GOP, Rape and the New Rage

This is the world of the future for women if the GOP takes the White House. The following may be sound ideological, even strident, I won’t apologize for this now or at any time in the future. I apologize for my offending your delicate sensibilities on this subject, stop reading now if you are of the opinion a woman should not be the ultimate Sovereign of their procreative health and choice. Please stop reading now if you are of the opinion old men, government or religious institutions should have greater authority over a woman’s body integrity than the individual woman.

This is the platform of the GOP.

“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. We oppose using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or fund organizations which perform or advocate it and will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage. We support the appointment of judges who respect traditional family values and the sanctity of innocent human life. We oppose the nonconsensual withholding or withdrawal of care or treatment, including food and water, from people with disabilities, including newborns, as well as the elderly and infirm, just as we oppose active and passive euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

Please note in the above the absence of any exceptions, none. Not to save the life of the already born woman, not for rape, not for incest.

Since Ronald Reagan invited the Religious Right into the GOP, there has been a slow march toward every greater misogyny, punishing women for our sexuality and choosing to express it. Essentially, punishing us for having a vagina and using it was intended, something more than spitting out baby after baby.

The following are some of my favorite quotes from elected GOP members across the US:

“I’m very proud of my pro-life record,” Ryan told WJHL-TV in Virginia in an interview aired Thursday. “I’ve always adopted the idea, the position, that the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”

Paul Ryan, VP Candidate WJHL.com Interview

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” Akin told KTVI television in an interview widely distributed by Democrats. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Representative Todd Akin ( R ), Fox News interview

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” he said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

Representative Richard Mourdock, Indiana Senate Debate

“Understand though, that when we talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, life of a woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.” Duckworth accused Walsh of allowing a woman to die rather than get an abortion, and Walsh said that was unfair. After the debate, he explained further to the press, NPR reports. He told CNN: “This is an issue that opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There’s no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing, with advances in science and technology. Health of the mother has been, has become a tool for abortions any time under any reason.” He told WGN: “With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance … there is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.

Representative Joe Walsh, ( R ), Illinois ongoing Debate and interviews

I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose the way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

Scolforo: Similar how?

Smith: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.

Scolforo: That’s similar to rape?

Smith: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.

Tom Smith ( R ), Reporters Interview
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Mitt Romney started his political life ambivalent toward the issue of women’s right to choose. His mother was firmly Pro-Choice during her Senate race. According to Mr. Romney he has always been personally Pro-Life and politically willing to keep a foot in both camps until he started this run for the Presidency. Now he is firmly and without exception in debt to the Religious Ideologues who hold the GOP in their hot hands, ready to turn the clock back and push women into the kitchen and the closet. Early in this run Mitt stated he was Pro-Life without exception, gaining the support of the crazies. Since that time he has moderated his stance, now he will make exceptions for Rape, Incest and the life of the already born and enfranchised woman, to save her life.

Keep in mind though, Mitt has said without equivocation it is his goal to overturn Roe v. Wade. It is his plan to defund Planned Parenthood. He fully supports disallowing the tax exemption for any health insurance policy that includes Abortion as a covered service. His Vice Presidential pick has co-sponsored five (5) anti-abortion bills all of which were dubious in their language, infantilize women and further strip them of their legal rights,  personal authority and body integrity.

My personal favorite is the Sanctity of Life Act, this little gem of a bill would have stripped SCOTUS and all other courts of their authority to hear challenges and rule, while at the same time making abortion mostly illegal for any and all reasons, no exceptions. Paul Ryan and Todd Akin were co-sponsors on this treat, not once but they introduced this in multiple sessions of congress.

Before I end my tirade I want to remind women and men, these ‘Sanctity’ of the sperm, because this is what they are, bills are nothing more than attempts to diminish women. Attempts to define the ‘life’ of a zygote as having greater value than an already born women; they are rubbish. When Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan call the social issues, particularly women’s issues such as our right to determine our health and future nothing more than a distraction from the ‘real’ issues of the day they show their true colors. The men I quoted are not on the right side of history and those who pick up the banner and run with it are running backwards and make me afraid.

These Bills not only want to strip women of their right to access safe and legal abortion, they will take many safe forms of contraceptives off the market. They will make IVF illegal. They will make most forms of stem cell research illegal. Some of the Bills introduced, including Paul Ryans would give a Rapist the right to sue his victim to prevent her from crossing state lines to obtain an abortion if the worst were to happen.

I fully support your right to be Pro-Life, whether for religious reasons or because you truly believe life begins at conception. This is your right.

Stay out of my business. Make your decisions based on your personal beliefs and choices. Do not interfere with my right to make my decisions based on my personal beliefs, my doctor’s medically sound advice and what science tells me. I love science and believe in it.

When someone says to me these things don’t matter they make me cringe. When they say these are distractions I realize they believe that 51% of the population of this nation, women; their mothers, daughters, wives don’t matter. But I am not a special interest group any longer, I am part of a majority. I am a bread winner, in fact the primary bread winner. I am not a distraction, but if the GOP wins my daughters and granddaughters might just once again become distractions, less than or not enough.

I fear for our daughters in the world the GOP wants to create. I fear for our daughters in a world where Rape is no longer a violent assault but something equivalent to having a child out of wedlock, or maybe ‘Gods will’, another form of conception. I fear for our daughters who might not have access to safe, affordable and certain contraceptives and will be subject to the same condemnation I was as an eleven-year-old Rape Victim with nowhere to turn and no one to protect me.

Is this the world we want for our daughters? Is this the world we fought for?

Comments

  1. **** ”And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”****

    I think he should ask the rape victim what she thinks about this idiotic statement.

    ….this is NOT the God that I know and Love.

    X

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    Those you mentioned are buffoons … unfortunately, they are in positions of power.

    • That my friend is the real problem isn’t it. Buffoons they might be, but they are indeed in positions of power. Positions to create law. Positions to undermine already made law. Positions to do great harm. The real problem? People are not paying attention. People are calling this a distraction from the ‘real’ problems without understanding if women are harmed the economy is harmed.

  3. I am on the other side of the pond and as soon as Mitt came on the scene, I cringed. I see I had not done so in vain. I do not like to see women (or anyone) go backwards…truly a stressful situation.

    • It is indeed, I don’t understand why any society would want to go backwards. I certainly don’t understand why any woman would vote the GOP ticket under these circumstances. The sad truth is they are, perhaps they are uninformed or simply delusional. I hear frequently from these women they don’t believe the party will pursue this agenda. Yet across the nation they have been pursuing this precise agenda and saying these ugly words.

  4. Great post Valentine. Men shouldn’t have any say over what a woman does or doesn’t do with her body. For a millennium, men have treated women as chattel and property. While much has changed, our culture continues, in subtle and not so subtle ways, to view women as subservient to men. We can’t give up the fight for equality, as we have a long way to go. Thanks again for your inspirational post.

    • Thanks and you are so right we have a long ways to go. Who would have thought we would still be talking about this in the twenty-first century in America.

      Val

  5. If for no other reason (and there are hundreds of others) Roe v Wade is an enormous one for women to pay particular attention to this year. I hope we all do. Thanks Valentine.

    • This is one of the huge problems we have. There are so many not paying attention. Romney is attempting to pretend he is a moderate on this issue, however he has said he will stake SCOTUS given the opportunity. There are at least two justices that will retire soon, there may be up to four that will retire or even die within the next administration. Should Romney / Ryan achieve the White House they will load up SCOTUS with Justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and there are lawsuits ready to take it on, just waiting for this to happen.

      Add to this, Voters Rights which the court wants to hear.

  6. Nowhere in the GOP platform is there a discussion about caring for those babies after they’re born. This is all about control. The old (mostly male) guards of the conservative flank want to keep everyone in check, except themselves. They don’t like government telling them how to run their profit-making businesses, but they feel the need to tell human beings what to do with their own bodies.

    • I am enraged over again each time someones tells me the are Pro-Life, Pro-Death Penalty, Pro-Drone Attack (so what if a few children die in the assault), Pro War in the Middle East.

      Truthfully, if you are Pro-Life it should be without exceptions. Rape should be just another means of conception. The problem is the Pro-Life stance is a religious stance, not a medical stance, not based on science but based on Religion and has no place in legislation.

      Smaller government, except when it comes to me and my health decisions I guess.

  7. Brilliant post – you clearly identified exactly what the threat is. If they get into power then it will be scary to be a woman in the US…

    People need to live by their code on this issue – but don’t you dare force your code on someone else. That is not religious tolerance – that is forcing YOUR religious dogma – the opposite of what religious tolerance means – and is so horrifying that it is even possible in the US.

  8. I agree entirely. My shock and rage is that so many women are silent on this! Why aren’t more women who have a large audience and influence not speaking out? Thank you for speaking out!

    • My only answer is fear. Look at the way in which Sandra Fluke was treated in the media, few stood up for here while the Right tore her apart. Most women don’t want their reputations and good name shredded in public forums. It is becoming more and more difficult to find and hold our voices.

      Val

  9. All of the talk about the Romney “Momentum” is total horseshit. The polls that show him winnng are Gallup and Rassmussen, which are notoriously wrong. Obama leads in other ways.

    My concern is now election theft. I will be making calls all weekend.

    • I have worked the phone banks a few times during this cycle. I have already early voted. Romney has a firm lock on the White Male vote, frightening really. I am also worried about election theft, we have seen it before. I am worried also about those states simply making it difficult to vote.

      I just can’t imagine how this election got this close.

  10. Valentine I can understand your anxiety and your breaking heart.
    I shall be on tenterhooks when the fateful day arrives and I will be with you in spirit.

    • Thanks Valerie. When I listen to those talking heads on the right dismiss the social issues as a distraction, when I hear the presidential candidate and his running mate dismiss women as a distraction to the ‘real issues’ I am simply dismayed. What are they thinking?

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