The transcendental legislative elections of November are ever closer and encouraged by the populism of the Trump administration, the religious extreme right of the United States is stoking the pace of its political agenda and last week it obtained two important regional achievements: at the initiative of its majorities Republicans, the state of Iowa passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country and the parliaments of Kansas and Oklahoma pushed for twin laws – which must still be approved or vetoed by their respective governors – to allow religious adoption agencies to deny their services to same-sex couples for doctrinal reasons.
The Iowa case promises a crucial legal battle.
According to the new regulations, no woman could abort as soon as they detect heartbeats in the fetus. This occurs around six weeks of gestation, when women often discover their status, so in Iowa many would have no legal option to terminate their pregnancy. But the law does not come into force until July 1 and organizations such as Planned Parenthood, a network of reproductive health clinics, and the American Civil Liberties Union have announced that they will challenge it immediately in court. The bottom line strategy of the radical Republican Party is that the lawsuit reaches the Supreme Court, which with Trump has become a conservative majority, and the draconian normative is approved by the highest authority, reversing what was established in 1973 by the Supreme Court itself in its ruling in the Roe v. Wade case, which pushed for the decriminalization of abortion.
A fundamental howitzer that would lead to a regression of almost half a century in civil rights.
The Iowa Republican governor, Kim Reynolds, signed the anti-abortion law on Friday surrounded by lobbyists, children and pastors. Outside protested a group of women to the voice of “My body, my decision!”. Before stamping his signature, Reynolds declared: “For me, all innocent life is unique and sacred, and today as governor I am doing everything in my power to protect it.” On the street, 32-year-old Jennifer Weatherby, a protester quoted by the local newspaper The Des Moines Register, criticized: “We all know that a veto on abortion will not end abortions, so this would only be ending safe abortion and putting women in danger. ” The governor, also, was aware that the law has a litigation path ahead and sentenced: “I am not going to give up my beliefs. This goes beyond the mere law. This has to do with life. “
The abortion offensive is not exclusive to Iowa. Mississippi passed a bill in March that vetoed abortion in practice after the first 15 weeks and remains in court like Kentucky, which bans it after 11 weeks.
Iowa, which has raised the stakes to a fanatical level with its six-week term, is the original fief of the political power in the US of evangelicals, Christians who defend a literal reading of the Bible, since the end of the seventies the late Reverend Jerry Falwell led from this territory a movement of reaction to the cultural revolution and customs emerged in the sixties. Today, this ultra-right Lutheran is a faction of conservative America without much force to impose its agenda but with enough to push it. In Iowa, for example, for many Republican congressmen, the current prohibition of abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy was enough, but the group of radicals that promoted the law of the heartbeatHe maneuvered to scrape the minimum of 51 votes to approve it.
Similarly, in Kansas, where each year the number of children in need of a home exceeds that of available adoptive families, dissent among Republicans led to the proposal to allow religious entities to reject applications for homosexuals; although in the end the supporters prevailed, like the senator Steve Fitzgerald that celebrated it affirming that “the homosexual agenda” has become “dominant and totally intolerant”. LGBT activists argue that the legal exception of Kansas and Oklahoma – which already existed in Texas, Alabama, South Dakota and Michigan – “legalizes discrimination with taxpayer money,” because adoption houses receive subsidies, and also seek to paralyze them in the courts. TechNech, the association of the most powerful executives in the technology industry,
The relative victories of Christian fundamentalism, however, have been in recent times almost testimonial in comparison with their fiascos. During 2017, in the field of sexual liberties, no one of more than 120 legislative proposals contrary to the right to equality flourished, according to the NGO Human Rights Campaign.
However, his ambitions are gaining strength with the administration of Republican Donald Trump, who has already taken measures such as banning transgender people in the Army – an order annulled by a judge – or suppressing an Obama order to protect transgender minors by demanding schools public that students could choose bathroom according to their gender identity. The man of the religious extreme right in the White House is the vice president Mike Pence, who has always defined himself as a “devout evangelical” and could even reach the Oval Office in this legislature if the president was deposed by one of his scandals, or more forward as a Republican candidate. In 2017, Pence was the first vice president of the United States who participated and spoke at the pro-life March for Life and in the 2018 edition, Trump was the first president to address a few words – via satellite; perhaps to maintain a prudential political distance with Christian extremism.
Last Thursday, National Day of Prayer in the US, Trump signed an order of religious freedom to support the activity of grassroots faith communities and monitor that laws do not force any citizen to violate their beliefs. In the official statement the president was defined, wrapped up at that time in the impious whirlwind created by his alleged relations a few years ago with a porn actress, as “one of the greatest defenders of the sanctity of life in the history of the White House. “
THE ‘CASE OF THE BAKER’, PENDING THE SUPREME
Late this spring or summer, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case of Jack Phillips, the Colorado patissier who five years ago refused on religious grounds to make a bridal cake for a gay couple. Analysts say that this is the Supreme Court’s most relevant decision on sexual liberties since in 2015, in a historic ruling, it legalized gay marriage in the United States. Now the court must decide whether Phillips illegally discriminated against the couple by rejecting them as clients. The government of Donald Trump has transmitted that supports the posture of the pastry chef.
The Supreme Court is currently a conservative majority. Comprised of nine judges, five have been appointed by Republican presidents and four by Democrats. But among the conservatives the vote of Anthony M. Kennedy, who in 2015 voted in favor of the legalization of equal marriage, is uncertain.