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Alabama's Hot-Pepper Law


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Alabama's new law banning nearly all abortions, and making it a near-capital offense for a doctor to perform one, is like biting into a sandwich full of red-hot Carolina Reapers. Averaging 1.6 million Scoville Heat Units, they're the hottest peppers known to man. No one's going to say, "That was delicious!"

Even the most religious of the Christian right—not just Alabamians, but "God's elect" throughout the nation—are running to the bathroom, flushing their mouths with cold water, vomiting and retching, and wondering if the pain will ever end. The law is a monstrosity, and it is having exactly the effect envisioned by those who drafted and passed it.

Driven by the need to enforce the will of a few upon the many, it's an example of how today's legislative playbook works. Make a law that's so unpalatable it will offend even the most rabid supporters. That's what Alabama has done, all with the hope that the law will be vigorously opposed and end up being heard by America's conservatively-skewed Supreme Court.

Nobody believes that the law will stand in its present form, but many think it can be the device for mangling or repealing one of the most important court decisions of all time.

Roe v. Wade is the battle hymn, and the self-righteous, narcissistic, radicalized zealots are launching the attack. Strains of "Onward, Christian soldiers!" move the mass forward, while, on an individual basis, many of the troops question if the cause is really right. Particularly concerned are the ones whose shields and mail have been modified with varying sizes of seamstress' darts to accommodate the female form. As they march, they are considering matters like rape and incest, and the prospect of being forced to bear the child of a monster, and feeding and nurturing that child while holding a hidden resentment for its very existence. Those born in a female form suspect that the voices of 25 men in Alabama's Senate—all smug with their stuffed-shirt righteousness—have twisted the meaning of religion and pulled a fast-one on their constituents.

At the center of the problem is the value of life. There's been much debate on that, but the moral-maniacs have narrowed the definition of "life" right down to a single fertilized egg. These same bigots probably masturbate daily and never even question the matter of killing the little chisel-fishes that start the pregnancy process. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life had the answer in its highly popular song, "Every Sperm Is Sacred," as does the Bible with its assertion that "seed spilt" on the ground is a serious sin.

Is Alabama's next legislation going to address the matter of wasted semen, creating draconian penalties for that, as well? Probably not; the 25 white male legislators would never do that to each other. Nor will they ever support mandatory castration for those who choose to limit the size of their families. (Now, that's a novel idea! Why not? It is, after all, a total solution to the problem. No sex = no pregnancy = no abortions. It all makes perfect sense.) It would be an interesting scenario, indeed, if males were suddenly confronted with the reality—that legislators were given total control over what men choose to do with their own bodies.

I know, the staunch feminist readers are repeating the word: "Yes! Yes!" But, sadly, the voice of a man will carry farther. And, of course, the reality is that sex, for purposes other than making babies, is one of the joys for men and women, so that solution won't fly. The way these sanctimonious SOBs see it, is that women, as always, will have to pay the price of intercourse, dealing with its consequences for a lifetime.

Nature gave men a free pass. Being born into this world as a woman is, in itself, much more than an opportunity. For many, it is a veritable sentence, imposed for having allowed the shine of a gift apple to lure them into "sin."

Every woman in America should be screaming at the top of her lungs. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews. All. What happened in Alabama might be patently ridiculous, yet the growing wave, rising from a miniscule sector of our population, seeks to impose hardship and burden upon women—all in the name of the Christian right. There is no question where this wave originates. The Rabid Orange Raccoon has become the leader of a supposedly-conservative, immoderate right-wing radical base. And, yes, Utah has been complicit in that problem.

America is about freedom—freedom to seek our own happiness and to make our own choices. No self-respecting woman can vote for someone whose agenda is to take that freedom away.

The author is a former Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He resides in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to