Well, if the Todd Akin mess has shown anything, it’s that any talk of abortion restrictions being passed in the name of “protecting” or “helping” women is just that.
There is nothing helpful about forced pregnancy and birth, yet that is the precise position of the Republican party. And as if Akin’s statements that rape exceptions are not needed in abortion bans because women don’t get pregnant in the case of “legitimate” rape weren’t bad enough, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made the case that Republicans don’t believe statutory rape is legitimate rape.
“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”
By Akin’s logic, a logic shared by Mike Huckabee, Steve King, Ron Paul and countless others in the Republican party, this lack of evidence of conception means that an exception to an abortion ban in the cases of statutory rape are not needed.
A 1996 report by the Guttmacher Institute found that at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.
That, by definition, is childbirth as a result of statutory rape. But most importantly is the big picture here. These are not isolated, unhinged comments by the fringe of the Republican party. This is their platform.
Want to know the kind of world we live in? We live in a world where extremist groups actually brag about becoming a “political machine” to be able to more effectively marginalize and actually endanger women who don’t agree with them.
The Susan B. Anthony List is one such group. And this organization is raising millions of dollars to test its power in Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial race — with the intention of electing a slate of anti-woman candidates in 2014. And we know this will only lead to even more horrific state-level anti-choice laws in states across the country.
We have to match them dollar for dollar to protect women, to protect choice, and to protect our constitutional freedom. Will you help us stand up to the SBA List and other anti-choice organizations like them?
SBA List’s positions are like a greatest-hits collection of anti-choice, anti-woman zealotry. They’ve called Todd Akin “an excellent partner.” They said they supported former Senate candidate Richard Mourdock’s comments about pregnancy from rape that “life is always a gift from God.” They even defended Virginia’s forced ultrasound bill.
The SBA List is raising millions of dollars to elect a governor in Virginia who will try to pass even more extreme laws. And it’s coming for states across the country.
I’m trying to stop them. Will you help me stop them, and protect choice at all levels?
These sorts of inflammatory comments paired with the GOP’s policy positions in opposition to affordable access to birth control, abortion rights, equal pay legislation, and other family-friendly economic items like earned sick time represent an ongoing effort attacking women and their families.
Here are just a few things that have happened in the year since Akin made his noxious comments:
Threatening to shut down the government in order to deny millions of women and their families health care: As we’ve discussed previously in this space, Republicans are now threatening to shut down the government in order to defund Obamacare, which would deny the security of quality, affordable health care to millions of women and their families. Republicans, of course, have already voted more than 40 times to repeal Obamacare, including its no-cost birth control benefit and provisions that will ban insurance companies from being able to deny coverage because they consider breast cancer, having been a victim of domestic violence, or merely being a woman a preexisting condition.One conservative group, Heritage Action, launched a nationwide government shut tour today and said it will spend more than half a million dollars on ads to pressure lawmakers into shutting down the government unless Obamacare is defunded.
Renewed assault on abortion rights in states across the country: Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country continued the unfortunate recent trend of passing increasingly draconian and unconstitutional restrictions on abortion rights. As ThinkProgress noted today, this has already been one of the worst years for reproductive rights in memory and “abortion clinics are closing at a record pace.”Not only are Republicans enacting increasingly restrictive laws, they are going to increasingly desperate lengths to do so. Texas called two special sessions to pass its crackdown, while North Carolina legislators resorted to attaching a measure that will close most of the state’s abortion clinics to an unrelated motorcycle safety bill.
BOTTOM LINE: If Republicans care about winning over more women, they need to put an end to offensive comments about women and how their bodies work and, more importantly, stop supporting policies that undermine and attack the health and economic security of women and their families each and every day.
It never really ended, but the GOP’s war on women is definitely back and more misogynistic than ever. Let’s go through a few things that have happened just in the past week:
House of Representatives to consider unconstitutional abortion ban: Today the House Judiciary Committee, whose 23 Republican members are all men, approved an unconstitutional ban on abortion after 20 weeks. The measure, championed by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), is similar to one enacted in his home state of Arizona that was recently found unconstitutional by a federal appeals court. Franks’ present effort would apply nationwide, which is more aggressive than previous years when he only sought to force a 20-week ban on the women of the District of Columbia. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has promised that the full House will vote on it next week.
BOTTOM LINE: Republicans didn’t learn a single lesson from their string of outrageous attacks on women last year and instead appear to be doubling down on their extreme views and offensive legislative proposals.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You Might’ve Missed
Last year, when Republican candidates launched an all-out assault on women’s rights, we fought back, turning out in record numbers to protect the progress we’ve made. But it turns out the party that brought us Todd Akin wasn’t done yet, and this week the GOP showed their true colors again. Check out some of the highlights below, and SHARE with your friends if you’re as outraged as we are.
And the most troubling thing? These aren’t gaffes. This is what Republicans actually believe. They would take us back to the 1950s, and that’s why all of us, women and men, need to come together like we did in 2012 and tell Republicans we’re not buying it.