Jessica Valenti

Anti-Abortion Extremism Is the New Normal

The anti-choice movement used to pretend it cared about women. Now it doesn’t have to.

Jessica Valenti
GEN
Published in
3 min readMay 9, 2019

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Credit: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

This week, Georgia became the sixth state to ban abortions after six weeks — so early in pregnancy that many women don’t even realize they’ve missed a period, let alone that they’re pregnant. Laws like these effectively ban all abortions — and that, of course, is the whole point.

Republicans want to ensure that women are forced to carry pregnancies no matter how far along they are, and these so-called heartbeat bills do double duty: They prevent women from legally being able to obtain an abortion, and were written with the hope that they’d be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court to help overturn Roe v. Wade.

But the danger of this law is not just that it will prevent women from getting abortions, but that women who do would be subject to life in prison or the death penalty. Imagine a future where women who have miscarried are interrogated by the police over whether they took an abortion pill. Where mothers of stillborn babies are arrested because they refused to have a C-section. This is the unsaid reality of criminalizing abortion.

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Jessica Valenti
GEN
Writer for

Feminist author & columnist. Native NYer, pasta enthusiast.