This might be time to send the kiddies out for some exercise while we discuss Lady Parts and the GOP misconceptions about those regions. Evidently, some prominent members of the Grand Old Party missed the chapters in high school biology about the reproductive process. And yet, they would like very much to legislate on the subject. Let’s start with the obvious.
Item: Representative Todd Akin (R-Mo) – “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down,” he said.” [Esquire] By now there may be only an isolated few people who haven’t heard the comment and been power washed by the reactions. Ah, NO, the little eggies can’t differentiate between the Nasty Assaulting wiggles and the little generous wiggles who create snowflake babies — however, as Garance Franke-Ruta carefully explains in this Atlantic article, this is a “Canard that will not die.”
Item: Vice Presidential Candidate Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) – “rape is another form of conception.” [HuffPo] Technically yes. The result may be conception, but Whoa! the process isn’t intimacy, nothing like it. Nevada law is quite clear on the subject.
“A person who subjects another person to sexual penetration, or who forces another person to make a sexual penetration on himself or herself or another, or on a beast, against the will of the victim or under conditions in which the perpetrator knows or should know that the victim is mentally or physically incapable of resisting or understanding the nature of his or her conduct, is guilty of sexual assault.”
Rape is an assault. Nevada law is very clear about an assault too: “Assault” means: (1) Unlawfully attempting to use physical force against another person; or (2) Intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of immediate bodily harm.” [See also: The Sin City Siren]
Item: Idaho state Representative Chuck Winder (R-Boise) – “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape,” Winder said during his testimony Monday, before the bill passed the Senate 23-12. “I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.” [YahooNews]
Really? Was Representative Winder inferring that there is no such thing as spousal rape? That the woman was merely claiming rape for the purpose of justifying an abortion? Does he believe that women commonly “cry rape” thus victimizing men?
Item: Vice Presidential candidate Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) “Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, and Akin are among the 227 co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” which would prohibit federal funding of abortions except in instances of “an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest.” [USAtoday] Representative Ryan avoided answering what he and Representative Akin meant by “forcible” rape.
Would this exclude a sexual assault by seduction? By drugging the victim? By date rape? By a spouse?
Item: The 2012 Republican Platform calling for over turning Roe v. Wade.
“The party states that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” It opposes using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or to fund organizations that perform or advocate abortions. It says the party will not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.” [WaPo]
“The platform calls for a Constitutional amendment repealing Roe v. Wade. But by not addressing exceptions, the intention is to allow states to make contingencies for pregnancies caused by rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger, said Irvine’s Linda Ackerman, a member of the Republican National Committee, which approved the platform.” [OCR] They might want to have made that clear! However, what they are advocating is a patchwork system in which the rights of some women in the country are protected in some areas and not in others.
Item: Stacey Campfield (R-TN) “In a recent interview with Michelangelo Signorile, who hosts the radio program OutQ on SiriusXM, Campfield said, ““Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community. It was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall.” This is an actual quote from Sen. Campfield during the radio interview.” [Examiner] Where to begin?
Six items ought to be more than enough to paint the picture. There’s more here from Kathleen Parker (WaPo), who has some good suggestions for Power Point presentations to GOP delegates in Tampa. In light of transvaginal probe legislation, and arguments about contraception, a little reproductive education seems to be definitely in order.