The new Nebraska proposal to bring back prenatal care funding for undocumented immigrants in Nebraska who are pregnant has brought out some of the worst anti-immigrant rhetoric in the country. As Kari Ann Riker reported, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman bemoans the bill, claiming the state will become a “magnet for illegal immigrants.” His “pro-life” instinct and anti-immigrant leanings have battled it out internally and, apparently, his xenophobia won.
But this is a conflict that may continue play out across the country as more abortion restrictions are passed and more women, including those who are undocumented, require prenatal care. A New American Media analysis shows that where states are hostile to a woman’s right to choose, they are likely hostile to immigrants, too.
Of the five states that passed the most restrictive anti-immigration laws, they’ve also passed some of the most onerous anti-choice bills, too. Four out of five passed 20-week abortion bans, while Mississippi tried to have voters give “personhood” to fertilized eggs.
It makes sense that the two types of bills go hand in hand, however, once you start to think of the legislators who would be responsible for proposing and passing the bills. After all, all of these bills are hand-fed by interest groups shopping model legislation to politicians who want to make names for themselves but don’t want to create their own bills. And the idea that those who think women shouldn’t have the right to their own bodily autonomy from the moment they conceive might also have a hint of xenophobia, well, I’m sure that’s not too shocking, either.