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Opinion | That’s what she said

The fallout from Dobbs has been catastrophic for women’s healthcare rights, and empty promises that it’ll all be fine aren’t helping.

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Don’t worry about IVF. 

It’ll be fine, the Republicans said. No sweat. Trust us. This was all just an unfortunate blip – no biggie at all – just Alabama being Alabama. We support IVF and the desperate would-be parents who are at their final, very costly option. We’ll get it fixed. 

OK, cool, said the Democrats. Here’s a bill that will fix the problem and ensure that all people can have access to fertility treatments and protect clinics and healthcare professionals who provide such treatments. We look forward to your support on this very important issue to all women. 

Not so fast, said the Republicans. Why are you trying to scare people? 

Huh? But you just said that … 

This is all a big political scheme by you Democrats, using fear and scare tactics to trick people into believing that there’s a huge problem. 

The Supreme Court in Alabama ruled that embryos are people and IVF clinics could face criminal charges for killing them, the Democrats said, flabbergasted. This is a problem in red states with insane personhood laws. 

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No one really believes that, said Republicans. 

Pardon us, but we do, said the Southern Baptists. No IVF for anyone. We’re banning it all. Those are tiny humans in those test tubes.  

See, said the Democrats. 

Oh, stop! That’s the Southern Baptists, said the Republicans, and who the hell – besides us when we take their money – is listening to them anymore? 

Well, there’s also the two senators from Alabama – Katie Britt and Tommy Tuberville – who have been all over the place on this. In the same interview, Tuberville said he was “all for” the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that led to IVF clinics shutting down in the state and that he was also for people “having more kids.” Britt, in the meantime, keeps telling people that it’s no big deal and that us Democrats are just scaring people, but she can’t seem to put together a bill that will protect IVF or find the political courage to vote for a bill that would protect those services. 

Those bills go too far and trample on religious rights, said Republicans, by forcing healthcare providers to offer those services. 

That wasn’t in the latest bill, said Democrats. It merely protected those who did offer the services. 

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We like our bills better, said the Republicans. 

Ha! Even your own party doesn’t like your bills, said the Democrats. No bill has support. The one Britt and Ted Cruz put together couldn’t find a fourth sponsor, much less a voting majority. Also, why is it only “protecting religious freedoms” when you’re denying someone the right to a service and not when protecting someone’s right to receive that service? 

Stop trying to confuse us with logic, said the Republicans. The bottom line is we support IVF, because the polling says more than 70 percent of our voting base – and that includes the evangelicals – supports access to IVF. 

You know almost the same percentages support access to contraception, too, asked the Democrats. 

Contraception is not in danger, said Republicans. 

You should tell that to the religious fruitcakes in your party who keep talking calling IUDs and other contraception “abortifacients,” said the Democrats. There are efforts in at least 10 states to ban some form of contraception, and our efforts to protect access have been blocked by Republicans time and again. 

Liar! Name one, demanded Republicans. 

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Last week, when Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would have enshrined access to contraception into law, said Democrats. 

That was a bad bill, because … well, it was bad, said Republicans. Republican leadership certainly wouldn’t support a ban on contraception of any kind. You can’t find one. 

How about the guy who will be the Republicans’ nominee for president? Didn’t he say during an interview that it could be left up to states but he was working on a policy, asked Democrats. 

Fake news! He clarified those remarks later. He said he would never support a restriction on contraception, the Republicans said. It’s settled. 

Oh, settled, huh? Where have we heard that before? 

Still caught up on the Dobbs decision, we see. Look, we left things up to the states, said the Republicans. And maybe there have been a few bumps, like this IVF thing and the contraception stuff, but it’ll be fine. We’ll get it worked out, trust us. What more do you want? 

For you to get your religion out of someone else’s doctor visit, out of someone else’s family planning, out of our bedrooms and keep it to yourself as our constitution once required, said Democrats. 

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And women everywhere. 

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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