Notorious makeover queen Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who is pushing hard for Trent Franks’ anti-abortion legislation in the House – Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – told Newsmax TV that though the bill – which was passed by the House on Tuesday – is doomed by a Democrat-controlled Senate and a threatened veto from President Obama, the bill was a good move.
As The Maddow Blog reported the other day, Blackburn agrees with Frank’s “screw the economy and let’s screw women too” claim that pregnancies seldom result from rape and she put forward the bizarre idea that an anti-abortion bill will fight rape:
[T]he hope is that that will help with getting some of the perpetrators out of the population that are committing these crimes against women and against minor females. We certainly would hope that we could rid our society of these perpetrators.
When asked just exactly how this would work, she changed the subject, says The Maddow Blog.
As The Maddow Blog concluded, “The interview offered a fascinating peek into an alternate universe that doesn’t resemble our own.”
The Newsmax interview offers no reality relief.
Appearing on “The Steve Malzberg Show” she claimed, “First and foremost . . . 80 percent of the American people think later-term abortion should be banned.”
She made this claim to interview with Craig Melvin on MSNBC as well, but as The Maddow Blog points out, there are no polls which substantiate her claim and an appeal to Gallup reveals abortion is a far more complex issue for Americans than Blackburn would have us believe.
Watch from Newsmax:
“Science is on our side on this,” she said, again repeating what she told MSNBC. “Those babies can feel, they respond to pain.”
But just as no polls corroborate her 80 percent claim, science does not corroborate her 20-week claim (in fact, she has said fetuses feel pain as early as eight weeks). In the end, 20 weeks is just a convenient round number.
But Republicans claiming they have science on their side is nothing new. They are insisting science disproves global warming also, even though scientists disagree. Blackburn cites the opinions “80 percent” of Americans but Republicans ignore the scientific analysis 90+ percent of climate scientists.
Blackburn told Newsmax:
What we want to do is fight for these babies to give them the ability to enjoy life, that first guarantee that is there for them.
The president, the Democrats, the Senate, the Democrat-led Senate, they are out of step with the American mainstream and, more importantly than that, they’re out of step with what abortion policy is in the rest of the world.
And then the clincher:
“We have one of the most liberal abortion policies in the world.”
The problem with this claim is that as The San Francisco Chronicle reported last October,
No other nation in the Western world restricts abortion as severely as the Republican Party platform advocates. In fact, the U.N. study shows that since 1996, far more nations have been liberalizing their abortion policies than restricting them – by a factor of more than 4 to 1.
Blackburn doesn’t want to talk about these facts. Or the fact that at the state level, attacks on women’s reproductive health make access to abortions even more problematic (e.g. South Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas, Arkansas, North Dakota).
Nor does she want to mention another number, that the vast majority of American women oppose the GOP’s abortion legislation.
Nor is the 80 percent claim all that it is cracked up to be. In fact, the Chronicle pointed out,
The party’s platform calls for a constitutional amendment that would forbid abortion under all circumstances. The U.N. study shows that only four of the world’s 230 states have similarly restrictive policies – El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile and the Dominican Republic. All of them are predominantly Roman Catholic.
Blackburn persists in her delusions, however (she IS a Republican after all):
“We think [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid should take it up. You have to end the Gosnell-type abortions that are taking place in this country,” she said, referring to the Philadelphia abortion doctor convicted of murder for snipping the spines of babies that lived through the procedure.
There is no doubt that Republicans play fast and furious with the facts. In fact, in their hands, facts are not facts. They toss out numbers with a negligent lack of concern for their accuracy and Blackburn is breaking no new ground here.
What is troubling is that though these ridiculous pseudo-scientific claims doomed several Republican claims last year, Republicans in office have picked them up and run with them as though they were never disproven, and are using them to justify their misogynist policies.
They complain about government interference in our lives, all the while trying to turn America into one of the most repressive countries on earth.
The evidence of Republican legislation since Obama took office leads to an unambiguous conclusion: “We the People” turns out to be more of a derisive, “You the People – yeah you. Do what you’re told.”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.