This is the email I just wrote to Jezebel’s tip email account. I am going to try to sell this story to national news outlets, see if anyone will pick it up. Maybe if we can drum up some national outcry, we can push back at today’s legislative shitshow. If you know any journalists/columnists/stringers for news outlets, will you backchannel me please? We need to take action.
I’m writing you because I’m hoping to get some national coverage for
some unbelievable atrocities that happened in the state house today.
FIRST, Representative Mary Sue McClurkin (R-Indian Springs) sponsored
a bill charmingly named the “Women’s Health and Safety Act” which
requires abortion providers in the state to have the same fire and
safety codes as ambulatory medical facilities (read: hospitals) and a
physician with admitting privileges at a hospital in-county on staff
at all times. It also has fun little amendments like: requiring the
clinic to report any abortion recipient under the age of 14 to the
department of Human Resources and to report the names of the father
and the abortion recipient to Human Resources AND law enforcement for
women under the age of 16 seeking abortion. It also prevents the
prescription of chemical abortion pills without consultation and
counseling, meaning a doctor’s visit, which many of the impoverished
women of this INCREDIBLY impoverished state cannot afford, especially
not without the option of Planned Parenthood. The language also
changes to refer to abortion as a surgical procedure that “involves
the taking of a human life” — so here come the Roe v. Wade
A bill similar to this–called TRAP–passed in Mississippi last year
and resulted in the closure of ALL BUT ONE women’s health clinic.
Doctor’s applied to and were denied admitting privileges at 7
different hospitals so clinics could not stay open.
Alabama currently has FIVE women’s health clinics that provide
abortions (in addition to other services, such as cancer screenings
and dispensation of affordable birth control. FIVE. For a state with
4.8million residents, 51.5% of whom are female. FIVE.
When concern was raised that the possible closure of these clinics
would restrict women’s access to cancer screenings and birth control,
McClurkin said she was “not sure what services the clinics provided
outside of abortions.” Representative Terri Collins (R-Decatur) was
quoted as saying, “I think that it will truly limit abortions that are
done in Alabama, and I’m pleased with that”.
Here is a source to get you started:
For what it’s worth, my own congressman, Chris England (D-Tuscaloosa),
debated fiercely against the bill along with Rep. Patricia Todd
(D-Birmingham), asking McClurkin point-blank if she would feel
comfortable if all access to abortion was restricted in the state. She
sidestepped the question.
THEN I TOOK MY PUPPY TO OBEDIENCE CLASS, AND WHILE I WAS GONE, FOR
*ONE HOUR*, THIS LITTLE AWESOME PIECE OF LEGISLATION PASSED:
This prevents certain “religiously-affiliated employers” from having
to provide insurance coverage for birth control under Obama’s
Affordable Health Care Act. The terms of “religiously-affiliated” are
broad enough to encompass basically any employer who doesn’t feel like
covering birth control. But that’s fine, right? Because if your
insurance doesn’t cover birth control you can always just go to your
local–OH WAIT–THEY SHUT ALL THE PLANNED PARENTHOODS DOWN.
These bills now pass to the State Senate house, which ALSO has a
Republican super majority and has similar bills in committee, ready to
go to the floor for a vote.
Basically, the women of Alabama are COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY FUCKED.
This may also be of use to you: a woman in Montgomery (state capitol)
has compiled local news stories of women being harassed and assaulted
on their way into abortion clinics, statewide, and a more thorough and
detailed description of the steps local advocates have taken to try to
slow this HORRORTRAIN down, even a little.
I am just about at my wits end here.
Maybe if this story got some national coverage, we could push back at
the lawmakers? What do you think, Jezebel–is this a story worth
Please get in touch with me if you have ANY questions. I’m hardly an
expert, but I’m a woman in Alabama who likes to have sex and a rabid
protector of choice. My phone number is [redacted] and this is my
Thanks for reading, y’all.