The state of Alabama has been in the news as one of the wave of states passing highly restrictive laws on abortion, including a recent one that bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, so early that many women might not even know that they are pregnant. The only exception being the woman’s life being in serious danger, and not even for rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions can be imprisoned for up to 99 years. Alabama already has only three clinics in the state where women can get abortions.
The law was immediately challenged and the trial has just been completed but the judge has not issued an opinion as yet on whether he will grant a preliminary injunction.
The Jackson Women’s Health Organization petitioned the court to block the bill before it becomes law.
Attorneys argued the law is an attempt to defy Reeve’s previous ruling a fifteen-week abortion ban unconstitutional with precedent at the Supreme Court level.
Attorneys with the state argued that while the state respects Reeves ruling, the new measure restricting abortions after six weeks is not a ban and is meant to protect the sanctity of life.
Reeves did seem a bit upset with the challenge saying ‘the act of the legislature smacks as defiance to this court.”
Alabama is already notorious for almost electing Roy Moore, a religious extremist accused of pedophilia, to the US senate and he is reportedly thinking of running again in 2020.
But now comes news that even the state’s public television broadcaster has succumbed to the religious extremists in the state by not broadcasting an episode of the cartoon children’s program that showed two male rat characters getting married.
Alabama Public Television (APT) has refused to broadcast a cartoon which shows a same-sex wedding.
The first episode of the 22nd series of children’s programme Arthur features the character Mr Ratburn marrying his partner, Patrick.
But APT instead ran an old episode, and announced it had no plans to show the premiere.
Programming director Mike McKenzie said broadcasting it would break parents’ trust in the network.
In a statement, Mr McKenzie said “parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision”, and that children “younger than the ‘target’ audience” might watch without parental knowledge.
APT previously refused to broadcast a 2005 episode of the series which depicted Buster, a rabbit, visiting a girl who had two mothers.
Of course, the concern about the potential harm caused to young children is hogwash. There is no evidence to show that young children are harmed by seeing same-sex relationships in the media. What this is all about is not offending the bigots in the state.