Republicans really, really, really, really, really need to stop talking about rape

Avatar

Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

Related Post Roulette

195 Responses

  1. Avatar M.A.
    Ignored
    says:

    They are to a man and woman, good, decent, intelligent and reasonable people.

    Many, many Republicans I know are (relatively) good and decent; intelligent is in the eye of the beholder (fully 50% of people are below average, tautologically) and reasonable is a question for another day.

    But as I mentioned in an earlier guest post here; there are a hell of a lot of Republicans who actually think the way that this bill reveals, and who will do anything-at-all to accomplish their means.

    The drumbeat of this stuff is damning. It’s not that it occurs once, gets shouted down, and then vanishes for a long while. It’s that it happens week in, week out. That the Akins, Mourdocks, and so forth of their party are soon relegated not to the dustbin as “neanderthals our party would be better without” but instead “good conservatives who were lynched by the Librul Commie Media.”Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to M.A.
      Ignored
      says:

      But as I mentioned in an earlier guest post here; there are a hell of a lot of Republicans who actually think the way that this bill reveals, and who will do anything-at-all to accomplish their means.

      Forgive me if this is nutty, but I’m wondering out loud:

      From the folk I know, there seems to be two levels of function. A good analogy might be pot smokers where pot’s illegal: one set of behaviors and speech amongst their pot-smoking brethren, another amongst the general public. They have code words with which to recognize the fellow pot smokers; they have places they gather.

      So we get to these rape-baby Republicans: I suspect they, too, have the duel behaviors, the ways of speaking, including code words with which to recognize one another, the places (evangelical churches?) where they gather to reinforce their belief system; and the other set of behaviors and speech for general public.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to zic
        Ignored
        says:

        Incomplete thought, finishing:

        And the Rape-baby Republican speech is spilling over into public, like the reek on our clothing after a gig at a private party.Report

        • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to zic
          Ignored
          says:

          The time I spent in Republican circles did not involve talk like this even in closed doors. Which is not to say it hasn’t been occurring, but not on a widespread enough basis for me to get wind of it or make some sort of decision to ignore it.Report

          • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to trumwill mobile
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s just because you don’t know how to hear dogwhistles.Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Jim Heffman
              Ignored
              says:

              What we’re seeing here isn’t dog whistles.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think so either; more along the lines of cult.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s more like the kazoo choir marching in the 4th of july parade down main street.Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                I think if you hear the dog whistles often enough, you stop remembering you’re not supposed to mention it around the muggles.

                As far as I can tell, the “except in cases of rape” thing is…not really a solid winner among the pro-life set. Pro-life is pro-life, and it’s still killing a baby even if the baby’s dad is also his granddad by dint of force.

                Now, some people I guess sorta rationalize it or don’t think about it (and you get weird stuff like ‘you can’t get pregnant if you were raped’ which is basically the same sort of thinking as ‘a girl can’t get pregnant her first time’, which is ‘stuff I’m gonna believe so I can do what I want without worry’), but a lot of the pro-life crowd really believes this.

                But it is NOT popular. Abortion is a particularly thorny issue (not helped by the semi-dominant view of ‘mine or my daughter’s abortion was a necessary/painful/right thing to do, your’s is because you/she is a slut’) but polls routinely show a certain bedrock level of support, and “abortions should be legal in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother” enjoy massive amounts of support and are about as no-brainer, politically, as you can get on the topic.

                Forcing rape victims to bear a child against her will is simply a bridge too far and the occasional extremist is one thing, but actually enacting it is likely to bring a heck of a backlash.

                But if you live in an echo chamber, where all you hear are pro-life views and the loudest are the most extreme (never, ever, under any circumstances), well — you might start slipping. You might forget that the muggles don’t agree.

                I think what makes it potentially worse for the GOP is the constant drumbeat that we’re a “center-right” country and the GOP’s own belief that there’s a silent majority behind them. (The same stuff that led to poll denialism in the last election).

                I think it’s perfectly possibly that the GOP has a lot of people who are quite extreme, compared to the public at large, on the issue of abortion and who have started to buy into the PR that the bulk of America must necessarily agree with them.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Morat20
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure the extent to which it is a winner or not among proliferation. Back in early last decade the exceptions were commonly acknowledged. I don’t know if that’s changed or if it’s a minority within the movement speaking out.Report

          • Avatar zic in reply to trumwill mobile
            Ignored
            says:

            I asked because of a few of the Republicans I know (and I should be clear that I don’t mean all Republicans). Both belong to a local evangelical church; kind that wouldn’t let the kids read Harry Potter books in school because it was demon worship or something.

            They have two ways of speaking; one way to mean, which mostly seems normal. But another, I’ve heard them use it on the phone and in person with family and fellow congregants. It’s different. I’m going to have to listen for the code words more; see what happens when I drop them into speech with strangers.Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to zic
              Ignored
              says:

              Oh, I agree that their are different transportation modes (this is hardly unique to them), but not of the sort being assumed here (and in some ways less extreme than the rhetoric actually heard). What is being suspected as normal is not, in my experience. If it had been, I would havepivoted away ffrom party politics long before I did.Report

  2. Avatar Sam
    Ignored
    says:

    Tod,

    Just give Republicans a chance. They’re just about to get this rape/abortion thing right.Report

  3. Avatar trumwill mobile
    Ignored
    says:

    Obscene. It’s one thing to argue that rape victims should have to carry their babyto tterm because it’s a life like any other, but quite another to place a special or unique obligation on them.Report

  4. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m pretty convinced that elected officials like this work for the Daily Show.Report

  5. Avatar John Howard Griffin
    Ignored
    says:

    How can this be true:

    “They are to a man and woman, good, decent, intelligent and reasonable people.”

    if this is true:

    “most of the ones I know […] feel it’s best for party unity to just ignore crackpots like this.”

    I don’t consider people who ignore these crackpots to be good, decent, intelligent or reasonable. I consider them to be partisans, first and foremost, where winning is more important than anything else.

    To put a somewhat sharper point on this: your excusing of all of the Republicans that you know is the same thing that these people are doing. You are excusing bad behavior and claiming they are all good, decent, intelligent and reasonable, when clearly they are not.

    This is a major difference between the left and right, IMO. The left is only too happy to call out the problem children on the left or right, while the right seems to be only too happy to provide cover for them by their silence.Report

    • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to John Howard Griffin
      Ignored
      says:

      “I don’t consider people who ignore these crackpots to be good, decent, intelligent or reasonable.”

      I admire your zealous quest for ideological purity, zamploit Griffin.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to John Howard Griffin
      Ignored
      says:

      They don’t just cover by silence.

      They actively protect.

      Consider how often a disgusting, horrible person from the right wing, who’s said things that ought to have banned them from political nomination and/or polite conversation, gets the treatment on right wing media about how they were “good conservatives” who got “lynched by the Librul Commie Media.”

      They did their best to rehab Akin and Mourdock. The recent round from the Susan B. Anthony squadron to try to “teach republicans to talk about rape” is damning; they call any discussions of rape “a trap set by proponents of abortion rights” rather than discussing why Republican rhetoric on this is so out of touch with scientific consensus, good taste, or common sense.

      The level of play on the “legitimate rape” idea is truly damning, because there is no question what they mean: they mean that date rapes “aren’t really rape.” They mean that spousal rape “isn’t really rape.”

      They mean to defend judges who say that women who didn’t fight back hard enough weren’t “really raped.”

      Not all Republicans think this way. I’m sure that many, confronted with it face-to-face, might outwardly say it’s warong. But I also agree with you that those who ignore this stuff or want to sweep it under the rug “for party unity” are not innocent of it in any way, shape, or form.Report

    • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to John Howard Griffin
      Ignored
      says:

      Oh, the left is happy to be silent about problem children as well. Or at least they are willing to merely grumble about them, instead of actively speaking out (the Glenn Greenwalds of the world excepted).Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, but when Maxine Waters mistakes who she is talking to, she’s merely wasting time. Not actively running bad laws.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
        Ignored
        says:

        Yes, very much so. I got in several online debates during the election about Obama’s foreign policy (drones, intervention) and extreme secrecy on “security” issues. All of them resulted in Democrats becoming very, very upset, accusing me of being to blame if Romney won, or of being morally blind in failing to put all my effort into stopping a Romney victory, and in general of not caring about the actual impacts of anyone’s policies or of my own actions, but only about a personal feeling of moral superiority.

        The difference is that the Republicans refuse to call out their far-right when they say and do outrageous things, but are quick to excommunicate moderates (e.g., Christie). Democrats get furious when the left wing tries to call out their moderates for doing outrageous things, and do their level best to excommunicate the left.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to John Howard Griffin
      Ignored
      says:

      Saint Ronald Reagan at the height of his powers pronounced the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.

      I submit for your consideration, especially so if you are a Republican yourself, that the utility of this pronouncement is now well beyond its best-when-used-before date.

      At minimum, there needs to be an exception: “… except when a fellow Republican says something so phenomenally boneheaded that it makes every other Republican look bad.”Report

      • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        Very true, Mr. Likko.

        And, isn’t there also a Twelfth Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of Ronald Reagan or point out any of the things he did that conflict with current Republican orthodoxy?Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        The proper word for something as frequent as “except when a fellow Republican says something so phenomenally boneheaded that it makes every other Republican look bad” is not “exception”.Report

      • Avatar Michelle in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        But they won’t. Remember the way Romney weaseled when asked about the nasty comment Limbaugh made about Sandra Fluke? There’s a reason they can’t bring themselves to fully denounce this stuff–a large part of their base really believes it. And so they risk offending more moderate Republicans, whose numbers are dwindling, because they don’t dare offend the true believers whose votes they rely on.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Michelle
          Ignored
          says:

          And so they risk offending more moderate Republicans, whose numbers are dwindling, because they don’t dare offend the true believers whose votes and money they rely on.

          I think that adds a bit of it to your intended thought. There’ve been some very good appeals to us to believe that some of the elected representatives saying this stuff might not “really believe it” but be saying it to play to Tea Party / Base audiences. Depending on who it is, I think it’s a sort of chicken/egg dynamic. Some of them start out batshit and get donations reinforcing them; some of them see the kooks saying it and garnering donations, start saying it because it brings in donations, and start to believe it as repetition begins to result in internalization.Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            I probably should have been clear: the bolded wording is my add-on. I didn’t strike anything. Please nobody take my adding the two words “and money” as that being Michelle’s actual words.Report

      • Avatar Patrick Cahalan in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        “Saint Ronald Reagan at the height of his powers pronounced the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican.

        I submit for your consideration, especially so if you are a Republican yourself, that the utility of this pronouncement is now well beyond its best-when-used-before date.”

        When you’re trying to build a big tent, not bad-mouthing people who might turn out to be useful is a good default policy.

        When your big tent is disintegrating because four people inside the tent are obviously batshit crazy, ushering them out of the tent (as opposed to just trying to hide them in the corner behind the buffet) becomes the better default policy.

        Conservatives by definition don’t like change as much as they like the status quo. They need to understand what the status quo ought to be before they stick to it so hard it burns the tent down.Report

        • Avatar John Howard Griffin in reply to Patrick Cahalan
          Ignored
          says:

          Conservatives by definition don’t like change as much as they like the status quo. They need to understand what the status quo ought to be before they stick to it so hard it burns the tent down.

          I’ve been thinking about this concept recently, with another related concept. The concept that you touch on is the one of resisting change, even change to your own party/belief system. The related concept is not thinking government can do much, if any, good; and then governing in such a way that government doesn’t do much, if any, good.

          There’s a self-fulfilling prophecy to this, and I’m not sure it’s possible for conservatives to choose the change they want to make to their party and worldview. It seems to me that change is usually (always?) forced from outside the conservative party. The change (other than rhetorical) is never chosen. This is evident in recent weeks with conservatives talking about how they need to sell their policies better. They don’t ever seem to think that maybe their policies are what needs to change.

          I’m going to keep thinking about it and see where it leads, but it is interesting to see you mention part of what I’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks.Report

      • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        Except they’re perfectly willing to speak ill of fellow Republicans when those Republicans do something completely unconscionable, like “be okay with gay marriage” or “say something nice about Obama”.Report

      • Avatar ktward in reply to Burt Likko
        Ignored
        says:

        At minimum, there needs to be an exception [to Saint Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment]: “… except when a fellow Republican says something so phenomenally boneheaded that it makes every other Republican look bad.”

        Thing is, the officially sanctioned GOP definition of boneheaded seems rather different from the working definition the rest of us might largely agree upon. Katherine’s comment downthread speaks to this: they’re perfectly willing to speak ill of fellow Republicans when those Republicans do something completely unconscionable, like “be okay with gay marriage” or “say something nice about Obama.Report

    • How can this be true:

      “They are to a man and woman, good, decent, intelligent and reasonable people.”

      if this is true:

      “most of the ones I know […] feel it’s best for party unity to just ignore crackpots like this.”

      I don’t consider people who ignore these crackpots to be good, decent, intelligent or reasonable. I consider them to be partisans, first and foremost, where winning is more important than anything else.

      But Tod was referring to people he knew personally.Report

  6. Avatar Jim Heffman
    Ignored
    says:

    If the Republicans didn’t talk about rape, the response would be “why won’t they talk about rape? If they won’t talk about rape then obviously they aren’t ready to have a serious conversation about the important issues facing society!”Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jim Heffman
      Ignored
      says:

      Then they need to find ways of talking about rape that focus more on women being victims, and less on them being opportunists.Report

      • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        This, basically. When the GOP comes to terms with the inconvenience of rape to their worldview, and either agrees to an exception or explains that the uttery tragedy ddoesn’t warrant one, I’ll be more inclined to defend themselves and point out how the other side isn’t helping the conversation. Until then, they need to get their house in order.Report

      • Avatar Kim in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        If the Republicans would come out full throttle when someone like the American College for Gynecologists issues recommendations intended to help prevent abusive husbands from intentionally siring children on their unwilling wives/girlfriends, I’d feel a lot more comfortable about letting them be silent on “wha tdoes rape mean for abortion.”Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        The problem is that the issue causes them cognitive dissonance.

        They are largely anti-abortion. Fine. I think abortion is an issue that is always going to be with us. It involves very serious and deeply held positions on when life begins.

        However, I would like to think that they also realize it is pretty horrible to force a victim of rape to carry the child to term.

        Hence, they do all sorts of interesting intellectual contortions.

        Or there are more Christian Dominionists than I realize in the GOP and this nation. I am not familiar with the types of areas that elect people like Michele Bachmann and Todd Atkin. Megachurches and Evangelical Christianity are sort of abstractions to me. I grew up in an area where Evangelicalism never really took hold except in African-American and Korean Churches (and they vote Democratic anyway) and now I live in another area that is largely free of an Evangelical movement. It is all very mainline and/or Catholic in NYC and the Bay Area.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jim Heffman
      Ignored
      says:

      Honestly, I have never listened to a political speech that didn’t mention rape and wondered afterward “Why not?”.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that this is one of the results of The Big Sort that’s going on. The misquotation of Pauline Kael is becoming the story of all of us.Report

  8. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    I agree with Jaybird.

    What we are seeing is the Big Sort and at the risk of sounding a bit blunt, maybe you are overlooking the crazy in your friends. This is something all people do. Most people are friendly when you interact with them on a personal level and no politics are involved but then you find out they have a political belief you find at best misguided or at worse absolutely appalling. Almost everyone will go through a “how can you believe in that, you seem like a good person” many times during their lives. One woman I went to law school with is a dye-in-the-wool 9/11 truther. I just remember her as being nice and running the environmental law society. I have another friend from law school who wonders about how I can consider myself a liberal and eat meat.

    You live around Portland, right? I have a friend who felt really uncomfortable in Oregon while traveling through and looking for grad schools and/or places to settle. She liked Portland but felt it got really conservative and Evangelical as soon as you left the city. This made her uncomfortable as a lesbian. She also felt this was different as compared to her native Boston, the NYC-Metro area, and the San Francisco-Bay Area where it is still pretty liberal and tolerant even outside of the major metro areas. She said she felt like she could go to a B and B in the Western Mass countryside with her girlfriend and not feel odd or likely to be the victim of an attack. She felt differently about Oregon.

    Even the Bay Area gets conservative more quickly than New York-Metro. I saw more anti-Obama sentiment in the Bay Area suburbs and Contra Costa County farmland than I ever did in New York. And Bay Area suburbs are still strongly Democratic. You need to go far before finding a Republican Congressional district.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      I’ll disagree about The Big Sort. People have always been sorted in many degrees. Yes you can make a good argument people are self-sorting a lot now. But this kind of proposed legislation is not just about having a congressional district sorted towards R’s. This is in NM a left leaning state. But proposing this act is also about publicity and developing radical cred on the right. Plenty of people on the anti-abortion side will have thought of this but she wanted the attention. I’ll bet the large percentage of people who are against abortion will think this lady is a dink.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I disagree. I think it about the big-sort.

        California is a lot more left than NM. Until fairly recently, New Mexico was a very purple state. California is now more or less super-Democratic. We finally got super-majorities in the state legislature. Why is this? Because Californian Republicans have more in common with people from the Deep South than they do with people in Alameda County.

        The parties used to be quirky. A New York Democrat used to be very different than an Alabama Democrat. Now not so much.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NewDealer
          Ignored
          says:

          We live in a place where it’s rare for people from this group to sit down with people from that group. When it comes to some of the more, ahem, “religious” groupings, such things as out-of-wedlock pregnancy was either “taken care of” or there was a hasty marriage (“they eloped!”) followed by a preemie born seven months later (full weight, however… it’s a miracle!) and so nobody knows anybody who had to put up with anything alien to the group.

          And I wonder how in the hell that can possibly be overcome.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I think sort is at least a strong partial explanation. My guess (and this is purely speculation) is that Brown may have thought she found a loophole. And the people she discussed this with looked at it through that context, in large part because they are similarly-minded folks. And because they are similarly-minded folks, none of them took a step back to realize the ramifications of it all (essentially targeting rape victims).

        I’d compare it in some way (though I am not suggesting equivalency, words vs laws) to Dick Durbin’s comments comparing our military’s actions to the Nazis. He thought he had a stirring approach to discussing his outrage with the issue. People he floated the idea with agreed. None of them took a step back and realized how his words would be interpreted more broadly.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          I tend to think the sort is less of an explanation although certainly a bit of it. Thirty years ago before the Big Sort ( or for that matter 50 years ago) people hadn’t sorted themselves the way we seem to do know but also had much, much ability to know about how people far away thought. It may be easy to only know conservatives or liberals now, but we can and almost all are much more aware of what people think. When i was a kid listening to a radio station in chicago felt exotic since it was so far from NJ. Now i can bury myself in blogs, videos, maps, etc about Chicago.

          We may be more physically sorted but we are more aware of what other people think. If anything its scarier for people now BECAUSE they know what other people think instead of just blindly assuming others were sort of decent. Yes i know many people surround themselves in media bubbles but they still end of seeing and hearing other peoples views.Report

          • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to greginak
            Ignored
            says:

            I don’t think it’s true that we have a better idea of how the other side thinksbecause of mediaa. I think it’s more the case that we have an increasingly distorted idea of how the other side thinks. Rather than getting any sort of understanding from the birds mouth, we gain “undersyanding” from what people on our side selectively point our what the other side is thinking and through a layer of generally non favorable interpretation.Report

            • Avatar zic in reply to trumwill mobile
              Ignored
              says:

              We also tend to burrow down into our arguments without actually listening to the other side. A few buzz words, and you’ve ID’d a conservative or a liberal, and the battle lines are drawn before either even start a serious conversation.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      I have another friend from law school who wonders about how I can consider myself a liberal and eat meat.

      This cute little piglet will grow up to become tasty, tasty bacon.

      And that’s how I can eat meat and still be liberal.Report

  9. Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist
    Ignored
    says:

    I’ve heard a large number of card carrying republicans state that they’d be happy to tell their politicians to shut-up about gays & abortion, if only democrats would shut-up about guns.

    Which is about when I ask them if they are ready to come to the Hazy, Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Sun side of the Force & become a libertarian.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
      Ignored
      says:

      People may say that, but i don’t believe them. R’s have been pushing to limit abortion and restricting progress on gay rights for quite a while. And they have been pushing hard on abortion in the last few years as shown by the legislation Tod described. Meanwhile D have done nothing or said anything about guns in years. It took the recent massacre to generate any energy to do anything.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Depends on where you live. The characteristics of the average Republican or Democrat vary quite a bit from region to region.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          Yes and no. Do you care to elaborate?

          I think the differences are more in lifestyle choices than anything else. Most New Yorkers and San Franciscans are Democratic. A San Francisco Democrat is probably going to care less about the type A business life of New York and want a more relaxed pace. They might also care about about environmental matters. When it comes to most issues though, I imagine there is a lot of agreement. I can’t imagine Nancy Peolosi ever getting into serious ideological differences with a Democratic Congressman from Brooklyn.Report

      • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        Nothing has been done on Guns at the federal level for a few years, but on the state & local levels, the gun control debates continue.

        Seems the same can be said for the abortion issue, since this bill would only affect New Mexico.Report

        • Avatar Rod Engelsman in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
          Ignored
          says:

          Perhaps, but what I’ve been seeing–and you can certainly characterize it as anec-data and dismiss it if you like–is more “No guns allowed” signs in business windows in response to liberalized CC laws.

          But, you know, I seem to remember having a huge discussion around here about all this a few weeks ago, so I doubt if there’s much profit to further debate right now.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
      Ignored
      says:

      What I found odd about this is that Democrats haven’t done much, if anything, legislatively on the gun front for years, but Republicans have been working the abortion stuff constantly.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        But you know that the gun-grabbers are just waiting for any weak excuse (say, a rash of mass murders) to start proposing reasonable regulations.Report

        • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Mike Schilling
          Ignored
          says:

          There is reasonable, & then there is what Feinstein, et. al. is chasing.

          The analogy found at this link is quite apt.

          I imagine if abortion legislation was anything like gun laws, there would be waiting periods, and background checks, and the medical technology allowed to perform abortions would have been frozen in 1986, or something like that.

          Funny how anti-abortionists & gun control proponents both see themselves as trying to save lives, & are often both viewed by their opposition as just trying to force their ideology & control others.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
            Ignored
            says:

            FWIW Feinstein’s AWB isn’t going to pass.
            That link…wow… while i’ve agreed with a lot of what you have said in these debates, that link was weak. It’s been said a ton already but the pro-gun side has been winning for many years yet the guy at the link acts like they have been losing hard. CCW has advanced hugely in the last few years. The first AWB was allowed to sunset. Simply the pro-gun side has been getting its way. In most ways i’m fine with that fwiw. But the style of argument from the pro-gun side, as shown at the link, is that every new law is always a a massive sacrifice, a loss and evidence of martyrdom. There is no room for discussion of what makes sense since every suggestion is eating some of that guys cake. He is saying no compromise…so how do we start to talk than? Nobody is taking all his fishin guns away.Report

            • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to greginak
              Ignored
              says:

              The symposium is over, & I wasn’t terribly interested in running this again, but…

              Greg, you are missing the point entirely. The fact is that restrictions on gun owners are considerably tighter from where they were less than 100 years ago, advances in shall-issue CCW aside.

              Seriously, LOOK at how many gun laws exist, how many restrictions there are. Understand that gun owners are tired of getting the screw turned tighter every time someone makes a public spectacle with a gun. They are tired of being told to compromise, when the opposition loses nothing in the compromise. Even advancing shall-issue CCW was opposed at every turn.

              You’ll note that in all the suggestions I made in the symposium may increase some rules, but they also relax them somewhere as well. THAT is a compromise. THAT is something I rarely see offered from the gun control side.

              They never say, hey, we need to crack down on this, but in exchange, we’ll open up these parts of the law that haven’t proven very effective.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
                Ignored
                says:

                But comparing now to 100 years ago is not a good comparison for all sorts of obvious reasons.

                Sadly, i guess, two opposing views like pro gun/gun control, anti abortion/ pro choice, etc. don’t get to negotiate with each other like you are suggesting. That might actually work if it could happen but that isn’t particularly the way things work.Report

              • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s gotta start somewhere. It helps when all sides are aware of the current state of law, etc. Instead of just assuming that things are fine, & what is being asked is not too much.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Mad Rocket Scientist
                Ignored
                says:

                Well yeah…but the loudest ones on both sides of the issue are typically the ones with the least desire to listen or learn.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        Their silence on the issue is just proof of how nefarious and long-lasting the plot was.

        You have encountered the Sandy Hook truther’s, right?Report

        • Avatar Mad Rocket Scientist in reply to Morat20
          Ignored
          says:

          I love conspiracy theorists. They always forget the rule that 3 people can easily keep a secret, if 2 of them are dead.

          The number of people who would have to be involved in manufacturing something like Sandy Hook, or Obama’s birth certificate, or 9/11, means that by now, someone would have come forward.Report

  10. Avatar Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh dear Jeebus!

    See how much of crap has come out of this decision? This is why we can’t have nice things. Dumbasses want to litigate everything, and then we have idiots on the Supreme Court who “discover” a new right.

    What ever happened to “It’s not a power delegated to you, therefor any “law” is unconstitutional.”?Report

  11. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, we all know women only ask to get raped so they can then get an abortion.Report

  12. Avatar Citizen
    Ignored
    says:

    This looks to be more in the context of irrational law mongers. I don’t know why these are always tagged with a Republican/Democrat. The democrats and republicans I knew 20 years ago don’t look/act anything unto the pigeon holes of the present.

    For some reason there is a huge assumption that the republicans are the religious folk and the religious folk are the republicans.

    Today I saw a clip on Feinstein mentioning assault rifles as something you hold at your waist and spray bullets. The idiocy has no end, how do these people get in office.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Citizen
      Ignored
      says:

      The Republicans of 20 years ago are the Democrats of today. The Democrats of 20 years ago are entirely out of office now (except for maybe Bernie Sanders). And the right-wing nutcases of 20 years ago are running the GOP today.

      The country lurched pretty far right. It’s pretty amusing to pick a topic — healthcare is always a good one — and take a gander back at the proposals and positions of Presidents and parties over the last 60 years or so.

      I guess that’s what makes the occasional whine about overreaching liberals so amusing. The ACA was the GOP’s 1994 plan — and passing it was considered the peak of Democratic power as they finally managed something they’ve been trying for decades. And again — it was the conservative solution from 15 years ago. (And far, far to the right of what was being bandied around in the 80s or earlier).Report

  13. Avatar The One True b!X
    Ignored
    says:

    Bloggers really, really, really, really, really need to stop ignoring the update to this story where she says she’s reworking the bill to make it clear the intent was to prosecute rapists who try to force their victims to abort, not prosecute victims.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/01/25/cathrynn_brown_wants_to_abort_mission/Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to The One True b!X
      Ignored
      says:

      Readers really, really, really need to actually read the blog posts so that if, say, that reasoning was included in the OP they don’t make these kinds of objections.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to The One True b!X
      Ignored
      says:

      Posters really need to stop defending pols who rapidly retreat after they get caught in a poo storm of their own making. If a pol wants to say they didn’t know what the hell they were doing in the first place so they wrote something really stupid, then i’ll accept the mea culpa.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to greginak
        Ignored
        says:

        I’d consider it plausible that her motivation is what she says it is (the notion of abortion-coersion is a big deal in pro-life circles right now). But, given the sensitivity on the issue, not being clear in the proposed law is at best a stunningly incompetent oversight.

        And none of this touches on the fact that the GOP on rape-abortion is so bad now that the least charitable explanation is the first that comes to mind even among people that are not instinctively inclined to hate.Report

        • Avatar zic in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          But, given the sensitivity on the issue, not being clear in the proposed law is at best a stunningly incompetent oversight.

          I wonder if there’s something else going on here. Putting forth such a bill goes nowhere, no chance if it passing the Senate. But. It does signal belief. And from the conversations I’ve had with pro-life folk, they’re bound up in the unborn’s life; there’s almost never a consideration of the consequences of a law, of enforcement, etc. My question, on any ban, has always been, “What happens to the women who break this law, and have an illegal abortion.” And there’s never an answer; they seem to think the law will magically change human nature. Or remove their guild by association for living in a place where the privacy of a medical decision is protected right.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          Also, if you’re trying to punish rapists who force people to have abortions, how on earth does punishing the victim do that? If a guy raped a woman, do you think he’s going to be all that worried about her going to prison?Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          Ugh.

          the notion of abortion-coersion is a big deal in pro-life circles right now

          I’ve heard that discussion. It goes something along the lines of “no right-thinking loving woman would ever go get an abortion if there weren’t a deadbeat dad who didn’t want to pay child support, and that’s all because those godless commie libruls Banished G-d From Da Schoolz and brought in free condoms for kids to replace bibles.”

          Never could happen that a woman might be at the wrong point in her life to want children. Or have a hereditary condition that she didn’t want to pass on to a child. Or have a pregnancy causing enough issues (health wise) that she felt there was too much risk to continue.

          Or even be going into a Planned Parenthood clinic for an initial consultation, finding out that fertility treatment had resulted in an ectopic pregnancy (happened to a friend of mine currently trying to carry again after losing a fallopian tube to the last attempt).

          Nope. None of that could ever, ever happen if we just had forced prayer and mandatory church attendance during public school hours.Report

          • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            I think it’s actually more motivated by a desire to try to eestablish some feminist credibility. Such laws – like those proposed in the Midwest – are often to you after boyfriends who threaten to kick their girlfriends out if they abort. It taps into dynamics of bully men and victimized womenReport

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to trumwill mobile
              Ignored
              says:

              “boyfriends who threaten to kick their girlfriends out if they abort.”

              Did you mean boyfriends who threaten to kick their girlfriends out if they don’t abort?Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                I did. There were laws proposed in Wisconsin and Michigan that were so vague that anyone who dumped a pregnant girlfriend faced potential criminal liability. So essentially the prolifers put opponents in a positioniof defending guys who dump their pregnant girlfriends, which I think prolifers considered politically appealing.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                As opposed to the pregnant girlfriends who dumped the baby-daddy, or (possibly) cuckolded the boyfriend in the first place?Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                My understanding is that the law didn’t care about cuckoldry. Presumably a woman that dumped the man wouldn’t press charges. I’d guess blackmail possible but unlikely.Report

          • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            There are situations where women who get pregnant want to keep the child and are pressured by their boyfriend into getting abortions. And I think there should be legal action around this. If you actually believe in “choice”, you should be just as troubled by people being coerced into getting abortions as you are in restrictions being placed on access to them.Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to KatherineMW
              Ignored
              says:

              I know for a fact it happens and it’s despicable, but I don’t know ow how you make it illegal if it involves legal activity. You can make threats of violence tocoerce abortionn, but threats of violence are already illegal. I don’t think you can make “have an abortion or I’m kicking you out” illegal without effectively making it illegal to dump someone.Report

              • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe make threats to cut off economic support to coerce abortion illegal? It would be a start.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to KatherineMW
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t see how you can if the support isn’t an existing legal obligation. And if it is an obligation than laws are already in place.Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to KatherineMW
                Ignored
                says:

                Katherine’s point makes me think of Cory Robin’s assertion that conservatives really are about restoring and preserving the private power of employers and husbands.

                Although the prospect of a confrontation between the anti-abortionists and mens-rights cultural conservatives is intriguing, I think there are far too many ways to square the circle.

                Meaning, the very people who want to ban abortion will insist that the power of husbands and fathers be preserved- the solution to a husband demanding an abortion is to shoot the abortion doctor.Report

              • Evidently, in addition to equating “conservative” with “shoots abortion doctors” you ignored the key aspect of the conversation that wasn’t convenient to your self-righteousness.

                Or else you didn’t ignore it and are accusing me personally of being in favor of shooting abortion doctors (or, for that matter, arresting them), which itself represents a self-satisfying calculation that’s wrong.

                I’m going to assume the former.Report

              • Avatar LWA (Liberal With Attitude) in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it inflammatory to accuse anti-abortion activists of wanting to shoot abortion doctors?
                Yes, I should have hesitated before writing that.

                So let me rephrase that to say the answer for contemporary cultural conservatives the solution to a husband demanding an abortion is NOT to punish the man for his actions, but to
                shoot the abortion doctor
                blow up the abortion clinic
                pass a series of laws making it functionally impossible to obtain an abortion.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Which would be better, if the conversation hadn’t begun by my commenting on anti-abortion folks actually trying to pass laws to punish the husband. You know, that thing that you accused them of not doing.

                (Which I stand by my opposition to. I don’t think you can punish someone for advising a woman to abort and making life decisions on her decision not to (or vice-versa). Even if it is despicable.)Report

              • The psychoanalysis of large groups, groups comprised of people who have widely varying motivations, interests, beliefs, investments, and social connections, and who are members of different cultures and subcultures, races and ethnic groups, and social and economic classes, always seem to me to not only be useless as explanatory or descriptive tools, but to at their heart be designed simply to confirm and justify the prejudices of the analyst and those who promote the analysis.Report

    • Bloggers really, really, really, really, really need to stop ignoring the update to this story where she says she’s reworking the bill to make it clear the intent was to prosecute rapists who try to force their victims to abort, not prosecute victims. swiftly staunch the bleeding from her self-inflicted, catastrophic political wound.

      Fixed it for you.

      The bill is an abomination. Taking Brown at her word (which I don’t), it purports to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to The One True b!X
      Ignored
      says:

      rapists who try to force their victims to abort

      Women who want to bear a rapist’s child, but are forced into an unwanted abortion by their attacker? A very pressing problem, badly in need of immediate legislative solutions.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to The One True b!X
      Ignored
      says:

      I can’t tell if this comment is serious or snarky. Either way, she’s in serious backtrack mode. After the changes in wording, her bill now has become incoherent in addition to being morally repugnant.Report

  14. Avatar Russell Saunders
    Ignored
    says:

    Are the socially conservative Republicans I grew up among good, decent, kind-hearted people? Yes, indeed.

    They are also pretty much single-issue voters, or at least voters with a major trump issue. And that’s abortion, which they truly equate with murder. Thus, they will support essentially any legal restriction on abortion, no matter how utterly callous it might look to someone who does not share their ideology.Report

  15. Avatar Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    Todd Akin was a terrible candidate. Richard Mourdock spoke badly at the worst possible moment. Cathryn Brown is a second-term New Mexico state representative in the minority party, putting her outside the Top 10000 political figures in the US.

    What did Mourdock say that was so bad, anyway? That all life is a gift from God? How far outside the mainstream is that sentiment? His ship listed a little at the exact moment a wave hit it. The mistake in phrasing wouldn’t have cost him anything in a normal election.

    Mourdock alienated the Republican establishment by defeating Dick Lugar in the primary. He was then outflanked by a pro-life Libertarian candidate who hurt him among his natural base. (The Libertarian candidate for Governor nearly got enough votes to break Republican Mike Pence.)Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      What did Mourdock say that was so bad, anyway?

      Pinky, you’re exhibit A of the sort of person who defends this garbage.

      “And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”

      In other words, that G-d intended rape to happen and that raped women should just suck it up and carry to term.

      That’s horrible.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        “That” is something that God intended to happen. Not the rape, but the life. As I phrased it, that all life is a gift from God.Report

        • Avatar DRS in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Please explain how you know what God intends about anything.Report

        • Avatar mark boggs in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          So the incestuously created child inside a 12 year old girl is still considered a “gift from God”?

          I don’t get it.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to mark boggs
            Ignored
            says:

            Mysterious ways and all that.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to mark boggs
            Ignored
            says:

            As I said to DRS, it’c certainly within the Western-to-Christian-to-Enlightenment-to-American tradition to consider each life as valuable.Report

            • Avatar DRS in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              Then you should say that “I think God intended…” etc. Less hubristic that way. Remember, the Pharisees thought they knew what God intended too and boy, do they look dumb now.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to DRS
                Ignored
                says:

                Thank you, DRS. I’m adding this to the tool kit for future discussions on all sorts of discussions about what God wants and doesn’t want.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to DRS
                Ignored
                says:

                My original statement was “That all life is a gift from God? How far outside the mainstream is that sentiment?” I don’t think I can fairly be accused of advocating for that position. My intention was to say that such a statement would not be considered odd from any politician except following the Akin comment.Report

              • Avatar M.A. in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                What did Mourdock say that was so bad, anyway? That all life is a gift from God? How far outside the mainstream is that sentiment?

                That is your exact wording.

                I pointed out to you, I think rightly, that Mourdock’s wording crossed the line into saying that G-d intends rape.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                Not really. Mourdock’s words could more fairly be read to mean that G-d intends to make good things flow from evil situations. “It must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!” I daresay that if G-d were limited to doing good only where goodness prevailed, there would be nothing but suffering in the world.Report

          • Avatar M.A. in reply to mark boggs
            Ignored
            says:

            If G-d intended that life to exist, then He/She/It/They/Pantheon(?) must also have intended the method of creation (in the case you describe, the rape of a 12 year old by either her close familial relative, or anyone else willing to rape a 12 year old).

            I don’t believe any deity worth worshiping would intend a thing like that. The very thought is downright horrific.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      Judaism does not think God works as a micro-manager. So life is not necessarily a gift from God in all cases.

      Nor are all deaths wanted or caused by God. There was a segment on NPR several years ago about the Tsunami in Southeast Asia that took many lives. A protestant minister said that if a 4 year old died in the the disaster, it was God’s will for some purpose or another. The rabbi’s response to that can more or less be described as “bullshit.”

      Your theology is not the only theology and it is not necessarily the right theology.Report

  16. Avatar Wardsmith
    Ignored
    says:

    the swaddling clothed infants will be needed to put rapists behind bars – because clearly rapes that don’t result in a birth nine months later cannot be prosecuted.

    Here’s the part I don’t get. If scare quote “Republicans” truly believed that it was IMPOSSIBLE for a /real/ rape to produce a baby (as Akin and other nut cases have opined) then it is non-syllogistic to the extreme to believe that the birth of a child will somehow prove the “rape”. Quite the opposite, if indeed that was what all Republicans truly BELIEVED.

    I haven’t clicked on the link but just reading the words in the OP and understanding Tod’s tendency to hyperbole, I’d have to surmise that tampering with evidence in this case clearly means DNA evidence. If a woman (for example the women who waited decades to claim they’d been raped and/or abused by Herman Cain, 100% of whom evaporated the second he was safely out of the race and Obama’s data-miners could be certain he’d win the minority electorate) were to wait months [years] to accuse someone of rape, obviously there is no opportunity for a swab test and obviously it becomes he-said she-said. However if there is a baby then that baby is indeed evidence on a purely biological level. Those cells contain the DNA from the father and (now) they exist nowhere else.

    I’m not saying I agree with this woman but I am saying that this is the only reading that passes a logic test.

    I also find it amusing that ALL Republicans have to own the stupidity of any SINGLE or even tiny minority members but Democrats are magically immune from this requirement. Makes me glad to be an Independent. 🙂Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      Can you forward something so crazy that a current dem congressperson has done?
      Lafta is fun and healing!Report

    • Avatar zic in reply to Wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      However if there is a baby then that baby is indeed evidence on a purely biological level. Those cells contain the DNA from the father and (now) they exist nowhere else.

      That’s a simple one; but really, one we don’t want to discuss. Those cells are can be redeemed, however, without forcing her to go through with the horrors of a rape pregnancy. Unless, of course, they’re so few in the flow that they’d be impossible to find. Which also sorta indicates that they’re not a baby.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      Ward, I agree that there’s some logic problems with this issue, but I think they go the other way. Brown’s revised version of the bill would make it illegal (tanpering with evidence) for a rapist to compel a woman who’s pregnant due to rape or incest to have an abortion. The problem with this revised wording is that the criminal act of tampering with evidence could only be enforced if it was already known that a) a rape had occurred and b) that it caused a pregnancy. But if that’s already known, then what’s the purpose of passing a law which extends tampering with evidence laws to include forced abortions?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Another way to say it is this: the law could only be enforced against an individual who was already known to have committed the rape.Report

      • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        Still, When I said I didn’t click on the link I meant I assumed the link would be to the bill itself, rather than an article about the bill. Now that I see it is only an article I still haven’t searched for the bill itself (had to host a business conference call this morning plus deal with the after-calls). If someone does me the favor of finding the text of the bill itself I’d appreciate it. That said, and because a friend of mine is a prosecutor there are obvious reasons why “forced abortions” that benefit the rapist would be frowned upon, given that the end result is destruction of evidence. Absent the swab test there is not much that prosecutors can do in rape cases, defense lawyers will slut shame the victim (victimizing her yet again) and it will still come down to he-says she-says. Remember when we’re talking about chemical abortion there will be no cells to examine, this isn’t like mid term (physical) abortion. Interestingly, even though scare quote Republicans are even more aghast at partial fetus abortions, that would almost make the most sense in the logical direction of the stated intent of this bill.

        Kim, I’d put this link in my first comment but something apparently went wrong with it.

        BTW Kim your comments are definitely improving on this site lately and you’re out of my commenter purgatory. Please continue keeping the signal to noise ratio high, remember like sex, it is quality not quantity. 😉Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Wardsmith
          Ignored
          says:

          Ward, here’s the bill.Report

          • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Thanks Still! Apparently the crux of the bill is the underlined portion:
            Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

            Absent the hysteria/hyperbole it reads fairly logically, looking at this from a law enforcement and judicial process angle. If this was done to solve an extant problem of rapists getting away scott free because of lack of evidence that is certainly one thing. If this was done to gin up support from an anti-abortion base of voters that would be another. Clearly protagonists such as the author of the article (and this OP) are choosing the second interpretation as is their right. I for one still don’t have enough information to draw a conclusion, but thanks again for linking to the actual bill.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Wardsmith
              Ignored
              says:

              Ward, that’s the first version of the bill, which would effectively criminalize a victim of rape for taking morning after pills. The revised version (or the proposed revisions) include language excluding the victim from prosecution for tampering with evidence. It still seems overly broad (it would apparently still apply to a parent who encouraged his or her daughter to take Plan B) and insofar as it applies only to perpetrators of rape, it’s redundant (since demonstrating that a rapist coerced his victim into having an abortion would require demonstrating that he was the perpetrator in advance of the charges justified by the bill.

              IANAL, so maybe there’s another way to read it bill and its intent. (From a legal pov, that is. It makes perfect sense from another pov, especially the original version.)Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to Wardsmith
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m not saying I agree with this woman but I am saying that this is the only reading that passes a logic test.

      That thud you heard from 1000 miles away was the sound of my head hitting the desk with sufficient force to crack something.

      The EXACT TEXT of the bill:
      B. Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.

      Now let’s look at the 3 categories in that sentence:
      – procuring an abortion
      – facilitating an abortion
      – compelling or coercing someone to obtain an abortion

      Procuring an abortion – that can ONLY MEAN the woman carrying.
      Facilitating an abortion – that can ONLY MEAN the attending physician who carries out the procedure.
      Compelling or coercing – that is the ONLY part of the sentence that applies to your reading.

      You are simply wrong. And given the way you avoid looking up the text of the bill (quoted as well in numerous news articles) I am having a hard time giving you any benefit of the doubt that you’re not deliberately avoiding being informed on the issue.Report

      • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        MA see my post above yours. Although you may be cognitively deficient in being unable to cease being an asshole in virtually 99% of your posts on this site, I would appreciate your at least making the attempt. It might surprise you to discover that posting here on this site is not even in my top 100 things to accomplish during the day list. Unlike you, I have a real life and a real profession with real employees who count on me for real paychecks so this fucking around is a distraction with no particular upside other than allowing me to become informed on things outside my normal reading of current events. I appreciate that about this site, what I don’t appreciate is all the acrimony that posts like yours foment. Get a grip and or get a life. Anyone can be an asshole, being a gentle-person requires something you may not possess but should attempt to cultivate.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Wardsmith
          Ignored
          says:

          You didn’t do the 5 seconds of clicking it would require to be informed before you launched a 3 paragraph screed.

          Unlike you, I have a real life and a real profession

          Really? It may surprise you to learn that you’re not alone in that.

          so this fucking around is a distraction with no particular upside other than allowing me to become informed

          Personally, I find that being informed is a wonderful and positive goal which I would love to see more of the population share.

          Although you may be cognitively deficient

          Aaaaand I think I’m not going to bother to respond to any of your rants again.Report

          • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            You didn’t do the 5 seconds of clicking
            There was no “clicking” to do, there were no links to the bill. Therefore I suppose you mean typing in search terms and following those links? Yes I didn’t do it and explained that I didn’t do it. You’re a regular rocket scientist MA.
            Really?
            I’m happy you have a profession, I’ll wait while you pull that next espresso.
            I’m likewise certain that your employer is thrilled that you goof off here as much as you do. Unfortunately I AM the employer so would have to reprimand myself for excess time here, therefore I self limit it.
            I find that being informed
            I’m glad you think you’re informed.
            I’m not going to bother to respond
            Not surprised. While you chose to focus on the insult of being cognitively deficient you glossed over the /out/ it gave you for being boorish. After all if you’re just being an asshole because you refuse to change your behavior that’s one thing, but if you have a congenital defect that causes it, that’s something else and your behavior could be at least partially excused. I’m not the only one who has called you out on this site; you could examine a mirror, but I suggest holding off on the mouth breathing since it will fog your self image a bit. Cheers. 🙂Report

            • Avatar M.A. in reply to Wardsmith
              Ignored
              says:

              I take note of the number of insults you’ve thrown at me merely for pointing out the actual text and what each of those phrases, which you could not do the simple task of looking up (every article I have seen to date lists the bill by its name and designation, so looking up the text of this tiny, less-than-a-page bill is trivial effort).

              I’ve been told and warned about the comment policy several times, and have been making a concerted effort to police my own writings and be more cognizant to avoid falling for the outright baiting strategies of trolls like yourself in this blog’s commenting community.

              So I’m going to ask this now.

              You’ve called me an asshole personally, you’ve insinuated I am mentally damaged personally, and you’ve made directly derogatory remarks on my state of employment (a situation which you know nothing about).

              Moderators, either apply the rules equally, or admit you won’t fishing bother. Wardsmith deserves at least a warning for trolling.Report

              • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to M.A.
                Ignored
                says:

                You don’t like being insulted. Good, now recognize that knife cuts both ways, you may be empathy challenged but it is learnable. You say you’ve been working to improve, I’ll take that under advisement. As to being a troll and boorish I’ll take my 1 reprimand in two years up against your record any day. This is largely a self-policing blog and I’ve largely ignored your attacking style but chose to address you here.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Wardsmith
          Ignored
          says:

          ward – M.A. is correct in calling you out on that thread. Pretty much everything there was way beyond the commenting policy. I need to ask you to refrain from doing stuff like this in the future. I’m asuming you know exactly where you overstepped, but if you need clarification let me know.

          I’d have noted this earlier, but hadn’t seen the thread until now.Report

      • Avatar Pinky in reply to M.A.
        Ignored
        says:

        Looks to me like the key phrase is “with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime”. I’d interpret that as meaning that if the results of the abortion were saved, the abortion would not have been done with the intent of destroying evidence, therefore the act of procuring/facilitating/compelling an abortion would not be criminal.Report

        • Avatar M.A. in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          Looks to me like the key phrase is “with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime”.

          As defined by: the opinion of the prosecutor bringing charges.Report

          • Avatar Pinky in reply to M.A.
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m no lawyer. I haven’t spent much time reviewing legal language outside of tax codes. I don’t see how someone could be arrested for procuring an abortion with intent to destroy evidence when there was no intent to destroy evidence.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
              Ignored
              says:

              Then the bill is incoherent, it seems to me, since the only person who would compel a rape-victim to have an abortion with the intent to destroy evidence related to a criminal investigation would be the perpetrator and pressing tampering with evidence charges in such a case would require independent evidence that he was in fact the perpetrator.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it? This is where my whole not-being-a-lawyer thing is a problem. It seems to me that it could be an additional charge.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess so. But wouldn’t the bill have language directly expressing that? Very narrow language to the effect that “any individual who has committed a rape which resulted in pregnancy who compels the victim to have an abortion for the purpose of destroying evidence of the crime shall be summarily …”?

                Like MA said, this bill includes indivdiuals who procure, facilitate and coerce an abortion under those conditions.Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not a lawyer. Looking at a section of legal code without its context can be tricky. It may be perfectly consistent with the language of the rest of the code. Or it may not be. If the question is whether it’s possible for a state legislator to produce weak legislation, I’d say “yes”.

                I’m thinking that a father could coerce his daughter into getting an abortion in order to lose the evidence of incest. A mother could procure an abortion for herself for the same purpose. (I’d bet that mother-son incest is pretty rare, but it’d be weirder if the language didn’t cover it that if it did.) Facilitation could include a wider range of activities, but if they’re only illegal when there is intent to cover a rape/incest, that itself would limit the possible situations for the law to apply.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Facilitation could include a wider range of activities

                Which is a worry.

                but if they’re only illegal when there is intent to cover a rape/incest, that itself would limit the possible situations for the law to apply.

                SO the law against “tampering with the evidence” can only be applied to cases in which there is other evidence confirming that person X was the rapist. I mean, that’s clear, right? The “evidence” (read: fetus) has been got rid of, yes?

                So the law only applies to cases in which the law is unnecessary.

                Unless there is another reason for the law…Report

              • Avatar Pinky in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Stillwater, those feel like ominous ellipses. I don’t think they’re merited. As noted, if the law only applies when there is intent to destroy evidence, the law can’t be put to any nefarious purposes.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Hmmm. I don’t know how to make the point more clearly than I already have. I don’t think the law intended to achieve what you’re proposing, that’s true. But because I attribute rationality to the person who wrote the law, and given that the putative purpose of the law is incoherent, I can only conclude that the author of that legislation had different motivation for writing and introducing it.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                There’s something I’m missing from this whole thread, and maybe someone (Burt? Mark?) can explain it to me.

                It seems to me to be amazingly unlikely that a father/stepfather raping his daughter (or a man raping his next door neighbor, or whatever), impregnating her, and then forcing her to get an abortion against her will is’t already all kinds of illegal already. The thought that we need a “tampering with evidence” loophole to finally have a shot at prosecuting such acts seems… well, far fetched.

                Am I wrong about this? Is there really some kind of loophole that needs aggressing? This seems like such a bizarre defense of this law that I feel like double checking to make sure this isn’t a thing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Tod, that’s where I’m at on this too. If the putative purpose is to provide additional ammunition to a criminal prosecution of rapists (and incestors (is that a word?)), then it’s either a redundant additional penalty for criminal activity, or it’s incoherent. If it’s intended to be an additional penalty, then it could have been worded much more clearly and narrowly (for example, excluding the victim from criminal prosecution). If it’s incoherent, then well …Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                father/stepfather raping his daughter (or a man raping his next door neighbor, or whatever)

                Oh, yeah. Illegal. Criminal. Rape, at minimum. We don’t need to re-criminalize rape to demonstrate that we really, really, really, really, really disapprove of it. If daughter/neighbor is below a certain age, it’s rape of a minor, rape of a child, child molestation, lewd acts with a child, etc. Roughly half the states also still criminalize incest (typically including consensual adult incest, which is a whole separate issue) and father/stepfather raping daughter is quite clearly incest.

                …impregnating her…

                Not illegal to impregnate someone so far as I know. Perhaps illegal if it’s done by fraud or under duress, but this is a different scenario.

                …then forcing her to get an abortion against her will…

                To my knowledge, this is already a crime in most states, if not all. Different kinds of crimes, though. Some states make this particular act a standalone crime. Others make procuring an abortion by trick, threat, deception, or force a standalone crime. Still others would call it an invasion of privacy.

                If we’re going to look at the issue of preserving evidence of rape to facilitate investigation of the crime, then here’s some ickiness for you. If you’ve no stomach for that which is icky, SERIOUSLY, don’t read this comment any further.

                Evidence of a rape is typically gathered from the use of a rape kit, which collects biological samples from the victim’s body. A rape victim who cleans herself after the crime destroys that evidence. No one (well, no one characterizable as “sane”) would fault her for doing so, much less charge her with commission of a crime, because my goodness what else would any just-raped woman want to do but rid herself of that? But the evidence that we’re looking for is semen. And the way it’s used is to compare the DNA harvested from the semen with other DNA harvested from a suspect (often taken by swabbing the inside of the suspect’s cheek). So if the question here is protection of evidence of rape from destruction, then again we’re looking at charging rape victims with crimes, an obviously perverse and insane result. Now, a question for a doctor would be, if the victim has become impregnated as a result of the rape and subsequently has an abortion, is there enough collectible and subsequently examinable tissue taken during the procedure to gather DNA? At that point, the DNA can be tested against the tissue harvested from the abortion and the rapist could be identified with the same accuracy as that of a paternity test. So it seems at least plausible to me that we wouldn’t need to effectively outlaw abortions in the case of rape to gather the genetic material necessary to identify and prosecute a rapist and indeed an abortion would facilitate rather than hinder that sort of investigation by making the tissue available. Of course, if we’re in an incest situation, there’s likely already going to be a lot of DNA overlap whether it’s semen or aborted fetus tissue we’re talking about, making such a test of diminished utility regardless of the nature of the comparator material from which the DNA is initially harvested.

                Sorry, I know that’s a very icky and uncomfortable line of thought. But if we’re going to be talking about laws that for all intents and purposes criminalize being raped then we’re already well past “icky” and “uncomfortable” and into territory better described with words phrases “shocks the conscience” and “offensive in its lunacy.”Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure what this says about me, but I’d already figured out the icky stuff myself. Though … (the next para contains more icky stuff. Please be warned)

                I presume that, normally, the result of an abortion is disposed of. Thus an abortion could be used to destroy the evidence. However, the entire purpose of this bill could be achieved by mandating that after every abortion sufficient tissue for DNA testing be preserved for some reasonable period of time.

                I’ll leave it to the reader to conclude why this solution, which has the considerable advantage of not criminalizing rape victims, didn’t occur to the Honorable Member from New Mexico.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Burt, thank you for this comment. Thank you.

                I tried to say as much elsewhere on this thread, but didn’t want to get into the ick factor.

                One other side here: there are literally thousands of rape kits, already used, decaying in evidence lockers the nation over. Many about to reach their date of expiration, meaning they’re many years old. Perhaps, if we want to come down on tampering with evidence of rape, failure to put those kits through the necessary testing before they become so aged that they would no longer stand in court as evidence might be a good idea.

                http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/us/28ttkits.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0Report

              • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Thank you Burt for that clarification. Before my tangent got derailed, I’d specified chemical abortion, meaning abortifacients rather than removal of a fetus. Clearly in the case of chemical abortion (morning after pills included) there would be no opportunity to harvest cells for DNA typing purposes. I’ve got a text into my friend the prosecutor so will get back with whatever he has to say about it (at least in this state).

                Coercion seems far fetched but so does incest to sane minds. I could certainly imagine scenarios wherein the 12 yr old daughter (or stepdaughter) is found pregnant, everyone knows or suspects the [step]father but the girl is /coerced/ into having a procedure and the abuse is allowed to continue. My previous neighbor worked for child protective services and she used to tell me (real) stories of what was going on in her world until I quite literally asked her to stop. Not everyone lives in Leave it to Beaver land.

                I suppose in the old days (pre Roe v Wade) women who simply wanted to get rid of a baby could claim rape/incest to have the excuse needed. From a law enforcement perspective that meant rapes that had to be reported (causing the black eye that unsolved rapes caused). However I am not aware that there’s any requirement in New Mexico like that today, I assume abortions are essentially available on demand although I’m happy to be educated on the subject.

                Finally although Akin is clearly a nutcase, from a simple statistical viewpoint rape or not, all sex does not produce offspring, in fact it could easily be a 1 in 100 chance even for a loving couple engaging in consensual activity. Therefore it takes an elaborate string of circumstances to necessitate this bill, but it is well within the realm of probability that such circumstances do exist, esp in the case of underage incest (rape by definition). The proof of said rape being the fact of a very young pregnant girl. And since sex with an underage party is automatically rape prosecution would certainly be interested every time someone below the age of consent is found pregnant. It wouldn’t even matter if it were “consensual” if the father is older than the age of consent and the mother weren’t.Report

              • Avatar zic in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike S., one of the things at issue here might be the morning after pill; there’s no tissue at the doc’s office; no way of knowing if there was a fertilized egg.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Ward: Are highly coercive laws intended to address situations which have not been shown to exist now part of the practice of limited government?

                Zic: Yeah, if the morning after pill is included as “abortion”, that’s true. In which case, the bill amounts to forcing a woman who’s been raped to conceive [1] and bear a child in order to produce evidence. No war against women there.

                1. The morning after pill can prevent both conception and implantation.Report

              • Avatar Wardsmith in reply to Pinky
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike, your statement has the hyperbole I’ve come to expect from you. As I stated literally numerous times here, the bill can’t be as anti-abortion as it seems since the harvesting of cells for DNA purposes explicitly does NOT require carrying the baby to term. You knew that of course, you’ve read my comments, you just can’t turn off your snark generator.

                I spoke to my prosecutor friend last night about this. He was unaware of the /proposed/ legislation and feels that in Washington state the existing laws concerning evidence tampering on the books should be more than adequate. He brought up an interesting point that I believe someone else here did as well. He called it the Letourneau clause. Had Mary Kay opted to have an abortion a piece of evidence concerning her relationship with Fualaau would have been missing although in her specific case there was ample additional evidence including being caught by the police flagrante delicto in a car with Fualaau. It remains to be seen whether there is a spate of female teachers raping their students in New Mexico.

                Do I think this proposed law is necessary? Not really absent some compelling statistics. Do I think this /proposed/ law indicts all Republicans as anti-women? Not at all.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t forget it’s not only the rape victim who has abortions. Sometimes it is the perpetrator. We all have heard the stories of female teachers being charged with statutory rape of underage male students. I would think that this bill would prosecute the person who has an abortion to hide the evidence that they committed that crime too.Report

  17. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    They are to a man and woman, good, decent, intelligent and reasonable people.

    Though many are, to two men or two women, complete fishholes.Report

  18. Avatar Nancy J.
    Ignored
    says:

    I am not a lawyer. I am intelligent & logical. I looked up this proposed legislation; my reading of it is that only the rapist, not the person raped, would be subject to punishment if they also caused the woman/girl to get an abortion. I do not have other knowledge of this legislator to guess what she might have been thinking–I tried to lift the quote, but didn’t manage that–please go to her website, and you can read the wording for yourself.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *