Before we jump into all of this … I just want to remind you when you’re reading this that the recent kerfuffle in the news about Todd Akin really isn’t a new thing for the GOP. Todd Akin simply said out loud what he and his colleagues think but aren’t supposed to say. Todd Akin simply said out loud what his voting record and the voting record of his conservative colleagues showed for years. Three weeks ago – 203 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to prohibit abortions even in cases of rape or incest (source).
This wasn’t 10 years ago or the 1960′s – this was THREE WEEKS AGO. And earlier this year – the Republican party didn’t want to extend funding of $455 million a year for rape crisis centers that already are being funded on the books. They felt it was excessive use of government spending and an overreach in the size of the federal government (source); it only passed when the Republican leadership said that this would damage the GOP politically. In February of this year – Fox News said the Pentagon was spending too much money to defend women soldiers from rape (source) even though a woman soldier is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire (source).
Leading up to the Republican National Convention where the GOP will nominate its nominee officially to run against President Obama – the Republican party is developing its party platform … a set of ideals as to what the party stands for. The “platform committee” puts these ideals together as a way of sending voters a clear message about the priorities of the majority of the party’s members. Well – the “platform committee” headed by Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) has determined that a “human life amendment” would be a part of that plank … some are calling it the “Akin plank”.
As in Todd Akin; and that’s because this “human life amendment” is very black and white without exceptions. If a woman is raped or molested by a member of her family – the Republican party’s official stance is that she must carry that child to term.
CNN notes HERE:
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. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.
This would be a prime example of being completely tone deaf to what’s going on in the real world. Many conservatives have said time and time again that they do not support abortion under any circumstances unless the life of the mother is at risk … that would include no exceptions for rape or incest.
But this isn’t anything new; if you have ever heard a conservative pushing for a Constitutional amendment that life begins at conception or a “Personhood amendment” – that’s basically the same thing as saying abortion is not allowed even for rape and incest victims. If there is no exclusion … then having an abortion is a crime. And many conservatives would say that they’re not necessarily for putting women who have abortions in jail … but a crime is a crime after all. Meep. Meep.
A personhood amendment would prevent some forms of birth control; it would also make the morning after pill illegal and akin to murdering a human being if ingested. Under a person hood amendment women would be prosecuted for failing to follow the laws a mostly male set of elected officials in government makes law regarding what she chooses to do with her own body. In fact – this is such a STANDARD position within the conservative movement that Mitt Romney’s vice president nominee – Paul Ryan – is considered the ideal conservative to represent the party. Unfortunately for Romney – when Americans find out just how extreme that is to everyone else who doesn’t consider themselves to be a conservative …. there will be some fallout.
As Politico notes HERE:
Paul Ryan co-sponsored a federal “personhood” amendment. He voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He opposes all abortions, except when the life of the mother is at risk. And he supports a federal bill requiring women to get an ultrasound before an abortion.
Romney has said publicly now that his campaign will not be supporting prohibiting abortions for women who are victims of rape or incest but … see – we have a problem here. Just like every other issue in Romney’s background …. whatever position he has today is likely contradicted by something he said maybe a week or a few months prior to what he is telling you today.
And as the NY Times reminds us all HERE .. in October of 2011 – Mitt Romney went on Mike Huckabee’s show and Governor Huckabee asked Mitt point blank – do you support “a constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception.” His answer:
So – Mitt is either absolutely for criminalizing abortion because it would be against the law to have an abortion among other things or he’s against it because he is on record as saying most recently that a women should have access to abortion services if she was raped. Which position will he have if he were actually president? Whatever conservatives tell him his position should be at the time.
There are so many quotes to choose from – but do you remember this quote:
“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”
~Chuck Winder -Idaho State Senate Majority Leader
Todd Akin is now just an outspoken member of the “Akin plank” of the Republican party; his views are consistent with the present day conservative movement. How about conservatives start defending why they feel this way…
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