I hate the term "war on women". It's so hackish and echoes with the kind of liberal screechiness that backfires with everyone else. But the fact that there is a wave of laws in GOP controlled states, making abortion harder and harder and more humiliating to obtain, and what can reasonably be described as a full-bore assault on Planned Parenthood, is simply undeniable. And women surely take this personally – hence the extraordinary gender gap this time around. But the Christianist GOP is undeterred. While Oklahoma House Republicans temporarily shelve a personhood bill (similar to the initiative defeated by Mississippi voters in November), the Tennessee House and Senate have moved to authorize prosecution for harming an embryo:
The Senate approved and sent to Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday legislation that allows criminal prosecution for causing the death of "a human embryo or fetus at any stage of gestation in utero." The bill (HB3517) marks the second change in two years to a law that since 1989 had it a crime to cause the death of a "viable fetus." That was changed last year to eliminate the word "viable."
Many in the state are worried about the implications for miscarriage:
[T]his bill goes further than covering, say, a violent attacker harming an expectant mother who then, unfortunately, miscarries. This bill, House Bill 3517 and the Senate’s companion, makes anyone’s actions that presumably cause a miscarriage murder. Opponents of the bill question how law enforcement would actually enforce this law or determine if someone’s action was a direct cause of a miscarriage.
Memphis, Tennessee makes Jezebel's "Ten Scariest Places to Have Ladyparts in America" (but Mississippi wins). Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin is suspending non-surgical abortion services because of a new state law which "requires women visit a doctor at least three times before having a drug-induced abortion, forces physicians to determine whether women are being coerced into having an abortion and prohibits women and doctors from using web cams during the procedure":
Teri Huyck, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, said the law was "ambiguous and difficult to interpret," interfered with the doctor-patient relationship and posed significant risks to doctors. "The added risks of felony penalties for physicians who provide medication abortion are unnecessary and intended to threaten a physician's ability to provide women with medication abortion," Huyck said in a statement from the family planning and reproductive health organization on Friday. About a quarter of abortions in Wisconsin are induced using medication, which can be prescribed by a doctor during the first nine weeks of pregnancy.
Arizona also recently implemented a law making it much more difficult to access medication abortions.