Pretend The Coat Hanger Is A Syringe

by Travis Mateer

I am not celebrating, nor am I protesting, the next iteration of national outrage priming the hate pumps for summer. Instead I’m offering the side that feels like it lost something an analogy to help quiet their loud theatrics because it’s really obnoxious, especially considering how claims of bodily autonomy against unwanted medical interventions were treated not that long ago.

I think we can all agree that we want the things we put into our bodies to be as safe as possible, be it fetus vacuum or vaccine, but that simple sentiment has been seemingly eclipsed by two warped modes of absolutist thinking regarding pregnancy and experimental drugs pushed by drug companies.

Bodily autonomy, like free speech, isn’t a light switch that can be turned on and off by the well-intentioned. At least it shouldn’t be. But that is what has happened, and the cognitive dissonance this produces harms us all.

Another thing I think we can all agree on is that politicians are disgusting creatures who will exploit anything for a vote.

On the abortion-sky-is-falling issue, Monica Tranel is out front getting some good media from it.

Tranel said, “Take action. Your vote is the most important thing you can do right now and this November offers a very, very stark choice.” She continued, “This isn’t about abortion because if it was about abortion we would be reducing unwanted pregnancies, and we are doing nothing to do that and doing nothing to support families. This isn’t about abortion. It’s about controlling women. And that’s wrong.”

Monica Tranel is half right, this isn’t about abortion, but what she gets wrong is WHO is being controlled by this SCOTUS decision, and that’s THE WHOLE COUNTRY through the simple tactic of divide and conquer.

While the latest rally was happening yesterday to protest the loss of the supposed right to have an abortion, Harley and his thankfully obscured ass-crack were getting the Fire/EMT response across the street from Missoula County Courthouse.

The disgusting politician responding to THIS deplorable situation is Montana’s current Attorney General, Austin Knudsen, who had this to say recently (emphasis mine):

One caller asked the Attorney General what he can do to help alleviate what he termed the homeless epidemic in Missoula, to which Knudsen said ‘that’s a Missoula problem’.

“A big part of the problem you folks have got here in Missoula, and with all due respect, you folks need to vote better,” he said. “I mean, you’ve got leadership in this town that has turned Missoula into a haven, or a kind of a Mecca for the homeless. You’ve provided a level of services and a level of tolerance for certain types of behavior, and there’s not a lot of punishment going on over here for crimes and misdemeanors. At the end of the day, that comes down to your local elected leadership, whether it’s your city council and clear up to your prosecutors.”

While Knudsen talks shit on Missoula’s supposedly unique homeless problem, the Montana Free Press is reporting on a homeless camp controversy brewing in GREAT FALLS.

In recent months, amid increasing reports of crime in the area and a lawsuit filed by the city against the church, the encampment has become a source of controversy. It’s also indicative of a larger homelessness problem exacerbated by a scarcity of affordable housing and a lack of drug-prevention services.

How did Austin Knudsen miss this? I guess he was too busy pretending to stop human trafficking:

“I’ve seen the tragedy the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people has inflicted on Montana’s tribal communities, both as attorney general and a former prosecutor in Roosevelt County. At the Montana Department of Justice, we’ve taken important steps over the last year to address it, including working to eliminate human trafficking, a problem disproportionally affecting Native American women and girls. Our commitment to reducing the number of missing and murdered Indigenous people and bringing perpetrators to justice in Montana will not waiver.”

I think Austin Knudsen is doing a great job modeling how powerful pretending can be. If the abortion lovers take a few cues from him, I think everything will be just fine.

Thanks for reading!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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3 Responses to Pretend The Coat Hanger Is A Syringe

  1. You might want to read Thomas’s opinion in which, as agent for his fascist wife, he recited the various liberties on his short list for rescission now that Federalist Society picks outnumber the ABA-vetted-as-qualified Justices. You also should read my post explaining why the MT Supreme Court’s Armstrong decision (holding that a statutory amendment effectively denying access to abortion in Montana violated Montana’s constitutional right to privacy secured by Article II, section 10 of the 1972 Montana Constitution) is in jeopardy even if Knudsen loses his MT Supreme Court appeal seeking to dissolve District Court injunctions against enforcement of statutory amendment’s passed by the GOP legislature criminalizing some abortions and making others inaccessible. Consider also that the GOP is two seats away from a two-chamber supermajority enabling referral to the Trumpian electorate of referenda repealing the privacy protection, constitutionally criminalizing abortion, discriminating against transexual and other LGBTQ+ Montanans, abolishing the exclusionary rule (which keeps coerced confessions and unconstitutionally seized material out of evidence in criminal cases), etc.

    To question a “supposed right to an abortion” is to misapprehend the issue. Abortion was never declared to be a constitutional right. If it were a constitutional right, government would likely have to provide for free abortions for the indigent. But you hit the mark with your reference to personal bodily autonomy, and in your characterization of Knudsen. Two MT Justices specially concurred in Armstrong, meaning they agreed with striking down the status at issue, but did not want to be associated with the majority’s expansive declarations about personal bodily autonomy.


    The measure would abolish the at-large election of our state’s Supreme Court Justices, instead electing them from distinct districts. Justices are not supposed to represent majoritarian ideologies of constituents, they are supposed to construe and apply the law without regard to such considerations. The level of competency of Justices will suffer. But most disturbingly, this scheme is nothing more than a plan for capture of our Supreme Court by ideologically far-right judicial activists in perpetuity.

    Turning to the vax issue: it is of course true that whether to be vaxxed is a matter of personal autonomy. The comparison with abortion ends there. The attempt to make a woman’s privacy-based right to choose to terminate a pregnancy prior to the point at which the state has a compelling interest in protecting the unborn fetus, doesn’t wash. The reason: if a woman chooses to terminate pregnancy, her choice will not result in placing other pregnant women at high risk of involuntary abortion! By contrast — as the data now demonstrate — half a million of the million U.S. COOVID-19 deaths would have been avoided had vaccination targets been met. The state has a competing interest in arresting epidemics of dangerous and deadly infectious diseases. Some vax the went too far; they were rescinded or invalidated by courts. Requiring those in certain occupations — such as public school teachers, healthcare workers in contact with patients, et al — was not unreasonable and those who declined had no right to care for patients while.unvaxxed. Bit a major flaw with many of the vax requirements was that no alternative was provided, such as job reassignment, etc. In many cases, however, such a regime would be totally unworkable and comprise public health and patient care.

    With those reservations, I otherwise heartily embrace your observations.

  2. P.S. My usual regret for a few typos.

  3. Eric says:

    You must have been listening to the radio – THE SUPREME COURT IS KILLING WOMEN !

    I think that the entire country needs a refresher course on American Government !

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