Letter to the Editor: 'The Fugitive Pregnant Woman Act of 2022’


I am shocked. What happened to all those Lewis County anti-vaccine and anti-mask mandate protesters?

Conservatives? Nothing represents government intrusion into an individual's life as much as the state forcing a woman to give birth against her will. Mask mandates? Vaccine mandates? Not even close.

The state of Washington has a Democratic majority so the right of a woman to have an abortion in Washington is safe. For now. To be sure, Republican extremists will try to push the idea that a zygote is a person and so there should be a federal ban on abortion.

To deny a woman who has been raped, who is a victim of incest or whose pregnancy endangers her life the right to an abortion is misogyny. As democracies are supposed to do, red state Kansas voters punished freakishly extreme Republican abortion views.

How freakishly extreme? The Republican controlled Idaho legislature recently passed a law that gives each relative of a rapist the right to sue the rape victim for $20,000 if she aborts her rape induced pregnancy. So, ten rapist relatives, $200,000.

There is also a move to restrict the right of pregnant women to travel. Will pregnant women in states with anti-abortion laws who wish to travel to visit relatives in states where abortion is permitted be required to undergo police investigations to determine the true intent of their travel? 

Will those state governments with draconian anti-abortion laws require a pregnant woman to register with a state agency that can then, through credit cards, social media and other technology track her every movement to be sure she does not flee to an abortion-available state? Is that not the definition of a police state?

What will a state like Texas do with its vigilante laws that allow for a cash-strapped or ultra-intrusive neighbor to sue a pregnant woman or those who assist her for $10,000 if they believe she left the state to, or otherwise aborted her pregnancy? 

How is the Texas law any different from the Cold War-era Stasi, or secret police of communist East Germany? They routinely rewarded neighbors, friends and relatives for divulging information about someone they believed did not think the way the government deemed they should.

What sort of nation grows from such a culture of suspicion? Despicable East Germany.

As part of the Compromise of 1850 a provision to update the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was enacted. Dubbed the "Bloodhound Bill," the law required law enforcement and ordinary citizens in the northern free states to assist southern efforts to return runaway slaves to captivity. A $1,000 fine and six months in prison threatened anyone who aided or housed a runaway slave. Southerners going north to catch runaways had only to swear upon their " honor " that the Black person in question was an escaped slave. Many a Black person who had been a free man or woman in the north was shanghaied into slavery for the first time.

Divisive in the extreme, the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 widened, sharpened and deepened northern revulsion toward slavery and many moderates in free states became highly radicalized in opposition to the law. It was a major factor on the slippery slope to civil war.

Should the Texas law be called "The Fugitive Pregnant Woman Act of 2022?" Civil war? Do we really want to go there?


Marty Ansley