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Rape, Violence, Abortion? Radical Right Says its All Your Fault

Written by Amanda Marcotte for - News, commentary and community for reproductive health and justice.

I was pleased to watch “The Rachel Maddow Show” Thursday night, as Rachel dedicated not just one, but two segments on the surprising number of severely anti-choice candidates running for major offices this election cycle.  As reported on the show, the story is getting very little mainstream attention, but it’s certainly a new thing to have three major Senate candidates---Sharron Angle, Rand Paul, and Ken Buck---come out not just for restricting abortions for choice, but also for criminalizing abortion in the case of threats to a woman’s health, and in the cases of rape or incest.   

Since all three candidates reluctantly allow that they might allow an abortion should they be convinced that a pregnant woman’s life is in danger (though often said restrictions are so high they are functionally death sentences for the “crime” of being pregnant, for the doctors fear that a 5 to 10 percent chance of survival might be enough to prosecute), they adamantly stand for forcing rape victims to carry the rapist’s baby to term.  Yes, even if the rapist is the father or brother of the victim.  Melissa Harris-Lacewell came on the show to offer the perspective that hard times often make the populace more open to sadistic intrusions on a woman’s right to control her own fertility.  She made some excellent points about how the increasing acceptance of forced childbirth, even for rape victims, coincides with other enthusiasms for control over reproduction, such as the new talk of repealing the 14th Amendment strictly to punish immigrant women who give birth.

I have some points I’d like to add to Melissa’s excellent commentary. Read more