The Fugitive Uterus Act of 2022

The Repugnican idea that a red state may own a woman’s or a girl’s uterus — that it is the property of the red state — is a recipe for the next American civil war.

The Repugnicans of today are like the basement-dwelling, animal-skin-wearing incels who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2001: They want the momentary thrill of making the political attack, but clearly, they have no fucking plan for the aftermath of the attack.

Repugnican chatter about prosecuting women (and girls) who travel to a state where abortion is legal in order to obtain an abortion is, like so much of the rest of the Repugnican platform, unconscionable, and, if carried out, would be disastrous.

The long-standing legal rule is that if you commit an act in a state where that act is not a crime, then you have not committed a crime. If you live in a state where recreational marijuana use is illegal, for instance, but you find yourself in an enlightened state where recreational marijuana use is legal, and you partake in it, you have not committed a crime.

What the Repugnicans essentially are saying is that in a backasswards state where abortion is illegal, the state owns every female resident’s uterus; her uterus, clearly, is the property of the state — wherever she goes.

Speaking of human property, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was one of the elements that ultimately led to the first U.S. Civil War (yes, I anticipate a second one). Wikipedia notes:

The Fugitive Slave Act or Fugitive Slave Law was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern interests in slavery and Northern Free-Soilers.

The Act was one of the most controversial elements of the 1850 compromise and heightened Northern fears of a slave power conspiracy. It required that all escaped slaves, upon capture, be returned to the slaver and that officials and citizens of free states had to cooperate. Abolitionists nicknamed it the “Bloodhound Bill,” after the dogs that were used to track down people fleeing from slavery.

The Act contributed to the growing polarization of the country over the issue of slavery, and was one of the factors that led to the Civil War.

If memory serves, I first made the real connection between the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Repugnican plan to prosecute (and persecute) females who live in a state where abortion is illegal but who obtain an abortion in a state where it is legal when I read a July 2 column by The New York Time’s Jamelle Bouie in which he noted: “The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 did not require Northern states to condone slavery, but it did force them to assist in apprehending escaped slaves.”

Later in his column, Bouie notes, “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, overturning Roe v. Wade, Republican lawmakers have introduced bills that try to curb abortion with limits on the right of travel between states.”

I was a little surprised that in his column Bouie didn’t make a more direct and immediate connection between the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the Repugnican plan to assert a red state’s authority over what happens in another (most likely blue) state (in regards to abortion in this case, I mean, of course), and it’s not literally that the Repugnican plan is to disallow a female to travel to another state for an abortion, but that it is to prosecute her should she do so and should the red state find out about it.

(With the long-standing right to privacy, including medical privacy, I’m not sure how that would work and still be within bounds of the U.S. Constitution, but, of course, it’s a bunch of illegitimate, unelected theofascists on the U.S. Supreme Court who now are deciding for all of us what the Constitution means and doesn’t mean — at least until we, the people, finally check their brazen abuse of power).

Still, Bouie’s column is valuable and I recommend that you read it.

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, in his column of July 4, made the more direct and immediate connection that I found lacking in Bouie’s July 2 column. Robinson wrote:

One of the milestones on the downward spiral toward the Civil War was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which required that [enslaved] African Americans who managed to flee to free states be returned to bondage. It is shocking, and depressing, that Republicans would even think of raising a similar question today: What about women who reside in a state where abortion is banned and who cross state lines to have their pregnancies safely and legally terminated?

Can they be prohibited from traveling? Prosecuted upon their return? And what about the doctors who perform the abortions? Can a physician in one of Minnesota’s abortion clinics, which expect a rush of out-of-state patients, be arrested upon setting foot across the border in South Dakota, where ambitious GOP Gov. Kristi L. Noem has doubts about an abortion-ban exception even for a 10-year-old victim of rape?

Speaking of 10-year-old girls, there is the news story of the 10-year-old girl in Ohio who had to go to Indiana for an abortion because she’d become pregnant after having been raped and because Ohio is one of the backasswards states that essentially has outlawed abortion, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed it to.

Like I said: The mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Repugnicans have no fucking plan for what comes next. They just wanted to own the libs by reversing Roe vs. Wade. Stories like that of the raped and impregnated 10-year-old girl from Ohio are going to proliferate shortly, exposing the Repugnicans’ hypocrisy, insanity and cruelty even further.

It’s one thing for the troglodytes of the red states to perpetrate their evils and wrongs within their own borders; it’s an altogether other thing for them to attempt to spread their evil insanity into the saner, freer states.

In the meantime, there perhaps is no better recipe for a second U.S. Civil War than red-state thugs and goons thinking that they can interfere with activity in the free, blue or purple states that is perfectly legal.

Our patriots’ message to the treasonous theofascists who control the Repugnican Party today must be this: Fuck around and find out, bitches — like you did the first time, in the 1860s.

Maybe this time we’ll finish the job, as we should have done the last time.

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