New op-ed highlights the GOP's evolution from 'groomer panic' to a strict abortion ban that forces kids to give birth
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, a new op-ed is shedding light on the evolution of Republicans' seemingly contradictory stance on the sexual assault of minors.
According to The Daily Beast, Republicans have gone from wanting to protect children from a fabricated pedophilia ring they accused Democratic leaders of running to forcing children to suffer consequences that might be imposed on them as a result of sexual assault.
The Beast's Eleanor Clift noted the belief of conservatives and their ultimate goal for pregnancies. "Anti-abortion extremists are adamant about seeing every pregnancy through to term, however horrific the circumstances, be it rape or incest," Clift wrote. "At the same time, the GOP is all worked up over elementary school teachers 'grooming' children."
Clift went on to raise questions about the reason for conservatives' adamant dismissal of young rape victims. She wrote, "How can conservatives be so dismissive of a young rape victim unless, of course, this is more about raw politics than health care or education?"
Speaking to The Daily Beast, Kristen Mark a sexual education professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School, weighed in on the definition of the word grooming and how it has been used in a social context. “That word ‘grooming’ has been used as a tool to create hysteria and to create a social panic,” said Mark. “It’s a loaded term, and to be used in that context, it’s frankly inaccurate.”
She went on to discuss how sexual information has been politicized. “There’s a lot of fear around kids learning (sexual) information,” says Mark. “Kids and adolescents have always been kept away, but today they have the internet, and they’re getting information. It’s medically accurate information that’s become a political issue.”
Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), also weighed in on the grounds of child abortion.
“No child should ever go through such tragic abuse as was reportedly perpetrated on this girl by a criminal in this country illegally. Those who commit such crimes should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," Tobias said in a statement. "Not only has a child been abused in one of the worst ways imaginable, this has also cost another child their life.”
William Galston, a Brookings Institution senior fellow of governance studies, also discussed the connection between grooming and child abortion.
“Republicans are being pushed by their activists to dramatically overshoot the center of gravity,” with ongoing calls for federal and statewide abortion bans, Galston told the news outlet. "If you make that point in a reasonable way, you get attention. But pedophiliac grooming really jumps the shark.”
David Finkelour, a University of New Hampshire sociology professor and the director of Crimes against Children Research Center, also weighed in with his take on the idea of a strict ban on abortion rights.
"Removing all abortion from consideration feels like a way to return to a time when fear of pregnancy stifled sexual license. Wild accusations of pedophilia and grooming feel like a way to scare anyone from talking with children about sex except to say that it is evil and corrupting," Finkelour wrote. "So they are in some ways both trying to restore a condition of imagined sexual innocence to children with some very crude tools.”
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