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April 06, 2012 9:58 AM Caterpillar Report

By Ed Kilgore

Now that we’ve seen the Jobs Report, how about the Caterpillar Report? You know, the “news” of that imaginary “war on women” cooked up by Democrats and the media.

Here’s a report from Jeffrey Hess of Mississippi Public Broadcasting:

The Mississippi legislature has passed a bill that will require any doctor performing abortions in the state to be a board-certified OB-GYN with admitting privileges at a local hospital. The change could make staffing the state’s sole abortion clinic very difficult, since most of the doctors who practice at Jackson Women’s Health live out-of-state and admitting privileges at the nearest hospital are given only to local physicians.
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to sign the bill into law within days.

This is a very common anti-choice tactic: find some new regulation that would make the operation of rare abortion providers difficult, and enact it into law under the guise of “health” or “safety,” which is kind of rich given the GOP’s general hostility to health or safety regulations in any other area.

If there’s any doubt about the intent of this legislation, Gov. Bryant eliminated it in his signing statement for the bill: “As governor, I will continue to work to make Mississippi abortion-free.”

But Mississippi would be making much bigger news in the war on women if it were up to leading Republicans—and perhaps will yet. From the same report by Hess:

Another controversial abortion restriction bill introduced in the state died in committee this week.
Known as the “Heartbeat Bill,” the proposal would have required doctors to look for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and would have outlawed the procedure if a heartbeat could be detected. The bill likely would have required controversial transvaginal ultrasounds for abortions in the very early stages of pregnancy. Also, it would have set a new standard for the time at which abortion could be banned because fetal heart beats can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The bill had already passed the Mississippi House and was pending in a Senate committee. However, it was never brought up for a vote in that committee before a Tuesday deadline.
The committee chairman, Democratic Sen. Hob Bryan, said he didn’t bring the bill up, because he considered it unconstitutional…..
The bill had high profile support from some of the most influential politicians in the state, including the governor and speaker of the house. Supporters of the bill say they are continuing to look for ways to revive the measure such as attaching it as an amendment to other legislation.

Mississippi Republicans take a particular interest in women’s reproductive rights, of course. This is the state where virtually the entire GOP leadership lined up behind a “personhood” amendment in 2011 that would have sought to make not only all abortions but many forms of contraception, and probably all in vitro fertilization, illegal. (Voters in the state, however, rejected it.)

But I guess in even writing about this, I’m failing to realize that whatever they are actually doing, Republicans only care about growing the economy, putting our fiscal house in order, and most of all, fighting for freedom. I am sure the women of Mississippi in particular feel liberated by the freedom-loving men leading the Republican Party.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • g on April 06, 2012 10:10 AM:

    I'm pleased to see how well the Republican party's efforts at outreach to women is going. Brilliant first initiative? Compare women to insects.

    That will work out well.

  • Carl on April 06, 2012 10:40 AM:

    It's enough to bring you to tears, but nice pick of Mavis doing such justice to the song of the great J. B. Lenior.

  • Julie on April 06, 2012 10:51 AM:

    We "caterpillars" will turn into a stinging horde of butterflies. The sting will be fatal. Republicans, beware!

  • anon's honey on April 06, 2012 10:51 AM:

    Count me as outraged/offended by Republican spokesman Reince Priebus' analogy of a war on caterpillers as well as his total lie that the war on women is a media creation.
    Oh, really?
    The whole world is watching the Republican Party’s War on Women which has included invasive, unwanted and unnecessary mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds, the Blunt Amendment, the Republican Budget Hatchet Job fully endorsed by Romney and Ryan, the weirdness in Arizona where conception takes place before sex, and the fact that over a hundred thousand women have had their health care taken away as a result of reckless Texas. Then there's the obsession of Republicans in taking away our contraception, that this laughably so-called party of freedom is on record as being against women's reproductive freedom.
    And the absolute misrepresentation by Ann Romney that women only care about economics. Very Stepford Wife of her not sticking up for women's rights. It sounds like yet another Romney untruth that women do not mention the right to privacy, dignity, individuality and health care or family planning to her.

    By the way, Reince Priebus actually started looking like a caterpiller when he said that. I kid you not.

  • Josef K on April 06, 2012 10:53 AM:

    Dear gods, what next? When will this madness end?

  • TCinLA on April 06, 2012 11:50 AM:

    Looking back to Phil Ochs' song "Here's to the State of Mississippi" on his "There But For Fortune" album (1966), one sees proof that indeed, "the more things change, the more they remain the same."

    Here's to the state of Mississippi,
    For Underheath her borders, the devil draws no lines,
    If you drag her muddy river, nameless bodies you will find.
    Whoa the fat trees of the forest have hid a thousand crimes,
    The calender is lyin' when it reads the present time.
    Whoa here's to the land you've torn out the heart of,
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    Here's to the people of Mississippi
    Who say the folks up north, they just don't understand
    And they tremble in their shadows at the thunder of the Klan
    The sweating of their souls can't wash the blood from off their hands
    They smile and shrug their shoulders at the murder of a man
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    Here's to the schools of Mississippi
    Where they're teaching all the children that they don't have to care
    All of rudiments of hatred are present everywhere
    And every single classroom is a factory of despair
    There's nobody learning such a foreign word as fair
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    Here's to the cops of Mississippi
    They're chewing their tobacco as they lock the prison door
    Their bellies bounce inside them as they knock you to the floor
    No they don't like taking prisoners in their private little war
    Behind their broken badges there are murderers and more
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    And, here's to the judges of Mississippi
    Who wear the robe of honor as they crawl into the court
    They're guarding all the bastions of their phony legal fort
    Oh, justice is a stranger when the prisoners report
    When the black man stands accused the trial is always short
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    And here's to the government of Mississippi
    In the swamp of their bureaucracy they're always bogging down
    And criminals are posing as the mayors of the towns
    They're hoping that no one sees the sights and hears the sounds
    And the speeches of the governor are the ravings of a clown
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    And here's to the laws of Mississippi
    Congressmen will gather in a circus of delay
    While the Constitution is drowning in an ocean of decay
    Unwed mothers should be sterilized, I've even heard them say
    Yes, corruption can be classic in the Mississippi way
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

    And here's to the churches of Mississippi
    Where the cross, once made of silver, now is caked with rust
    And the Sunday morning sermons pander to their lust
    The fallen face of Jesus is choking in the dust
    Heaven only knows in which God they can trust
    Oh, here's to the land you've torn out the heart of
    MISSISSIPPI FIND YOURSELF ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BE PART OF!

  • j on April 06, 2012 11:57 AM:

    I'm astonished that Romney is saying that when he has the nomination people will really see his views about women, which is what people knew all along that his views change with the wind to whatever position the poor fools who listen want to hear. He promises everything, does nothing.
    Now he is refusing to release any more tax returns, this should be pursued to the greatest extent because the man has a lot hidden.

  • anon's honey on April 06, 2012 12:34 PM:

    As if candidate Romney or his spokesman would imply that Mitt has *other* views for us than the ones he used to lure *conservative* voters.
    This is getting unreal.


    http://feministing.com/2012/04/04/memo-to-robert-ehrlich-we-already-know-romneys-real-views/

    BA-ROCK THE VOTE!!

  • grape_crush on April 06, 2012 12:54 PM:

    I vote to make a 'Caterpillar Report' at least a semi-regular feature.

  • gregor on April 06, 2012 1:17 PM:

    I think this will be a good public demonstration of how empirical science works. In order to prove or disprove the RNC Chairman's assertion, the liberals should, on a previously designated day, all declare in unison that the Republicans are conducting a war on amoeba.

    The readily observed reaction of the press and media will establish the Chairman's point or not.

  • Oh my on April 06, 2012 1:18 PM:

    I vote to make a 'Caterpillar Report' at least a semi-regular feature.

    Seconded

  • exlibra on April 06, 2012 2:24 PM:

    Where would the tanks be, without caterpillars?