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A new post by The ReidOut blogger Ja’han Jones has urged the pro-abortion movement to stop beating around the bush and call abortion bans “slavery”.
Jones began his Wednesday post by mentioning how the pro-life movement disguises itself in positive-sounding language in order to further its agenda. “The abortion debate is plagued by euphemisms that favor the anti-abortion movement. The most obvious example of this is ‘pro-life’, the nonsensical term that anti-abortion activists have adopted to sanitize their position against bodily autonomy.”
He urged abortion rights advocates to start calling pro-life laws and abortion bans “what they really are: slavery” or “forced labour.”
He explained: “What is slavery but claiming dominion over a body that is not yours? And in this case right-wing lawmakers are claiming ownership over women’s bodies pregnant because they claim to have a vested interest in the babies these bodies can produce.”
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“It’s literally forced labor,” Jones said.
A recent New York Times opinion column argued the same, stating that the overturning of Roe v. Wade takes us back to when slave women were forced to give birth.
Jones then cited an article by an attorney named Carrie Baker that appeared in Ms. Magazine in May. Baker asserted, “Regardless of compensation or not, the labor of gestation and childbirth is an intimate, invasive, and grueling form of labor.”
The attorney went so far as to say the forced birth violates the 13th Amendment, which prohibits slavery. “When undertaken voluntarily, motherhood can be a labor of love. But when states impose this labor on a woman, the government imposes a form of involuntary servitude prohibited by the 13th Amendment,” she wrote. .
Jones resonated with this argument, commenting, “The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery or indentured servitude ‘except as punishment for a crime,’ and states clearly violate it by forcing women into unwanted pregnancies. .”
The author also claimed that Republican-backed abortion bans in various states reminded him of “fugitive slave laws,” which existed before the 13th Amendment. He cited Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson’s recent MSNBC interview, in which she claimed that “states banning women from traveling for abortions are ‘reminiscent of slavery.’
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As Ja’han Johnson explained, “It was a reference to the Fugitive Slave Laws, which predated the 13th Amendment and mandated that enslaved people who had escaped be returned to the people who owned them. “
He backed up the claim, referring to current and future abortion laws in red states. “Texas and Oklahoma already have constitutionally questionable laws prohibiting women from leaving the state to have abortions, and more GOP-led states should introduce similar laws,” he wrote.
Johnson also quoted Elie Mystal, author of The Nation and frequent MSNBC guest, who wrote last March that these states “borrow traces of the sadistic logic and psychological tactics of the slavers of this country.”
In conclusion, Johnson called Republicans a “Confederate-obsessed GOP” and said the party was “trying to emulate the social environment its virulently anti-American ancestors created before the Civil War. But when Republicans embrace policies in pursuit of that goal, it behooves us all to give it a name: slavery revisited.”
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