The Indiana state House has officially passed some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. This is not a rallying cry that you hear at night, and it is not someone who is going to see the light – we have come to a cold and broken hallelujah. Something similar has already passed the state Senate, and the governor is going to sign this. It’s also unchallengeable at the federal level. Women of Indiana, I am so sorry. I feel like the movement failed you. I feel on some personal level like I failed you.
- Most abortions will now be illegal after 20 weeks. This is 4 weeks – one month – before most laws, as the fetus is not considered medically viable until 24 weeks. You have one month less to make one of the biggest decisions of your life. Many women don’t realize they’re pregnant for a few months – those women are now SOL. It is also important to note here, as one of Abortion Gang’s brilliant MDs pointed out, that 20 weeks is often when women find out their fetus – in many cases, often a child they wanted and planned for who would be a sibling to other children – “has a devastating diagnosis, like anencephaly (no brain).” Yes, you’re reading this correctly – in Indiana, if you find out you are carrying a fetus with no brain, you WILL bring that fetus to term and give birth to it, knowing it will never survive, and you WILL suffer through months of the knowledge that what you are carrying inside you will never be your child, unless you have the time and the resources to travel to another state in the union for as long as we still HAVE states in the union where access to the medical care women need is legal.
- Abortion providers are now obligated to lie to patients, including telling them that abortion carries an increased risk of breast cancer. One of the co-sponsors of the bill objected to this language, saying that she knows this is flat-out untrue. It’s being written into law anyway.
- “The House also voted against an amendment by Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville, that would have exempted women who became pregnant through rape or incest, or women whose pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm.” A Republican fought that language because he felt it, “created ‘a giant loophole’ because a woman might ‘simply say (she’d) been raped.'”
That last objection left one member of the House who had worked for six years as a sex crimes investigator in tears, trying to explain to the other members – most of whom are men – that “women don’t make this up.” And I feel for her. I want to cry to.
I tend to cling to hope, to the small rays of sunshine that say we are making progress or, at least, not losing ground at a rapid pace. I can’t find hope here. I can’t draw any conclusions from this bill except that: our elected officials do not trust women/female-bodied individuals and do not believe we are remotely capable of making vital medical decisions for ourselves; women’s lives and the lives of female-bodied individuals are thought of as so disposable that when they are at risk vital medical care will be denied in the name of obscure moral judgments that often prove totally hypocritical; and our every word and claim to experiences can be called into question at any time.
The part of me that’s in tears just wants to quietly say, “I want my country back.” But there is a better part of me I would like to call forth now, and that part says, “Fuck you. Watch out. Because we are coming for our country, and when we take it back, we will have no mercy.”
And as a great and terrible being once said, “As it is written, so shall it be.”