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The GOP Platform’s Abortion Plank Could’ve Been Written By Todd Akin

It won’t be official until Monday when it’s voted on at the convention, but the Republican Party appears ready to adopt as part of its platform an abortion plank that would call for a Constitutional Amendment that would outlaw all abortions in all cases:

The Republican Party is once again set to enshrine into its official platform support for “a human life amendment” to the Constitution that would outlaw abortion without making explicit exemptions for rape or incest, according to draft language of the platform obtained exclusively by CNN late Monday.

“Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed,” the draft platform declares. “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

The party will reaffirm its opposition to federally-funded embryonic stem cell research and demand that the government “not fund or subsidize health care which includes abortion coverage.”

Republicans have also inserted a “salute” to states pushing “informed consent” laws – an apparent reference to ultrasound bills that have moved through some state legislatures – “mandatory waiting periods prior to an abortion, and health-protective clinic regulation.”

(…)

An exemption for rape, though, is not included in the platform set to be adopted by the party Romney will officially lead when he accepts the Republican nomination next week.

And Ryan, his vice presidential pick, has opposed exceptions for rape and voted alongside Akin in the House, though Ryan now says he defers to Romney’s position on the matter.

Debate over the abortion plank flared four years ago when John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee at the time, said he wanted to add language to the platform to recognize exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother

The GOP has included support for the so-called Human Life Amendment in its platform going back decades now and there’s never really been any serious attempt to pass such an amendment in Congress. Furthermore, the actual importance of party platforms is largely overblown by pundits, and political opponents. Most voters apparently don’t pay much attention to them, and neither do the politicians once their elected. Indeed, the odds that any Constitutional Amendment, least of all this one, could make it through the ratification process in this day and age are pretty low. Nonetheless, this comes at a time when the entire abortion issue, and the Democratic meme that the GOP is waging a “war on women” has been revived by the idiotic comments of Congressman Todd Akin regarding rape and abortion. Tied into that there’s the fact that Akin was a co-sponsor, along with Paul Ryan, of legislation that would have limited taxpayer funding of abortions for poor women only to cases of “forcible rape,” whatever that’s supposed to mean. After an uproar that included the somewhat unfair charge that the House GOP was seeking to “redefine rape,” the bill was dropped. However, the sponsorship remains and Ryan’s place on the ticket is an uncomfortable reminder of that bill at a time when Akin himself has become persona non grata in his own party. Akin and Ryan also partnered on something called the Sanctity Of Human Life Act Of 2009, which said the following:

 (1) the Congress declares that-

(A) the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is vested in each human being, and is the paramount and most fundamental right of a person; and

(B) the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency, at which time every human being shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood; and

(2) the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.

This bill is based on the radical notion pushed by many in the pro-life movement that Congress has the authority to outlaw abortion nationwide via legislation pursuant to the authority granted by Section 5 of the 14th Amendment. The legal merits of such an argument are dubious to say the least, and there’s really not much of a chance something like this would ever pass Congress. Nonetheless, it provides ammunition for those who would say that the GOP wants to take away women’s rights to abortion, access to birth control, and a host of other things.

Indeed, many on the left are using the Akin comments to make a broader point about the GOP itself:

None of this changes the substance of the Republican Party’s stance on abortion. “Personhood” amendments have become popular with Republicans on the state level, and the human life amendment—which is functionally indistinguishable from “personhood”—has been a part of the GOP platform since 1984, with nearly identical language in each instance. Platforms don’t dictate the policy of elected officials, but they are a statement of the party’s values and aspirations.

What does the GOP aspire to? An America where abortion is outlawed in all instances: no exceptions for rape, no exceptions for incest, and no exceptions for medical emergency. The variety and availability of contraception would be sharply limited, and the rate of pregnancy significantly higher. The rate of abortion might go down, but the number of women killed as a result of illicit abortions would be guaranteed to increase. Todd Akin would be happy with this world; the human life amendment would keep women from “punishing” children and result in a world where even more were born as a result of rape.

Do average Republicans actually believe this? I think it’s pretty clear that they don’t. While the party as a whole is pro-life, public support for exceptions to laws against abortion for cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger are fairly widely supported both in GOP and in the public as a whole. The no-exceptions position that the platform seems to be about to take is there because of the influence of the social conservative wing of the party which, while far from a majority, certainly is both very vocal and very active. The problem for the GOP is that this group also forces the party into taking policy positions on issues like this that are largely out of line with the rest of the American public and, most importantly, with suburban middle-class women. The GOP already has a gender gap problem that has the potential to have a serious impact in more than one battleground state, thanks to Todd Akin and this idiotic platform plank, they’re likely to have an even bigger one.

Related Posts:

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. Me Me Me says:

    “affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed”

    This will be interesting – what about all of Mitt’s grandchildren who are in a freezer in an IVF clinic somewhere? I’d say their fundamental individual rights are being well and truly infringed upon.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 1

  2. swearyanthony says:

    Democratic meme that the GOP is waging a “war on women”

    Um. In this post? How is this a “Democratic meme” Doug? Please explain. Looks like a pretty straightforward description.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 48 Thumb down 2

  3. mantis says:

    The GOP already has a gender gap problem that has the potential to have a serious impact in more than one battleground state, thanks to Todd Akin and this idiotic platform plank, they’re likely to have an even bigger one.

    They deserve it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 31 Thumb down 1

  4. mantis says:

    @Me Me Me:

    what about all of Mitt’s grandchildren who are in a freezer in an IVF clinic somewhere? I’d say their fundamental individual rights are being well and truly infringed upon.

    Yep. According to the GOP platform, the Romneys are baby killers.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  5. KariQ says:

    Do average Republicans actually believe this? I think it’s pretty clear that they don’t.

    What are you basing this on, Doug? This isn’t an argument, I’d really like to know.

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

  6. @KariQ:

    Poll after poll that shows majority support for the exceptions discussed, even among Republicans

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  7. KariQ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Ah, I see. Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  8. grumpy realist says:

    Heh. I don’t think anyone in the Republican party has actually thought what sort of legal can of worms such an amendment would open. I’ve thought of writing a novel where we take the HLA, the present day tort system, a few nasty divorces, settled law, possible developments in technology, and let her rip….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. mattb says:

    This is a topic where I’d love to hear feedback from @Jan. For quite a while she’s stated that while she is fiscally conservative, she’s more liberal on social issues to the point of being called a “lib” when she comments on other blogs.

    How does she reconcile her support of the Republican party when it continues to take such extreme stances on social issues (see this, gay marriage, and other related social topics)?

    Is it just that economics ultimately trump everything?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    the life of each human being begins with fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent,

    Hahahaha…. Who says the GOP isn’t forward looking?

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

  11. gVOR08 says:

    @Me Me Me: @mantis: We talked about this yesterday. There’s no problem. You people’s little laws don’t apply to people like the Romneys.

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

  12. Rob in CT says:

    The thing that really sticks out for me, though, is that the “no exceptions” position is the coherent one. It’s the consistent one. So, setting aside the ridiculous “I heard it from a doctor” idea that “real” rape doesn’t cause pregnancy (a helluva thing to set aside, I know), Akins is simply taking an issue position through to its logical conclusion.

    The idea here is that a zygote/embryo/fetus has rights and, further, that it is innocent of wrong-doing. Even if it is the product of rape, the developing fetus didn’t do any raping, did it? It’s a “person” (with rights), and it didn’t do anything wrong (as it didn’t exist until after the crime was committed). Ergo, aborting it is murder (unlawful killing of a person).

    And yes, I know that there is also a logical conclusion to the pro-choice position that results in abortions being ok for any reason right up until the fully-developed fetus is actually born. But the dynamic is different, because most pro-choicers recognize that pregnancy is a process and, thus, a 8-week old embryo != a 30-week old fetus. There is room for nuance there.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  13. mattb says:

    @Rob in CT:
    To your point, it’s a great example of why abortion, unlike gay marriage, is an issue that can never be resolved. There is ultimately no possibility of agreement on all sides because of the very reason you list.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  14. legion says:

    Well, Akin’s position is well-covered by other leading lights of the GOP. Now noted medical expert and Nobel-Prize-winning sociologist Steve King (that’s sarcasm, BTW) doesn’t think Akin’s off-base because he’s “never heard” of a statutory rape resulting in a pregnancy. Good lord these people are dangerously stupid.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 0

  15. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I await Doug’s analysis of the 2012 Democratic platform. I’m sure it’ll be at least as biting.

    Perusing their 2008 platform, here are a few highlights:

    –Opposing Right To Work laws (like they have in North Carolina, where the Democratic Convention will be held

    –Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation

    –Collective bargaining for all public sector workers

    –Lower the price of gasoline

    –“Support Small Business and Entrepeneurship” with things like capital gains tax breaks and removing bureaucratic barriers

    Oh, lord, here’s a real winner, from Page 29:

    Fiscal Responsibility
    Our agenda is ambitious–particularly in light of the current Administration’s policies that have
    run up the national debt to over $4 trillion. Just as America cannot afford to continue to run up
    huge deficits, so too can we not afford to short-change investments. The key is to make
    the tough choices, in particular enforcing pay-as-you-go budgeting rules. We will honor
    these rules by our plan to end the Iraq war responsibly, eliminate waste in existing government
    programs, generate revenue by charging polluters for the greenhouse gases they are releasing,
    and put an end to the reckless, special interest driven corporate loopholes and tax cuts for the
    wealthy that have been the centerpiece of the Bush Administration’s economic policy. We will
    not raise taxes on people making less than $250,000, and we will eliminate federal income taxes
    for seniors making less than $50,000. We recognize that Social Security is not in crisis and we
    should do everything we can to strengthen this vital program, including asking those making over
    $250,000 to pay a bit more.

    I’m only halfway through skimming the whole thing, and I have to stop. It hurts too much laughing…

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 45

  16. Fiona says:

    I agree with Rob. This platform is the logical conclusion of the pro-life position. If the fetus is a person and therefore killing it is murder, then how can there be any exceptions for rape or incest? Aren’t those fetuses still persons? You could argue that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, then killing it would be self-defense, but otherwise I don’t see how there could be exceptions to the notion that abortion is murder.

    Paul Ryan, BTW, has reached this conclusion and, while he may be backpedaling on his position now, has supported the “no exceptions” position.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 0

  17. legion says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: All of those items are great ideas that would help a lot of Americans. And every single one of them has been opposed and/or derailed by GOP obstruction in Congress. Your point?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 37 Thumb down 1

  18. legion says:

    @Doug Mataconis:
    That may be, but since the party’s own platform ignores that, it raises the question of how much rank-and-file Republican voter opinions matter to party leadership. And if the rank-and-file still votes for them without any protest whatsoever, those opinions clearly are not very strongly held…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  19. C. Clavin says:

    “…the Democratic meme that the GOP is waging a “war on women”..”

    A meme is an idea that spreads and evolves.
    The above is simply a fact supported by the evidence.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 0

  20. Facebones says:

    Do average Republicans actually believe this? I think it’s pretty clear that they don’t.

    Well if that’s the case, maybe the average Republican could stop nominating people who believe all of these things!

    Otherwise, I suspect the average moderate Republican is much like Bigfoot. You hear about him, but you never actually see one.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  21. grumpy realist says:

    Well, it’s typical. There’s quite a few women out there who are loudly anti-abortion until the situation applies to them. Their own abortion is of course Moral and Necessary because they’re Good Girls, not like those Eeeevil sluts out there.

    And then the next day after they cheerfully go back out on the picket line.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  22. Nikki says:

    @grumpy realist: In the comments section of some website I was reading, someone pointed out that the human life amendment is unconstitutional because the Constitution recognizes citizenship at birth, not conception. The example given was if a Canadian couple conceives in Canada, but gives birth in Maine, their child is an American citizen. But if this same couple conceives in Maine, but gives birth in Canada, their child is not an American citizen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  23. C. Clavin says:

    Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group, said that Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) was “absolutely right” to claim that women cannot become pregnant from “legitimate rape.”
    The host of the talk radio show Focal Point said that the trauma from a “real, genuine rape, a case of forcible rape” would make it “difficult” for a woman to conceive a child, Right Wing Watch notes.
    “There’s a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place — that are released — in a woman’s body, and if that gets interfered with, it may make it impossible for her or difficult in that particular circumstance to conceive a child,” Fischer said during his show Monday.
    “That’s all Todd Akin is saying…and he’s absolutely right about that,” he continued.

    Like I’ve been saying…this guy Akin isn’t an outlier…he’s smack-dab in the middle of mainstream Republican thinking.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  24. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I await Doug’s analysis of the 2012 Democratic platform. I’m sure it’ll be at least as biting.

    Perusing their 2008 platform, here are a few highlights:

    All of which are positions that nearly any Democrat would and does support.

    Do most Republicans support the fertilized egg = person position?

    You don’t need to bother answering, as it will merely be more handwaving. Good luck trying to distract people from the positions of the GOP.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Rob in CT:

    The idea here is that a zygote/embryo/fetus has rights and, further, that it is innocent of wrong-doing.

    Rob, you have forgotten Original Sin. According to Catholicism we are all born guilty.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  26. C. Clavin says:

    @ Nikki…
    I’m not sure about that. McCain was born in Panama but is an American citizen.
    Anyone have any clarification on this?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  27. mantis says:

    @Nikki:

    In the comments section of some website I was reading, someone pointed out that the human life amendment is unconstitutional because the Constitution recognizes citizenship at birth, not conception. The example given was if a Canadian couple conceives in Canada, but gives birth in Maine, their child is an American citizen. But if this same couple conceives in Maine, but gives birth in Canada, their child is not an American citizen.

    That’s all well and good from a citizenship standpoint, but non-citizens still have rights in the US. If a zygote is legally considered a person, it may be a person without a country, but would still be a person with rights to life and liberty. And if a personhood amendment were to be ratified to the Constitution, it could also amend the “citizenship at birth” part to be citizenship at conception. This won’t ever happen in reality, but theoretically, it could.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. Nikki says:

    @C. Clavin: Yes, but he is a citizen through his American parents. Will the personhood amendment only apply to zygotes conceived by Americans?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. Nikki says:

    @mantis: Thanks mantis. That makes sense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. Fiona says:

    @C. Clavin:

    McCain was born in Panama but is an American citizen.

    McCain’s parents were American citizens, whereas the couple in the hypothetical example are Canadian citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. jukeboxgrad says:

    According to the GOP platform, the Romneys are baby killers.

    It seems that the Romneys are baby killers according to Mitt himself, because he has said “life begins at conception.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  32. al-Ameda says:

    Do average Republicans actually believe this? I think it’s pretty clear that they don’t. While the party as a whole is pro-life, public support for exceptions to laws against abortion for cases of rape, incest, and when the life of the mother is in danger are fairly widely supported both in GOP and in the public as a whole.

    Really? Half the Republican Party believes: (1) Birther claims that the President was not born in America, and (2) that the President is not Christian, but rather he’s Muslim.

    So I think it’s entirely possible that views of Akin and Ryan with respect to women’s reproductive health choices and the “inception of life” are the norm, and not the exception.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  33. Gustopher says:

    I think a candidate can get away with the “no exceptions for rape and incest” position, because it is logically consistent. People will disagree, but if abortion isn’t one of their top priorities, they won’t care that much.

    “Legitimate rape” is a problem, as is the ridiculous claim that women don’t get pregnant from rape. Slut shaming, misogyny, ignorance and stupidity, all wrapped up in one package.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  34. Gustopher says:

    But, of course, Akin’s apology was entirely sincere, the people of his state will understand, and he should stay in the race.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  35. swbarnes2 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Poll after poll that shows majority support for the exceptions discussed, even among Republicans

    Good grief! The appeal to what’s really in a person’s “heart”?!

    No. We don’t care what’s in the hearts of conservative voters. We care about the laws that the people they try to vote into power will pass, because ultimately, that’s what we will have to live under.

    For instance, you voted for Bob McDonnell, who supported the impostion of medically unnecessary transvaginal probes on women seeking abortions. Had that bill passed, how would your personal opposition to that particular policy have been detected by all the thousands of women forced to endure it?

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  36. grumpy realist says:

    Well, then they’re going to have to deal what to do about miscarriages. And stillbirths. And women who insist on trying to get pregnant over and over again even though they know their chances of carrying to term are, well, chancy.

    Heck, my own mother could have been charged with accidental manslaughter of three people.

    As said, have these idiots really thought about where this will be taking them?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  37. Loviatar says:

    @gVOR08:

    You people’s little laws don’t apply to people like the Romneys.

    Playing off of this comment; part of why the wealthy may support the current Republicans party is that they really won’t be impacted by the consequences of these laws. Today’s wealthy are extremely mobile, so other than taxes they don’t really care about the other items on the GOP platform.

    Little Susie gets pregnant, send her to “Canada” for a long weekend or have her spend the summer in Europe. In either case problem solved.

    Grandfather gets sick, have the doctor make a house call. Problem solved.

    The bank is raising rates, pay cash or call your golfing buddy and get the non-published friends and family rate. In either case problem solved.

    etc. etc. etc

    —————

    None of these are really an option for the poor or middle class, so while you may have made your above comment in jest, there is a lot of truth to it when you think it through.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  38. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I presume that you’re appalled by the Ryan-Romney budget plan, that would reduce the top tax bracket rate from 34% to 25%, increase defense spending, begin the privatization of Medicare, all while maintaining annual deficit levels of the same magnitude we have today?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  39. Barry says:

    @legion: Please don’t reply to the wh*reson/daughter; it’s uninterested in honest debate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  40. Barry says:

    @Nikki: “In the comments section of some website I was reading, someone pointed out that the human life amendment is unconstitutional because the Constitution recognizes citizenship at birth, not conception.”

    This this **Amendment** was passed, the Constitution would have been **amended**.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. Barry says:

    @Loviatar: “Little Susie gets pregnant, send her to “Canada” for a long weekend or have her spend the summer in Europe. In either case problem solved.”

    Of course that’d be illegal if the Consitution was amended.

    Then again, Mrs. Santorum had an abortion, and nobody on the right gave a rat’s f*rt about it…….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  42. John Cole says:

    Otherwise, I suspect the average moderate Republican is much like Bigfoot.

    Maybe we could ask James Joyner why he still supports this insanity.

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

  43. PJ says:

    @Fiona:

    I agree with Rob. This platform is the logical conclusion of the pro-life position. If the fetus is a person and therefore killing it is murder, then how can there be any exceptions for rape or incest? Aren’t those fetuses still persons? You could argue that if the fetus threatens the life of the mother, then killing it would be self-defense, but otherwise I don’t see how there could be exceptions to the notion that abortion is murder.

    Would a stand your ground law trump a law banning abortions?
    The fetus was going kill the woman and it didn’t retreat…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  44. The no-exceptions position that the platform seems to be about to take is there because of the influence of the social conservative wing of the party which, while far from a majority, certainly is both very vocal and very active.

    How does this break on money lines? Is it a little-people issue, or are any of the billionaires demanding it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  45. Loviatar says:

    @Barry:

    Of course that’d be illegal if the Consitution was amended.

    How would it be illegal?

    Little Susie left the country pregnant and came back not pregnant, please explain the illegality of her actions. Anything she did to change her medical condition presumably occurred in a location where her actions were legal or at least out of the purvey of the US Constitution.

    Unless you are saying that the US Constitution would be amended to make abortion globally illegal for American citizens.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  46. steve says:

    “Unless you are saying that the US Constitution would be amended to make abortion globally illegal for American citizens.”

    Once they get tax rates for the wealthy down to zero this could be a worthy future goal for the GOP. I think you should forward this to the RNC.

    Steve

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  47. The Q says:

    Doug wrote “the influence of the social conservative wing of the party which, while far from a majority, certainly is both very vocal and very active…..

    Sorry old man, the social conservative wing IS the repub party. Centrists of the GOP are looked at as RINOs.

    Really, these wingnuts, save for the whole Lets burn jews screed, is becoming as demonically close minded and utterly insipid as the Nazi party of the mid 30s.

    I mean, how does one contemplate that a sitting congressperson can come up with “the magic vagina” which is immune to unwanted sperm etc.

    And you wingnuts actually think Obama and not the ignorant, moronic bible belt dipshits aren’t the real reason this country is destroying itself?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  48. The Q says:

    Doug wrote “the influence of the social conservative wing of the party which, while far from a majority, certainly is both very vocal and very active…..

    Sorry old man, the social conservative wing IS the repub party. Centrists of the GOP are looked at as RINOs.

    Really, these wingnuts, save for the whole Lets burn jews screed, is becoming as demonically close minded and utterly insipid as the Nazi party of the mid 30s.

    I mean, how does one contemplate that a sitting congressperson can come up with “the magic vagina” which is immune to unwanted sperm etc.

    And you wingnuts actually think Obama and not the ignorant, moronic bible belt dipshites aren’t the real reason this country is destroying itself?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. JohnMcC says:

    Mr Mataconis, “poll after poll” (none of which you cite) might show that large numbers of Americans claim to be both republicans and to believe in rape/incest/life of the mother exceptions to abortion bans. Republican VOTERS on the other hand seem to show a decided preference for — for example — Mr Huckabee in Iowa. A glance at the web site of the “Republican Majority For Choice” seems to indicate that they have chapters in all of five states.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  50. Loviatar says:

    @The Q:

    Really, these wingnuts, save for the whole Lets burn jews screed, is becoming as demonically close minded and utterly insipid as the Nazi party of the mid 30s.

    Have to disagree, in the religious wingnut’s mind, Jews have to burn for Jesus to return and for them to go to heaven. It says so in the Bible and the Bible is always correct. Their support for the Jews is short term, self serving and is totally focused on their own well being. They don’t give a damm about the Jewish people.

    How is that any different from Hitler and the Nazi party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. legion says:

    Like so many things in snark, it just can’t be said any better than The Onion

    You see, what I said was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” But what I meant to say was, “I am a worthless, moronic sack of shit and an utterly irredeemable human being who needs to shut up and go away forever.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  52. Janis Gore says:

    Good Lord, what are these idiots talking about? They lookin’ for feet on the ground or something?

    I have my children in my own damn time and on my say so. You f**kers do not impose your your will on me unless I expressly allow it. Otherwise, you can go to hell.

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  53. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, as said, a Human Life Amendment could get very amusing along the lines of Voltaire or Swift. Given the proclivity of busy-nosers to tell mothers with small children and pregnant women what they can or can’t do, imagine the fun they will have controlling the diet of every nubile-possibly-pregnant female in the US….(gotta make sure we have a hospitable environment for that zygote-about-to-be-planted!)

    I hope the bars and liquor industries realize what’s coming down the pipeline at them. [No alcohol allowed!] Also the coffee manufacturers.[No caffeine allowed!] And the soft drink suppliers.[Ditto, plus the extra sugar, ugh, very bad] And the potato chip manufacturers [Obesity Is A Problem, pre-diabetes condition, etc] I guess the beet and lentil producers will be happy [folate, iron].

    Yes, the ultimate Protection of the Unborn will finally be achieved: ” Mrs. Cook, who has admitted of having just missed her period, is accused of child endangerment of Fetus X ,now lodging in her belly, for having purchased and drunk a Coke on April 14th, 2015….”

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  54. Scott F. says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I don’t disagree with your broader point, but I don’t think this follows:

    And yes, I know that there is also a logical conclusion to the pro-choice position that results in abortions being ok for any reason right up until the fully-developed fetus is actually born.

    The logical conclusion to the pro-choice position is that women are fully capable of making profoundly moral choices based on their specific circumstances. As opposed to both the pro-life and pro-abortion positions, pro-choice refutes the idea of a one-size-fits-all-people-and-situations moral argument. That’s why the authoritarians in the GOP hate it – it’s not black and white.

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  55. labman57 says:

    Selected planks from the GOP’s 2012 platform:
    – Women who use birth control are sluts.
    – A chicken in every pot, and a spy-cam in every uterus.
    – Abortions performed in certified medical clinics must be banned, no matter the circumstances of the pregnancy. Much better to have said procedure performed with a wire coat hanger in a back alley, or with a chemical coat hanger provided by a non-accredited physician in a dingy third world doctor’s office.

    The 2012 Republican Party platform is so extreme, they might as well convert it into a gallows, since the party leaders seem to be compelled to politically hang themselves.

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  56. rudderpedals says:

    @labman57:

    A chicken in every pot, and a spy-cam in every uterus.

    That’s sweet. You can pay for a doctor with a chicken.

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  57. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares about the Republican platform. Romeny has no chance of winning and the Republicans are irrelevant to national politics. Considering that the Speaker of the House is a Republican, yet no conservative laws have been passed, it should be apparent to everyone that whatever the Republicans want is not doing to happen.

    I guess fretting over irrelevant items such as the Republican platforms gives all of the wonks and wannabes something to do rather than pay attention to what the Obama Administration is doing or what progress who actually are relevant to politics are proposing.

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  58. Janis Gore says:

    And don’t these Republicans ever tire of thinking about sex? How do they ever find time to study budgets?

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  59. Rob in CT says:

    @Scott F.:

    The logical conclusion to the pro-choice position is that women are fully capable of making profoundly moral choices based on their specific circumstances.

    Yes. Hence my comment about there being room for nuance in the pro-choice position. So I agree with you.

    That said, I’ve had the “right up until the end of term” discussion. It usually involves the use of the word “parasite.” I was just trying to be fair and noting that you can argue yourself into an extreme pro-choice position (that is, as far as I can tell, almost wholly theoretical, as nobody or close to nobody would abort a perfectly healthy 38-week pregnancy).

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  60. @Rob in CT:

    I don’t think we should pretend this is a moral conflict separate from religious competition. The religious right want to put their theological view, that ensoulation occurs at conception, into law.

    It is pretty straight up a theocratic position. They don’t ask the religion or views of the mother, they tell her what it will be, from their Christian position.

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  61. Barry says:

    @Loviatar: “Little Susie left the country pregnant and came back not pregnant, please explain the illegality of her actions. Anything she did to change her medical condition presumably occurred in a location where her actions were legal or at least out of the purvey of the US Constitution.”

    Good point – let me amend my statement to say that it’d be illegal the instant that laws were passed in support of that amendment, because they’d undoubtedly cover ‘killing Americans’ in other countries.

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  62. Peacewood says:

    To add to that, Loviatar, you can still very much be prosecuted for child rape if you engage in ‘sex tourism’ in other countries. American law still holds for you.

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  63. ElizaJane says:

    I see this as being as much a part of the Republicans’ war against the “non-tax-paying” poor as it is part of a war on women. Maybe more so. After all, like most congress-persons, I could just fly with one of my daughters to England or Holland if she needed & wanted an abortion that had been outlawed here. But the woman who cleans my house? If her daughter wanted an abortion, she could not possibly afford to go somewhere where it was available. That’s been the outcome of all those nutty clinic certification, waiting period laws in big, empty states: access to abortion providers is limited to those who can afford the time and money to travel a long distance to where an abortion is available. Of course the numbers of abortions go down in x state: the people who want and can afford one are getting it someplace else.

    I believe that Ireland once had a law that criminalized leaving the country to have an abortion. I don’t believe that the wealthy Republican backers would actually let that happen here.

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  64. ElizaJane says:

    See here on Republicans’ specific war on POOR women, the latest foray:
    http://prospect.org/article/texas-says-no-thanks-womens-health-care

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  65. gVOR08 says:

    @Loviatar: I meant my remark as a jesting statement of the truth. Thank you for elaborating.

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