Opinion: The Texas woman arrested for an abortion is a harbinger of what’s to come

cigaretteman

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Can you picture a United States where women who get abortions — which about a quarter of women will do at some point in their lives — are routinely arrested and imprisoned for murder? Not just one here or there, but by the hundreds or thousands?
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I can’t help but wonder if whichever local law enforcement official who ordered a 26-year-old Texas woman be arrested and charged with murder after a “self-induced abortion” was getting ahead of themselves, thinking that day had already come. The district attorney will be dismissing the charges, since, for now, Texas law doesn’t allow for the prosecution of women for having an abortion, self-induced or otherwise.
But this case isn’t just a mistake or a curiosity. It’s a harbinger — and not just on abortion.

One of the most important dynamics driving U.S. politics right now is the widening divide between red states and blue states. What has marked the last year in particular is the eagerness of state-level Republicans to push the envelope on policy in ways they hadn’t dared before. And if Republicans take control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, as they are likely to do, the effect on state-level GOP politics will be profound.


The reasons are a little complicated, but before I explain, let’s consider the broader context in which legislators and parties decide how far they want to go on controversial issues.
Both Democrats and Republicans have plenty of policies they’d like to implement, but consider too politically dangerous to attempt. We all have a kind of fantasy world in our heads of what we’d do if there were no political or legal constraints on what could be accomplished. Liberals might want far more restrictive gun laws, comprehensive single-payer health care, and generous family leave for all; conservatives might like to ban all abortions, outlaw labor unions, and replace public schools with an entirely private system.

But since going that far won’t be possible, lawmakers try to accomplish whatever they can, sometimes more incrementally and sometimes more boldly. What’s happening right now on the Republican side is that their minds have been opened to almost limitless possibility.


It’s happening because of both long-term and short-term trends on the right, but this is a moment of backlash: a Democratic president gets elected, the Republican base gets angry and mobilized, and where Republicans have power — the state level — they’re both pressured by their constituents and sincerely eager to try things they might not have dared not too long ago.
Which is why, for instance, the Oklahoma legislature just passed a blatantly unconstitutional bill outlawing almost all abortions and making performing one a felony punishable by 10 years in prison. Like other recent Republican-passed abortion bills, that law has no exceptions for rape or incest. For years, those exceptions were a standard part of Republican proposals, not because antiabortion conservatives believed in them, but because they were considered politically necessary, so Democrats couldn’t say “Republicans want to force a 12-year-old girl who was raped by her uncle to carry her rapist’s baby to term.”

Today they’ve stopped worrying about that argument. They still say, “We only want to prosecute the doctor, not the woman who got an abortion. She’s a victim, too.” But how long do you think it will take before the bills they start passing allow women who get abortions to be charged with murder? We can only speculate at this point, but my guess is that once the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — which could happen in a matter of months — red states will start competing with one another to see who can pass the most draconian abortion ban. And women will start getting arrested.


This new conservative boldness is only going to be intensified if Republicans take the House and/or the Senate in November. Even if such a victory is mainly because people are perturbed about inflation, it will be interpreted as a validation of the new Republican extremism.
Yet such a victory contains the seed of disappointment and frustration. Just as they did after the sweeping GOP wins in 1994 and 2010, the Republican base will quickly realize, to their chagrin, that a Democrat is still president. Republicans in Congress can make his life difficult with investigations and stonewalling, but they won’t be able to pass any legislation on the things their voters care about, at least without their bills being vetoed. Almost inevitably, those base voters will come to view their congressional leaders as weak and ineffectual.

That will create even more pressure for Republicans to do more where they have the power: at the state level. GOP governors and state legislators will feel the need to go farther than they ever have, to try to create the fantasy world conservatives have in their heads.
And if you think that doesn’t involve throwing women who dare to exercise control of their own bodies in jail, you haven’t been paying enough attention. That’s going to be just the start.

 
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goldmom

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If more women would exercise control of contraception BEFORE they conceive it might reduce the need for these stupid pet tricks.
Note I am NOT 100% anti choice. It’s a woman’s body. Her choice.
But for crap sakes get on the Pill, tell your guy no glove no love, and if you slip up and have a drunk dunk get up the next morning and take a morning after pill.
It would eliminate 90% of the demand for abortions!
 

globalhawk

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If more women would exercise control of contraception BEFORE they conceive it might reduce the need for these stupid pet tricks.
Note I am NOT 100% anti choice. It’s a woman’s body. Her choice.
But for crap sakes get on the Pill, tell your guy no glove no love, and if you slip up and have a drunk dunk get up the next morning and take a morning after pill.
It would eliminate 90% of the demand for abortions!
This is hard to argue with. Aren't some red states trying to outlaw the morning after pill though? I would think that would be encouraged.
 

IA_HAWKI

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This is hard to argue with. Aren't some red states trying to outlaw the morning after pill though? I would think that would be encouraged.
I think they are. How long before they come after the birth control pill?

and i love the folks that are “if they would just take the pill or use a condom….:”. Yeah, its pretty simple to do, but i dont know if i would want someone raising a child that they didn’t want if they were not capable of doing those few simple tricks.
 

goldmom

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This is hard to argue with. Aren't some red states trying to outlaw the morning after pill though? I would think that would be encouraged.
Honestly I don’t know of any but maybe there are exceptionally dumb fools who might vote for that - who will just end up saddling their constituents with more out of wedlock babies whose Moms get “welfare” and cost those guys more money.
 
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FAUlty Gator

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I think they are. How long before they come after the birth control pill?

and i love the folks that are “if they would just take the pill or use a condom….:”. Yeah, its pretty simple to do, but i dont know if i would want someone raising a child that they didn’t want if they were not capable of doing those few simple tricks.
I thought this bill was passed because it specifically prevents killing something with a detectable heartbeat. I don't think the pill would have anything to do with that. Of course, being consistent isn't the strength of any politician on earth so...I get it.
 

goldmom

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I think they are. How long before they come after the birth control pill?

and i love the folks that are “if they would just take the pill or use a condom….:”. Yeah, its pretty simple to do, but i dont know if i would want someone raising a child that they didn’t want if they were not capable of doing those few simple tricks.
The pill was available to college girls in the late 60’s.
😉
 

lucas80

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Honestly I don’t know of any but maybe there are exceptionally dumb fools who might vote for that - who will just end up saddling their constituents with more out of wedlock babies whose Moms get “welfare” and cost those guys more money.
We are at the point where it isn't the constituents who are in the minds of the pro life zealots. They have outpaced polling on several social issues. There are quite a few GOP officials who have stated they will go after not. only the morning after pill, but birth control pills, too.
And, not directed at you, I appreciate your candor, but every one of these pushes comes with a promise to cut any program that helps out the working poor with kids, single moms...
 

NCHawk5

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I think they are. How long before they come after the birth control pill?

and i love the folks that are “if they would just take the pill or use a condom….:”. Yeah, its pretty simple to do, but i dont know if i would want someone raising a child that they didn’t want if they were not capable of doing those few simple tricks.
Bro, just pull out. This isn’t hard (pun intended)
 
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lucas80

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The op/ed makes an interesting point. Just how many women will the GOP be willing to lock up?
I have been posting this for years. The logical extension for the extremists has always been that if abortion is illegal, any woman who gets one must be punished. As I remind HROT last week, Chris Matthews caught Donald Trump out in the open on this point years ago, and when pushed he said a woman must be punished. He either believed it, or he believed that the voters he was pushing for wanted that answer.
Well, now we are at the point where it's not just a theoretical argument, it's going to be reality.
Thanks Susan Collins!!
 

Tom Paris

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If more women would exercise control of contraception BEFORE they conceive it might reduce the need for these stupid pet tricks.
Note I am NOT 100% anti choice. It’s a woman’s body. Her choice.
But for crap sakes get on the Pill, tell your guy no glove no love, and if you slip up and have a drunk dunk get up the next morning and take a morning after pill.
It would eliminate 90% of the demand for abortions!
But then you have to add pregnancy by rape, and god knows what the hell Republicans in Tennessee are going to allow now. Then blocking the morning after pill, forcing unwanted pregnancies on women. Your species is under attack, big time, from white males. I'm sorry for that.
 
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Tom Paris

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I thought this bill was passed because it specifically prevents killing something with a detectable heartbeat. I don't think the pill would have anything to do with that. Of course, being consistent isn't the strength of any politician on earth so...I get it.
But it isn't an actual heartbeat. Again, Cons are lying.
 

Hawk_4shur

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I don't like abortions, and I wouldn't want a family member to get one. But I am not necessarily opposed to legal abortions.

I saw a stat that said 630,000 abortions in the US in 2019. Would the world be a better place if there were another 630,000 unwanted children born in the US in just one year?

Obviously a complex, deeply personal issue.

But, having different laws in different states isn't going to reduce the number of abortions. It will just increase the miles traveled to get one.
 

FAUlty Gator

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But it isn't an actual heartbeat. Again, Cons are lying.
Great. Can’t wait for your hypocrisy on the trans threads. The whole “They’re not actually women” thing will be interesting to hear from you going forward.
 

Aardvark86

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The op/ed makes an interesting point. Just how many women will the GOP be willing to lock up?
I have been posting this for years. The logical extension for the extremists has always been that if abortion is illegal, any woman who gets one must be punished. As I remind HROT last week, Chris Matthews caught Donald Trump out in the open on this point years ago, and when pushed he said a woman must be punished. He either believed it, or he believed that the voters he was pushing for wanted that answer.
Well, now we are at the point where it's not just a theoretical argument, it's going to be reality.
Thanks Susan Collins!!
I actually don't think it's going to be a reality at all.

Even assuming a legal "victory" by the pro-life side that could be construed as a clear overruling of the basic right recognized in Roe (which I'd say would require at least another 3-5 years), the reality will be that their legal victory will end up as a tactical win and a long term strategic loss. It's one thing for elected state legislators to pass bills they know are likely to be overturned, but it's another entirely to do so when everybody knows they won't, and it's even another thing entirely beyond that to run for office as the local district attorney on a law and order platform of prosecuting pregnant women. The pro-life lobby will lose more than they win in state legislatures (though they'll win a few), I'd bet abortion policy will end up about where it is now, and I'd put the over/under on national convictions of pregnant women who undertook abortions at about 3/year.
 

goldmom

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But then you have to add pregnancy by rape, and god knows what the hell Republicans in Tennessee are going to allow now. Then blocking the morning after pill, forcing unwanted pregnancies on women. Your species is under attack, big time, from white males. I'm sorry for that.
As to polling data it consistently shows a majority of ALL women of both parties and religions are in favor of contraception and favor choice in cases of rape or danger to women’s health.
It might take two election cycles to remind stupid men who tends to vote more often. Hint: It’s not men.
 

Slappy Pappy

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If more women would exercise control of contraception BEFORE they conceive it might reduce the need for these stupid pet tricks.
Note I am NOT 100% anti choice. It’s a woman’s body. Her choice.
But for crap sakes get on the Pill, tell your guy no glove no love, and if you slip up and have a drunk dunk get up the next morning and take a morning after pill.
It would eliminate 90% of the demand for abortions!
One of the big issues here is that the same right to privacy ruling that led to legalized abortion, also led to legalized birth control pills. There is a lot of advocacy and groundwork being laid on the right to make a campaign to ban the pill the next abortion fight.

The Anti–Birth Control Movement Is the New Anti-Abortion Movement
 

lucas80

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I actually don't think it's going to be a reality at all.

Even assuming a legal "victory" by the pro-life side that could be construed as a clear overruling of the basic right recognized in Roe (which I'd say would require at least another 3-5 years), the reality will be that their legal victory will end up as a tactical win and a long term strategic loss. It's one thing for elected state legislators to pass bills they know are likely to be overturned, but it's another entirely to do so when everybody knows they won't, and it's even another thing entirely beyond that to run for office as the local district attorney on a law and order platform of prosecuting pregnant women. The pro-life lobby will lose more than they win in state legislatures (though they'll win a few), I'd bet abortion policy will end up about where it is now, and I'd put the over/under on national convictions of pregnant women who undertook abortions at about 3/year.
The laws are already being drawn up. Just out of curiosity, where do you live? There are parts of this country where this will be quite popular, and there will be plenty of county attorneys, and state AGs wanting to make a show trial conviction.
 
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Tom Paris

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As to polling data it consistently shows a majority of ALL women of both parties and religions are in favor of contraception and favor choice in cases of rape or danger to women’s health.
It might take two election cycles to remind stupid men who tends to vote more often. Hint: It’s not men.
If women would just flat out band together you could accomplish any damn thing you wanted, because when it comes to y'all, we're generally pretty stupid. :) Women are being told by one party they are second class citizens every single day. Women need to fight with everything they have right now or we're looking at something closer to Gillead than the USA.
 
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Tom Paris

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One of the big issues here is that the same right to privacy ruling that led to legalized abortion, also led to legalized birth control pills. There is a lot of advocacy and groundwork being laid on the right to make a campaign to ban the pill the next abortion fight.

The Anti–Birth Control Movement Is the New Anti-Abortion Movement
I can't figure out why Republican legislatures want more unwanted babies to be born. They don't want to fund them. They don't want crime. They don't want people in poverty to have to be paid for, so why in the hell do they want more kids? It sure as hell isn't because the care about the unborn. No way in hell does Ted Cruz give a shit, really, about babies being aborted. No way in hell that matters to him.
 

goldmom

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I can't figure out why Republican legislatures want more unwanted babies to be born. They don't want to fund them. They don't want crime. They don't want people in poverty to have to be paid for, so why in the hell do they want more kids? It sure as hell isn't because the care about the unborn. No way in hell does Ted Cruz give a shit, really, about babies being aborted. No way in hell that matters to him.
This really makes me upset to have to agree with you, but I do.
I don’t want any more babies born who aren’t planned or wanted or just “happy accidents”.
It has zero to do with funding Mom or more WIC payments. It’s just that I get so upset to hear news reports about abused and neglected babies of any race.
These little ones didn’t ask to be born.
 

Aardvark86

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The laws are already being drawn up. Just out of curiosity, where do you live? There are parts of this country where this will be quite popular, and there will be plenty of county attorneys, and state AGs wanting to make a show trial conviction.
I live in Arlington va.

I totally get that the laws are being drawn up now. One of my kids school parents is very prominent on the political side of this for the prolife side. She is going to get her ass handed to her. when state legislators in a post for world, if it ever exists, actually have to cast a vote that will mean something, they’ll learn pretty quickly that where we are now is about as far as people really want to go. But that won’t stop her from raising money.
 

theiacowtipper

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I thought this bill was passed because it specifically prevents killing something with a detectable heartbeat. I don't think the pill would have anything to do with that. Of course, being consistent isn't the strength of any politician on earth so...I get it.
The direct threat is that Roe was decided based on a fundamental right to privacy. Conservatives have repeatedly said that the right to privacy is a made up right and doesn’t exist in the constitution. Griswold was also decided on a basis of right to privacy. If Roe is overturned, the basis for for birth control access is vulnerable. At one point, I would have argued that Republican politicians aren’t dumb enough to tackle that. Now…….
 

lucas80

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I live in Arlington va.

I totally get that the laws are being drawn up now. One of my kids school parents is very prominent on the political side of this for the prolife side. She is going to get her ass handed to her. when state legislators in a post for world, if it ever exists, actually have to cast a vote that will mean something, they’ll learn pretty quickly that where we are now is about as far as people really want to go. But that won’t stop her from raising money.
Thank you for responding, but as far as the parent you referenced, Arlington is not Owasso, OK, or Harrisonville, AR, or take your pick of one of the states that is going to go crazy once Roe is overturned.
 

NCHawk5

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Thank you for responding, but as far as the parent you referenced, Arlington is not Owasso, OK, or Harrisonville, AR, or take your pick of one of the states that is going to go crazy once Roe is overturned.
Roe won’t be overturned. Once again, you’re a nitwit being manipulated by fear pron journalism. It’s funny how alike the far left and trumpers are.
 

NoleATL

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Can you picture a United States where women who get abortions — which about a quarter of women will do at some point in their lives — are routinely arrested and imprisoned for murder? Not just one here or there, but by the hundreds or thousands?
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I can’t help but wonder if whichever local law enforcement official who ordered a 26-year-old Texas woman be arrested and charged with murder after a “self-induced abortion” was getting ahead of themselves, thinking that day had already come. The district attorney will be dismissing the charges, since, for now, Texas law doesn’t allow for the prosecution of women for having an abortion, self-induced or otherwise.
But this case isn’t just a mistake or a curiosity. It’s a harbinger — and not just on abortion.

One of the most important dynamics driving U.S. politics right now is the widening divide between red states and blue states. What has marked the last year in particular is the eagerness of state-level Republicans to push the envelope on policy in ways they hadn’t dared before. And if Republicans take control of Congress in November’s midterm elections, as they are likely to do, the effect on state-level GOP politics will be profound.


The reasons are a little complicated, but before I explain, let’s consider the broader context in which legislators and parties decide how far they want to go on controversial issues.
Both Democrats and Republicans have plenty of policies they’d like to implement, but consider too politically dangerous to attempt. We all have a kind of fantasy world in our heads of what we’d do if there were no political or legal constraints on what could be accomplished. Liberals might want far more restrictive gun laws, comprehensive single-payer health care, and generous family leave for all; conservatives might like to ban all abortions, outlaw labor unions, and replace public schools with an entirely private system.

But since going that far won’t be possible, lawmakers try to accomplish whatever they can, sometimes more incrementally and sometimes more boldly. What’s happening right now on the Republican side is that their minds have been opened to almost limitless possibility.


It’s happening because of both long-term and short-term trends on the right, but this is a moment of backlash: a Democratic president gets elected, the Republican base gets angry and mobilized, and where Republicans have power — the state level — they’re both pressured by their constituents and sincerely eager to try things they might not have dared not too long ago.
Which is why, for instance, the Oklahoma legislature just passed a blatantly unconstitutional bill outlawing almost all abortions and making performing one a felony punishable by 10 years in prison. Like other recent Republican-passed abortion bills, that law has no exceptions for rape or incest. For years, those exceptions were a standard part of Republican proposals, not because antiabortion conservatives believed in them, but because they were considered politically necessary, so Democrats couldn’t say “Republicans want to force a 12-year-old girl who was raped by her uncle to carry her rapist’s baby to term.”

Today they’ve stopped worrying about that argument. They still say, “We only want to prosecute the doctor, not the woman who got an abortion. She’s a victim, too.” But how long do you think it will take before the bills they start passing allow women who get abortions to be charged with murder? We can only speculate at this point, but my guess is that once the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade — which could happen in a matter of months — red states will start competing with one another to see who can pass the most draconian abortion ban. And women will start getting arrested.


This new conservative boldness is only going to be intensified if Republicans take the House and/or the Senate in November. Even if such a victory is mainly because people are perturbed about inflation, it will be interpreted as a validation of the new Republican extremism.
Yet such a victory contains the seed of disappointment and frustration. Just as they did after the sweeping GOP wins in 1994 and 2010, the Republican base will quickly realize, to their chagrin, that a Democrat is still president. Republicans in Congress can make his life difficult with investigations and stonewalling, but they won’t be able to pass any legislation on the things their voters care about, at least without their bills being vetoed. Almost inevitably, those base voters will come to view their congressional leaders as weak and ineffectual.

That will create even more pressure for Republicans to do more where they have the power: at the state level. GOP governors and state legislators will feel the need to go farther than they ever have, to try to create the fantasy world conservatives have in their heads.
And if you think that doesn’t involve throwing women who dare to exercise control of their own bodies in jail, you haven’t been paying enough attention. That’s going to be just the start.

Hopefully she has a big pay day coming.
 

Tom Paris

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This really makes me upset to have to agree with you, but I do.
I don’t want any more babies born who aren’t planned or wanted or just “happy accidents”.
It has zero to do with funding Mom or more WIC payments. It’s just that I get so upset to hear news reports about abused and neglected babies of any race.
These little ones didn’t ask to be born.
I taught these types of kids. 20 years later I see so many headed to jail. There are several topics, like this one, where we really agree. We just don’t concur on which group of leaders will get the topic to the endgame you and I would like it to reach.
 
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NoleATL

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I can't figure out why Republican legislatures want more unwanted babies to be born. They don't want to fund them. They don't want crime. They don't want people in poverty to have to be paid for, so why in the hell do they want more kids? It sure as hell isn't because the care about the unborn. No way in hell does Ted Cruz give a shit, really, about babies being aborted. No way in hell that matters to him.
They want the lunatic Christian Conservative vote. And, those adamantly opposed to abortion will widely open their wallets and vote.
 

goldmom

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I taught these types of kids. 20 years later I see so many headed to jail. There are several topics, like this one, where we really agree. We just don’t concur on which group of leaders will get the topic to the endgame you and I would like it to reach.

I saw these kids too in Texas. Dropped at 6:59 AM on the walkway at school, to get the free breakfast. Wash your face and hands real good because you fell asleep at 11 o’clock with no bath. Free lunch of course and then the after school extended day care with the after school snack which for some was their dinner. The principal went through six or seven loaves of bread and two jars of peanut butter so the kids could get a litmore sustenance. Mom pulled up at one minute before Extended Care was over, her boyfriend driving, she gets out and yells hurry up and get in.
No hi sweetie how was your day, no hug.
She has a man and that’s the ticket.
I could go on and it used to upset me a lot. These were primary grade little ones. My husband used to tell me don’t take the sub jobs over at that school since it upsets you. I felt guilty but eventually I slid into full time at a high school.
It’s been going on for years and years.
Don’t make babies you don’t really want.
 
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ft254

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We are at the point where it isn't the constituents who are in the minds of the pro life zealots. They have outpaced polling on several social issues. There are quite a few GOP officials who have stated they will go after not. only the morning after pill, but birth control pills, too.
And, not directed at you, I appreciate your candor, but every one of these pushes comes with a promise to cut any program that helps out the working poor with kids, single moms...

The fact is, and the reason Roe vs Wade will be reversed if overturned is there will always be abortions. Morality cannot be legislated. Human behavior cannot be legislated.

Face it the that pregnancy is not a “pull it out” for many young girls traumatized by abuse and neglect. These poor souls are far more concern than the freaking heartbeat of an undeveloped fetus forced to bring an unwanted baby into a crisis environment.
 

ft254

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I saw these kids too in Texas. Dropped at 6:59 AM on the walkway at school, to get the free breakfast. Wash your face and hands real good because you fell asleep at 11 o’clock with no bath. Free lunch of course and then the after school extended day care with the after school snack which for some was their dinner. The principal went through six or seven loaves of bread and two jars of peanut butter so the kids could get a litmore sustenance. Mom pulled up at one minute before Extended Care was over, her boyfriend driving, she gets out and yells hurry up and get in.
No hi sweetie how was your day, no hug.
She has a man and that’s the ticket.
I could go on and it used to upset me a lot. These were primary grade little ones. My husband used to tell me don’t take the sub jobs over at that school since it upsets you. I felt guilty but eventually I slid into full time at a high school.
It’s been going on for years and years.
Don’t make babies you don’t really want.
JFC
 

Aardvark86

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Thank you for responding, but as far as the parent you referenced, Arlington is not Owasso, OK, or Harrisonville, AR, or take your pick of one of the states that is going to go crazy once Roe is overturned.
No it is not. By a very long shot. But at a state level, where these policies will be made, criminalization against mothers will simply not be a sustainable platform or a convictable defendant.

as to the parent, as I said, she’s going to get her ass handed to her.
 

Aardvark86

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Roe won’t be overturned. Once again, you’re a nitwit being manipulated by fear pron journalism. It’s funny how alike the far left and trumpers are.
You are probably technically correct in the near term, in that dobbs is not going to say there is no right. What dobbs will probably say is that the point of regulation may be earlier in the term, and that the deference to the states may be greater. I suspect the prolife side will test the boundaries of that for a while before pursuing a full overrule.

I think it’s pretty obvious that the practical effect on access will be fairly dramatic in some places, and maybe just the opposite in others. However, it would not surprise me in the least if the abortion business (and I don’t use that term pejoratively) adapts and becomes more interstate than local. Indeed, we’re seeing some of that already.