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Congressman Joe Walsh: Abortion Not Needed To Protect The Life Of the Mother

Congressman Joe Walah apparently has his own version of medical science:

Controversial new comments on abortion from U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh have raised a new political firestorm over his re-election bid, with abortion rights advocates likening him to embattled Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin.

At a televised debate with opponent Tammy Duckworth, Republican Walsh declared that abortion should be outlawed in all circumstances, including to save the life of the mother.

But it was his comments to reporters after the event at WTTW Channel 11 that sparked the most attention. Walsh said that medical advances had rendered it unnecessary to ever perform an abortion to save a mother’s life.

“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance,” Walsh declared.

Asked then if he was saying it was never medically necessary to perform an abortion to save the life of a mother, Walsh responded: “Absolutely, yes.”

Walsh is, of course, completely incorrect. Before even getting into the statistics themselves, one only needs to remember that there are still such things as ectopic pregnancies, which occurs when one fertilized egg implants in one of the Fallopian Tubes. This is a situation where the pregnancy must be terminated as soon as possible because a growing zygote in a Fallopian Tube would be an immediate and serious threat to the life of the mother. Beyond that, though, it simply isn’t true that we’ve reached a point where there isn’t a single circumstance where a woman’s life could be in danger due a pregnancy, often in combination with other medical conditions. The instances of women who die in child birth is, fortunately, lower than it was even a century ago, but it’s not zero even in an advanced society like the United States.

Walsh is, quite simply, an idiot.

 

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. legion says:

    Not to mention the concept of cancer. If a woman is pregnant and diagnosed with cancer, there are no (AFAIK) treatments – chemo, radiological or pharmaceutical – that won’t also end the pregnancy.

    Joe Walsh is an embarrassment to thinking human beings everywhere.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

  2. Franklin says:

    Walsh: “you can’t find one instance”
    Mataconis: “there are still such things as ectopic pregnancies”
    Walsh: “you can’t find two instances”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  3. swbarnes2 says:

    Walsh is, quite simply, an idiot.

    You write this as if he and his policies fell from the sky. They didn’t. What he’s writing is exactly in line with the Republican party platform that your pal Bob McConnell wrote. The Republican party is what it is because you vote its members into political power.

    This kind of thinking leads to policies that will kill women. Brothers, and sons, and husbands will lose loved ones, if that perspective elicits more sympathy. But you’d content yourself with issuing dry academic corrections, rather than use your votes to try and stop this insanity.

    So once again, what Republican policies are so vital, and so wonderful, that they justify supporting Republicans with your vote?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 2

  4. ernieyeball says:

    I suspect Rep. Walsh misspoke.
    He must have meant that abortion is not needed to protect the life of the father.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  5. Argon says:

    @ernieyeball:
    Assuming the father is the husband…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  6. Tsar Nicholas says:

    They let that dude from The Eagles and The James Gang into Congress?

    Oh, my bad, never mind.

    On a serious note, Walsh either is real dumb or crazy like a fox or some combination thereof. Those Chicago burbs are pretty darn pro life. Even after he had morphed into a walking mannequin Henry Hyde kept winning tickets from there to D.C. But presumably Walsh’s political pumpkin is about to strike midnight, so to speak. Which in the greater scheme of things would not be all that tragic of a loss.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. @Tsar Nicholas:

    Walsh is a Tea Party Freshman who was redistricted into a district that is now heavily Democratic. Add to that the fact that he’s running against a bona fide war hero and he’s likely out the door come November. He’s probably auditioning for a spot on the pundit’s circuit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  8. PJ says:

    @legion:

    If a woman is pregnant and diagnosed with cancer, there are no (AFAIK) treatments – chemo, radiological or pharmaceutical – that won’t also end the pregnancy.

    Rep. Joe Walsh told me to tell you that prayer or the laying on of hands will remove cancer without ending the pregnancy.
    He also showed ten scientific studies (aka blog posts to Republicans) that prove that it’s true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Walsh is, quite simply, an idiot.

    Oh c’mon Doug… He is not an idiot, he is a Republican. Ohhhh, wait a minute….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  10. al-Ameda says:

    Walsh is pro-life except when it comes to his brain.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  11. legion says:

    @PJ: Curses! Foiled by Tucker Carlson!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Tillman says:

    I get the idea Walsh and those who think like him believe the world is far, far better than it actually is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. David says:

    Once again, reality has a liberal bias.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  14. Lit3Bolt says:

    Shoter Joe Walsh: With modern technology and science, you can now forbid the use of modern technology and science to save the lives of young women.

    Seriously, the idea the Bible is inerrant has got to go. I mean, we now have Fundamentalist Christians approving of usury, divorce, the heliocentric system, and the consumption of bacon and shrimp, but forbidding gay marriage, female autonomy, or the teaching of basic science and education.

    Also, you can’t be a Libertarian and be bemused about how poorly our public schools are doing without holding accountable the religion that is mainly responsible for holding back our educational efforts. In short, Joe Walsh and Todd Akin bear some of the blame for poor education, and not merely just lazy teachers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  15. Mr. Replica says:

    It’s times like this that make me think about how much I miss the late, great George Carlin.

    “Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.’”

    R.I.P. George.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  16. Unsympathetic says:

    @Tillman:

    I agree.. it’s the same kind of non-logic that inspires people to stop vaccinating their kids, and then allows them to be genuinely shocked when the very thing they didn’t vaccinate their kid for turns up in their town.

    http://www.khi.org/news/2012/may/03/state-and-local-officials-working-tally-cost-measl/

    To turn this post back to the topic at hand: Hey, it’s ladyparts, all your words are IOKIYAR.. all they really want is someone acting like they’re in control, right fundies?!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. Herb says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    “He’s probably auditioning for a spot on the pundit’s circuit.”

    If so, we should encourage him to go into another line of work. Textiles, maybe.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. mantis says:

    @Mr. Replica:

    R.I.P. George.

    Indeed. I love that bit. I miss George. I’m going to go listen to Parental Advisory. On cassette tape!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. mantis says:

    Oh, and also, I’ve met Joe Walsh. I’m near his district. It’s not an act. He is a stupendous, stupendous moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. Jeremy says:

    @swbarnes2: Pretty sure Doug is voting for Gary Johnson, not Mitt Romney. Don’t think he’s voting GOP for Congress, either.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Franklin says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: Excellent point. There’s only one good Joe Walsh that I know of and it sure ain’t this guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. ernieyeball says:

    @Mr. Replica ‘The Public Sucks. F*ck Hope.’”

    As long as Hope is the waitress at Denny’s!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. swbarnes2 says:

    @Jeremy:

    Pretty sure Doug is voting for Gary Johnson, not Mitt Romney.

    1) Gary Johnson is a Republican.

    2) A vote for Gary Johnson will help to elect Mitt Romney.

    Don’t think he’s voting GOP for Congress, either.

    Doug previously said that he had no regrets about voting for Republican Bob McDonnell for governor. I’ll take that as pretty good evidence that he’ll vote Republican for Congress too.

    If there’s a quote where he says he’s voting for the Democrat for Congress, I’ll believe that, but not you projecting what you think he ought to do onto him. Abstaining from voting when a Republican wins is barely less culpable than voting for one.

    Look, you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. This week alone, three Republicans have said crushingly stupid, horribly cruel and very harmful things. Anyone who calls themselves conservative, anyone whose votes help the party that is the home of those guys is responsible for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. mantis says:

    @swbarnes2:

    A vote for Gary Johnson will help to elect Mitt Romney.

    I doubt that is true. Go ahead, Republicans; vote for Johnson!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  25. LCaution says:

    Over 500,000 women worldwide die from pregnancy every year. In the U.S. the maternal mortality rate is 8 per 100,000. We rank 16th in the world. Behind the UAR (among others of course).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  26. legion says:

    @swbarnes2:
    What @mantis said… practically nobody who’s considering voting for Johnson was ever a likely Obama voter…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  27. In short, Joe Walsh and Todd Akin bear some of the blame for poor education, and not merely just lazy teachers.

    Which is frankly why I’d like more school choice. Let all the Akins and Walshes have their madrassas, and let the sane people have their own schools where they can get a real education.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. ptfe says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Comically, those “sane schools” are more and more turning out to be public schools as reflexive fundamentalists object more and more to teaching biology, geology — hell, they’ve probably moved on to physics by now — because rational thinking requires that you, you know, think rationally.

    But, hey, if you want to pay someone more money to give your kid a bad education, just don’t be surprised when your kid grows up to be an idiot. What’s sad is that the same people are increasingly getting into government and demanding that we pay for their shitty schooling — because half-assed schooling cuts our costs in half! or something. Evidence Louisiana…oh, how ironic it is that the very bill intended to make us all pay for kids to be brought up as fundamentalist Christians basically did fund madrassas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Barry says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Walsh is a Tea Party Freshman who was redistricted into a district that is now heavily Democratic. Add to that the fact that he’s running against a bona fide war hero and he’s likely out the door come November. He’s probably auditioning for a spot on the pundit’s circuit.”

    Except for the fact that he’s not alone in the GOP with this crazyness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. J-Dub says:

    To paraphrase SNL, I believe: If men could get pregnant the morning after pill would come in flavors, like cinnamon and cherry.

    This is not a fight for the unborn, it’s a fight for power, or more directly a fight for men to maintain power over women. Sounds like the Taliban to me…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0