How scary have Republicans gotten? Pretty scary. Like spying through a creepy peephole.
Republican Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, is ensuring that he and law enforcement can access girls’ and women’s menstrual data, via a search warrant.
Why would they need a search warrant for someone’s private bodily functions, you might ask. That’s a good question that they haven’t provided an answer to.
They get around this by saying that search warrants cannot be limited, but in fact every state has limits on search warrants, including Virginia.
Glenn Youngkin, who you’ve been wrongly told time and time again is a ‘moderate’, used a procedural move to block an attempt to bar law enforcement from obtaining the girls’ menstrual history and women in this state.
Yes, he’s the same man who ran for office on a front man to protect schoolgirls from trans students, but now he wants the right to know when 13-year-olds get their period.
The Democratic-led Senate passed a bipartisan bill (backed by half of Republicans) to ban search warrants for menstrual data stored on computers or other electronic devices and applications.
That sounds pretty basic and easy to argue, especially coming from the supposed “small government” side of the aisle, given that HIPAA privacy laws apparently don’t apply to health information stored by the company. ‘individual.
But no. Glenn Youngkin, not a moderate, suddenly opposed it and killed the bill, using procedural procedure via a Republican-led House subcommittee.
Maggie Cleary, Youngkin’s deputy secretary of public safety and homeland security, argued that menstrual data should be made available to the courts – in case it may be deemed relevant to potential criminal cases.
Cleary is signaled by the Washington Post for saying, “This bill would be the very first of its kind that I know of – in Virginia or anywhere else – that would set a limit on what search warrants can do. … Currently, any health information or application information is available through a search warrant. And we believe that should continue to be the case.
Again, Virginia Law “sets out specific procedures for when search warrants may be issued for law firms and when tracking devices may be used, but does not include exceptions for health-related information.”
Obviously, Virginia has set state-level parameters for search warrants. But all of this back and forth on search warrants is predicated on the idea that menstrual data could somehow be linked to a criminal investigation.
Yet Republicans say they have no intention of prosecuting women for having abortions, even as Youngkin calls for a 15-week abortion ban based on a scientifically unverified claim about the fetal pain.
Youngkin’s bill merits further scrutiny given the Virginia Republicans’ alarming blocking of privacy for bodily functions, after all, it would be unwise to believe that people dishonestly characterizing support for their ban on abortion and even base said ban on unproven facts tell the truth NOWon why they consider menstrual data relevant to criminal warrants.
Experts like the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – who might be considered more knowledgeable than Youngkin, who isn’t – surprisingly! — an OB/GYN, but instead spent 15 years at a private equity firm and has an MBA from Harvard, on that subject — say a fetus cannot feel pain until the third trimesterwhich starts around 27 weeks.
Indeed, there is even a Republican who had to vote against Youngkin’s abortion law because she is… an expert.
“I wish I could vote for this bill,” said Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, a practicing OB-GYN who proposed an amendment to the administrative bill that would have allowed exceptions of up to 24 weeks for fetuses with severe abnormalities. “But without this exception, I will have to vote” against.
Although Republicans called Youngkin’s bill a “consensus” position, the Republican OB-GYN called Youngkin’s abortion bill “extreme.”
Dunnavant called the law “extreme,” arguing that Virginia is out of step with U.S. and European laws as well as medical science on the age of fetal viability.
Youngkin is said to be close friends with Republican Senator Ted Cruz. This seems potentially relevant to “the extreme” and out of step with the free world point discussed above. He was also endorsed by Trump, yet presented to the public as a “moderate.”
Youngkin also declined to say that Trump would not be reinstated after the 2020 election. Much like Trump, Youngkin, with an estimated net worth of $440 million, promised to release a summary of his tax returns ahead of the election, but did so only after the election, and even then the summaries were unverified (the summaries are also not actual statements).
Youngkin and his wife left an Episcopal church over its support for same-sex marriage and started their own church.
The Republican is something of a culture war hero and managed to win an election in Virginia based on anti-trans and anti-CRT stories that haven’t always stood up to scrutiny, given that schools don’t didn’t actually teach CRT.
Anyway, Youngkin’s people, obviously not moderates, argue that there can be no law to limit a search warrant. Here’s why this could be problematic: fourth amendment “does not guarantee protection against all searches and seizures, only those carried out by the government and found to be unreasonable under the law.
So if the “law” – which is made by these people called lawmakers who claim they can’t limit a search warrant – says it’s reasonable to collect menstruation data, then it’s reasonable.
(That’s how legal fascism works; it just moves the goal post.)
Cornell’s Law notes that states can certainly set higher standards for protection from search and seizure: “However, in some states there are exceptions to this limitation, where some state authorities have granted protection to open fields. States can always establish higher search and seizure protection standards than required by the Fourth Amendment, but states cannot allow behavior that violates the Fourth Amendment.
State Senator Barbara Favola, the Democratic creator of the original bill to protect women’s privacy, said“I don’t think anyone needs to know this data other than the woman tracking it – period. That’s why I introduced my bill. It shouldn’t be used to prosecute women. It doesn’t must be used for no reason. It must not be accessed.”
Republicans like Youngkin frame the discussion as if it were implied that data on a woman’s menstruation can be criminal. Otherwise, why would he be required by law enforcement?
They simply haven’t provided a reasonable excuse for needing to access private bodily function data.
The Republican obsession with women’s bodies is like constantly feeling like you’re being watched and not being safe. Not safe enough to even take notes on your personal device of your bodily functions, because Glenn Youngkin and his unmoderated morons come for your privacy.
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