Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dispatches From the War on Jezebels and Unwomen

While fundies across America are marching towards the state of South Carolina in order to plunge it into the Dark Ages, over in South Dakota a Sioux leader is planning to transform her reservation into an oasis of modernity:

Oglala Sioux Tribe President Cecelia Fire Thunder says a clinic on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation could provide abortions if South Dakota’s new abortion ban goes into effect.
And get this:
The new South Dakota law bans all abortions except to save the life of the mother — with no exceptions for rape or incest.
(Emphasis added, obviously.)

The irony is delicious. According to the self-legitimating narratives of colonialism, the European settlers brought "civilisation" to Native Americans; today, in South Dakota at least, the Native Americans themselves are the defenders of "civilisation," while the rest of the country lurches towards Gilead.

UPDATE: (With a nod to David Heidelberg) Bill Napoli, the Republican State Senator pushing this issue, and who thinks most abortions are carried out for "convenience", is charitable enough to allow one exception:
A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.
So there you go. You can't just be any old rape victim: you have to be religious, a virgin who plans to remain a virgin until marriage, and the rape has to be especially brutal, and it has to involve sodomy. For the rest of you: tough. You baby-killing sluts.

As you might imagine, this isn't really about humanitarianism at all. It's about the culture wars. Sen. Napoli believes that outlawing abortion will return South Dakotans to a Golden Age of shotgun weddings and backyard abortions:
When I was growing up here in the wild west, if a young man got a girl pregnant out of wedlock, they got married, and the whole darned neighborhood was involved in that wedding. I mean, you just didn't allow that sort of thing to happen, you know? I mean, they wanted that child to be brought up in a home with two parents, you know, that whole story. And so I happen to believe that can happen again.