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This is a 'Legitimate' Blog Post

I am a liberal. But the issue of rape and basic biology are not and should not be a liberal/conservative issue.

I am a father. I have a ten year old daughter. She is the light of my life, just like the kids in your life are probably the light of yours.

In the interest of full disclosure and before we go any further, I am a registered Democrat who actively votes. I voted for Clinton. I campaigned for Gore but voted for John Hagelin when I lived in Maryland. I voted for Kerry both for Senate and for President. I voted for President Obama. I intend to do so again.

I am a liberal.

But, hot damn, the issue of rape and basic biology are not and should not be a liberal/conservative issue.

The extreme right wing of the GOP, however, has consistently come down against women–against victims–on the issue of rape, and it is sickening and terrifying.

You are all likely aware by now of GOP Representative and MO Senate candidate Todd Akin’s comments that a “legitimate rape” is unlikely to result in pregnancy, because he believes a woman’s body has ways of “shutting that down.”

What a relief that must be to the more than 31,000 American women alone who were impregnated by non-consensual sex each year to know that they were not “legitimately” raped, and they can just go about their lives freed of that burden.

Today, GOP Rep. Stephen King said he had “never heard of” a woman or girl being impregnated by statutory rape or incest. That’s right – apparently, it’s not going to result in a baby if you rape a relative or young girl.

GAH!

First of all, these elected officials somehow do not understand that human beings are evolved (well, there’s part of the problem right there–you have to understand that EVOLUTION IS A THING) to be baby factories, and that mindset is *not* relative to fertility. Fear will not make you less fertile. Pain will not make you less fertile.

RAPE will not make you less fertile.

This assault on rape victims by the GOP is not new, or an isolated incident. It is a matter of clear policy, with a clear public record to back it up.

In 2011, Rep. Akin, Rep. King, Rep. Paul Ryan (yep, the GOP Vice Presidential candidate) and a number of other House Republicans sponsored H.R. 3. This bill would have changed existing law, which allowed federal funding of abortions to rape, incest, and in instances where abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother. The proposed new language would have changed “rape” to “forcible rape,” opening the door to forcing women to carry to term pregnancies resulting from statutory rape, incest, instances where the woman was drugged or incapacitated, or mentally unfit to consent to sex.

The current – as in, approved yesterday (note, just days after the Akin outcry) – GOP abortion plank to be put forward at their convention next week calls for a constitutional anti-abortion amendment that makes no exception for rape. It is the official position of the Republican Party that a woman who is pregnant as a result of a rape must carry that fetus, that daily reminder of her violation, to term. She must carry 50% of the genes of her rapist with her, for nearly a year, and then decide whether to raise the child or put it up for adoption.

GOP-controlled legislatures have tried to put forth “Personhood” amendments, claiming that life begins at conception (or, in some cases, before conception!). These have by-and-large failed thus far, but claim Paul Ryan (again, the GOP Vice Presidential nominee) as a supporter. If life begins at conception, it is conceivable that a raped and impregnated woman could be called a murderer–legally–for terminating the pregnancy.

Next month, Governor Romney, Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Jim DeMint, and other members of the GOP hierarchy will be speaking that the “Values Voters Summit,” billed as the “premier conservative event now in the country” by Sean Hannity, alongside Bryan Fishcher. Fischer is a policy director at the American Family Association, a conservative “think-tank,” and GOP assault arm. Fischer has also emerged in the past days as an avowed Akin supporter, claiming that the media has grossly distorted Akins comments (yeah, watch the video) and going so far as to quote a widely debunked 1999 essay by the former president of the National Right To Life Committee:

To get and stay pregnant a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction in pregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.

Fisher went on in his statements to say “In other words, ladies and gentlemen, Todd Akin was exactly right.” Yeah, sorry, but science doesn't work that way, and to paraphrase Neil Degrasse Tyson, the wonderful thing about science is that it works even if you don't believe in it.

Speaking of the National Right To Life Committee, this group–whose former president wrote the ridiculous article quoted above–gave Todd Akin a “100% Favorable” rating just prior to his primary win earlier this month. That’s right, they are actively working to influence elections – both at the primary and general election level, and Republicans actively work to achieve their highest ratings. Oh, and by the way, they have endorsed Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

So, for the sake of our daughters, and sisters, and mothers, and women we’ve never met–it’s time to tell the Akins, Kings, Ryans, and Romneys of the world to take a hike. They have no place dictating women’s health to women, or victimizing already terribly traumatized rape victims further–and that is precisely what they intend to do.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kira Gagarin August 24, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Not to take away Mr. Postman's "bravery", but its much easier to share super private aspects of your life like that when using an anonymous name and then ask others to share theirs on a public forum... True statement though, we all live with our decisions, mistakes, blind leaps of faith, and calculated miscalculations. Yet they are OURS to live with. Moreover, maybe you wouldn't have been able to get where you are now without those mistakes. Maybe an abortion at age 17, though something you will always lament on, allows you to get 10 extra years of self growth and puts you somewhere you would not have been without it. Maybe then you can raise 3 kids instead of struggle with 1? Again, these are all just mabyes, but ones that I have seen true in plenty of cases.
David Nolta August 25, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Postman--you're being general and declarative, and that leads you to make bad decisions. To begin with, I can and do say that I am better off than I was four years ago and I am not the only one. In fact, the country is better off than it was four years ago--maybe you've forgotten what it was like four years ago? (Thankfully, neither of us has the comparably horrible early 1930's in our personal memory banks--but they WERE comparable...). I have presented a few of my opinions on this topic recently on The Patch. We are all better off that we now have the basis of universal healthcare, loooong overdue. We are all better off that we have in office a President who understands the complexity of the illegal immigration problems, and who supports equal rights (for example, for homosexuals). We are better off now that we are finally (if we will never be finally finally) moving out of Iraq--where the Republican cabal deceitfully landed us. We are better off if you look at the stock market, or if you are an American auto-worker, or if you care about the working classes at all. And you go positively out of bounds when you accuse President Obama of dividing the country--apparently you really HAVE forgotten when and with whom the current partisan divide began. Karl Rove anyone? And who keeps it running? A Republican Party which explicitly and treacherously glories in its desire to stop the country (that's US) from achieving anything under the current administration.
Scum Of The Earth August 28, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Gee what a surprise, a liberal demonizing the GOP and all Republicans in general. Its Bush's fault, everything is Bush's fault. Thank God for Obama, because I was worried no one would increase the deficit by $5 trillion, even though he campaigned on a platform to reduce it, then instead increased it, and got a pat on the back for it to boot!!! I can only hope he gets another 4 years so he can get the deficit up another $5 or $10 trillion more, so we can all sit back and blame Bush again and again and again. Joe Biden, he never says anything wrong, or stupid, or says things he wishes he could take back. No sir, not good old Joe. Thank God for the Democratic party, where would we be without it?
Scum Of The Earth August 28, 2012 at 02:11 AM
well I am a little late to this party, but from what I can see here, Ben Jackson knows everything, dont believe me? Just ask him, he will tell you. Love it when liberals resort to name calling and being rude to people who dare to have a different opinion. How u like them apples Ben? "snort"
Maria Gutemberg August 28, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Hi postman, I've had to live with the experience. I had an abortion in my early 20s. Turns out you can get pregnant even when using birth control. How did I feel then? Sad I had to go through it, relieved it was an option, and sure of myself and my decision. How do I feel now? Same. There's not even a fraction of me that wishes I had done anything differently. There's not a moment I regret my decision. Having a child at 21, for me, was absolutely out of questions, and I'm so thankful I have always believed this for myself. As Kira has put it, I don't know anyone who is "pro-abortion". No one WANTS to go through it. But to expect women everywhere to have and care for babies they don't want just because someone else thinks it's the right thing to do, or thinks it's what "God wants" is ludicrous to me.

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