The Next Battles in Our Neverending Abortion War: Intimidation and Bans

Indiana is an ugly, infected carbuncle of a state crammed into the middle of the country. It is a flat hellscape, bereft of anything but corporate farms and closed factories, a cultural wasteland where the most exciting event involves watching cars go around in a circle for a couple of hours while the fumes make the ignorant population even more brain-damaged. Its few bright spots are coated by the gray grime of the dust made of poison-laden dirt. It has given the nation the pestilence of Mike Pence, and it has long sought to position itself as the craziest joint in the nation when it comes to forcing Christian doctrine on people. You got that when Pence was governor and he signed the disastrous "religious freedom" bill. And it is never more clear than when it comes to abortion. Then the fictional words of an invisible sky wizard matter more than the flesh and blood women who are damaged by the state.

Already, Indiana had the case of Purvi Patel, the woman who tried to give herself an abortion by using drugs and was convicted of feticide, which was eventually overturned. In March 2016, Gov. Mike Pence signed into a law a bill that mandated that all deceased fetuses must be buried or cremated and that no abortions could be done in cases of fetal deformity, no matter how severe. The law was suspended before it ever went into effect.

And now, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law a bill that requires doctors to report to the state every year the complications that patients have had post-abortion procedure. The bill itself lists 26 possible complications (well, the 26th is more or less "anything else we didn't think of") and, while it doesn't ask for patients' names, it does ask for 16 details about the patient and the procedure. And it's a Class B misdemeanor of a doctor doesn't file this report, something that isn't demanded by the state in any other medical procedure. Not in cancer treatment. Not in heart surgery.

Oh, there's more there. The bill also has a list of shit a doctor has to report to the state for any patient who gets an abortion, surgically or through drugs, even if there are no complications. This includes "the number of the patient's previously induced terminations" and "the date of the patient's last menses." That's right: the state of Indiana gets to know when your last period was, ladies. So instead of "Periods for Pence," maybe you can try "Flowing for Holcomb."

Yeah, the ACLU is already on this as a First Amendment issue.

Of course, you go right next door to Indiana and you get to Ohio, and, holy shit, Ohio is considering trying for the full challenge to Roe v. Wade. Republicans in the Ohio legislature are trying to pass a bill that would simply outlaw all abortions and charge any doctors who perform them with murder, as in getting the death penalty murder. That one doesn't really have a chance to pass, since John Kasich has already vetoed other, less fucked-up bills.

But then you head south, to the American shithole of Mississippi, and the fuckin' loonies in that state's legislature just decided to punish pregnant women by banning abortion after 15 weeks. And this one became a law last Monday, although a judge has issued a restraining order, preventing the law from going into effect. The 15 week rule is totally in defiance of Roe, and the lawsuits are already being planned.

Because that's the ultimate goal, right? To fuck up the lives of American women, especially poor women, who are unlucky enough to live in states like Mississippi, where there are only two abortion providers in the entire state. To take that shiny new Gorsuch out for a drive and see if he'll ride the SCOTUS highway all the way to overturning Roe. To hope that Justice Kennedy retires so that when this case gets to the Supreme Court, the fate of the women in 90% of the counties in the United States where there is no abortion provider (and you can bet most of those counties are red as spilled blood) can be up to the whims of a man, our president, who thinks women are disposable.