Senator Ron Johnson Tells Pregnant People to Suck It Up and Go Out of State for an Abortion If They Want One

In the very near future, millions of people’s lives will be transformed when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as it is expected to do. In addition to obliterating the constitutional right to an abortion, the reversal of almost 50 years of precedent will likely result in a near or total ban on the medical procedure in about half of the country, including states where it will become a felony not only to perform but to obtain one. That’ll result in countless lives being destroyed, whether it‘s that of the rape victim who will have no choice but to give birth to her attacker’s kid, the woman living in poverty who can’t afford to raise a child, the literal child who has been impregnated by an abusive family member, or the person who simply had a different set of plans for their life that did not involve becoming a parent. Not to mention, the pregnant person who decides they have no choice but to undergo an illegal, risky abortion rather than be forced to give birth. But according to Republican senator Ron Johnson? None of this is a big deal and people are being hysterical over nothing.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, the Wisconsin lawmaker, who is up for reelection this year, said he doesn’t expect abortion to come up on the campaign trail because it’s basically a nonissue. “It might be a little messy for some people, but abortion is not going away,” Johnson said, an absolutely bizarre choice of words—not to mention, sentiment—given the history of women bleeding out and dying after unsafe abortions. He blithely added that though he doesn’t expect a 19th-century Wisconsin law banning abortions except to save the mother will go into effect if Roe is reversed, pregnant people can always go to neighboring Illinois if they want to obtain the medical procedure.

As so many people have noted, the reversal of Roe—and ensuing bans in numerous states—would disproportionately impact poor women and women of color. Those are people that, in fact, can’t necessarily just drive to Illinois (or the neighboring state that applies to them) because they can‘t get the time off of work, or don’t have a car, or have other children at home they can’t be away from for the night—or any of the many other reasons that Johnson apparently can’t think of. As for the idea that the 1849 Wisconsin law banning abortions won’t stand, Johnson is reportedly likely wrong about that too. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote last week, “Republican lawmakers for decades have made sure to preserve the 1849 ban in hopes that Roe would someday be overturned,” and the Republicans running for governor in the state “have [all] strongly opposed abortion and would be unlikely to sign legislation loosening the ban.”

Johnson, of course, has a long history of extremely shitty takes. As one of the most vocal proponents of Trump’s “big lie,” he repeatedly downplayed January 6, variously claiming that the attempted coup wasn’t “an armed insurrection,” even though that’s exactly what it was; that the rioters were not actually Trump supporters but “provocateurs” impersonating Trump supporters; and that he was never once worried for his life because the mob that stormed the Capitol were there to overturn an election, not protest for equal rights for Black people. He’s also a major purveyor of COVID misinformation, dispenses anti-vaccine rhetoric, and was temporarily kicked off of YouTube for promoting bogus cures. In 2010, he opposed a Wisconsin bill that would have eliminated the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims to bring lawsuits. And four years later, he reportedly did not tell the “police, Senate or Wisconsin officials that a former aide was allegedly sexually assaulted by a state lawmaker.”

So yeah, it’s not surprising that he has no earthly clue why any of this is a big deal, but that doesn’t make it any less crappy. “I just don’t think this is going to be the big political issue everybody thinks it is, because it’s not going to be that big a change,” he told the Journal, like only the absolutely most ignorant elected official can.

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Nothing to see here, just Trump’s election coconspirator telling Pennsylvania to trash absentee ballots so it’d look like Trump won

Apparently John Eastman saw no potential issues here, hence putting the plot in actual writing. Per Politico:

Attorney John Eastman urged Republican legislators in Pennsylvania to retabulate the state’s popular vote—and throw out tens of thousands of absentee ballots—in order to show Donald Trump with a lead, according to newly unearthed emails sent in December 2020, as Trump pressured GOP lawmakers to subvert his defeat. This recalculation, he posited in an exchange with one GOP state lawmaker, “would help provide some cover” for Republicans to replace Joe Biden’s electors from the state with a slate of pro-Trump electors, part of a last-ditch bid to overturn the election results.

Per the exchange, Eastman suggested that GOP legislators could simply cite their concerns with Pennsylvania’s absentee ballot procedures and then use historical data to “discount each candidates’ totals by a prorated amount based on the absentee percentage those candidates otherwise received.”

“Having done that math, you’d be left with a significant Trump lead that would bolster the argument for the Legislature adopting a slate of Trump electors—perfectly within your authority to do anyway, but now bolstered by the untainted popular vote,” Eastman wrote in a Dec. 4, 2020 email to Pennsylvania Rep. Russ Diamond. “That would help provide some cover.”

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