit of everything for misogynists

Arkansas' official state activity & symbols book. Kids! Can you find your way through the health care for women maze?
Arkansas’ official state activity & symbols book. Kids! Can you find your way through the health care for women maze?

Would life under a Republican who isn’t Trump be better for women? Let’s go to Arkansas to find out!

The “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act,” signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), bans dilation and evacuation procedures, in which the physician removes the fetus from the womb with surgical tools. D&E procedures are the safest and most common way women can end their pregnancies after 14 weeks of gestation, according to the American Medical Association.

It is a teeny thing I know, but who the hell comes up with the names for these things?

The ban on D&E pairs well with the fact that that Arkansas already makes it difficult for women to receive a abortion during the first trimester.

The law, HB1032, defines an unborn child as “an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth” at which point the sort of people who pass these bills cease to give a fuck and – because lines are never blurred enough for the GOP – a woman as ” a female human being whether or not she has reached the age of majority.”

The law also intimidates abortion providers by allowing people to sue the doctor who performs or attempts to perform a D&E unless it was required to save the pregnant woman or girl’s life: The person seeking the abortion, the husband of the person seeking the abortion or parents of a minor seeking an abortion. I don’t know how many providers in Arkansas perform D&E, but once this law goes into effect they’re going to be swamped by idiots trying to run their own sting operations.

In addition, a patient, the patient’s husband/guardian (same difference in The Patriarchy) or another health care provider of the patient can file an injunction against the provider who intends to perform the abortion.

Since a patient who doesn’t want an abortion can not have one or cancel if she changes her mind, giving her the right to file an injunction would be merely stupid, if it weren’t so obviously an attempt to create the illusion of freedom. The woman, the husband and health care providers all have the right to control the woman’s body; if that doesn’t say equality, what does? But it gets worse (of course).

The law states that the husband cannot sue the doctor for money in cases of “criminal conduct” against his wife ― namely, spousal rape ― but he could still sue to block her from having the abortion.

Nothing says law and order like letting violent criminals control their victims.

A better, or at least more accurate name for the bill would have been Patriarchal Republicans Improving Reproductive Coercion in the Kakistocracy.

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  • Solar System Wolf

    I wonder what it would be like to live in a country where men weren’t trying to regulate women’s bodies every minute of every day? Even though this law isn’t going to survive scrutiny, it’s just so goddamn tiring.

    • PotemkinMetropolitanRegion

      At least the good taxpayers of Arkansas will be making a sizeable donation of attorneys fees to the ACLU or Planned Parenthood.

  • Morse Code for J

    This could have been prevented, if Hillary Clinton had come out sooner in favor of tariffs and a $15 minimum wage.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      Or if 17 million werent insistent on nominating a -12 favorability candidate. “Baked in” and all that.

      Is anthony weiner free in 2020?

      • Arouet

        Give it up already, Bernie. The primaries are over, doesn’t do us any good for you to relitigate them here.

        • ProgressiveLiberal

          I was just responding to the clinton dead ender. Funny how you didnt take them to task?

          Ps. After a mass shooting is never the time to talk about gun control amirite?

          • cpinva

            “I was just responding to the clinton dead ender. Funny how you didnt take them to task?”

            no need to. as in the primaries, HRC won the popular vote by a material #. if Sanders couldn’t even win in the Democratic primaries, by what bizarre stretch of logic does anyone think he would have won the general? that’s right, he wouldn’t have, and he wouldn’t have been the favorite going in, either.

      • Donna Gratehouse

        Too bad Bernie’s dumbass supporters couldn’t find registration deadlines.

        Oh oops, I mean, overcome that nonexistent but dastardly DNC rigging of registration deadlines.

    • TVTray

      Or if she could have beat Donald Trump!

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        Clinton cannot fail and all that…

        • Donna Gratehouse

          And Bernie wudda wun were it not for “rigging” of primaries. Somehow he and the confederacy of dunces comprising his most rabid supporters would have gotten their shit together and defeated the massive GOP voters suppression machinery.

          White male privilege is a powerful fucking drug.

  • Soon to be the law of the land once Trump installs his majority on the Supreme Court.

    • AlanInSF

      Make America Arkansas Again.

    • e.a.foster

      Abortions are legal in Canada. No problems. free standing clinics with professional medical staff or your nearest hospital, expect in PEI. if you live in Canada its covered by your medical plan, yes we have government health care and it covers abortions. And best of all we have not been visited by plagues and pestilence so perhaps God approves.

  • Steve LaBonne

    I’m a peaceful person, and I’m not enjoying the fact that things like this keep making me want to hurt people.

    • efgoldman

      I’m not enjoying the fact that things like this keep making me want to hurt people.

      Ditto, and not by a quick death, either. I’m thinking a couple of ways from the last few episodes of Vikings.

      (No, I’m not going to describe them. If you’ve seen the show you know what I mean. GOT would also do.)

      • muddy


    • DrDick

      I know the felling. I work very hard to keep my inner Okie securely chained up and locked in a basement closet, but Trump and the Republicans keep insisting on letting him out.

  • The Lorax

    One of the well-known difficulties in the philosophical literature on abortion is saying exactly what a human person is. Usually it takes some ingenuity and thought to counterexample a definition. But this:

    an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens

    According to Arkansas, a cyst is a human person.

    • The Lorax

      Or at least an ovarian cyst during a pregnancy would be.

    • cpinva

      “According to Arkansas, a cyst is a human person.”

      which it has never been, throughout the course of written human history, even in the US, up until the forced birthers came up with their non-medical terminology, solely for the purpose of creating instantly unconstitutional legislation.

      • DrDick

        I do not know of any culture where a fetus is a human being from conception and many where it only is after birth (sometime several day or weeks afterword).

  • Jake the antisoshul soshulist

    Do these idiots realize a D&C is common practice in cases of miscarriage?
    By that definition a apendix would also be a human being.

    • efgoldman

      Do these idiots realize


    • Murc

      Do these idiots realize a D&C is common practice in cases of miscarriage?

      Yes. These guys absolutely want miscarriages to be investigated as potential crimes.

      • ProgressiveLiberal

        Step one: Are they brown?

        This will determine if we move to step two.

        • Origami Isopod

          It’s cute how you don’t think the state would use any excuse to make life for a person of color hell. It doesn’t require them actually wanting the fetus to become a baby.

          • DrDick

            Assumes, falsely, that he is capable of rational thought.

      • e.a.foster

        some Central American countries investigate miscarriages and frequently women go to jail because they decide a miscarriage is an abortion. with approx. 2 million people in jail already, gee now they can have 3 million in jail or however many miscarriages there might be in the U.S.A by the time Turnip Truck Trump finishes with his agenda. the U.S.A. is some back ward country.

        • cpinva

          those private jail beds aren’t going to fill themselves.

  • nasser

    What a country we live in. Arkansas trying to ban an extremely safe abortion procedure for the sake of women’s health because women are obviously sluts and need to follow the directions of the virtuous men around them. Meanwhile a bill in Florida would make gun-free businesses liable for shootings on their premises. Because respect for life. Or something.

    • Solar System Wolf

      Honestly, I’m just feeling really discouraged right now. Most days I want to fight back against all this stuff. Other days, like today, I think my kids are too good to be wasted on this country and they should emigrate when they get old enough.

    • e.a.foster

      here is an idea. Women have abortions because they are pregnant. If they were not pregnant they wouldn’t need abortions, so how about they pass laws requiring all men to have a snip job and that is the end of the problem. All men in America must have a vasectomy end of problem.

  • ema

    The “Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act,” signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), bans dilation and evacuation procedures, in which the physician removes the fetus from the womb with surgical tools.

    Phew, good thing they didn’t ban all the other procedures where you use ESP to remove the POCs (products of conception).

    No time to read the actual bill, but, briefly:

    If they’re banning dismemberment D&Es, federal law bans intact D&Es.

    If they’re banning instrumentation, they’re banning any and all procedures.

    And if you want *a lot* more detail on procedures/risks/benefits/etc, here you go.

  • leftwingfox

    Might as well call it the Rapist Enrichment law given the lawsuit part.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      As i always say, The Rapists Bill of Rights.

  • AMK

    The Republicans writing and passing and signing these laws would not be in a position to do so if a solid majority of women in the state did not keep pulling the lever for them.

    At a certain point, it just becomes like trying to promote women’s rights in Afghanistan, and for the same reasons: you’re fighting against pervasive religiosity and a backward culture that is not going to change absent demographic displacement. Or time, if young people in Arkansas are any more progressive than their parents…which may or may not be the case, especially if the % of more progressively inclined young Arkansans have already moved elsewhere.

    • kayden

      I was just about to make this point. My mourning and crying about what goes on in Arkansas and other red states is moot given that women in those states keep voting for Republicans. Wth do you expect when you vote for people who don’t care about women’s wellbeing or health? Republicans are anti-abortion. Vote for them and these are the kinds of patriarchal laws you can expect.

      Not rocket science.

      • cpinva

        I’ve made this point before, and it isn’t just for the current subject matter, it’s pretty much every public issue. if you don’t want your state legislature/congress to draft/pass crappy laws, then don’t elect crappy (republicans) people to those offices. if you do, presumably you’re in favor of that crappy legislation.

    • ProgressiveLiberal

      I made this point about potential union members in the south once; it was not taken well here…

      • AMK

        I would argue that this issue is much more clear-cut.

        We take it for granted, but it does take a certain level of critical thinking, education and awareness of current events to consistently call bullshit on GOP economic messaging–and even then, the union issue only directly affects a subset of the population. But every woman and every voter knows what abortion is, and every Republican candidate in Arkansas runs on a straightforward platform of making abortion illegal. There’s no room for false consciousness here–these women are voting GOP every time knowing full well these laws will be the result. This is what a clear majority of them really want.

        • ProgressiveLiberal

          Maybe the majority figure theyll never need it, and have other more pressing concerns. Ill admit i dont know, it seems stupid to me that white women consistently vote against themselves, but they do so consistently, so maybe second class citizenry is what the majority want.

          • Chetsky

            I believe Zombie Phyllis Schlafly’s scratching at the door and wants in. I’m no political scientist, but my memory is, a lot of older married women were activated to fight back the ERA, b/c “those young hussies would take our men”. Or some such nonsense. One presumes that these arguments explain part of what’s going on.

            And then there’s the “any woman in the middle-to-upper-middle-class can just get a private abortion”.

            Dunno. But it sure is disturbing.

            The recent news regarding maternal death rates in Texas was frightening. Over half my charitable giving this year was to PP in TX, even in the face of Trump rampant, b/c …. well, if you read about it, you’ll be troubled, too.

        • Snuff curry

          I made this point about potential union members in the south once; it was not taken well here…

          I would argue that this issue is much more clear-cut.

          Cognitive dissonance when it comes to women and our liberation (compared to the capacity for class consciousness, particularly among the white and the be-anxioused when it suits their needs) is massive and deeply-ingrained. I know of no group that so consistently sells itself out, largely I think because we spend the bulk of our lives sleeping with and placating the enemy.

          • guthrie

            The amount of “no, you speak first” and reflexive cringing that occurs even with well educated, employed emancipated women, here in the UK, has surprised me, once I realised what I was seeing.

    • Dennis Orphen

      The Kornbluthian in me expects demographic displacement to work against us from here on out.

    • I guess it’s a moral failing of mine but when I see people being deprived of their rights, I don’t ask myself “Do they deserve it?” But even if I did think the women who voted for Republicans deserved to become second class citizens, there are still the women who didn’t vote for Republicans and the girls who can’t vote but will still be subjected to this shitty law.

      • Origami Isopod

        Thank you.

        I’m really fucking tired of progressive white men chiding “you ladies” for not standing up for our rights. These men of course have a huge overlap with progressive white men who get huffy when progressive women aren’t deferential enough to their opinions. You want women socialized to put our own needs last, that’s what happens.

    • ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders

      If nothing else, consider the women who definitely do NOT pull the lever for the Republicans but cannot afford to move.

      • e.a.foster

        at the rate things are going in the U.S.A. YOU might be able to have refugee status granted to you. All you have to do is come across the border and then apply for refugee status. Don’t worry about moving expenses. Our social programs are better than those in Ark. Yes its colder here, but hell you’ll get used to it. Each province has a Provincial (state) medical system and the only province which charges for it is British Columbia if you make more than $61K a year. then it cost $150 per month. It covers abortions, doctor’s visits, all surgeries including heart transplants. B.C. does have the best climate.

  • DrDick

    The Red States seem to be engaged in a race to see who can come up with most insane, draconian anti-abortion laws.

    • kayden

      And when Trump stacks SCOTUS with extreme Rightwing Christians, these insane, draconian anti-abortion laws will be deemed constitutional and we’ll see more of them throughout red states.

      • BigHank53

        What country are you living in? Fifteen seconds after one of these laws is upheld by the SC, the wingnut caucus will introduce an identically worded federal ban. You don’t think they’re going to let godless freaks in the blue states get away with murdering innocent babies, do you?

        • kayden

          So true. Sigh. We’re really screwed.

        • Federalism. But only for some things.

          • DrDick

            But only for some things.

            Mostly for when they cannot get their way at the national level.

  • e.a.foster

    so what is the difference between Saudi Arabia and Ark.? Not much. Both want to have total control over women.

    What is it about these people who want to control women and what they do with their bodies. Come to think of it Romanian had this law on the books when the Cecesques were the dictators. That is why they had all the orphanages.

    These people who want these laws do not show the same “reverance” for life once the babies are born. They don’t provide medical care, hell the Republicans want to do away with the ACA. so once you’re born you’re welcome to die from illness, live in a car, not get an education, not have enough to eat, etc. Welcome to America. Must be the part of America where it is all “god’s will” that people die due to a lack of health care, decent housing, food, etc.

    Next time people need to get out and vote to ensure Republicans and these Neanderthals don’t control the state politics.

    This state is seriously weird.

    Wonder what this state is going to do with all those unwanted babies? Feed them to the alligators or some such thing. These compulsory pregnancy people like to preach adoption but most people don’t want to adopt babies with serious medical problems, addicted to drugs at birth, etc. So who is going to look after them all? perhaps the state politicians would like to ensure these children who they insist are all born will take care of them.

    • ΧΤΠΔ

      I always thought Texas was the American counterpart to Saudi Arabia, with Oklahoma being our Islamic Christianist Emirate. (In this analogy, Arkansas would probably be something like Tajikistan).

      • e.a.foster

        am not that up on what states qualify as other countries, sort of. Live in Canada. Alberta was once considered Texas North because of the oil. British Columbia was considered California North because we always did grow great weed and were a tad laid back and on the ocean. Of course California has Jerry and B.C. is considered the most corrupt province in Canada so we might be now considered the mate for Alabama or Mississpi I guess. On the upside none of our provinces have ever been compared to some of the countries American states have been.

    • PohranicniStraze

      so what is the difference between Saudi Arabia and Ark.?

      Arkansas has better barbecue?

  • stonetools

    Tell me again why the SCOTUS nomination wasn’t central to Democratic election campaign? It was barely mentioned in the primary and not much more in the general election. Garland’s name was never once mentioned in the convention and rarely, if ever, in the campaign. It would have been a unifying theme as well.Even those would have disagreed about whether Clinton was a “neoliberal” would have agreed that keeping a Gorsuch off the court was important. Liberals might disagree about we should push to reimpose Glass-Steagall; they mostly agree that abolishing women’s reproductive rights should be prevented.
    The worst part about this that you can erase bad legislation; you can’t erase a conservative Supreme Court majority, barring court packing or a couple of well timed assassinations ( definitely don’t want to try that route). Sigh. Again, WTF were non Clinton voting liberals thinking?

    • Solar System Wolf

      Well, I heard a lot of left-wingers at the time whining that they were tired of being “blackmailed” into voting for Democrats because of “scaremongering” about the Supreme Court.

      • stonetools

        Many of those are too young to remember the prior Republican administration and how bad THAT could be and they don’t think long term or strategically. For them, Roe vs Wade is simply part of the landscape, as permanent as the Rocky Mountains. They don’t imagine that Roe vs Wade could be overturned, or indeed that the gains under the Obama Administration could be erased. They, and the rest of the country, are about to be educated.
        Going forward, the issue is that many of those folks still haven’t learned. I am still hearing a lot of “Don’t blame me, Clinton was a bad candidate” or ” I didn’t vote Clinton because she was a neoliberal” or “the lesser of two evils is still evil.” It should be now be obvious that not voting for Clinton was a horrible mistake, but I’m not seeing much of acceptance of that.
        Why it matters is that for 2018 and 2020, The Dems are going to have to turn out for Senate and House candidates to the right of Clinton to win back Congress. A Bernie Sanders type is never going to win West Virginia or Missouri in 2018 or any time soon. The leftists are going to have to learn to compromise and pull the lever for non Bernies. Reality.

        • Origami Isopod

          They don’t imagine that Roe vs Wade could be overturned, or indeed that the gains under the Obama Administration could be erased.

          Indeed. “We’ve won those battles!” Nope. You have to retain that territory once the war ends, otherwise you end up fighting it again.

          With all respect to Dr. King, there is no “arc of the universe” that bends inexorably toward justice. As someone said here the other day, we have to bend it ourselves.

  • e.a.foster

    as some one once said to me in my miss spent youth, “who promised you justice”. Got the message and remembered.

    Justice is not a Christmas Present. It is an illusive thing which you have to fight for, fight to keep, fight to ensure it doesn’t become what it isn’t. Justice is fleeting and changes from one generation to the next, depending upon the topic,

    When it comes to Wade vs Roe, any one who thought that “fight” was over had their head in the sand or in the clouds. Having watched this “debate” from the late 1950s to this day, I know one thing. the fight on Wade vs. Roe will never be over in the U.S.A. Its very much like some countries which use their religion to rule. The Constitution seperates church and state, but the citizens never got that message. They believe because they are from a church/religion, god is on their side. What it really boils down to its money and might is on their side. Justice isn’t. To have justice people have to fight for it each and every day, so the majority without being at the expense of the minority, can more on with life in a just and equitable manner.

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