Pregnant? The GOP wants to track you and any decisions you make

Pregnant? The GOP wants to track you and any decisions you make

Last week three Republican senators gave Americans—and women, in particular—a clear, chilling, and unmistakable taste of how their lives would be altered if Donald Trump is put back into office. 

Republicans do not currently hold the presidency or a majority in the U.S. Senate, but they expect to after the 2024 election. The plans for governance, should Americans place them back in charge, are explicitly set forth in the Heritage Foundation’s 920-page manifesto known as Project 2025, a document that proposes to institutionalize the Christian nationalist ambitions of the anti-abortion lobby at nearly every level of the federal government. These plans are intended to be implemented almost instantaneously upon inauguration of Trump as president.

What that means in real-world terms is that Americans would experience an immediate, radical, and highly unsettling transformation of their relationship to their government. Federal agencies would, almost overnight, become playpens for the hard right, their functions converted and  weaponized to implement social engineering strategies intended to constrain and regulate behaviors that Evangelical Christians disapprove of. One of their primary targets will be the behavior of women and others who become pregnant.

To that end, Republican senators are carefully laying the legislative groundwork that will enable these strategies at the federal agency level. Last week, Alabama’s Republican Senator Katie Britt, together with Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, introduced an Orwellian bill that would establish a federal website, Pregnancy.gov. The website would enable the Department of Health and Human Services to solicit and collect personal identifying information on pregnant women and others, ostensibly for the purpose of providing them with prenatal advice on how to proceed with their pregnancies. The bill parallels an effort by Rubio in January to create a similar website called Life.gov. 

Innocently termed the MOMS Act, the explicit purpose of the legislation is to “support, encourage and assist” women in “carry[ing] their pregnancies to term,” by directing them to so-called pregnancy crisis centers whose purpose is to discourage—and often intimidate—women and others from terminating their pregnancies. The proposed law provides for direct, personal contact to be initiated by a cadre of newly installed, theocratic government employees toward pregnant patients who register their contact information with the site in order to pressure them in their reproductive decisions. It also implements a federalized regimen for child support payments that commences at the moment of pregnancy, laying the groundwork for governmental regulation that treats “fetal personhood” as a recognized status under U.S. law.

This legislation is being touted by Republicans—stung by recent electoral defeats by voters who abhor their forced-birth policies—as an example of their “compassion” toward women and others who become pregnant. What it  reveals, however, is not compassion, but coercion, harassment, and ultimately, control.

RELATED STORY: ‘If Roe can fall, anything can’: Which rights will the GOP come for next?

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