Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) weighed in on the Texas “heartbeat” law, which effectively bans abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected (around the sixth week of pregnancy), calling the measure an example of “rape culture” and an attack on “menstruating people” — a “woke” term for biological women.
Appearing on Anderson Cooper’s CNN’s program Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez first suggested that Texas Governor Greg Abbott was “deeply ignorant” of female anatomy and reproductive processes and that the law was emblematic of “rape culture” — a theory that men have a need to control women and express that through actions and laws affecting women’s reproductive choices.
Ocasio-Cortez, though, despite her apparent belief that Abbott’s law harmed women could not bring herself to use the term “women,” instead, dancing around the “transphobic” concept of immutable biological sex by using the term “menstruating persons.”
“I don’t know if he is familiar with a menstruating person’s body. In fact, I do know that he’s not familiar with a female or menstruating person’s body because if he did, he would know that you don’t have six weeks,” she said, referring to the idea that a pregnancy is dated from the beginning of a woman’s last menstrual cycle, making “six weeks” of pregnancy — generally when cardiac activity is able to be detected in a developing unborn child — really that child’s fourth week of life, and two weeks after a woman’s missed period.
Faced with trying to make the point that women would be notably affected by the “heartbeat law” but unable to use the term “woman,” Ocasio-Cortez plunged ahead.
“I’m sorry we have to break down Biology 101 on national television, but in case no one has informed him before in his life, six weeks pregnant means two weeks late for your period,’” she said. “And two weeks late on your period for any person — any person with a menstrual cycle — can happen if you’re stressed, if your diet changes, or for really no reason at all. So you don’t have six weeks.”
Ocasio-Cortez ignored the idea that a “menstruating person” who was experiencing a two-week-late period could take an at-home pregnancy or get a more comprehensive exam at a clinic in order to rule out stress and diet.
The term “menstruating person,” of course, refers to transgender individuals and those who claim to be “non-binary,” meaning they may be biologically female but do not identify fully as either “male” or “female.” Women who have transitioned to male and those who choose not to ascribe themselves to the gender binary, the theory goes, could still have periods and get pregnant, but are not “women.”
She doubled down on the argument just hours later on Twitter.
“The Supreme Court and GOP’s coordinated attack on Roe v Wade isn’t only about abortion rights – it’s also an attack on our overall right to privacy. Roe v Wade allowed SCOTUS to overturn state laws that criminalized private, consensual acts that especially targeted LGBT+ people,” she wrote.
She then doubled down on the idea that women aren’t the only ones who menstruate: “The gutting of Roe v Wade imperils every menstruating person in the US, every person who engages in sex, and every person who values our constitutional right to privacy. Just one reason Roe isn’t a ‘women’s issue’ beyond the fact that people who aren’t women can menstruate too!”
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