Out of touch is out of touch.
Extremist Joni Ernst (R-IA) is running for the U.S. Senate, you know, the place that used to be the speed bump against the crazies in the House of Representatives. But now Republicans are hoping to turn the Senate into a highway for their extremist Tea Party positions, so they can pass laws that most reasonable people take issue with — like outlawing abortion in all cases, even in the case of rape or incest, due to the personhood amendment Joni Ernst supports.
Democrats hit Ernst today with an ad featuring Kim Tweedy, a Nurse Examiner on a West Des Moines Sexual Assault Response Team, who says, “I’ll never understand politicians who’d make it harder. Politicians like Joni Ernst. She’d outlaw abortion even for victims of rape and incest. She’d ban a woman’s right to choose even for women who’ve been through that trauma, absolutely brutalized.”
Watch “Brutalized” here:
Rmuse broke down Ernst’s double speak on the issue after a debate with her opponent, Democrat Bruce Braley:
During a debate Sunday evening with Representative Bruce Braley (D-IA), Ernst defended her vote for the Catholic Bishops’ proposal granting full constitutional rights to a zygote. The so-called “personhood” amendment favored by the Vatican’s Humanae Vitae Ernst voted for would have changed Iowa’s Constitution to guarantee that the instant a sperm cell punctured an ovum, the resulting single-celled zygote would enjoy the same constitutional rights the personhood amendment effectively took away from the mother. Braley noted that the personhood amendment Ernst introduced was an attack on women’s reproductive rights and told her “I respect your faith, I have my own faith that is very deep and personal to me. But let’s be clear: The Cedar Rapids Gazette did a fact-check on the amendment that you introduced that said it would do all the things that I said it would. That it would ban contraception, it would prevent people from getting in vitro fertilization, and you personally said that doctors who performed those procedures under your bill should be prosecuted.”
Joni Ernst is all over that, even though she tries to deny it when pushed in public. She wants to ban contraception in some cases, too. Joni Ernst calls this “supporting life.”
“Supporting whose life?” is a question no one asks.
Ernst can’t have it both ways, and the thing that no one brings up to lawmakers who try to have it both ways is hey, your job is to make laws. This means looking at the consequences and asking yourself why, perhaps, the folks before you thought your idea unwise. Personhood is something that sounds great at a rally, but is a horrible idea legislatively. It creates the a rather obvious problem of giving a zygote more rights than the human woman carrying it, and this is completely illogical (and let’s face it, not easy to sell once people get a whiff of it).
But it also renders some forms of birth control illegal, and there is no way for a lawmaker who really believes that life starts when an egg is fertilized to say it’s okay to make abortion legal in the case of rape and incest. Thus, personhood is really the moment when the Republican Party jumped the shark. There’s no way off of this cliff but down.
These are but a few of the reasons why when this issue was debated decades ago, people realized that they can’t legislate their morality over women and families who don’t share their religious beliefs. There is no logical way to do it that does not infringe upon the liberties of others.
It is also utterly lacking in compassion and reality to outlaw abortion in all cases, but we have seen Republicans like former VP candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI) trying to pass a law that would give rapists more control over their victims so that the victim would be not only unable to have an abortion in her state, but the rapist could sue to keep her from leaving the state to have an abortion in another state.
The piper came calling for Joni Ernst’s extremist position on women’s rights, and it isn’t pretty. There aren’t too many people who are going to agree that we should force rape and incest victims to have their rapist’s baby, and there aren’t too many people who want to see contraception (the best way to prevent abortion, by the way) outlawed.
Go back to the 1950s, Joni Ernst. And take your clippers with you.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
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 has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.