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‘Hypocrisy thy name is Maga’: Abortion opponent Blackburn ridiculed for tweet on women’s freedom in Iran

The Independent logo The Independent 9/27/2022 Johanna Chisholm
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Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn, an anti-abortion rights Republican who once called the Supreme Court decision that legalised a right to birth control “constitutionally unsound”, was ridiculed online for voicing her support for Iranian women protesting for freedom.

The GOP senator took to Twitter to share a message of seeming allyship with the Iranian women who have been pouring onto city streets across the world to protest the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who was detained by the country’s morality police for allegedly having some hair visible under her headscarf.

Since the 13 September incident that triggered the mass protests, which saw some women in the streets of Tehran take to burning headscarves and cutting their own hair in an act of defiance against the Islamic Republic’s restrictions on social freedoms, various politicians from outside of the Middle Eastern country have begun voicing their support for the people living under the restrictive regime.

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Just last week, US President Joe Biden waded into the unrest by hailing the protestors as “brave citizens”, while Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called for the Iranian government to “end its systemic persecution of women and allow peaceful protest”, shortly after the Treasury Department unveiled new targeted sanctions against members of the so-called morality police.

Though the reception for other US politicians throwing their weight behind the Iranian women risking their lives for what Mr Biden earlier described as “basic rights” was received positively, Ms Blackburn’s remarks were decidedly not.

“But should not have a say about what happens to their body or what’s inside of their body like in the United States, right Senator?” tweeted Young Democrats of America in response to her earlier tweet.

Another user twisted the senator’s own words with a more domestic argument by stating: “Women in Tennessee should be able to access adequate healthcare without the fear of being jailed.”

The irony of Ms Blackburn’s remarks became more cutting when some pointed out how the Tennessee Republican had only recently floated the idea that the Department of Justice should use a little-used law enacted during the Red Scare of the 1950s to punish Americans who protest outside the homes of Supreme Court justices.

Shortly after a draft opinion from the Supreme Court was leaked in the springtime that showed the justices intended to overrule the landmark 1973 case which legalised abortion across the US, numerous protests erupted across cities, with some of them spilling onto the doorsteps of justices.

In an interview on Newsmax, the GOP senator said: “They should haul all of these people down to the police headquarters. They should book them for violating a federal statute,” while accusing the protesters of trying to “change the outcome of a Supreme Court decision” by “force or intimidation”.

Online, one Twitter user reshared an Independent article that discussed the senator’s remarks during the uprising from abortion rights activists who spilled onto the streets after learning of the draft opinion that would later reverse Roe v Wade.

“Marsha Blackburn cares NOTHING ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN,” said one user while sharing an article titled: “Senator Marsha Blackburn says Justice Department should arrest pro-choice protesters”.

That law that Ms Blackburn had referenced during her interview on Newsmax was part of the McCarthyism-era Internal Security Act, a majority of which has since been repealed decades ago or been deemed unconstitutional.

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