An Anti-Abortion Creep: Worse Than a Snake in the Grass

No disrespect meant to reptiles when Jonathan Mitchell is compared to a snake in the grass.

Let me be clear that I mean no disrespect to reptiles when I note that Jonathan Mitchell is a snake in the grass.

An extremist right-wing Texas lawyer, Mitchell is actually creepier and altogether more diabolical that your average serpent could think of being. Mitchell slithers around the country as a self-appointed anti-abortion vigilante, terrorizing women’s advocates, health clinics and doctors. And now (turning truly creepy), he’s singling-out individual women with his bullying legalistic theatrics.

By perverting an obscure judicial procedure, called Rule 202, Mitchell threatens to publicly expose and sue women who make an entirely legal, out-of-state trip to terminate a pregnancy. Moreover, he threatens to sue any of her family, friends and others who aid or encourage her pursuit of reproductive freedom. Moreover, even without actually suing them, Mitchell proclaims that he can use the coercive power of government to compel each of them to be interrogated.

This gross assertion of theocratic power, wielded by a religious partisan with zero public authority, goes beyond mere tyranny. He is resurrecting the hysterical demagoguery and satanic extremism of Cotton Mather and the Puritan fanatics who fomented the Salem Witch Trials and executions of the 1690s. Mitchell and his theocratic clique are trying to weaponize Rule 202 so false accusations and even gossip can be enough to subject any woman to a hostile court-ordered grilling.

Mitchell’s witchcrafters don’t need to win or even actually file such frivolous and venomous legal actions, for their goal is raw intimidation. Simply accusing vulnerable women of being abortion witches would force them to hire lawyers and endure public inquisition — or surrender their liberty without due process.

Snake in the grass vipers are not this vicious! To help reject Mitchell’s misogynistic scheme, go to Abortion Access Front.

What If Our Lawmakers Were Working-Class People?

Whatzamatta with Congress? And most of our state legislatures, too?

Why do these so-called representative bodies keep stiffing middle-class and poor families, refusing to respond to the most urgent needs and goals of this vast majority of Americans?

Take lawmakers’ indifference to the child care crisis crushing the finances, health and spirit of millions of working families. Plus, intentionally denying basic health care for low-income children in this spectacularly rich nation.

These common incidents of child neglect are products of the creeping plutocratic ideology now dominating capitols across America. Most legislatures today push corporate profiteering, including re-legalizing robber baron exploitation of children. Bills to reinstate child labor are being advanced in 28 states, and 12 have already passed!

Why is the workaday majority being ignored and corporate supremacy being imposed over the common good? In a word: class.

Think about it: Who holds nearly all of the seats in Congress and in state legislatures? Bankers, lawyers, corporate executives, lobbyists, millionaires and ideological goofballs. Wait — no plumbers, mechanics, taxi drivers, trash haulers, hotel housekeepers, computer programmers, farm workers — or, golly, no child care providers?

No. Even though half of America’s jobs are working-class, roughly 1% of our nation’s 7,300 state legislative seats are held by the working-class people who actually make America work. As the old saying goes: If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. And our political system has been rigged by corporate lobbyists, lawmakers and judges to hold public office hostage to Big Money — intentionally excluding the working-class majority from its rightful place at America’s policy table.

To start freeing democracy from corrupt corporate money, go to Public Citizen.

Jim Hightower