At around 12.30 p.m on Juneteenth, with the doors of the legislature locked to the public, Tennessee passed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion bans, one that would prohibit abortion before many patients even know they are pregnant. It includes medically unnecessary, anti-science restrictions, including some rooted in racism and misogyny. If Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signs the bill into law, it will take effect immediately. An emergency lawsuit asks the court to block it.

This law will disproportionately impact Black Tennesseans.   It is a disgrace that in the face of a true public health crisis, Tennessee politicians wasted their time with this last-minute move to attack abortion access before closing up shop this session. We know that the goal of the politicians behind this bill is simple: a total ban on safe, legal abortion, just as the Supreme Court is poised to severely erode Roe v. Wade in a decision due any day.

Tennessee has earned the dubious distinction of being the first state to pass legislation banning abortion since several state governors, including Governor Lee, attempted to use executive orders barring nonessential medical procedures in the wake of COVID-19 to ban abortion. Planned Parenthood and their partners went to court to stop those egregious attempts to exploit a pandemic to block abortion access.  Thanks to a  collective effort access to abortion care has largely been protected.

Now, amidst protests against police violence and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, politicians are doubling down, pushing racist stereotypes and ignoring public health,  to ban abortion. But we won’t let them. We’re going to do everything in our power to fight back and stand up for reproductive freedom.   (Alexis McGill Johnson, Acting President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America).

My comment:  I don’t think Epicurus ever specifically addressed abortion, but were he alive today I think he would take the position that abortion is the business of the mother alone, and that bringing into this world unhappy and unwanted children is both a sin and a blight on society.  The last thing we need is more unhappy, angry and violent young people taking it out on society with gunfire and death.  If you cannot love and cherish a child do not have one!  And certainly do not have one as a result of rape.

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