Most adults know that abortion brings out the worst in a small minority of troubled and mean-spirited souls. Most adults probably don’t know that some Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) have been cited for giving inaccurate information, using scare tactics and outright lies about abortion and distorting scientific data. And unless they’re tuned into all the news about reproductive rights, many may have likely missed the news in Texas. It’s one with high entertainment value for the carnivalesque atmosphere created by conservative legislators working feverishly to pass egregious laws that make access to abortion increasingly difficult. It was quite the show. Senator Wendy Davis made headlines with her 11-hour filibuster to kill the bill. In a nod to the absurd, fearing the wrath of prochoice women, state troopers confiscated tampons, maxi pads and other potential projectiles from those who are entering the Texas capitol to watch the debate and vote on a controversial anti-abortion bill. Guns, however, which are typically permitted in the state capitol, were still being allowed. In a nod to the absurdity of the Texas ban on all things menstrual, MSNBC newscaster Melissa Harris-Perry wore tampon earrings during her Sunday broadcast.
And it’s likely that most adults don’t tune into all the daily news about abortion. If they did, however, they would know about the horrific legal machinations in Kansas, definitely a 21st century witchhunt, against Dr. Ann Kristin Neuhaus. Like I said, abortion brings out the worst in people. As Amanda Marcotte wrote, To understand how dark and ugly and mean-spirited the anti-choice movement is, it helps to understand that, for anti-choicers in Kansas at least, having an opponent murdered is not enough. Now, the anti-choicers have set their targets on Dr. Neuhaus.
In May, it’s likely that most missed the action of Republican members of two congressional committees—the House Judiciary Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee—who wrote letters to the departments of health and attorneys general in all 50 states, asking for thousands of pages of information about how each state monitors and regulates abortion. It was another witchhunt or, as Sharonna Coutts writes in RH Reality Check, a congressional fishing expedition. This time, however, the expedition was metaphorically capsized. In page after page, the states returned information that disproved their Gosnellian fears of infants being born alive after abortion. State after state returned information that demonstrated that abortion is highly regulated and safe.
I’m wondering what these Republicans will do with this information. In June, The College Republican National Committee released a report on Monday outlining the major challenges facing the GOP as it seeks to rebrand and redefine itself in the aftermath of the 2012 election. The survey criticizes the party’s singular focus on “big government” and “tax cuts” and calls on Republicans to become more tolerant and open on issues like same-sex marriage and women’s reproductive health. And guess what? From the evidence, the Republicans have largely ignored that report. I’m guessing they’ll ignore the findings from the departments of health and attorneys general as well. Facts are mere obstacles to their dogged determination to obliterate women’s constitutional right to abortion.