Texas v. Women
"Men, especially of the religious and sexist variety, should not be writing laws governing women's bodies," says Lindy Li
Nothing highlights the hyprocrisy of today’s GOP quite like the current “My Body, My Choice” debate.
On the (supposedly “pro-life”) Republican side, anti-maskers are attempting to invade schools and literally killing children to insist on the “freedom” to spread a deadly disease and potentially take all of our freedoms away.
Meanwhile, despite the fact that all available research shows that making abortion illegal doesn’t stop abortions, it just makes them deadlier for women, Republicans are accelerating their decades-long war on reproductive freedom, most notably with a new Texas law that the post-RBG, Federalist-Society-packed Supreme Court allowed to go into effect this week.
As activist Lindy Li told CNN last week: “So many aspects of the law are particularly heinous. For example, neighbors or any random person can file a lawsuit against a woman or an abortion provider or even a friend who drives a woman to Planned Parenthood… they can file a lawsuit and collect a $10,000 bounty.”
I reached out to Lindy Li to get her take on the stakes ahead for all women—and all who care about reproductive freedom, healthcare and the future—through this email interview:
Q&A with Lindy Li
Why is this new Texas law so bad?
The Texas measure essentially bans all abortion, as most women do not know that they are pregnant at six weeks. As a woman, I know how erratic and unpredictable our periods can be. They are not always a reliable indicator of pregnancy and are mercurial, subject to the stresses and vicissitudes of our day. Putting all that aside, men, especially of the religious and sexist variety, should not be writing laws governing women's bodies.
How significant is it that this is not a “final” ruling against Roe v. Wade?
That’s just a Republican talking point. Roe v. Wade is effectively dead in Texas, where websites are already active that allow people to report women and claim their bounties. We’ve already seen many Republican-led states seeking to emulate Texas’s cruel and misogynistic law, including Florida. Governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis appear to be competing to see who can out-Trump and out-conservative the other on a daily basis.
What do you expect SCOTUS to do next?
I expect SCOTUS to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, effectively overturning Roe v. Wade. The conservative majority, all of whom are fervent Catholics, does not need Chief Justice John Roberts to overturn what most Americans and I consider to be settled law, as the number five is essentially all that matters when it comes to the Supremes. I’m a lifelong Christian and pray every night but would never, ever dream of imposing my faith on others. Because of the deeply rooted misogyny, bigotry, and hypocrisy of religion, I have actually decided to not attend church for the foreseeable future. The cognitive dissonance for me now is simply too extreme.
What are other states already doing to emulate Texas?
The Texas Lieutenant Governor says many states are already banging on his door to see how they can best imitate Texas’s law. The domino theory may not have applied when it came to the spread of Communism during the 1960s and 1970s, but it certainly applies here. We’re already hearing that at least half a dozen other states—including Florida—are considering similar laws. The wall of women’s rights is falling across the nation.
What can Congress do? What’s the future of the Women’s Health Protection Act?
I’m not hopeful about this current Congress. I love my party and am a faithful and loyal Democrat, but I often wish there were more verve and fight in our leaders (elect more women!). We should eliminate the filibuster in order to enshrine reproductive and voting rights into law, but two Senators, Manchin and Sinema—a fellow woman, mind you—famously stand in the way.
What advice do you have for President Biden on ending the filibuster?
Please end the filibuster, President Biden. The filibuster is Senate-created and can be Senate-dismantled. The rule is not a Constitutional sacrament. Are we really going to allow a procedure to doom our democracy? The case for nuking the filibuster is overwhelming.
What can individuals do—and what plans are being made—to fight back?
I hope you can join us as we march nationwide on October 2nd. Please call your elected officials. Make them feel the heat. Californians need to vote hell no on the recall before or on September 14th. My generation especially needs to come out in an avalanche for the 2022 midterm elections. We need to turn our state houses and governorships blue. Register at least five friends. Bring them to the polls. If you can do more, then great, but it’s good to give people a precise metric. I myself will be traveling around the country drumming up support, fundraising for candidates, speaking to different groups, and so much more. I know we millennials are famous for saying literally. But literally everything is at stake.
Lindy Li is a political commentator, campaign advisor, activist, and former political candidate who serves as the Women’s Co-Chair and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Chair at the Democratic National Committee. She also served on the Asian-American outreach team for the Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign.
Follow her on Twitter: @lindyli.
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