A Delaware Republican wants to make 'The Handmaid's Tale' a reality for American women.
A Delaware Republican state legislator said the quiet part out loud on Tuesday, when he admitted that two pieces of anti-abortion legislation he is introducing are really aimed at forcing women to give birth to more children than they are willing or able to bear.
"You know, we have a massive problem in this country," GOP state Rep. Richard Collins said in an interview on WGMD-FM, a conservative talk radio station in Delaware, according to audio obtained by RawStory. "Our birthrate is way, way below replacement. You know, we are just not having enough babies."
Collins claimed that one of the reasons women aren't having "enough" babies is because they have legal access to abortion, and are "doing away" with fetuses "before they have a chance to grow into these people that we need to support us."
Unfortunately for Collins, there is no evidence at all to suggest that the birthrate in the U.S. is down because of abortion.
In fact, studies show women are having fewer babies by personal choice, either because they want to focus on their careers or simply cannot afford the cost of a child.
But no birth control method is perfect, and no pregnancy is risk-free — which is why women need access to safe, legal abortion to end a pregnancy that they are unable or unwilling to carry to term.
However, Republicans like Collins are using phony concern for fetuses as an excuse to force women to give birth against their will. This risks women's lives and safety, and violates their constitutional rights to a procedure that has been legal in the U.S. since the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.
Both of the bills Collins introduced — one which would force women to undergo an ultrasound before they could obtain an abortion, and a second banning abortion after 20 weeks gestation — have been rejected as unconstitutional by federal courts when other states have passed them.
In the Tuesday radio interview, Collins claimed his bills would reduce the number of women who had abortions — but also claimed the bills made "very, very minor" changes.
Calling the changes "minor" also trivializes the trauma women would experience from a forced ultrasound, many of which would have to be done transvaginally at the very early stage of pregnancy when most women opt to have abortions.
Similarly, banning abortion after 20 weeks takes away an essential option for women in heartbreaking situations — such as a woman whose health or life would be endangered by carrying her pregnancy to term, or a woman who learns late in pregnancy that her baby would not survive after birth.
Men like Collins are proving that Margaret Atwood's dystopian "Handmaid's Tale" — in which women are enslaved and forced to give birth — might not be dystopian at all if Republicans get their way.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.