5 GOP Candidates Who Want to Force Rape Victims to Bear Their Attacker's Child
The GOP has always pandered to the right-wing base by promising to strip women of the right to control their own bodies. In the interest of not alienating sane people though, many Republican lawmakers make an exception in cases of incest and rape, and when a mother's life is in danger.
But a group of ultra-conservative Republican Senate candidates -- recently propelled to victory in the primaries by Tea Party groups who claim to oppose government intrusion into people's lives -- want the government to force women to carry fetuses to term, even in cases of incest or rape. Rachel Maddow, in her show on Wednesday night, called this group the "Bear Your Rapist's Baby Caucus." According to Raw Story, at least 78 GOP candidates for the House would qualify for this extreme voting bloc.
Here are five freedom lovers who think they should get to decide what a rape victim does with her body:
1. Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul, the world's most principled libertarian, says on his Web site that he supports a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act as "federal solutions to the abortion issue." Both measures would not only overturn Roe v. Wade, but make abortion illegal in the states. According to Paul, the federal government should not only have the power to tell women what to do with their bodies, but the duty to intrude on women's reproductive choices: "I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life."
While Paul sometimes dissembles when asked by reporters if he holds a no-exceptions stance, he made his position clear on a Kentucky Right to Life Association survey (PDF) saying he opposes abortion in instances of incest and rape.
"As your Senator, there are many ways I can help end abortion. I will fight for each and every one of them," says Paul on his site.
2. Christine O'Donnell (Delaware)
Christine O'Donnell's strong feelings about how Americans should conduct their private lives extend to abortion, naturally. O’Donnell has said multiple times that she opposes abortion in cases of incest and rape.
In a nice illustration of the politics of the anti-abortion movement, O'Donnell's uncompromising commitment to a policy that would force a 12-year-old girl to bear her rapist’s baby prompted Susan B. Anthony president Marjorie Dannenfelser to lavish her with this absurd praise: "O'Donnell has expressed her strong determination to be a vocal advocate for women and unborn children in abortion debates on the floor of the U.S. Senate."
3. Sharron Angle (Nevada)
On the Bill Manders radio show in January, Sharron Angle said she opposes abortion without exception. She did, however, offer rape victims some practical advice for dealing with unwanted pregnancy: Just leave it up to God. “You know, I'm a Christian and I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of our lives and that he can intercede in all kinds of situations and we need to have a little faith in many things."
In the event that God doesn't intercede to make everything OK, Angle offered another option to rape and incest victims during an interview on the conservative Alan Stock show. Stock asked the GOP nominee what she would tell a 13-year-old impregnated by her father. Angle replied, "I think that two wrongs don't make a right. And I have been in the situation of counseling young girls, not 13 but 15, who have had very at-risk, difficult pregnancies. And my counsel was to look for some alternatives, which they did. And they found that they had made what was really a lemon situation into lemonade."
4. Ken Buck (Colorado)
Colorado’s GOP nominee Ken Buck also opposes abortion in cases of incest and rape, though he generously concedes that women shouldn't have to die to carry their fetuses to term. "I don't believe in the exceptions of rape or incest. I believe that the only exception, I guess, is life of the mother. And that is only if it's truly life of the mother,” said Buck in a videotaped exchange with a constituent.
During the primary Buck also came out in support of a Colorado amendment that would bestow fertilized eggs with “personhood” status, essentially outlawing not just abortion but many contraceptives like the IUD and the birth control pill.
After the primaries Buck walked back his support of a measure that would outlaw the pill, but the GOP candidate still supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion (though he said he wouldn't introduce one).
5. Joe Miller (Alaska)
In a primary campaign letter to anti-abortion groups he was plumbing for cash, Alaska Senate nominee Joe Miller promised, "if you send me to Washington DC, there will be no greater advocate for Life in the United States Senate."
Throughout his primary campaign against incumbent Lisa Murkowski, Miller regularly slammed Murkowski for not being extreme enough on abortion. Miller and others credit a parental notification law with boosting Miller’s popularity among conservative primary voters; although both candidates supported the measure, Miller did so far more noisily. According to the campaign manager for Alaskans for Parental Rights, “He told voters over and over again: Flip your ballot over, vote yes on 2. Before you vote for me, vote yes on 2. Ballot Measure 2 is much more important than this Senate race,"
In an interview in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Miller described himself as “unequivocally pro-life,” including cases of rape or incest.” According to Miller, abortion should only be allowed if the mother’s life is in danger.
In addition to all anti-abortion extremists running for Senate on the GOP ticket, a multitude of House candidates also want abortion outlawed even if the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape. Amanda Terkel reported that the Republican National Coalition for Life has endorsed 63 House candidates who are pro-life “without discrimination.” Dianne Edmondson, executive director of the organization, told Terkel that there are more candidates against abortion with no exceptions in this election cycle.