It’s been a crazy month since Republicans took power in the United States Senate, and their state-level counterparts have outdone them with some bills that really make you wonder just how far the party is willing to go ahead of the 2016 elections. Don’t get me wrong, Republicans in Washington have pushed a 20-week abortion ban and can’t even get a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the Senate which they control – but it’s positively cuckoo in red state legislatures across the country.
Here’s just a few examples from the last week that we’ve reported on:
Mississippi Law Would Permit Unlicensed Drivers To Operate Buses Under Religious Exemption
Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert Wants To Drop A Nuclear Bomb On ISIS
Tennessee Republican Wants To Make The Bible The Official State Book
Kansas Governor Just Legalized Discrimination Against Members of the LGBT Community
Much of this has to do with the fact that since 2010, Republicans have picked up more than 900 seats in state legislatures across the country thanks in part to liberal and progressive apathy on Election Day. In some red states like here in Louisiana, GOP lawmakers hold huge majorities that have driven Democrats into an almost completely silent minority as they push one bill after another destroying unions and shuttering women’s health clinics.
Now in South Dakota, state representative Isaac Latterell has decided to make the horrendous statement that Planned Parenthood is worse than ISIS. Yes, Isaac Latterell, who has never faced an Islamic terrorist in his life, wants us to believe that an organization that provides healthcare to women is worse than a radical terror group that sets people on fire and saws the heads of aid workers off on video.
Here’s an excerpt of what Mr. Latterell had to say in a blog post on his website titled “Planned Parenthood worse than ISIS and lying about it”:
I am beyond angry at what Planned Parenthood is doing to us and to our children. In the words of David Brooks, their actions and their lies “show contempt for us and our morality”, “deny the slightest acknowledgment of our common humanity”, and “take the bully’s maximum relish in their power over the weak and innocent”.
This is why I have introduced House Bill 1230, the Preborn Infant Beheading Ban of 2015. It passed the House Health and Human Services Committee today with a vote of 11-2.
It simply states: “No licensed physician may knowingly behead a living unborn child with the intent of endangering the life or health of the child.”
No state, no religion, and no organization should ever be allowed to use this unspeakably horrifying method. While we rightly take the speck out of our neighbor’s eye by holding ISIS accountable, let us be sure to take the plank out of our own eye by holding Planned Parenthood accountable. (Source)
Abortion isn’t a choice that any woman takes lightly. It’s not like a woman faced with a pregnancy she cannot or should not carry to term gets excited about making the long trip across the prairies of South Dakota to Sioux Falls. This is the only abortion clinic in the state and it only performs abortions up to 14 weeks, after a restrictive 72 hour waiting period. The abortion procedure he is referring to (D&E) isn’t even performed until 13 weeks, and isn’t performed in the state.
By contrast, you can walk into a gun store in South Dakota, buy a gun of your choosing and theoretically mow down a bunch of people you’re pissed off at in far less time than it takes to get an abortion in the state – but I’m sure isn’t one of Isaac Latterell’s concerns when it comes to the “sanctity of life.”
While we can get upset at the outrageous and asinine laws that Rep. Latterell and other conservative lawmakers have introduced and passed across the country, we as liberals and progressives should remember that if we fail to make our voices heard and actually show up at the voting booths, then we are approving these bills by our silence and apathy.
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