Punish Women for Having an Abortion? GOP says YES!

Donald Trump has spent the better part of the last week playing mopping boy to all his gaffes. But there is one thing Donald said this week that – bob and weave as he may – he will not be able to dodge. In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews this week, Donald Trump admitted he supports punishing women who have an abortion.

The Donald has spent the better part of the week trying to back away from his words. He’s claimed the interview was edited. He’s claimed he “misspoke.” And he keeps trying to offer an alternative to his genuine belief that women should be punished for seeking reproductive care by offering that the doctors who provide that care should be punished in lieu of the woman who decided to obtain it – as if we women are unthinking, naive victims of these money grubbing health care providers.

But I’m not buying it, and neither should you.

The GOP platform is clear about their stance on abortion. The GOP “support a human life amendment to the Constitution.” No matter then rest of their pretty words on the sanctity of life and supporting pregnant women, ratification of the “personhood” amendment the GOP so pointedly seeks means women will go to jail.

I am not just talking through my teeth about this. The evidence is clear. It has been demonstrated time after time that women ARE punished when abortion is made illegal. Take one look at the countries where abortion is illegal and you cannot deny the evidence. In countries where abortion is illegal, women go to jail for having abortions, women go to jail for having miscarriages, and women die due to unsafe abortion.

Even in the United States women have been prosecuted for obtaining abortion inducing drugs or miscarrying after attempting to self-abort.

So when Ted Cruz says he does not agree with Donald Trump’s position – that women be punished for abortion –  he is LYING to you. Ted Cruz supports a personhood amendment. He KNOWS that women will go to jail if a personhood amendment is passed. Ted Cruz supports punishing women. John Kasich supports punishing women. Mitch McConnell supports punishing women. The whole damn GOP supports punishing women.

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State-imposed Violence vs Rape Violence

Anti-choice politicians just cannot keep their mouths shut. And I hope their insatiable urge to comment on reproductive issues continues. I want everyone to know just how utterly insulting and horrifically extreme their beliefs about  women’s right to control their bodies really are.

Yet another anti-choice politician, John Koster – a councilman of the state of Washington, has honored Americans with his cogent opinion about women and “the rape thing.”

Wow. And his calling it “the rape thing” is not even the worst part. This dude thinks an abortion that a rape victim chooses of her own free will is “putting more violence onto a woman’s body?” I want to ask this Cro-Magnon, “What would you label state-mandated pregnancy?” Pregnancy can have life-altering consequences. Pregnancy can change a woman’s body forever. Pregnancy may require invasive surgical procedures. Pregnancy can result in death!

So, when a state forces a woman to bear a child against her will, is that not “putting more violence onto a woman’s body?” When a state forces a woman to risk her life and health against her will, is that not state-mandated violence? When a state mandates that a woman be strapped to a table while doctors slice her abdomen open against her will, is it not violence? Is that not state-mandated brutality?

And where does it end? Since an innocent child is his main concern, maybe we should mandate that all Americans register in bone marrow databases. Maybe we should mandate that all Americans donate their organs after death. Maybe we should mandate that any American that is a kidney or liver donor match to a child that is dying, sacrifice their life and health. I mean, the probability of adverse side effects from donation is “so rare,” maybe we should collect blood from everyone!

Strap those healthy Americans to a gurney! It’s their patriotic duty to sacrifice their bodies for innocent children!

What Does the GOP Know About Rape?

For a party that insists discussions about social issues (namely, abortion) are a distraction, Republicans spend an awful lot of time legislating, talking about, and litigating against abortion access. It would seem that were the GOP actually unconcerned with the abortion issue and more focused on creating jobs and boosting the American economy, the unemployment rate would be well below 8 percent and the economy would have seen substantial growth above 2 percent. But alas, as evidenced by the introduction of over 1,100 reproductive health and abortion-restriction bills in federal and state level the 2011 legislative session nationwide, the GOP and their Tea Party progeny are well focused on usurping control over women’s private parts.

Abortion is a polarizing issue in the United States. A majority of Americans believe a woman should be able to control her own fertility, including having the choice whether to continue a pregnancy. Most americans agree that abortion should be allowed for victims of rape or incest, or when a woman’s health or life is at risk. But the GOP platform committee approved a party platform this week that supports banning abortion altogether without any exception for the life or health of the woman or for cases of rape or incest. The Republican National Committee will vote on this platform in full next week. The platform, including it’s careless abortion position, is likely to be approved in stride.

This week, one especially ignorant and dishonest republican, Senator Todd Akin, claimed that women cannot get pregnant from rape saying, “If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down.” (I guess he’ll say anything to score points with pro-life extremists. Or maybe he is just THAT ignorant.) I don’t believe I can pull a more bullshit claim out of the ether than that.

Akin and his buddies including Paul Ryan claim that exceptions to abortion bans for women’s health, or rape and incest victims are a “red herring.” Their meaning – “exceptions to abortion bans for rape are unnecessary because women who were REALLY raped cant get pregnant”. The GOP audacity to categorize rape according to the physical state of the victim is absolutely dispicable and illustrates just how much contempt for women’s autonomy the Republican party harbors.

The statistical occurence of pregnancy among rape victims has actually been studied. According to a study presented at The South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (Am J Obstet Gynecol 1996;175:320-5), the national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0 percent per rape. Holmes, et al also concluded that rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency – to the tune of 32,101 pregnancies resulting from rape each year – and is closely linked with family and domestic violence.

But the GOP doesn’t believe “legitimate” rape victims actually become pregnant.

The real GOP policy is to force impregnated rape victims to sacrifice their bodies and their lives because a fetus is more important than any woman’s sanity, health or life.

The real red herring here is that the GOP is unlikely to confirm any woman’s rape as “legitimate” enough to sanction the woman’s choice to terminate her pregnancy. Apparentlyin GOP-land, a woman could not have possibly been raped except if she lay on her death bed after the attack. So those of us who were raped by our abusive husbands – not really raped. Those of use who were raped after we passed out from drinking – not really raped. Those of us who were slipped a date rape drug – not really raped. Those of us who stopped fighting because our attacker had big fists and a knife and we didn’t want to die – not really raped.

So next time, struggle a bit more so you have some STAB WOUNDS to prove your rape was LEGITIMATE! And since you can’t get pregnant from “legitimate” or “forcible” rape, if you do turn up preggo you must just be some kind of masochist.

Wrong Huntsman! Social Issues Are Important

Wednesday morning on CNN’s morning show Starting Point, host Soledad O’Brien interviewed Jon Huntsman’s three daughters, Abby, Liddy, and Mary Anne Huntsman. The three talked about the direction of the 2012 GOP race for the Presidential candidate nomination. In keeping with the theme of this year’s commentary, the conversation turned the reason women are not more supportive of Rick Santorum (i.e. – candidates’ conservative views on contraception which do not reflect Americans’ views). The Huntsmans typically have intelligent things to say regarding current issues. But their comments yesterday missed the mark.

When asked about contraception as a political issue, Abby Huntsman replied,

“I think that contraception is an important issue, obviously, for women. But I think the more that we spend talking about it takes away from getting the economy back or, you know, foreign policy.”

Then Mary Anne Huntsman doubled down,

“I really think every second you talk about these social issues is a second away from talking about jobs… it’s about jobs.”

Someone should explain to these women that contraception certainly is an important issue, not just for women; but for the men who want to postpone fatherhood, plan their family size, and who most certainly are affected by unplanned pregnancies.
Additionally, the subject of contraception can never be completely segregated from jobs. Access to contraception has increased women’s role in the workplace, which had a drastically positive impact on gross domestic productivity. National productivity directly affects our economic bottom line as a nation. When half of the population is not economically productive, the country suffers. One has only to look at economies in countries that oppress their women to find evidence of this.

The GOP has an onerous reputation for campaigning on economic issues and small government rhetoric and, upon taking office, turning to restrictive legislation on social issues on which Congress does not necessarily have jurisdiction – the Defense of Marriage Act being a prime example. Such legislation extends the tendrils of government all the way into our private lives, our bedrooms, our bodies. That’s not smaller government. It’s dispersed government. Trying the social rhetoric of a candidate during the election campaign allows people to make informed decisions about whether the candidate would indeed broaden the reach of government in such a way.

So listen up Abby, Liddy and Mary Anne. Jobs are important. The economy is important. Foreign policy is important. And social issues are important. Any President can help create jobs. Any President can help improve the economy. But not every candidate possesses the restraint to keep his or her hands off of our liberty. And that’s a big deal.