This is a guest post written by David G. McAfee. He is author, most recently, of Atheist Answers: Rational Responses to Religious Questions.
As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take the highest office in the land, some state legislators are launching anti-choice measures that treat abortions as murder.
During his campaign, Trump told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions. Now some states, including Idaho and Indiana, are considering legislation that would make that off-the-cuff remark a grave reality.
In Indiana, Representative Curt Nisly introduced House Bill 1134, which would repeal the existing state statutes authorizing and regulating abortion. The bill claims that “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm” and then says “Indiana asserts a compelling state interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins.” You can connect the dots.
H.B. 1134 also includes a provision stating that any regulation of the U.S. government that fails to adhere to Indiana’s standard for the beginning of human life is “null, void, and unenforceable” in the state. The bill’s authors could have been referencing Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman’s right to choose and has also come under fire from Trump.
This is especially terrifying considering the fact that Republicans have a strong majority in Indiana’s state legislature.
Idaho’s version of the abortion-is-murder bill is still being drafted, but Sen. Dan Foreman said in an interview that he won’t back down from the issue. In his proposal, there would be an exception if the woman’s life is at risk, but not for rape or incest.
Foreman said the bill is in its “embryonic stage.”
“I want to see abortion made illegal in the state of Idaho. Taking innocent, unborn lives should be a crime. It should be called exactly what it is, which is murder. My bill would make it murder for a doctor to do an abortion. It’d make it murder for the mother to ask for or participate an abortion.“
The bad news is there are politicians who hope to take away a woman’s right to choose, taking us back 50 years in terms of civil rights. The good news is none of these laws have been enacted, so there’s time to stop them. Call or write your legislators. Speak out. Be an activist.
Representatives for Nisly didn’t immediately return requests for comment Thursday.
David G. McAfee is a Religious Studies graduate, journalist, and author of Atheist Answers: Rational Responses to Religious Questions, The Book of Gods, The Belief Book, Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer, and Disproving Christianity and other Secular Writings. He is also the founder of The Party of Reason and Progress and a frequent contributor to American Atheist Magazine. McAfee, who writes about science, skepticism, and faith, attended University of California, Santa Barbara and graduated with bachelor’s degrees in English and Religious Studies with an emphasis on Christianity and Mediterranean religions.
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