Even though Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina campaigned with the promise that he would focus on the economy and not the relentless conservative obsession with uterine control, he not only signed a new bill dramatically reducing access to abortion on Monday, but his administration worked with the House to craft the legislation. The bill is a hodgepodge of the trendy abortion restrictions adopted by so many other states, including Texas: eliminating insurance coverage for abortion, making patients take abortion pills at the clinic even though it's safer at home, and requiring clinics to meet ambulatory surgical standards, even though such regulations are considered unnecessary and onerous by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It's an insult to doctors, to women, and to all people who aren't distraught by the notion that someone, somewhere is having sex without her express permission.
But McCrory has a plan to make it all OK: cookies! Yes, the governor came out of his mansion to greet pro-choice protesters, who were dressed in '50s-era fashions to represent the era that Republicans want to return women to, and gave them a bunch of cookies. Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Central NC posted a picture.
If McCrory thought the gesture would make him look like a generous sort who reaches out to people who disagree, then it backfired, and not just because he avoided actually meeting with opponents about the law before he signed it. Next to sandwiches, cookies are probably the most potent edible symbol of the belief that women's role is to shut up, give up their ambitions, and return to the kitchen. While it's unlikely that McCrory was deliberately trying to tell the protesters to know their place, that's how the gesture reads. After Rick Perry's mansplaining tour of Texas, it's hard to tell anymore if Republican governors have given up even trying to pretend they respect the female members of the opposition. At this rate, the next Republican governor to sign an anti-choice bill is going to greet protestors with a basketful of aprons emblazoned with anti-choice slogans.
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