A day — heck an hour, it seems like — doesn’t pass without a direct e-mail from Extremist U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton or one of his social media enablers touting Cotton’s animus toward women.
He doesn’t say he’s against women, of course. He says he’s “pro-life.”
He is against abortion, in other words. And he’s also, as an examination of his record shows, even against birth control pills in some cases. He and his cohorts think the split Arkansas populace — generally supportive of restrictions on abortion, generally opposed to making all abortion illegal — will miss the extremism embodied in Cotton’s anti-abortion record (and just about every other facet of his politics). They may be right, particularly if they scream loudly enough and often enough. So a Roe v. Wade anniversary note on the fine print of Cotton’s position:
Tom Cotton has sponsored legislation (of dubious constitutionality) that declares constitutional rights begin at the moment of “fertilization.” Tom Cotton would grant full constitutional rights — and why not inheritance and earned income tax credit rights, too? — to a microscopic fertilized egg. This personhood legislation is aimed at overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to outlaw abortion — period. In the meanest of states (and Republicans clearly believe Arkansas is one of them) a woman left brain dead moments after fertilization could be forced on life supports for nine months. Grievous health problems for the mother and demonstrated lack of viability of a fetus would be no match forTom Cotton’s determination to put his religion ahead of women’s best interests.
The wording of this legislation could be used to ban certain types of birth control pills, including Plan B, or the morning after pill, because some of those pills may prevent pregnancy by discouraging implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus. That, the extremists believe, amounts to murder of a human being. They hold the same view of certain types of IUDs.
The medical community has never thought pregnancy began at fertilization. But this isn’t about science. It’s about stripping women of medical autonomy and forcing women into unwanted pregnancies, even those that could be prevented within hours after unwanted sex. Tom Cotton’s legislation also would inevitably force many women into dangerous pregnancies and to deliver babies that can’t survive outside the womb.
Pro-life? Whose life? An egg? Or a woman?
How extreme is this? Even Mississippi voters rejected a state version of the same type of legislation.
Tom Cotton’s e-mail today, asking for contributions, doesn’t delve into the messy details. It merely declares himself “pro-life.” Ask him about women’s lives if you get a chance.