5 Crazy Things the GOP Is Still Saying About Women, Rape and Abortion--Even While the Convention Tried to Ignore It
A sign at a NYC rally for choice.
Photo Credit: Sarah Seltzer
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If the Republican Convention planners had their way, their party's extremist hard-line position on social issues like abortion and gay marriage (See 10 Things the GOP Platform Hates About You) would be forgotten. Todd Akin’s "legitimate rape" comment would be forgotten, too.
Instead we’d be focused on bad jokes about Obama’s golf game and the fact that Mitt Romney is a businessman.
But here’s the reality impossible to hide: while the show went on, members of the party continued to insert their feet in their mouths on choice issues--or maybe that's not the right term. Maybe they’re just letting their true colors show despite the desire of some in the convention hall to change the conversation.
As Nona Willis-Aronowitz reported firsthand for Marie Claire, offstage the anti-choice rhetoric flowed freely and the ideologues fulminated:
What a difference a few thousand feet makes. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte and Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, who both gave stiff and lackluster addresses earlier in the week, came alive at the Susan B. Anthony-CWA event — and were fiercer than they ever could be on a nationally televised stage. Ayotte boldly repeated the falsehood about taxpayer dollars going toward abortion and quoted Ryan’s vague platitude about life Wednesday night, urging the audience to "think very hard about those words."
Here are five more absurd statements in the wake of Akin-gate that give the lie to the GOP’s quieting attitude on the culture war front.
1. Mike Huckabee, after making a grossly sexist dig against Democratic National Committee’s Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, continued to be unable to hide his Bible-thumping misogyny from the crowd, telling them that Obama supports infancticide:
Of the four people on the two tickets, the only self-professed evangelical is Barack Obama, and he supports changing the definition of marriage, believes that human life is disposable and expendable at any time in the womb or even beyond the womb, and tells people of faith that they must bow their knees to the god of government and violate their faith and conscience in order to comply with what he calls health care.
Amanda Marcotte and Ed Kilgore both neatly dispatch the not-so-subtle subtext here, based on a right-wing lie about a bill that would have forced doctors to pretend to resuscitate aborted fetuses, a bill Obama voted against. While Marcotte makes mincemeat out of this zombie lie Kilgore notes that Huckabee’s words show that evangelicals, Catholics and Mormons who are socially right-wing are willing to hold their noses and plunge into the cultural fray together.
2. Paul Ryan calls rape another "method of conception":
After the Akin brouhaha, Paul Ryan was asked his opinion on rape and abortion. He said that “the method of conception doesn’t change the definition of life.”
Gottalaff wrote at the Political Carnival about where this easily deployed logic actually ends up:
So rape is just, you know, another way to conceive. There’s consensual sex, sex out of wedlock, and then there’s forcing a woman to do something against her will (rape), traumatizing her for life. All are equal, all are simply “methods of conception” and if a woman gets pregnant by any “method,” men like these, lawmakers like these, will tell her what she can do or can’t do with her own body.
HuffPo blogger Paul Slanskly worried about the lack of media coverage for this moment, “a far more offensive remark than Todd Akin's imbecilic blurt of last weekend. What, are we tired of stupid remarks about rape now, so Ryan gets a free pass?” he asks.
3. Steve King has never heard of statutory rape pregnancies.