Pregnant women can’t get divorced in Missouri

Did you know that? I didn’t know that.

The Riverfront Times takes a look at a law that would be weird in most states, but not Missouri:

December 2020 was a turbulent month for Danielle Drake, 32, of Lake of the Ozarks. On December 1, her husband said he was going out with a friend, but he lied. He was actually having an affair. She filed for a divorce less than a week later, on December 7.

Then, not long before Christmas, Drake found out she was pregnant.

Drake knew immediately she had to file a second, amended petition for divorce. She also knew the impact her pregnancy would have on the divorce proceedings. Drake, who earned a law degree from University of Missouri Kansas City has been practicing family law for two years, was well aware that in Missouri, women who are pregnant can’t get a divorce.

Missouri law states that a petition for divorce must provide eight pieces of information, things like the residence of each party, the date of separation, and, notably, “whether the wife is pregnant.” If the answer is yes, Drake says, “What that practically does is put your case on hold.”

There is a lot of disagreement online about whether pregnant Missouri women can get divorced. The RFT spoke to multiple lawyers who handle divorce proceedings and they all agreed that in Missouri a divorce can’t be finalized if either the petitioner (the person who files for divorce) or the respondent (the other party in the divorce) is pregnant.

This both shocks me and yet it does not shock me at all.

Shocks me because it’s 2022 in America, for God’s sake.

Does not shock me because, well, Missouri.

A state I will not visit nor do business with until the urban residents of Missouri get off their asses and take back their state government from the yahoos in places like Lake of the Ozarks.

Are college students re-thinking their plans to go to colleges in states legislating extremist morality?

It has always been the case that some students with the most to lose in states with extreme right-wing regimes — students who are LGBT, Black, Latino, women in general — have likely chosen not to go to places like Alabama, Mississippi and the like because they are afraid of what might happen to them in that kind of atmosphere.

(Sports scholarships and winning records can blunt some, but not all, of that in recruiting incoming elite athletes. But we know some of those upper tier athletes choose to go to schools in states that align more with their progressive values.)

I wonder how many high-value students, academically and athletically, have decided against going to school in my own home state of Nebraska because right-wing goon and presumed Opus Dei idiot Pete Ricketts has been governor?

Anyway, Reuters has an article that broaches these subjects:

With its excellent academic and music programs, Oberlin College in Ohio seemed like a perfect fit for Nina Huang, a California high school student who plays flute and piano and hopes to eventually study medicine or law.

But Huang, 16, said she crossed the college off her application list after Ohio enacted a near-total ban on abortion last month. She now plans to cast a wider net for schools in states with less restrictive laws.

“I don’t want to go to school in a state where there is an abortion ban,” she said.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide has some students rethinking their higher education plans as states rush to ban or curtail abortion, according to interviews with 20 students and college advisers across the country.

While it has long been the case that some students hesitated to attend schools in places with different political leanings than their own, recent moves by conservative states on issues such as abortion and LGBTQ+ rights have deepened the country’s polarization.

For some students, the restrictions raise fears that they won’t be able to get an abortion if they need one or that they will face discrimination for gender differences. Others said they worried about facing racial prejudice or being politically ostracized.

“I’m only in high school right now, and I’m still finding out who I am,” said Samira Murad, 17, who will be a senior this fall at Stuyvesant High School in New York. “I don’t want to move somewhere I can’t be myself because of laws put in place.”

I think the GOP is mistaken if they don’t think young people think about these issues. And the Democrats are stupid if the Biden administration doesn’t do something, even if it’s partially symbolic, to show that President Biden and the people who work for him are as panicked about the future as young people are today.

Oberlin College could lose out at students worried about Ohio’s turn the the extreme right politically choose to get their education in another, less-restrictive, state.

Now we have to work as hard locally as conservatives have been doing for years

There are so many hot takes about the soon-to-be but-now-leaked Supreme Court decision overturning Roe that it’s become imperative to tune them all out. Great writers, good writers and crappy writers all have an opinion and I cannot wade through them all.

But this one in New York Magazine caught my eye because it rings so true, despite having been written by an author with whom I’ve had many problems. Jonathan Chait was an acolyte of Andrew Sullivan, which automatically makes him suspect. But he seems pretty on-target with this piece, titled “An End to the Liberal Romance With Courts: The right to abortion will not be delivered from a marble building.”

The piece begins:

The forthcoming demise of Roe v. Wade should dispel an illusion. Americans — liberals in particular, and boomers especially — have been suffering from a misplaced faith in the Supreme Court as the guarantor of rights and liberties. The right to abortion will not be secured by the occupants of a gleaming marble building. It will be the work of politics — activism, persuasion, and voting — that will control its fate.

For most of its history, the Supreme Court was a nakedly reactionary institution. The Court destroyed civil-rights laws in the 19th century and progressive economic legislation in the 20th, right up until midway through the New Deal. The Constitution, as interpreted by the Court, created rights for social and economic elites that Congress could not touch.

In the second half of the 20th century, the Court reversed its historic character and began handing down liberal rulings. Roe v. Wade was the apogee of the Warren and Burger Courts, and the era imprinted the image of a liberal Court on the public mind.

Even as control of the Court has passed into the hands of conservatives, who have turned it back into its historic role of creating conservative rights — to pollute, to carry weapons almost anywhere, to thwart a Medicaid expansion — rather than liberal ones, the old impression has endured. Last fall, a Gallup poll found Democrats and Republicans approved of the Court equally, while a Marquette University poll found it had slightly higher approval among Democrats — an extraordinary assessment of a body controlled by six conservatives, half of whom were chosen by Donald Trump.

This pretty much tracks with where I am going to end up:

  • Angry that we are where we are politically in (not inconsiderable) part because of progressive electoral laziness and liberal lack of foresight and imagination.
  • Thankful that progressives now will be forced to work as hard as conservatives — conservatives who have worked to pack their people onto city councils and in mayors’ offices, state legislatures, school boards, governorships and all the rest of the local offices that the Right has been gunning for since before today’s college Republicans were conceived.

It’s going to a long, hard slog. But we may as well start now because now we (literally and figuratively) have no choice.

They — “they” being the array of right-wing forces emboldened by the repeal of Roe — are coming for the right to privacy and all the court decisions which were built on that.

Demonstrators in favor of LGBT rights rally outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, October 8, 2019, as the Court holds oral arguments in three cases dealing with workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)