Pssh, Women Aren’t People!
The interwebz exploded recently over comments made by Rep. Todd Akin about his opinions on abortion exceptions for rape. One of the offensive remarks he made was: “I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
It’s been brought up that Akin’s views are not that dissimilar from the mainstream GOP. The abortion plank in the Republican platform is against abortion and doesn’t provide an exception for rape or incest:
“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.”
That’s the view meant to represent the entire Republican party. While it can’t represent every Republican, it does describe a lot of them.
Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, has a notable pro-life history. He’s never outright said that he promotes imprisoning women for having abortions, but simply said “If it’s illegal, it’s illegal.” When asked about exceptions for rape, incest, and threat to the parent’s life, he said “I’m as pro-life as a person gets. You’re not going to have a truce.”
Being pro-choice is so appalling that he “cannot believe any official or citizen can still defend the notion that an unborn human being has no rights.”
When questioned about his opinion on Ryan’s abortion views, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association (AFA) proclaims that “if you’re pro-life, then you would not support making exceptions in the case of rape. Because in our system of values, we do not punish innocent children for the sins of their father. You’re handing a death sentence out to a child because of a sin or a crime committed by that child’s father.” He also claims that to be truly pro-life, you “believe that’s a human being in the womb.”
Does anyone else see the common trend with these remarks?
A person has to be carrying that fetus, and this is not brought up or acknowledged. The fact that, in many states, a rapist has normal custodial rights to children fathered through rape is not brought up or acknowledged.
They’re totally removing the person who owns the uterus housing those poor precious babies! Oh, and they’re saying that a small cluster of cells is more important than a fully developed, autonomous human being. If you follow that line of thinking, you could basically be saying that you don’t think tumors should be excised because theoretically we could clone a human being from those cells. A tumor isn’t guaranteed to become another human, but neither is a fetus. Miscarriages happen all. the. time.
Experiences of victims of sexual assault are downplayed and erased from the conversation. The victims’ rights to control over their bodies is threatened under the guise of ‘protection of life’. Republicans are attempting to de-humanize people who need abortions.
This mindset is far from rare among conservative Republicans. Anywhere you see pro-life laws or policies being enacted, chances are they’re blatantly anti-choice. The people whose health care is being dictated are made invisible and unimportant to the conversation, and the only way to combat it is to make ourselves heard, visible, and very relevant.
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