As the relevance of the abortion debate in American culture rises, rhetoric seems to be heating up, especially from those on the pro-choice side of the argument.
As is the usual with overly-heated language, a growing number of people are showing their true colors. Caught in the middle of this phenomenon is Alabama state senator Garlan Gudger, who was recently pushed into the limelight by NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Last Friday, in an interview on Capitol Journal, an Alabama public television show, Gudger claimed he, his family, and his colleagues have received numerous threats recently because of his pro-life stance.
“No one should be attacked or be threatened with harm over a difference in opinion,” Gudger said on the issue.
“People have contacted my 15-year-old son on Snapchat and social media,” Gudger continued. “My wife had been contacted that they were going to break into our house and rape and do other things to her. It’s been a lot of stress at our household — and a lot of the other colleagues on the floor the same way. It’s something we have to deal with, and we’re dealing with it.”
The alleged threats come in response to Alabama’s most controversial legislation in recent memory: an abortion bill which bans all abortions except those done to save the life of the mother.
Much of the anger surrounding the new law is likely spurred by the lies and misconceptions which have been spread about it by prominent figures, such as those from New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who claimed on Twitter:
Alabama lawmakers are making all abortions a felony punishable w jailtime,incl women victimized by rape+incest.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 15, 2019
Of course, no added punishments for rapists.
It’s going to @GovernorKayIvey‘s desk. She will decide the future of women’s rights in Alabama.https://t.co/IRR0EtsxHp
Despite AOC’s claim, the Alabama abortion bill would not, in fact, punish women for having an abortion. According to Section 5 of the bill:
No woman upon whom an abortion is performed or attempted to be performed shall be criminally or civilly liable. Furthermore, no physician confirming the serious health risk to the child's mother shall be criminally or civilly liable for those actions.
While Gudger did admit that the heat coming his way has lessened “a little bit,” needless to say, it is still a very raw issue.