State Rep. Dan Johnson of Kentucky wants to make it a felony to have an abortion for any reason, defining "abortion" so broadly even miscarriages could be illegal.
Republicans in the House just forced through a bill that would criminalize almost any abortion in the second trimester or later.
The bill — which was pushed hard by disgraced Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned after urging his mistress to get an abortion — is an incredibly extreme violation of women’s rights over their own bodies.
But at the state level, Republicans are pushing even more drastic measures, including state Rep. Dan Johnson of Kentucky.
Johnson — a huge supporter of Donald Trump who calls himself a “pope” and preaches at a church that is half “biker bar” and has its own “gun choir” — most recently drew controversy for a series of racist Facebook posts calling for a ban on Islam and comparing President Barack Obama to a chimpanzee.
Now, he has introduced a bill to completely ban abortion in Kentucky.
In and of itself, that may be nothing new. But Johnson’s bill is cruelly draconian: it defines “abortion” so broadly that it could even apply to a fertilized zygote failing to implant in the uterine wall, which happens naturally to one half of zygotes.
Johnson is not alone. In Idaho earlier this year, state Sen. Dan Foreman — last seen screaming at a constituent at a county fair and telling him to “go straight to hell” — introduced a bill that would make any woman who has an abortion guilty of first-degree murder.
Johnson’s bill is especially appalling amid the backdrop of Donald Trump’s sweeping new executive order giving for-profit businesses the right to refuse to provide birth control to their employees for any reason — a move almost guaranteed to increase the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions.
Despite the fact that abortion has repeatedly been upheld by the Supreme Court as a constitutional right, state lawmakers like Johnson are desperate to take family planning laws back into the dark ages — and hope to score votes off of playing politics with women’s lives and health.
It is time legislators stopped viewing the autonomy of women as a problem and started respecting it as a part of a fair society.