Alabama Rep. McClurkin: Abortion Removes the “Largest Organ” in a Woman’s Body

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Update, 9:15 p.m.: The Alabama House of Representatives passed the bill by a 73-23 vote. It now moves to the Senate.

The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to vote Tuesday on a bill that would place heavy restrictions on abortion in the state because, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin (R), “when a physician removes a child from a woman, that’s the largest organ in a body.”

The bill would place a host of regulations on Alabama’s five abortion clinics. The Montgomery Advertiser reports:

The legislation […] would require physicians at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at local hospitals; require clinics to follow ambulatory clinic building codes and make it a felony — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to dispense abortion-inducing medications.

The requirement that all doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a local hospital is the same rule that is currently threatening Mississippi’s last abortion clinic. Hospitals are not required to grant doctors admitting privileges, so if local hospitals chose not to allow doctors to admit patients, abortion providers will not be able to comply with the law. That is exactly what has happened in Mississippi. (Currently, the clinic in Mississippi is open while it awaits a hearing with the state health department.)

“That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that,” McClurkin told The Montgomery Advertiser. Nevermind that the liver, the second-largest organ after the skin, is about the size of a football and larger than a first- or second-trimester fetus: McClurkin’s assertion that the fetus is an organ contradicts the idea of fetal personhood, a favorite Republican rationale for banning abortion. Organs are not people. That makes McClurkin’s comment possibly the most creative excuse for throttling abortion clinics in a while.

“Her comments alone prove the intent of the bill,” says Nikema Williams, a vice president at Planned Parenthood Southeast. Williams says the bill is  “designed to close down all of the abortion providers in the state of Alabama.” The House of Representatives will vote on the bill Tuesday afternoon, Williams says.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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