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In It to Win It

In It to Win It's Journal
In It to Win It's Journal
February 23, 2024

That Horrific Anti-Abortion Law? It's Brought to You by Voter Suppression

That Horrific Anti-Abortion Law? It’s Brought to You by Voter Suppression


It’s election season and once again, abortion is on the ballot. Every pundit and politician is wondering if the American electorate’s desire to protect abortion rights will turn out voters in droves, deliver big wins for Democrats, and roll back terrifying anti-choice policies.

During the midterms, statewide ballot initiatives protecting abortion access swept the nation in a resounding rejection of the Supreme Court’s hostility to reproductive rights. Many were surprised that abortion won handily in places like Kansas, even as legislators there had been working overtime to restrict the procedure for decades. As a longtime reproductive justice journalist (Regina) and an organizer on behalf of people who have abortions (Renee), when people ask us, “How is this possible?” we usually have two answers: first, abortion is more popular than your favorite politician, and second, this is what happens when the issue is put directly to the will of the people.

As we cover on our new podcast from the Meteor, The A Files: A Secret History of Abortion, one of the biggest lies we’ve been told about abortion is that it’s a divisive issue—no, the most divisive political issue of our time. The truth is that abortion is more popular today than it has been in decades and support for the procedure has generally been quite high. In reality, only 14 percent of voters in states with the most restrictive laws say abortion should be illegal in all cases (yes, really, only 14 percent). But because of gerrymandering, it doesn’t matter what the majority of voters want.

So, what exactly is gerrymandering? It’s a tool lawmakers use to draw voting districts in a way that skews things in their favor come Election Day.
February 23, 2024

This couple has to leave Alabama or risk losing their eggs after state ruling forces providers to pause IVF treatment

This couple has to leave Alabama or risk losing their eggs after state ruling forces providers to pause IVF treatment


“I just feel like I don’t even want to ever come back to Alabama,” Gabrielle Goidel said Thursday.

Yesterday, Goidel was days away from having her eggs retrieved at an Alabama fertility clinic, after three miscarriages and more than a $20,000 investment in a grueling in vitro fertilization journey. Now, she and her husband are packing for a flight to Texas tonight, in hopes of salvaging their shot at a successful pregnancy.

After the Alabama Supreme Court ruled last week that frozen embryos are considered human beings and those who destroy them can be held liable for wrongful death, fertility clinics throughout the state began pausing IVF treatments out of fear of legal prosecution.

Goidel said her provider, Alabama Fertility Specialists, called her Thursday morning and told her because she is so far along in the IVF process, the clinic was still willing to retrieve her eggs – but could not make any guarantees about whether they would be able to use them to make embryos, store or ship them.

Goidel and her husband pursued IVF after losing three pregnancies within the span of nine months. That phone call filled her with a very similar feeling, she said.

“It was absolutely my worst fear,” Goidel said. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this stressed in my life, this worried.”
February 22, 2024

Darryl George: Texas judge rules school district can restrict the length of male students' natural hair

Darryl George: Texas judge rules school district can restrict the length of male students’ natural hair


A Texas judge ruled Thursday that the state’s CROWN Act does not make it unlawful for school dress codes to limit a student’s hair length.

The decision is a blow to Darryl George, a Houston-area high school student who sued the Barbers Hill Independent School District after he was suspended for months over the length of his locs hairstyle.

The George family did not make an appearance after the trial, but attorneys for the family said they intend to appeal the ruling.

At a news conference outside the courthouse, Candice Matthews, a spokesperson for the family, said George had tears in his eyes as theyd left the courtroom.

She said the family is disappointed, angered and confused by the ruling.

“Darryl made this statement, and told me this straight up with tears in his eyes, ‘All because of my hair? I can’t get my education because of hair? I cannot be around other peers and enjoy my junior year, because of my hair?’”
February 22, 2024

The Alabama Chief Justice Who Invoked God in Deciding Embryo Case

The Alabama Chief Justice Who Invoked God in Deciding Embryo Case





ATLANTA — In an Alabama Supreme Court decision that has rattled reproductive medicine across the country, a majority of the justices said the law was clear that frozen embryos should be considered children: “Unborn children are ‘children.’”

But the court’s chief justice, Tom Parker, drew on more than the Constitution and legal precedent to explain his determination.

“Human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God,” he wrote in a concurring opinion that invoked the Book of Genesis and the prophet Jeremiah and quoted at length from the writings of 16th- and 17th-century theologians.

“Even before birth,” he added, “all human beings have the image of God, and their lives cannot be destroyed without effacing his glory.”

Just as the case, which centers on wrongful-death claims for frozen embryos that were destroyed in a mishap at a fertility clinic, has reverberated beyond Alabama, so has Parker’s opinion.

His theological digressions showed why he has long been revered by conservative legal groups and anti-abortion activists, and also why he has inspired apprehension among critics who regard him as guided more by religious doctrine than the law.

In a post on social media, Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, described the opinion as a “beautiful defense of life and the Alabama Constitution.” But critics viewed it as dangerous and deviating from the U.S. Constitution. “Welcome to the theocracy,” wrote a columnist for The Washington Post.
February 22, 2024

Top Republicans defend IVF after Alabama ruling

POLITICO


Days after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law, several top Republican governors said they’re supportive of in vitro fertilization procedures.

Speaking at the POLITICO Governors Summit on Thursday, Govs. Brian Kemp of Georgia, Bill Lee of Tennessee and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire all weighed in on the latest front in the battle over reproductive rights ahead of the November elections.

The decision complicates the Republican Party’s standing with millions of people who may oppose abortion but support — and in many cases use — in vitro fertilization and other forms of fertility care. One in six Americans who struggle with infertility turn to IVF, according to the National Infertility Association.

Kemp said during the summit that he hasn’t had a chance to look over the Alabama rulings and “wouldn’t even want to try to pretend to understand what the issue is there.”

When pressed on whether he’s comfortable with IVF in general, Kemp said, “I am. … You have a lot of people out there in this country that they wouldn’t have children if it weren’t for that.”
February 22, 2024

Days after Alabama's Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are children, a second clinic pauses IVF treatment

Days after Alabama’s Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are children, a second clinic pauses IVF treatment


A second fertility clinic in Alabama has halted part of its IVF treatment programs following the state Supreme Court ruling that frozen embryos are children.

Alabama Fertility’s clinic in Birmingham has “paused transfers of embryos for at least a day or two,” according to Penny Monella, the chief operating officer at Alabama Fertility Specialists.

This marks the second known fertility clinic to at least temporarily stop treatments. On Wednesday, The University of Alabama at Birmingham health system became the first organization in the state to confirm that it is pausing IVF treatment out of legal concerns in wake of the court’s ruling.

Its announcement could be the start of what reproductive rights advocates and medical experts have been warning about for days: that the high court’s decision could have devastating consequences for Alabamians seeking infertility treatments each year to build their families – and it could soon have profound impacts far beyond the state’s borders.

In its unprecedented ruling, the state’s Supreme Court said embryos are children – no matter if they’re within or out of a uterus – and those who destroy them can be held liable for wrongful death. That decision will likely not only make the already high costs of infertility treatments substantially higher, but will likely also discourage many providers from offering them at all in the state in fear of being held liable for wrongful death, reproductive rights advocates warned.
February 22, 2024

Biden weighs invoking executive authority to stage border crackdown

Biden weighs invoking executive authority to stage border crackdown


President Biden is debating whether to invoke a sweeping presidential authority that gained infamy during the Trump administration to stage a crackdown on migrants coming to the U.S. southern border, three people familiar with the plans told CBS News.

Mr. Biden is weighing citing a law dating back to 1952 to severely restrict access to the U.S. asylum system, which has buckled under the weight of record levels of migrant arrivals along the border with Mexico, the sources said, requesting anonymity to discuss internal government deliberations.

That law, known as 212(f), allows the president to "suspend the entry" of foreigners when it is determined their arrival is not in the best interest of the country. The Trump administration used the law several times, including to ban immigration and travel from certain countries, most of them predominantly Muslim, and to bar migrants from asylum if they entered the country unlawfully.

If approved, Mr. Biden's executive action could be announced within the next two weeks, the sources said. An administration official said no final decisions had been made on whether the president would take executive action to address the situation at U.S.-Mexico border, where migrants have been arriving in greater numbers than ever before in American history.

Any significant restriction on asylum would face formidable legal and operational hurdles. Still, issuing an executive order designed to curb illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border could be seen as an important political message from Mr. Biden ahead of the 2024 election. Border policy is one of Mr. Biden's worst-polling issues, with multiple polls showing a majority of Americans disapproving of his handling of immigration.
February 22, 2024

Alabama Supreme Court chief justice spreads Christian nationalist rhetoric on QAnon conspiracy theorist's show

Alabama Supreme Court chief justice spreads Christian nationalist rhetoric on QAnon conspiracy theorist's show


During a recent interview on the program of self-proclaimed “prophet” and QAnon conspiracy theorist Johnny Enlow, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker indicated that he is a proponent of the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” a theological approach that calls on Christians to impose fundamentalist values on all aspects of American life.

Enlow is a pro-Trump “prophet” and leading proponent of the “Seven Mountain Mandate,” a “quasi-biblical blueprint for theocracy” that asserts that Christians must impose fundamentalist values on American society by conquering the “seven mountains” of cultural influence in U.S. life: government, education, media, religion, family, business, and entertainment.

Enlow has also repeatedly pushed the QAnon conspiracy theory, sometimes even connecting it to the Seven Mountain Mandate. Per Right Wing Watch, Enlow has claimed that world leaders are “satanic” pedophiles who “steal blood” and “do sacrifices” and that “there is presently no real democracy on the planet” because over 90 percent of world leaders are involved in pedophilia and are being blackmailed.

On February 16, the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are people, with the same rights as living children, and that a person can be held liable for destroying them, imperiling in vitro fertilization treatment in the state. In a concurring opinion, Parker quoted the Bible, suggested that Alabama had adopted a “theologically based view of the sanctity of life,” and said that “human life cannot be wrongfully destroyed without incurring the wrath of a holy God.”

In the interview on Enlow’s program — which was uploaded the same day as the ruling was issued — Parker claimed that “God created government” and said it’s “heartbreaking” that “we have let it go into the possession of others.” Parker then invoked the Seven Mountain Mandate, saying, “And that's why he is calling and equipping people to step back into these mountains right now.”


https://twitter.com/mmfa/status/1760354985630482926

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