Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Back to the Future, Part 4: If Only They Were Making America Great Again for Women . . .

Guys Just Wanna Have Fun--Regulating Women's Bodies


Thirteen years before he ran for president with a strong anti-abortion position, the God-Emperor for conservative Republicans, Ronald Reagan, approved an act liberalizing abortion law. On 15 June 1967, just six weeks into his term, Governor Reagan signed the Therapeutic Abortion Law. The optics were what you would expect for politics in 1967:

Reagan's Legislative Secretary is behind him;
on the far left is Republican assemblyman Craig Biddle,
looking over his shoulder is the Democratic Senator Anthony Bellenson

Yeah, it was four white guys happy to be in charge of what women could do with their bodies, but, hey!, it was FIFTY YEARS AGO! (And, afterwards, when he realized what he'd done, Reagan was really, really, really sorry about that bill . . . )

But, not to be outdone in the we're-the-boss-of-you department, here is George Bush signing the "partial birth" abortion ban in 2003:

There is a Democrat in this photo--or at least his head is there;
Senator Jim Oberstar was a pro-life Democrat

More smiling white guys! (And, yes, that's the paragon of virtue, Dennis Hastert, just to Bush's right--so nice to know he's thrilled with the prospect of regulating what women can do with their bodies and lives.) This picture was notorious for its masculine line-up FOURTEEN YEARS AGO!

But here we are, back to the future, in 2017, reinstating the so-called global gag order, from 1984 (yes, you read that correctly, Nineteen Eight-Four!): 

THE MORE THE MERRIER! From the left: Vice President Mike Pence,
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus,
 National Trade Council adviser Peter Navarro,
 Senior Adviser Jared Kushner,
policy adviser Stephen Miller,
and chief strategist Steve Bannon--
nobody seems to  know who the guy between Miller and Bannon is . . . 

Do these guys never learn? Surely they could have rounded up a female body or two to stand in the frame? (By the way, the policy Trump was reinstating was originally put in place by Ronald Reagan in 1984--Clinton rescinded it in 1993, GW Bush reinstated it in 2001, Obama rescinded it in 2009. I'm tired.)

Anyway, I've been posting under the "Back to the Future" headline sarcastically--under the impression that Trump's desire to turn back the clock would be uniformly bad for women. But looking at this line-up, I'm not so sure now . . . 

For previous "Back to the Future" posts: click for Part 1, for Part 2, for Part 3.