After the 2016 election, traumatized women braced for the worst. A rude misogyny – and a direct threat to reproductive, civil and human rights – was about to make the next four years a living hell. The day after his inauguration, more than four million women (and men) took to the streets in massive rallies to denounce the promotion of a despicable sexual predator over a highly qualified civil servant.
Millions more have joined their American sisters around the world. It was the largest one-day protest in US history. The wall-to-wall rage from D.C. to Los Angeles was driven by an intense resolve to resist. January 21, 2017, it was not a one-time event. Women harnessed the energy of the moment to organize, mobilize and support the resistance against blatant misogyny and bad politics to come.
Their work paid off a year later, with a record number of women winning seats in Congress and Democrats capturing the House of Representatives with a historic voter turnout. Women not only contributed to the blue wave in 2018, they helped fuel it.
Get the morning headlines to your inbox
It will also boost the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections. But unlike four years ago, this election will not be a referendum on a hateful president and his punitive health care policies. It will be about choice. Voters will choose between the extreme and the inner. Between pro-democracy candidates and election deniers. Between physical independence and nothing.
For many women, it was their worst fear here. Right-wing theorists in the United States Supreme Court obliterated half a century of constitutionally protected abortion rights because they could. They got rid of 50 years of legal precedent and abruptly reduced the women to government-regulated breeders.
Nationally, stripping women of their rights is a top priority for Republicans. Radical politicians were quick to rely on mandates of forced childbirth, dehumanizing women. Former Vice President Mike Pence called it “far more important than any short-term policy,” and Senator Lindsey Graham has promised a federal abortion ban if his party wins control of the Senate. Ohio Republicans implemented a near-total abortion ban in the state (which has since been temporarily suspended) on the same day that abortion was called off.
For many women, it was their worst fear here.
In Ohio, the Republican-controlled legislature plans to pass a tougher abortion ban after the November 8 election. The Republican governor, who is running for re-election, will sign any crackdown on women sent to him by lawmakers. Mike DeWine has already bragged that he is “going as far as possible” to eliminate the reproductive rights of Ohio women and 10-year-old rape victims.
“DeWine has done more harm to people who need abortion or family planning care than anyone alone in Ohio,” said Kelly Copeland, executive director of Pro-Choice, Ohio.
But he hopes you won’t notice. Like dozens of other Republicans on the ballot, the “pro-life” politician vehemently veered away from this position to aggressively downplay his benign anti-choice intent.
DeWine refuses to discuss or defend the implications of the strict law he signed that prohibits abortion without exception. His campaign, endorsed by a shameful loser twice, has instead focused on jobs, crime, and vileness — not the fact that Ohio women are cruelly denied abortion care in the state because of the governor.
So far, his duck and distraction cover are working to abolish reproductive rights. The Republican incumbent has a double-digit lead over his Democratic opponent.
In the race for a Senate seat in the US state of Ohio, there is a hypothetical link between the two candidates but abortion overshadows the outcome. The next senator could be a crucial vote on a bill to criminalize abortion for all American women no matter where they live. Republican J.D. Vance Ploy himself has made a salty shift about the federal abortion ban, but his comments, from a recent podcast interview earlier this year, were strangely revealing.
“Let’s say Roe v. Wade is overturned. Ohio bans abortion in 2022 — say 2024. Then every day, George Soros sends a 747 to Columbus to disproportionately charge black women to get them to go for abortions in California. Of course, the left will celebrate. With this as a victory for diversity… If that happens, do you need some federal response to prevent it from happening because it’s really scary? I’m very sympathetic to that, actually.”
A way to roll racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism into one to justify a national abortion ban. Vance is evasive about Graham’s Handmaid’s Tale proposal, but his misrepresentations about a nationwide abortion ban do not invoke confidence. He says states must decide when a woman should carry a pregnancy to term (certainly not the women themselves) but there are still 49 days in the campaign. When the defender of the violent marriage-turned-Trump sycophant appears with Graham next month, he may hail a nationwide abortion ban.
Look, the Republicans running for state and federal office know that their extremism about abortion is not supported by the majority of their potential voters. Therefore, they will run, hide and hide in their extreme anti-choice records. Expect vague, cautious answers to questions about their intentions to control women and outlaw abortion while presented as unthreatening family men in jackets.
But nothing stimulates women to create a wave of dissent like tearing up half a century of reproductive freedom and self-determination. No candidate gets an abortion permit from an inhumane voter so bent on harnessing the anger and urgency of the moment that started the march.
Ohio Capital Journal It is part of State Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. The Ohio Capital Journal maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor David DeWitt with questions: [email protected]. Follow Ohio Capital Journal on Facebook And the Twitter.