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Kentucky Republican introduces bill to punish women for miscarriages

Republicans in the House just forced through a bill that would criminalize almost any abortion in the second trimester or later. The bill — which was pushed hard by disgraced Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned after urging his mistress to get an abortion — is an incredibly extreme violation of women’s rights over their […]

By Matthew Chapman - October 09, 2017
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Self-described "pope" and Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, at his church's pro-Trump rally

The bill — which was pushed hard by disgraced Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned after urging his mistress to get an abortion — is an incredibly extreme violation of women’s rights over their own bodies.

But at the state level, Republicans are pushing even more drastic measures, including state Rep. Dan Johnson of Kentucky.

Johnson — a huge supporter of Donald Trump who calls himself a “pope” and preaches at a church that is half “biker bar” and has its own “gun choir” — most recently drew controversy for a series of racist Facebook posts calling for a ban on Islam and comparing President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee.

Now, he has introduced a bill to completely ban abortion in Kentucky.

In and of itself, that may be nothing new. But Johnson’s bill is cruelly draconian: it defines “abortion” so broadly that it could even apply to a fertilized zygote failing to implant in the uterine wall, which happens naturally to one half of zygotes.

Johnson is not alone. In Idaho earlier this year, state Sen. Dan Foreman — last seen screaming at a constituent at a county fair and telling him to “go straight to hell” — introduced a bill that would make any woman who has an abortion guilty of first-degree murder.

Johnson’s bill is especially appalling amid the backdrop of Donald Trump’s sweeping new executive order giving for-profit businesses the right to refuse to provide birth control to their employees for any reason — a move almost guaranteed to increase the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions.

Despite the fact that abortion has repeatedly been upheld by the Supreme Court as a constitutional right, state lawmakers like Johnson are desperate to take family planning laws back into the dark ages — and hope to score votes off of playing politics with women’s lives and health.

It is time legislators stopped viewing the autonomy of women as a problem and started respecting it as a part of a fair society.


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