Something similar is happening now, although it won’t end the same way. After decades of saying they want to ban abortion not to control women’s bodies and lives, but because they care deeply about the well-being of babies and their mothers, Republicans will finally get what they are looking for.
So now they’re up against some pointed questions and struggling to pretend they actually care about what happens to the women they’ll force into full-term pregnancy against their will, and the children who will be born as a result. .
Here’s the reality: Where Republicans are in charge, maternal health is worse, infant mortality is higher and families are more likely to have no access to health care and to live in all kinds of precariousness. It’s enough to make you think they’re not as “family-friendly” as they’ve been claiming to be all these years.
But now they tell us they will try. The New York Times has an editorial from a member of a conservative think tank with suggestions for family-friendly policies Republicans might want to support, from extending the improved child tax credit to better maternity coverage in Medicaid to by more childcare. In other words, they should start acting like Democrats.
Answer: You’re just thinking about it now?
Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves drew attention on Sunday when he declined to tell CNN whether his state would ban birth control now that Roe vs. Wade is likely to be overthrown. Disturbing as it may sound, the rest of Reeves’ comments, and those of other Republicans, are equally telling.
There is no better poster for the neglect and contempt with which the GOP treats women and children than Reeves’ Mississippi, and the dishonesty of its claim to be “pro-family.”
When asked what he would do to help women who were denied abortions, Reeves boasted: “I signed a law to provide help, resources and money at the 37 Pregnancy Resource Centers located in every region of our state.”
In case you haven’t heard the term “pregnancy resource center”, it’s sometimes also called a “pregnancy crisis center.” Rather than providing real health care to pregnant women, the purpose of these outfits is to dissuade women from having abortions, often by subjecting them to lies and propaganda about how an abortion will give them terrible diseases and drive them crazy.
Given that the purpose of these centers is to prevent abortion, it’s hard to see why they won’t close once the Supreme Court strikes down Roe vs. Wade and Mississippi makes almost all abortions illegal.
Reeves then made a candid admission:
My view is that the next phase of the pro-life movement is focused on helping mothers who may have unexpected and unwanted pregnancies. The next phase of the pro-life movement is to ensure that these babies, once born, have productive lives. And while I’m sure there will be conversations around America about it, it’s not something we’ve spent a lot of time focusing on.
He’s certainly right about that. However, they spent a lot of time affirming that they want to help women and children. But the rhetoric was as far as it went.
There’s no better example than Mississippi, though it’s far from alone among red states where conditions for women and children are appalling. If you look at the states classified by infant mortality, you’ll quickly see the partisan and geographic pattern. Worst on the list are the Southern states where Republican power is absolute: Mississippi is at the bottom, followed by Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas and Alabama.
In fact, you’ll have to go all the way to the 16th worst state (Maine) before you find one where Democrats run the government. The best states for infant mortality are all blue: Vermont, California, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.
Mississippi’s maternal mortality rate is also about twice the national average. It is the seventh worst in the country in terms of proportion of inhabitants no health insurance — and yes, the six worst states are also run by the GOP. Mississippi is one of 12 Republican states who rejected Medicaid expansion through the Affordable Care Act, and GOP lawmakers there recently refuse to expand postpartum care in its existing Medicaid program beyond the current 60 days.
We hear the same thing from other Republicans: Now that we are on the verge of forcing women to carry their pregnancies to term, we will finally get to make our states less bleak places to have a child. “I believe we want to increase services for maternal health, increase services for adoption services as well,” mentioned Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on ABC’s “This Week.”
Do you believe them? Or do you think once people get used to living in the aftermathdeer America, Republicans will forget all about their supposed commitment to mothers and babies, and continue doing what they have always done, as they bask in the glow of their victory, knowing that these arrogant women have been shown what is their place. ?
I think we all know the answer.