It’s not just the Republican House: Republican state legislatures are going completely off the deep end too

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Republicans in Congress continuously flood the news cycles with policy initiatives that can often be described as offensively disastrous. In addition, individual Congressional Republicans routinely make headlines for shockingly insensitive, inflammatory, or vile comments. Unfortunately, Republican lawmakers in state legislatures across the country are not so different.

Republicans in the Iowa state legislature recently introduced a bill that would criminalize mifepristone, which is one of two medication abortion drugs. If passed, the bill would make it a felony to “manufacture, distribute, prescribe, dispense, sell or transfer” any form of this drug. Violating the law could trigger a 10-year prison sentence as well as a fine of up to $13,660.

In South Carolina, House GOP leaders expressed their dissatisfaction with their colleagues in the Senate for introducing a bill banning abortion after six weeks. Republicans in the House all voted in favor of their own bill that would ban nearly all abortions at conception. According to reporting from The Post and Courier, the House debate “sounded like an extended, conflicting sermon, as legislators on both sides cited Scripture to make their case and accuse each other of playing God.”

Individual Republican state legislators are also standing out for the wrong reasons, giving Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and other outspoken counterparts in Congress a run for their money. The latest example is Alaska State Rep. David Eastman, who just earned his second censure for a remark he made this week at an Alaska House Judiciary hearing.

Questioning an expert about the long-term effects of child abuse, Eastman asked what he thought about an argument that “in the case where child abuse is fatal, obviously it’s not good for the child, but it’s actually a benefit to society because there aren’t needs for government services and whatnot over the whole course of that child’s life.” Eastman then made clear the expert understood he was talking about the death of an abused child as a “cost savings” to the government.

In his censure hearing following that inhuman remark, Eastman cast the sole vote against his censure, painting himself as a victim of an “outrageous accusation.” Six years ago, Eastman because the first-ever Alaska House member to be censured for another disgusting remark. Eastman claimed that some people in his state tried to get pregnant to gain Medicaid travel funding for medically necessary abortions. He said some villagers “are glad to be pregnant so that they can have an abortion because there’s a free trip to Anchorage involved.”

Today’s Republican Party is an ever-growing affront to decency and democracy. Lawmakers who were elected to represent their constituents with humility are instead attracting humiliation for draconian policies and monstrous remarks. While nationwide media coverage focuses on Congress, a look at state legislatures reveals they’re also crawling with reprehensible, off-the-rail Republicans. It is far beyond the political pale.

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