Good luck with your plan to control Florida women, dude

Photo by Victor Moriyama/Getty Images
State Rep. Mike Hill. Wikipedia photo.

Women are becoming CEOs, joining the military, voting, running for office, walking around like they’re as good as a dude! And some men just can’t take it, dang feminists busting their nads. Their response is to concoct ever more absurd ways to control women’s bodies.

Florida Rep. Mike Hill of Pensacola has come up with what he no doubt thinks is a brilliant plan: stop a woman getting an abortion before she even knows she’s pregnant. He’s filed a bill that would outlaw abortions as soon as a physician can detect a heartbeat. That’s usually at about six weeks. At that point, you’re not sure whether it’s just a missed period or there’s a tadpole-like fetus in there.

Not that Hill will allow the thing to be called a “fetus:” throughout his bill’s text, “fetus” is theatrically crossed out and replaced with “unborn human being.”

Hill is an extremist and a Grade A attention hog, almost rivaling his idol, Donald Trump. An Air Force vet and the first African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to the legislature from West Florida, Hill likes to make headlines. He has advocated for Donald Trump’s often-vandalized star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame to be moved to Pensacola, where barefoot virgins would lovingly tend it. (Only the part about the barefoot virgins is made up). He thinks America should expel the “demonic Muslim horde.” In December 2018, he proposed a measure to ban the removal of Confederate monuments from public property. He describes Robert E. Lee as a “gentleman” and a “Christian.” Slavery, according to Hill, wasn’t the core cause of the Civil War. It was money and, as he told Miami New Times, “lifestyle.”

Hill makes clear he is a proud product of the 1950s. He suggested that Rebekah Bydlak, his Republican primary opponent in 2018, couldn’t be a good legislator because she’s not a mother. He declares “America was founded on Christian principles.” Healthcare for all is anti-American. Everybody ought to be armed to the teeth.

And “pre-born babies” should be allowed “to discover all that America has to offer them”–which, let us note, does not include guaranteed healthcare or a decent education.

In Hill’s bill, a doctor performing an abortion on a woman whose “unborn human being” has a detectable heartbeat, but who cannot provide a pile of paperwork proving she’s the victim of rape, incest or trafficking, would be charged with a third-degree felony.

The upshot is that a fully-formed, thinking female cannot decide for herself how to use her body. She’s essentially captive to a thing the size of a lima bean that can’t live outside her. Woman 0, Fetus 1.

She should have squeezed that aspirin between her knees just a little harder, huh?

The extreme right in this country don’t really care about babies (born ones, that is); they’re obsessed with regulating sexuality. They don’t want gays to marry (or adopt children), they don’t want women having sex on women’s own terms.

They don’t want a woman president. They’re terrified of equality. Hell, between them, Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP Droogs saw to it that the number of Republican women serving in Congress was cut by half in the 2018 midterms.

They liked America so much better before all these uppity chicks started calling football games on ESPN.

From the “pussy-grabbing” tape to the hush money paid to Stormy and the Playmate to undermining pay equity to hiring a White House full of men accused of domestic violence to his support of pedophile Roy Moore to the appointment of the ghastly Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court, Trump is the most anti-woman president we’ve ever had. Under his “leadership,” the Republican Party has become a festival of misogyny, conceived by the Religious Right (which, as the bumper sticker says, “is neither,”), born unto the Freedom Caucus, and inflicted on a nation in which reproductive rights have long been settled law–despite the best efforts of the Birmingham Clinic bomber in 1998, the 2015 shooting deaths of three at the Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs, the man who murdered Dr. David Gunn in 1993, and the man who murdered Dr. Paul Bayard Britton and James H. Barrett in 1994–both in Pensacola, the town Hill calls home.

Not that Mike Hill, good Christian that he claims to be, would endorse violence. Not exactly, though his website leads with a hissy fit about the modest measures passed in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting last year, which he calls “emotional mob rule,” and a promise to overturn the bump stock ban and the weak little attempt to deny guns to crazy people. Hill dismisses restrictions on firearms or attempts “to prevent future murders through legislation, something that God Himself hasn’t achieved.”

Gun control is bad; controlling women is fine.

Hill’s fetal heartbeat bill is as unconstitutional as they come. He surely knows that. But he probably doesn’t care. Like many on the Rabid Right, he’s waiting for either the new high court to overturn Roe or for Judgment Day–whichever comes first.

 

Diane Roberts
Diane Roberts is an 8th-generation Floridian, born and bred in Tallahassee, which probably explains her unhealthy fascination with Florida politics. Educated at Florida State University and Oxford University in England, she has been writing for newspapers since 1983, when she began producing columns on the legislature for the Florida Flambeau. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Oxford American, and Flamingo. She has been a member of the Editorial Board of the St. Petersburg Times–back when that was the Tampa Bay Times’s name–and a long-time columnist for the paper in both its iterations. She was a commentator on NPR for 22 years and continues to contribute radio essays and opinion pieces to the BBC. Roberts is also the author of four books, most recently Dream State, an historical memoir of her Florida family, and Tribal: College Football and the Secret Heart of America. She lives in Tallahassee, except for the times she runs off to Great Britain, desperate for a different government to satirize.

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