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Author: Raine    Date: 06/30/2016 13:46:55

This week, the Supreme court delivered. They delivered big time. The first case took a very big step to stop the decay of abortion rights through TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers). Those laws were ruled unconstitutional. The second ruling upheld a federal statute in place that said people convicted of a Domestic Violence misdemeanor do not have a right to own a gun.
The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the broad reach of a federal law that bars people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from owning guns.

The justices rejected arguments that the law covers only intentional or knowing acts of abuse and not those committed recklessly — where a person is aware of the risk that an act will cause injury, but not certain it will. As examples, the court mentioned throwing a plate in the heat of an argument, or slamming a door.

The case involved two Maine men who said their guilty pleas for hitting their partners should not disqualify them from gun ownership.

Writing for herself and five other justices, Justice Elena Kagan said that Congress enacted the gun law some 20 years ago to close a loophole and "prohibit domestic abusers convicted under run-of-the-mill misdemeanor assault and battery laws from possessing guns." She said if the law were read to exclude misdemeanors in which a person acted recklessly, it would "substantially undermine the provision's design."
I point this out because - statistically - women are far more likely to be victims of domestic violence. Of those incidents "women in the US are 11 times more likely to to be murdered with a gun than other developed nations". "Having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide 20 times when there is a history of domestic violence (John Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, 2010)"

The point that I want to make here is that Domestic Violence is about controlling another person; adding guns into the mix of a domestically-violent situation is deadly. That SCOTUS upheld this ruling is common-sense and - frankly - a breath of fresh air for people whom some in society have tried to control for generations.

Earlier that day, the Supreme Court in a 5-3 decision deemed Texas's TRAP laws unconstitutional. They came to this conclusion based on fact and not hysteria.
Today’s ruling breaks with a steady decay of abortion rights since 1973’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which found a constitutional right to an abortion. The ruling is particularly noteworthy because while anti-abortion lawmakers have focused on regulating the procedure itself -- banning certain methods, for example, or requiring waiting periods -- this time they argued they were taking steps to protect the health of women seeking abortions. The regulations, at 129 pages long, prescribed the width of hallways in clinics, the minimum distance to a hospital and the type of air-conditioning system that must be used, among other things.

The rules led 22 of Texas’s 41 clinics to close, even after a lower court in 2014 blocked some of the regulations pending review. These closings disproportionately affected young, low-income women of color from rural areas, according to Amy Hagstrom Miller, chief executive of Whole Woman’s Health, which runs three clinics in Texas and is the lead plaintiff in the case. If the court had ruled the Texas regulations were constitutional, Miller and other experts estimate the state would be left with only nine operating clinics, all in major metropolitan areas.
Two major portions of the law were at issue in the Supreme Court case. One required abortion clinics to meet the structural and staffing requirements of an “ambulatory surgical center,” requiring renovations and operating costs that most clinics said were impossible to afford. The other required doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. This rule forced closures of clinics because they were too far from a hospital or because the local hospitals did not give out admitting privileges as a policy. Some abortion doctors are not eligible for admitting privileges at hospitals because abortion is considered too safe a procedure to need routine use of a hospital’s facilities.

It's easy in this day and age to say that these TRAP laws are silly and restrictive. Abortion has been legal in the USA since 1973. Roe -vs- Wade might seem antiquated now, but the reality is that abortion was always around. It was legal for hundreds of years, in fact. However, in the 1800's, immigrants started showing up in droves along our shores and that changed everything.
In the United States, abortion was widely practiced before about 1880, by which time most states had banned it except to save the life of the woman. Anti-abortion legislation was part of a backlash against the growing movements for suffrage and birth control — an effort to control women and confine them to a traditional childbearing role.

This legislation was also a way for the medical profession to tighten its control over women’s health care, as midwives who performed abortions were a threat to the male medical establishment. Finally, with the declining birthrate among women from Northern European backgrounds in the late 1800s, the U.S. government and the eugenics movement were concerned about “race suicide” and wanted white U.S.-born women to reproduce.
Here is another good source for facts about abortion laws in the United States.

Anti-abortion bills are NOT about the child or about protecting women's health. They are about controlling the autonomy of women. Be it by gunpoint or by sexist legislation to maintain what some sectors of our society see s status quo, they are the same in that women have long been deemed ones to control. This is from 2013. It might seem like ages ago, but it's not. The title is Catholic website says colleges aren’t for women: ‘Learn to be a wife and mother’ -- That's right, in 2013 women are supposed to be subservient and bend to the will of men. Some prefer to use guns. Some prefer to legislate patriarchy. Trust me on this, I know from personal experience.

What happened this week was amazing, and yet with regards to guns and reproductive rights, we have a long way to go to change hearts and minds. Sadly, it might take a terrible virus outbreak to do so. Way Before Zika, Rubella Changed Minds on Abortion
This wasn’t Zika—it was rubella. And in the U.S., it had a profound effect on society. Abortion had been a taboo subject until then, but people began to advocate for abortion as a medical, not a moral, decision. Recent statements by public officials in Brazil and Colombia hint that Zika might have a similar effect in countries where abortions still are, with few exceptions, illegal.

The first reports that rubella, also known as German measles, could cause birth defects came in the early 1940s after an outbreak of the virus in Australia. Norman Gregg, an ophthalmologist who linked rubella to birth defects, was an early advocate of the idea that infected pregnant women should have access to abortion.

The United States suffered an outbreak of rubella in 1958, but it wasn’t until after the thalidomide disaster in the early 1960s—when a drug given to pregnant women caused severe birth defects—that Americans really began to fear the effects of rubella. During a 1964-65 rubella epidemic, U.S. public officials actively warned women of the danger of becoming infected, says Leslie J. Reagan, author of Dangerous Pregnancies: Mothers, Disabilities, and Abortion in Modern America.

According to the CDC, there are nearly 500 pregnant women infected with Zika (States and territories included). That number will probably rise. I have to wonder: does Congress really care that it is mostly women and children that are affected by Zika? Is the lack of willingness to fully fund a cure or a vaccine because of that?

It makes me contemplate (in hindsight) how revolutionary this song was when Leslie Gore sang it in 1963:



9 comments (Latest Comment: 06/30/2016 19:06:58 by Mondobubba)
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