Levin Report

An Insane Missouri Law Prevents Pregnant Women From Getting Divorced—Even If They’re Victims of Domestic Violence

State representative Ashley Aune is trying to fight it, but doesn’t have high hopes.
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Something you might have picked up on over the last several weeks/years/centuries is that there are a disturbing number of people in power who will go to great lengths to control women in America. Not convinced? Thinking of citing the fact that in some countries, women are stoned to death (as though that makes what happens here okay)? Then we’d like to make you aware of a law in Missouri that says pregnant women cannot get a divorce finalized if they’re pregnant—even if said pregnant people are victims of domestic violence.

That law has been on the books since 1973 and was amended in 2016. It’s in the news now because state representative Ashley Aune is horrified. She introduced legislation earlier this month that would undo what she called an “archaic loophole.” Speaking to Fox4KC, Aune, a Democrat, said, “I just want moms in difficult situations to get out if they need to. This is something that was brought to me by folks in my community who shared that it was a huge problem,” Aune said. In a committee meeting, she shared the story of a woman affected by the existing law, saying: “Not only was she being physically and emotionally abused, but there was reproduction coercion used. When she found out she was pregnant and asked a lawyer if she could get a divorce, she was essentially told no. It was so demoralizing for her to hear that. She felt she had no options.”

Aune told The Kansas City Star she first heard about the law from Synergy Services, which provides services to domestic violence survivors. Sara Brammer, the group’s vice president of domestic violence, told the outlet the law “puts families in a bad position” by dragging out the separation process and puts abuse victims in particularly dangerous positions. Matthew Huffman, who works for the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence, told Fox4KC that Aune’s legislation “could literally save lives.... For abusive partners, they might be using reproductive coercion and control to keep their partner pregnant so that they can’t ever actually be granted a divorce.”

Noting the fact that Missouri has effectively banned all abortion, including in cases of rape and incest, Aune said this month: “In a state where we are currently forcing women to carry babies to term, I think it’s important that, you know, women who are in that position who are also looking to get out of a marriage have the capacity to do so.” And yet, she does not have high hopes that her bill will land on Missouri governor Mike Parson’s desk this legislative session. State senator Denny Hoskins, a Republican, told The Kansas City Star that while he would be okay to allow divorces in the case of abuse, i.e., the most extreme circumstances, he is not in favor of letting just any pregnant person decide what to do with their lives. “Just because the husband and wife are not getting along, or irreconcilable differences, I would not consider that that would be a good reason to get divorced during a pregnancy,” he said.

Surprise: Republicans who claim to support IVF backed a life-at-conception bill

It’s almost as though these people are huge hypocrites. Per The Washington Post:

Prominent congressional Republicans are coming out in support of in vitro fertilization days after the Alabama state Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are people and therefore that someone can be held liable for destroying them. But many of the same Republicans who are saying Americans should have access to IVF have cosponsored legislation that employs an argument similar to the one the Alabama Supreme Court used in its ruling.

The congressional proposal, known as the Life at Conception Act, defines a “human being” to “include each member of the species homo sapiens at all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization or cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.” The bill would also provide equal protection under the 14th Amendment “for the right to life of each born and preborn human person.”

The legislation has a whopping 125 Republican cosponsors in the House.

GOP members now threatening to disinvite Biden from the State of the Union, because they are not serious people

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