Miscarriage is Murder?

The Republicans may want to consider donning a new name. "Misogynists" has a nice ring

If some guy slips a “date-rape” drug in a woman’s drink, according to some Republicans who tried to redefine “rape” a few weeks ago, it would be perfectly legal for him to force sex on her once she fell into her drug-induced stupor …

Then if, a month or two later, the girl finds that she’s pregnant as a result of the rape (which she may not even remember) and miscarries the baby, State Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia thinks she should be charged with murder.

Days after the House voted to cut federal funding to all Planned Parenthood clinics, Georgia State Rep. Bobby Franklin presented the legislature with HB 1, which would make “prenatal murder” unlawful in “all events.” That includes any miscarriages that happened, basically, for reasons not good enough to satisfy whatever “investigative” team this ridiculous law would put in place.

Bills like Franklin’s and the proposed funding cut to Planned Parenthood are very unlikely to go through. But still, what’s up with the Republicans’ attacks on women—at both the national and state levels?

If, in some alternate universe that only Rick Santorum could love, these bills ever both passed, they pretty much directly contradict each other.

Take a moment to break this down: Hypothetically, if Planned Parenthood funding is cut, contraception and routine gynecological health exams and care previously offered at discounted rates will become more expensive. It follows, then, that some—even a majority—of Planned Parenthood’s patients will no longer be able to afford their contraception or reproductive health care.

More infections and STDs will go undetected in women who now have no way of protecting themselves from unwanted pregnancies, both thanks to that cut in funding. Damage related to STDs and infections can cause miscarriage. And then … what? The women (if they’re lucky enough to live in Georgia … as of right now, anyway) are at risk of being thrown in jail for murder?

One of the arguments Franklin uses in his bill—that “prenatal murder has caused a significant reduction in the number of citizens … who would serve as workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, employees, and employers who would have significantly contributed to the prosperity and continuation of this state …”—is lukewarm at best. What about the contributions all of the would-have-been mothers thrown in jail for miscarrying their babies?

Oh, right, they were supposed to be at home cooking and cleaning and sewing anyway. They’re just incidental citizens.

It’s an ideological argument at best, if only because (thank goodness) bills like this don’t seem to have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, thanks to the level-headed legislators who do exist. But the fact that they’re proposed in the first place is scary enough.