(CU Independent illustration/Kelly Kaoudis)
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Whoever thought a tampon couldn’t serve as a form of protest clearly isn’t well-versed in the controversy that has recently occurred in Georgia.
Bobby Franklin, the notorious Republican Representative, has recently introduced a ten-page bill that will criminalize miscarriages and classify abortion as “prenatal murder.” Under this controversial bill, all miscarriages will result in an investigation by the state to ensure that they were not caused by any “human involvement whatsoever” and abortions would be punishable by life imprisonment or death.
This brings a whole new meaning to the saying “an eye for an eye” and seems almost to revere those who bomb abortion clinics as early crusaders for the pro-life cause. While some find Franklin’s bill laughable and feel that the likelihood that it will pass as minute, others are outraged enough to take action.
This unfavorable bill has made waves in the feminist community. Armed with verbal pitchforks, women from coast to coast are outraged with the Franklin’s second attempt at stripping women of their rights.
Franklin’s first inauspicious bill sought for rape, stalking, and domestic abuse victims to no longer be referred to as “victims” but instead as “accusers”, while people who suffer from other crimes will still be referred to as victims. In turn, this means that rape victims will no longer be protected from being billed for the medical investigation of their rape if their rapist is acquitted.
Many feel that it is not a coincidence that both of Franklin’s bills directly or indirectly target women and question if these bills have sexist undertones. Some may argue that Franklin has been married for 27 years and thus couldn’t possibly be misogynistic. However, the longevity of Franklin’s relationship with his wife does not translate into being a proponent for women’s rights, nor does it mean that he approves or accepts modern women in general.
Perhaps Franklin, a strong opponent of abortion and gay rights, has allowed for his strong Christian beliefs to overshadow the sanctity of the separation of church and state. In his essay “The Greatest Threat” Franklin quotes Leviticus 26 and in Deuteronomy 28 when he writes: “God…blesses the culture that obeys Him and…curses the culture that disobeys Him.”
It may even appear Franklin has God complex because he is taking the responsibility for punishing the disobedient culture with bills that penalize the unruly with the possibility of death.
The “tampons as evidence” campaign started with blogger Devery Doleman who wrote a sarcastic “letter” to Franklin saying: “I think there is a killer inside me. The killer is MY UTERUS. Help me stop it before it kills again.”
From there, blogger Jill Filipovic caught the menstrual bug and wrote her own satirical form letter. She urged women to take pictures of their used tampons and pads and send them to Bobby Franklin so that the Georgia State Police “can dedicate valuable time and resources to investigating (the) deaths…(of) Georgia citizens.”
Filipovic even went so far as to offer to drop off her “latest used tampon…,pads, feminine hygiene products, and soiled panties from (her) current menstrual cycle” off at Franklin’s office “should (he) want to examine them (himself).”
This demonstration picks apart Franklin’s meddlesome bill piece-by-piece and parodies it by taking the realities of intruding on a woman’s privacy to an extreme to make a point. To enforce such a bill would require that every Georgian woman would need to document every period stain as evidence, a task that is not only ludicrous but also disturbing.
If this sort of legislation should continue will men need to document every spillage of semen not used toward procreation? Or will these privacy-stripping bills be limited to women? It seems as if Orwell’s dystopian future is testing out the waters in Georgia.
While Bobby Franklin is considered a fringe politician and Doleman and Filipovic’s stance might be deemed disgusting and extreme, the fact that this bill isn’t immediately being laughed out of the House of Representatives is disturbing. It has been over 38 years since Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973 and ever since it has been in jeopardy. Whatever your stance in the pro-life/pro-choice debate it cannot be ignored that to separate the fetus from the woman is to deny a woman of her personhood and that would be a great loss indeed.
If you would like to participate in the protest against Franklin and his controversial bill pictures may be sent to:
Rep. Bobby Franklin
401 Coverdell Legislative Office Building
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jacklynn Blanchard at Jacklynn.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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