Which of course just makes me think about like...abortion cruises*, destination abortions, abortion getaways, guided abortion tours...
But according to a clinic worker who testified at a hearing earlier this week in Alabama, on a new TRAP law** that could shut down all the remaining clinics in the state, it was used in earnest. (Well...as earnest as Republicans ever get in their maximum plausible deniability mode when they're trying to explain away their actions with the guise of "concern" for women.) When confronted with their obvious motivation of trying to close down all the remaining clinics, they claimed that they weren't doing any such thing, but such regulations were needed to stop Alabama from becoming a "haven of abortion tourism".
I, um...wait, what?
I just have two questions for these...people.
- What exactly is so wrong with so-called "abortion tourism"? An abortion is an abortion is an abortion, whether it takes place in New York or Indiana or Nevada or anywhere else. Please explain to me how traveling to obtain an abortion in another state is somehow worse than obtaining an abortion in your state of residence. Explain it to me like I'm 2, because this does not make any sense whatsoever. More specifically, explain it to me in a way that makes sense without relying on the premise that "women shouldn't be able to wiggle out of the laws we instituted to give us control over their bodies." Because it sounds an awful lot like that's exactly your problem, that some people will be able to escape your control - and "maintain our (illegal and gained by deceptive piecemeal restrictions since a true ban is unconstitutional) control over the bodies and decisions of pregnant people by keeping them trapped in states where we've managed to functionally ban legal abortion without banning it" is a downright abusive goal.
- And how exactly does your TRAP law prevent such "abortion tourism"...without closing the available clinics? This makes even less sense than the objection to the concept itself. I mean, you're using "regulatory non-compliance" as your smokescreen here, but as soon as it becomes about "abortion tourism", that smokescreen blows right away. Are wider hallways and larger elevators going to keep non-Alabamans away? Perhaps you believe non-Alabamans couldn't bring themselves to get their abortion from a doctor with an Alabama medical license and admitting privileges at a local hospital? Please, explain how regulations ostensibly intended to "protect the safety of women" seeking those services will cut down on the number of people able to access those services? Because that's...not what safety regulations are for, nor is it what they do when applied properly. So if you intend for your so-called "safety" regulations to reduce the rate of use of the service they're being applied to, UR DOIN IT WRONG.
Stellar morals there, guys. And you wonder why you have to resort to electioneering and voter suppression to keep from being rendered utterly irrelevant as a party.
*Paging Women on Waves...
**Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. Things like requiring admitting privileges, forcing abortion clinics to adhere to more stringent building codes by reclassifying them as "hospitals" or something more strictly regulated than regular outpatient clinics, playing zoning games, using administrative pressure and unreasonable reporting requirements to try to shut down as many clinics as possible.