Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Republican Gender Gap of Doom


Fantastic segment tonight from Rachel Maddow on MSNBC discussing the history and major players in the anti-abortion movement which led to the strange view held by Todd Akins that there is never any pregnancy from rape. It's shocking that most of the guys are white men, shocking that they have molded public policy and law based on this anti-scientific idea, and shocking that nearly every Republican candidate in the primaries seemed to share this belief (or said they did to placate the Tea Party).

Most shocking of all: Paul Ryan is one of them and has always been proud of it, until now, when he has to move towards the center with Mitt Romney. Of course, now that Akins has turned the light of day onto this subject, chances have gone way up that Ryan will be asked some difficult questions about his past beliefs. Does he think there are different types of rape? Does he think women can't conceive from rape? What about incest? He thought this was never going to come up in the debates or anywhere, but now he will have to face the music.

Why would the Republican women ever put up with this Cro-Magnon attitude towards rape? I've known plenty of conservative women who are nurses and teachers and smart ladies. They know how the human body works, and certainly how a woman's body works. I guess for them, the "sacred life of the fetus" is more important that the soul of a woman who is put through the mill after a rape with no one to believe her or help her. They muster empathy for the cells in the womb, but no empathy for the people already born. Note: I don't consider myself to be "pro-abortion," but the lack of empathy for women in difficult situations or in fear for their lives is sickening to me.

It reminds me of Sarah Palin when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, refusing to let the town pay for rape kits for victims.

It's true: USA Today: In 2000, Palin's Town Billed Rape Victims
In 2000, Alaska lawmakers learned that rural police agencies had been billing rape victims or their insurance companies $500 to $1,200 for the costs of the forensic medical examinations used to gather evidence. They quickly passed a law prohibiting the practice.
According to the sponsor, Democrat Eric Croft, the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor
. . . It is not known how many rape victims in Wasilla were required to pay for some or all of the medical exams, but a legislative staffer who worked on the bill for Croft said it happened. "It was more than a couple of cases, and it was standard practice in Wasilla," Peggy Wilcox said, who now works for the Alaska Public Employees Association. "If you were raped in Wasilla, this was going to happen to you."
. . . In 2000, there were 497 rapes reported in Alaska, FBI statistics show. That's a rate of 79.3 per 100,000 residents, the highest in the nation.
. . . Congress in 2005 passed a law requiring states to provide rape exams free of charge or reimburse victims for the costs, says Knecht, whose group supported the provision.
"The reason we passed the legislation was that we saw it was prevalent enough to be a pretty considerable problem," Knecht says. "There are no other victims of crime that end up being billed for evidence collection."

No. Words.

Here's the main idea these Teapublicans believe : if you get pregnant, you must have wanted to have sex after all, and cooperated so the "juices would flow" and insemination occured, and therefore - no rape! How they justify this in terms of incest, I have no idea, except that it is cruel and unusual. Why we are having to discuss this on a national level in the 21st century is almost too scary to contemplate.

From Rachel Maddow:
"This is a moment of instability in Republican politics. They're going to have to figure out which way to go on this. The Republican Party let this strand of strange politics grow within its midst. They let it become mainstream Republicanism. And now the Republican Party is witnessing the country recoiling from what the Party has become."

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