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Republicans, rape, and reproductive rights: What the fuck is wrong with them?

To listen to the Republican Party is to be told they aren’t waging a war on women.  They say this is rhetorical overstatement of the basest sort.  The attempts to limit contraception aren’t anti-woman, they are rather a way to allow employers to follow their conscience; by forcing their moral views onto their employees.  I’ve also see the argument that conception natural, it’s what happens when one has sex (Viagra, and Cialis, however, are a response to an unnatural condition… age related impotence is somehow different… that not being able to afford the risk of pregnancy might make it harder to use the boners one is able to get somehow doesn’t factor into the equation, but I digress).

Banning abortion?  Not anti-woman.  It’s Pro-life, as if the woman’s life somehow stops mattering the moment she gets pregnant.

Joe Walsh (R-Ill) says all abortions should be outlawed.  Even  granting an exception, for the life/health of the mother was to be forbidden.  Not only does that  go further than the Roman Catholic, his explanation flies in the face of the facts.

Walsh said he was against abortion “without exception,” including rape, incest and in cases in which the life or health of the mother was in jeopardy.

Asked by reporters after the debate if he was saying that it’s never medically necessary to conduct an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded, “Absolutely.”

His attitude isn’t completely out of keeping with eh the official stance of the Party, despite some attempts to put his comments at arm’s length.  This is the platform statement on abortion.

“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,”

A lot of ink has been spilled tying to make it seem that’s not a radical statement.  People saying, “It doesn’t say how the amendment will be worded; it’s silent about the exceptions.”  That’s right, it’s silent about exceptions.  It makes an absolute claim that the “unborn child has a fundamental… right to life which cannot be infringed.”

In a related vein what do Roger Rivard, Mike Huckabee, Todd Akin, Sharon Barnes, and Richard Murdock, have in common? All of them have delusional ideas about rape.

Akin, and Huckabee, are among the crowd which argues for the idea that “rape” can’t lead to conception.  Sharon Barnes accepts that rape can  lead to conception, she is in the “but that’s God’s plan” camp.

Barnes “echoed Mr. Akin’s statement that very few rapes resulted in pregnancy,” according to the Times, and she added that “at that point, if God has chosen to bless this person with a life, you don’t kill it.”

Huckabee is in that camp too, with some of the “gotcha” arguments people use to try and make you feel guilty if you don’t oppose abortion, saying, “rapes, though “horrible tragedies,” had produced admirable human beings.”

“Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”

Which is where Murdock enters the picture, he said that if you get raped, and then pregant, it was all, “part of God’s plan.”  He’s upset that people are taking his words at face value, but that’s what he said.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen”

His defense of his words, “”God creates life, and that was my point. God does not want rape, and by no means was I suggesting that He does,” he said in a statement. “Rape is a horrible thing, and for anyone to twist my words otherwise is absurd and sick,” suffers from his imputation of “not a sparrow falls” intervention on the part of God.  It’s an esoteric belief among several schools of each of the Abrahamic religions that the the universe was not set in motion, and left to run, but rather God actively; at every moment, chooses to keep it running, because it pleases God to watch it move.  To use the active voice, and say God intended that pregnancy, implies God had a role in it happening.  God could, after all, intervene in a lot of ways to bring about a conception, none of which require a rape. Mourdock isn’t getting the sort of response Akin did. 

Sen. John Cornyn, head of the Republicans’ Senate campaign arm, effectively cut off Akin after that comment. However, Cornyn defended Mourdock on Wednesday. 

“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans — including even Joe Donnelly — believe that life is a gift from God.  To try and construe his words as anything other than a restatement of that belief is irresponsible and ridiculous,” Cornyn said.

But there are a lot of Republicans who don’t really believe in most rapes.  I mean sure, if some jumps out of the bushes and knocks a woman down, and holds a knife to her throat, that might count… anything else, not so much.  That’s what’s buried in Akin’s, “legitimate rape” comment.  Someone who gets a woman drunk, and takes advantage of that to rape her?  Not legitimate.

Akin, and Paul Ryan (R-Wis/VP Candidate) tried to redefine rape in an amendment last year, saying, “forcible rape” was the litmus test to allow exceptions to the Hyde Amendment (which prohibits the use of Federal Funds to pay for abortions).  Statutory rape victims?  Out of luck.  Roofied? Out of luck.  Unconscious?  Out of luck.  Didn’t fight back enough?  Might be out of luck.

In the fight against abortion the Republicans are willing to go to commit more generic harms to women.

Rep. Nunnellee (R-Miss) made this set of preposterous claims when voting to deny all funds to Planned Parenthood.

In this resolution not one dime or womens’ health or family planning health funding is reduced. It simply says those dollars cannot go to Planned Parenthood. This is an organization that has protected those who prey on our children and has protected those who have raped our granddaughters.

This is a guy who voted for H.R.3, that bill which redefined only forcible rapes as, “legitimate”.  Raving that PP, which spends 97 cents of every dollar it gets on generic women’s health issues (and men’s, I got my STD screenings done there when I was in Calif.), and spends 100 cents of every federal dollar on non-abortion services, is protecting those, “who raped our granddaughters, after voting to make statutory rape not count as “real rape” is incredible.

Add that to the “moral conscience” laws they favor, so that pharmacists can make medical decisions based on personal religious beliefs (I can see the furor the first time a Jewish/Muslim pharmacist refuses to dispense a pork-based insulin to a diabetic, and it’s hard to say they aren’t treating women as a separate class of person.

It may not be a war, but it’s one hell of a fight.