Credit: Screen grab
Angry Feminists Launch Purge Against White Women Over Alabama Abortion Bill: You Did This!

Angry Feminists Launch Purge Against White Women Over Alabama Abortion Bill: You Did This!

“WW continue to uphold the patriarchy.”

The Alabama Senate approved a measure on Tuesday that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state, and advocates of women’s rights declared a national crisis.

Activists and journalists sought to shame the 22 Republican senators who voted against including an exception for rape or incest in the legislation, pointing out that they are all white men. However, the racial politics also turned inward and threatened to undermine feminists’ united front on the issue.

Most prominently, Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour pointed to what she said was the complicity of white women in Georgia’s “heartbeat bill,” which Gov. Brian Kemp singed into law last week. Seemingly dismissing most of her allies in opposing the law, Sarsour faulted white women for voting for Kemp in even higher numbers than white men.

“That’s where the work needs to happen. WW continue to uphold the patriarchy,” she declared on Twitter, seemingly continuing her attempt to purge white women from the movement.

Sarsour’s fellow feminists echoed her sentiment, with many angrily citing white women’s disproportionate support for President Donald Trump in 2016 and for failed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore in 2017.

Some said that black women would be most affected by the legislation, which bans abortions at every stage of pregnancy and criminalizes the procedure for doctors, who could be charged with felonies and face up to 99 years in prison.

Others noted that black women are three times as likely as white women to die due to complications related to pregnancy. The Alabama bill includes an exception for cases when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest.

The female feminists were not without allies. Some black men agreed that white women are part of the problem.

Transgender woman journalist Katelyn Burns spoke out for transgender men, who she said have less access to abortions than biological women.

Even white liberal women got on board. Looking forward, one woman indignantly predicted that Alabama’s female governor, Kay Ivey, would sign the bill into law, though she has yet to commit to doing so.

If Ivey enacts the legislation as expected, the ACLU and others have vowed to challenge it in federal court. Even supporters of the legislation expect that a lower court will block the measure.

Indeed, the conservatives behind the bill have said that their real goal is to test the Supreme Court’s commitment to abortion, with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade, a landmark 1972 ruling that pro-choice advocates cherish for guaranteeing access to the procedure.

Eric Johnston – the founder and president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, who drafted the legislation – told The New York Times on Tuesday that he does not support the spate of other abortion restrictions passed this year in Georgia and elsewhere. To his thinking, anything less than a full ban is a wasted opportunity.

“Why not go all the way?” he asked.

Cover image: An illustrative image of people dressed as characters from 2013’s “The Purge.” (Screen grab)

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