The holes in the Republican “pro-life” spin are showing.
Today Republican Senator Marco Rubio was on CBS’ Face the Nation attempting to defend the Republican Party’s platform on abortion, in which there is currently no exception in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother. Rubio touted the party’s “pro-life” stance repeatedly, and claimed Republicans were “protecting the rights of a human being to live”. Rubio’s defense suggests that pregnant women are not human beings, otherwise why are they leaving out life of the mother as an exception?
Even CBS noted via their title that Republicans are on the defense. Their headline reads: “Rubio: Opposing abortion not denying rights.”
Watch a clip here:
Rubio told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer that for those opposed to abortion, “this is not an issue about denying anyone rights. This is an issue about protecting the rights of a human being to live – irrespective of what stage in development they may be.
There is no way around the fact that the current language of the Republican platform absolutely denies pregnant women rights, including the right to live.
It also denies women the right to chose their destiny, and empowers rapists to chose the mother of their child by forcing women to have a Republican mandated child of a rapist. It also forces a young girl who is molested by a family member to have that family member’s child. Many states grant legal rights of fatherhood to rapists.
This means that the Republican Party’s platform is enabling a rapist to rape. Rape is an act of power and anger; it is an act of control – not an act of passion. Forcing a woman to carry a rapist’s baby gives the rapist even more incentive to rape, since he can then have control over a woman’s life for the next 18 years through their child.
Rubio notes that life will always matter, because our Declaration of Independence delineates the “God-given” right to life, and of course, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
If Republicans were being intellectually honest, they’d have to explain how this right to life does not apply to pregnant women in their view, and how women’s right to liberty from a rapist’s control is not a right they see for women, let alone the right to pursue happiness (as I doubt death is in most women’s definition of the pursuit of happiness).
While it may not be a top priority for voters, Rubio said, “I think we’re capable of discussing the issue of life in an intellectually honest way that’s true to our principles and at the same time make it very clear to the American people that we understand what it takes to grow the economy.”
May not be a top priority? I can assure Senator Rubio that the lives of women are a top priority to them and to their families.
As for Rubio’s claim that Republicans can be intellectually honest about their principles, they have already proven this to be false on this issue. If they cared about reducing abortions, they wouldn’t criminalize them, as criminalizing abortion does not reduce it, just as criminalizing gun ownership does not reduce the ability of people to get guns.
Right now, women in Texas who can’t get access to abortions are going across the border to unregulated Mexican pharmacies in order to procure an abortion drug called misoprostol, for which they often don’t have instructions. Ironically, due to the fact that abortion is illegal outside the city capital, the pharmacists don’t want to give instructions on the proper dosage of the drug. Without proper instructions, some women hemorrhage after taking the drug. Hemorrhaging can be life threatening and can threaten the woman’s future fertility.(Per the Texas Tribune, “According to the World Health Organization, the recommended dosage of misoprostol, if used alone for an abortion, should be four tablets (800 micrograms) every three hours for a total of three doses, or 12 tablets.”)
Furthermore, if Republicans wanted to reduce abortions, why are they criminalizing some forms of birth control via the personhood amendment that Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney supports?
Methods proven to reduce abortions include family planning, birth control, sex education, and empowering women to give birth by removing the obstacles in their way (financial hardship, lack of healthcare for the child, day care, etc.) through programs the Republican Party has been cutting, like WIC and Title X, a federal family planning assistance program. Of course, Republicans have been defunding Planned Parenthood as well, which provides family planning to low income women. Family planning helps to avoid unwanted pregnancies.
As for whether Akin’s remarks could hurt the GOP nationally, Rubio said the election would instead come down to what Romney stands for – a subject Rubio will broach when he delivers a speech at the Republican convention on Thursday.
Oh, goody. Rubio is finally going to tell the nation what Romney stands for. How did they decide? Years ago he was pro-choice and now he’s pro-women’s death by being pro-personhood amendment, which quite literally grants the zygote more rights than the woman carrying it. Republicans don’t think this is a top priority to Americans, but they are still trying to distance themselves publicly from their platform and their record. Since 2010 alone, Republicans have enacted 131 new anti-abortion laws.
Marco Rubio can’t defend the Republican Party’s position on abortion, because they are finally being forced to see their line of reasoning through to the end and it doesn’t hold up. Republicans want to suggest that a zygote has more rights to life than the woman carrying it. This has all kinds of legal ramifications, such as criminalizing miscarriages, as we have already seen in Republican led states.
Republican Todd Akin’s comments about the female body shutting down when “legitimately raped” (by which he later clarified he meant “forcible rape”, as VP candidate Paul Ryan believes) drew attention to the Republican Party’s stance on abortion, but they’ve already been busy legislating it across the nation. The results are predictable – women in jail for having a miscarriage, young women going across the border for dangerous abortion drugs, and an uprising of American women against the Republican Party’s attempt to control our bodies.
Republicans are going to keep telling Americans that this is not a top priority for voters. But when American families discuss this issue, I can’t imagine too many husbands saying yes, if their wife is raped they want her to be forced to carry the rapist’s baby or yes, they want the Republican Party make the decision that their wife should die if she has the bad fortune to have an ectopic pregnancy or a medical condition like diabetes that endangers her life during pregnancy.
I have a hard time imagining the men I know wanting the Republican Party to force their daughters to have the baby of a rapist or a child molester or an abusive boyfriend who added rape to his method of control (a common occurrence, especially when a young girl tires to end the relationship). Rape is often used as a way to manipulate a woman/young girl into staying in a bad situation.
Certainly women across the country are wondering what in the world this group of mostly men thinks they are doing inserting themselves between our doctors, our medical decisions, and our lives. And we are wondering just how Republicans like Rubio can say with a straight face that they are protecting the lives of all humans when they are so obviously legislating our deaths by leaving out exceptions for the life of the mother.
The bottom line is that the Republican Party claims they are pro-life, and this language has successfully defined the party as such and disguised their real agenda. After all, who doesn’t want to be FOR life?
It turns out, however, that the logical conclusion of the Republican Party’s platform is pro-death for women, pro-empowering rapists, and anti-women and children.
Additional Sources: The Rachel Maddow Show
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.