A West Virginia politician, apparently taking delight in the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, told women to “get your coat hangers” ready now that the anti-abortion judge has been confirmed.
As Raw Story reports, Eric Barber, a city councilman in Parkersburg, has said in the past that he left the Democratic Party because it is “anti-Christian,” made a comment on Facebook referencing Saturday’s Senate vote to confirm Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh is believed by many to be the Supreme Court vote that will overturn Roe v. Wade, which would allow states to make abortion completely illegal.
In his post, he made an apparently gleeful reference to back-alley abortions.
“Better get you’re [sic] coathangers ready liberals.”
The coat hanger has become something of a visual metaphor for a world in which abortion is illegal. Before abortion became legal in the U.S. on a widespread basis, women would sometimes use a coat hanger to end their pregnancies. The unsanitary and imprecise method often resulted in the woman contracting infections and even dying. Abortion-rights supporters fear that, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, women will return to similarly dangerous methods of terminating their pregnancies. As such, images of the coat hanger often turn up at pro-choice rallies.
Barber deleted his comment not long after making it, but of course, nothing you post on the internet ever goes away, and several users took screenshots of Barber’s comment.
Responding to the posts made in response to his coat hanger reference, Parker later complained that anyone who shared the screenshots of his comments was trying to get him fired.
In fact, there is already a petition afoot to get Parker removed from the Parkersburg City Council. Over on Change.org, 576 people have signed a petition urging the mayor to remove Parker from his job. At this point, it bears noting that online petitions generally serve no real purpose other than to bring attention to a cause and, in rare cases to put pressure on the people named in them.
As it turns out, Barber has been involved in controversy before. In 2017, as WTAP-TV (Parkersburg) reported at the time, in 2017 Barber pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after he tried to photograph an accident victim. He had also served time in prison between 1999 and 2006, although it’s not clear why. And in 2012, a bench warrant was issued after he failed to turn up in court for a drug charge.