Rachel Maddow used the move by 19 red state AGs to get the private medical records of women who get out-of-state care to shatter the lie that Republicans are the party of limited government.
It is actually 19 different states where Republican officials are going for this now. 19 Republican attorney generals in 19 states have signed on to a letter to the Biden administration saying they want the right to go after women’s private medical records anywhere in the country, including in all the states where abortion is legal. They want to follow their residents all over the country to see if that woman might be getting an abortion or some other type of reproductive care anywhere.
They want the records and they claim the right to go get them. Republican attorneys general in all of those states have sent this letter to the Biden administration about their right as they see it to get your private medical records. And they mean it for women getting an abortion, fertility treatment, or any kind of reproductive care. Potentially contraception. Also gender-affirming care of any kind. They claim the right to take your medical records to see what you’re up to no matter where you’ve gone to get it.
How can you get away from something like this? If this is what they say they want to do, and it is, how do you get away from it? The reason they’ve written to the Biden administration saying they claim this right is because the Biden administration says they should not have the right to do this. The Biden administration is trying to assert federally that attorneys general from states where abortion is banned can’t follow their residents to other states to see if they’re getting banned care from someplace where it she legal. Beyond those efforts to protect this at the federal level from the Biden administration, you’ve started to see blue states. Places like New York and Washington state that have passed state laws saying that nobody should be able to get private medical records like this. Just because you’ve banned abortion inc your state doesn’t mean you can effectively enforce it in mine. Here’s 19 Republican states, 19 Republican state attorneys general saying they’re going for it. And maybe they already are.
They used to say the Republican Party was the party of limited government. This is a lot of things but this is not that.
Republicans Are No Longer The Party Of Limited Government
It must be understood that what Republicans are doing doesn’t only impact women or trans people. The change in Republican philosophy is an abandonment of the notion of personal liberty in favor of big government control by the state.
During the Cold War, this might be the sort of story that was told about communism and the USSR. Republicans of 20, 30, or 40 years ago would have been appalled at the use of state power to run the lives of private citizens.
Going back to the republic’s founding, the danger of lines being crossed by the state seizing personal liberties was always known and warned about.
It starts with trans people, or maybe women who seek out-of-state reproductive care, but that is not where it will stop. A loss of personal liberty and privacy for one is a loss for all.
Republicans are the party of big government authoritarianism.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association