Tag Archives: abortion
by Doug Muder, The Weekly Sift, 10/29/12
If Congressman Mourdock wants to interpret the will of God to the People, he should move to a country where government officials do that, and leave my country alone.
This week, Indiana’s Richard Mourdock became the latest Republican candidate to make the political mistake of spelling out the consequences of his ideology: Not only would he make abortion illegal in all ordinary circumstances, but he sees no reason for a rape exception. He wants the government to force women to bear their rapists’ children.
Politics being what it is, a Rapist Procreation Act could never make it through Congress, even as an amendment to a larger Forced Motherhood Act. So euphemisms and rationalizations have to be employed.
Senate candidate Akin. Two months previously, Missouri senate candidate Todd Akin had made headlines by abusing science to support rapist procreation: Rape exceptions are unnecessary, he claimed, because rape pregnancies don’t happen. At least they don’t happen in cases of “legitimate rape”, i.e., the kind where the woman is penetrated by violence. “The female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he said.
Ignore the fact that no legitimate scientist believes this, so Akin had to search out a phony “expert” who is primarily another anti-abortion extremist. Even giving Akin’s words their most generous interpretation — that he meant to say “violent” rather than imply that the rape itself could be “legitimate” — they’re monstrous. In his view, for example, raped women who are drugged rather than beaten are not worth the law’s notice.
A friend of a friend once met a knife-wielding stranger on a stairwell. He said he wanted to kill her, but she negotiated him down to having sex instead. That also would not be a legitimate rape in Todd Akin’s view, so any possible pregnancy would be the woman’s responsibility, not the knifeman’s.
Or consider this account of an incest pregnancy. Sometimes her father raped her “legitimately” by violence. Sometimes threats were enough, and sometimes she submitted to save her younger sisters. What kind of rape got her pregnant? She doesn’t know.
Akin’s government would punish such men, presumably, but would also make sure that their reproductive strategy succeeds and their DNA is multiplied in the next generation.
Walsh. Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh went a step further than Akin. Not only is a rape exception unnecessary, but a life-of-the-mother exception is unnecessary too — and for the same reason: It never happens. “With modern technology and science,” he said, “you can’t find one instance” of a medically necessary abortion.
Non-ideologues quickly came up with the example of ectopic pregnancy, which killed 876 American women between 1980 and 2007.
Mourdock. Having seen how much heat Akin took for abusing science, Mourdock decided to abuse theology instead. For Mourdock, the magic pregnancy-prevention intervention doesn’t come from the mysteries of female biology, it comes from God. If a woman gets pregnant through rape, that must be “something that God intended to happen.”…
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The Borowitz Report, 10/30/12
KETTERING, Ohio (The Borowitz Report)—Hitting the campaign trail one day after the arrival of Superstorm Sandy, Republican nominee Mitt Romney tweaked his position on abortion today, saying he now supports it in cases where it makes people vote for him.
“I would make an exception for abortion in cases where the life of my campaign is at stake,” he told a crowd in Kettering, Ohio.
Sandy, which slammed into the East Coast last night, was such a powerful weather system that it prevented Mr. Romney from changing his position on abortion for twenty-four hours.
“It was important for Mitt to come up with a new position on abortion today,” said his campaign manager, Matt Rhoades. “It sends a message to the American people that in the aftermath of Sandy, things are getting back to normal.”
Mr. Romney made no reference to his comments about eliminating FEMA, which have been declared a disaster area.
By Mandy Van Deven, AlterNet, 9/25/12
The author of “Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America” says the extreme right-wing is less popular yet more powerful than we imagine.
During the 2008 presidential election, historian and political commentator Nancy L. Cohen became interested in how sex has changed American politics. She was so intrigued by the gender issues that surfaced around Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin that she began working on what would become Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America. The book is a meticulously researched political history of the Democratic self-destruction and Republican stealth that has allowed many of the gains of the sexual revolution to be lost.
In a political climate where women have to debate scientific inaccuracies stated by Republican politicians about “legitimate rape,” where women who use birth control are maligned as “sluts,” and where all-male congressional hearings are held to determine women’s right to control their own bodies, Delirium is a welcome font of clarity. Although Cohen couldn’t have anticipated the degree to which sexual rights would be the focus of the 2012 election, her book provides germane guidance for progressive activists who wish to secure four more years of a Democratic presidency.
Mandy Van Deven: Why are we still talking about the legitimacy of birth control in America? …
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