Extremist Candidates Move Towards Total Elimination of Abortion


It started when Nevada senatorial candidate Sharron Angle suggested victims of rape should “make lemonade out of lemons” by having their attackers children, rather than allow them an abortion.  Soon Colorado candidate Ken Buck was agreeing, as was Delaware congressional candidate Glen Urquhart.

As Huffington Post reports, it’s a new breed of Republican candidate: Pro-Life Without Discrimination, and its been ushered in by Sarah Palin.

RNC for Life has endorsed 63 House candidates who are “pro-life without discrimination” and heading into the general election. Edmondson pointed to Bill Flores (TX-17), Stephen Broden (TX-30), Rocky Raczkowski (MI-9) and Sandy Adams (FL-24) as especially exciting candidates to watch. Incumbents endorsed by RNC for Life include Michele Bachmann (MN-6), Jean Schmidt (OH-2) and Duncan Hunter (CA-52).

The candidates getting the most attention, however, are on the Senate side: Sharron Angle (Nev.), Ken Buck (Colo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Joe Miller (Alaska), Christine O’Donnell (Del.) and Rand Paul (Ky.). All of them oppose abortion even in cases of rape and incest.

Angle received significant national attention in July when she advised young rape victims to make “a lemon situation into lemonade” — the “lemon situation” being the rape and the “lemonade” being giving birth to, and raising, the child. Buck has said, “I don’t believe in the exceptions of rape or incest” and backs a constitutional ban on abortion. The progressive group Campaign for a Strong Colorado held a press conference on Tuesday with rape and incest survivors who oppose Buck’s stance. “Ken Buck is in a luxurious position of not seeming to care of the permanent impact of rape can have on a woman’s life,” said one rape survivor at the event.

Even several high-profile gubernatorial candidates such as Carl Paladino (N.Y.), Bill Brady (Ill.) and Nathan Deal (Ga.) hold these views.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has prominently backed and helped launch some of these conservative candidates this election cycle, so it’s perhaps not surprising that this position on abortion is one she helped elevate. In 2006, Palin said she opposes abortion in all instances except when a mother’s life is at risk. “I believe that no matter what mistakes we make as a society,” she wrote in response to an Eagle Forum Alaska questionnaire, “we cannot condone ending an innocent’s life.”

But the extreme view for the new right may be turning off voters, and some candidates are already letting their rigid views loosen under intense disapproval and a move to the center. Ken Buck has already softened on his abortion stance, and with the onslaught of pressure from survivors of rape and incest, he may find that position evolving, too.

New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is fighting pressure as well, from a coalition of choice leaders in the state.  Via CBS6 Albany:

“New York is an overwhelmingly pro-choice state and Carl Paladino’s victory in the Republican Primary is deeply concerning for the women of New York,” reads the open letter, signed by various Planned Parenthood leaders and CEOs, state Senators, state Assembly members and other activists. “During his interview it became clear that Mr. Paladino is one of the most anti-woman candidates for governor – either Democrat or Republican – that the state has seen in a generation.”

NARAL’s Nancy Keenan points out the obvious problems that extreme anti-choice candidates will face in wooing their own core voters who believe the role of government should be as limited as possible.  From the Associated Press:

“I think these anti-choice candidates are going to trip over their own hypocrisy in the next few weeks,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “They talk about no government intrusion in people’s lives, yet they’re wanting to interfere with women’s very private medical decisions.”

Candidates have six weeks to convince voters that they should vote for a politician who wants to strip away the reproductive rights of all women in any situation.  Is that a position Americans are willing to buy?

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  • derekp

    Isn’t it unfair to criticize pro-life advocates for opposing abortion in the case of rape or incest? Wouldn’t you also criticize them if they allowed an exception for rape and incest?  If they allowed an exception that would be like them saying, “I want to keep all babies from being aborted, except the ones conceived in rape or incest, they’re not as important to me.”

     

    You might disagree with their position, but at least it’s consistent. A candidate who allowed abortion in the case of rape or incest would seem like a sneaky politician trying to please voters. Feminists might argue that they were a member of the “Patriarchy” punishing bad women (women who choose to have sex) by outlawing abortion and rewarding good women (women who did not choose to have sex) by allowing abortion for them.

     

    By not allowing abortion unless a woman’s life is in danger, these candidates can at least base their position off a consistent principle, the value and equality of all human beings. No pro-life candidate would please you because you fundamentally disagree with his or her position. Instead of saying these pro-life advocates “go too far,” just be honest. Say, “We oppose candidates who want to make any abortions illegal.”

     

  • crowepps

    You might disagree with their position, but at least it’s consistent.

    When people are charged with making laws that will effect everyone in the country, I ask more from their positions than that they be ‘consistent’.  I also require that they actually recognize reality.

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • colleen

    Isn’t it unfair to criticize pro-life advocates for opposing abortion in the case of rape or incest?

     

    No.

  • prochoiceferret

    You might disagree with their position, but at least it’s consistent.

     

    It’s also devoid of any basic human sympathy or decency whatsoever. But if “consistency” is more important to them, and to you, then, well… it’s a free country. Still.

     

    these candidates can at least base their position off a consistent principle, the value and equality of all human beings.

     

    The human beings who are rape and incest victims are really feeling “valued.”

  • amanda-marcotte

    Antis are always consistent. Whether or not they relent when it comes to rape/incest, their opposition to abortion is consistent with a misogynist viewpoint.

    Frankly, I’ve heard more than one anti suggest they oppose rape/incest exceptions because they don’t really distinguish between rape and regular sex. Which is consistent with their “morality” that discounts the importance of consent and reduces women to their reproductive functions.

  • derekp

    Amanda,

     

    Is it possible to have a position that abortion should generally be illegal without it being a “misogynistic position?” When I hear “misogynist” I translate it to “hatred or contempt for women.” Perhaps some people want to outlaw abortion for that reason, but it seems like many people believe that the fetus’s rights are violated by abortion and that is why they want it outlawed.  

     

    Perhaps you could argue that a “misogynist” is someone who wants women to not have equal rights with men.  Therefore, if abortion is a right women have by their nature as human beings, then perhaps any attempt to make abortion illegal is misogynistic because it seeks to take away women’s rights.  

     

    But this argument assumes that abortion is a right women should have, which is the crux of the debated issue.  What if I argued that pro-choice advocates are “misopedistic” or “haters of children” because they want to take away the fetus’ right to live?  Well, I’d be assuming that the fetus does have this right, which is the crux of the debated issue. Rather than saying each side of the abortion debate hates the women or fetuses involved, shouldn’t we put down loaded labels and discuss the issue civilly?  

  • prochoiceferret

    but it seems like many people believe that the fetus’s rights are violated by abortion and don’t give a rip about violating the woman’s rights by forcing her to keep the fetus inside her body against her will and that is why they want it [abortion] outlawed.

     

    There, I fixed that for you.

     

    But this argument assumes that abortion is a right women should have, which is the crux of the debated issue.

     

    No, it assumes that having control over one’s body is a right people should have, which is not something that has ever seriously been debated in free societies.

     

    What if I argued that pro-choice advocates are “misopedistic” or “haters of children” because they want to take away the fetus’ right to live?

     

    You’d be wrong, because they don’t. They simply recognize that whatever “right to live” that the fetus has doesn’t trump the woman’s “right to not have an unwanted occupant in my uterus.”

     

    Well, I’d be assuming that the fetus does have this right, which is the crux of the debated issue. Rather than saying each side of the abortion debate hates the women or fetuses involved, shouldn’t we put down loaded labels and discuss the issue civilly?

     

    Sure thing. We’ve already stopped using anti-fetus rhetoric in our advocacy (actually, we never even started using it, so this was pretty easy), so you go ahead and stop using anti-woman rhetoric in your advocacy. We’ll give you all the time you need.

  • derekp

    We’ve already stopped using anti-fetus rhetoric in our advocacy (actually, we never even started using it, so this was pretty easy)

     

    Right. So calling the fetus a parasite, a mass of protoplasm, a blob of tissuesomething we should get over our love affair with, and shouting let no fetus defeat us! isn’t anti-fetus rhetoric? Got it.


    Also, Judith Jarvis Thomson, the originator of the pro-choice bodily autonomy arguments, even admits that your argument that a woman’s right to control her body outweighs the fetus’s right to live is implausible on the face of it. She writes, “No doubt the mother has a right to decide what shall happen in and to her body; everyone would grant that. But surely a person’s right to life is stronger and more stringent than the mother’s right to decide what happens in and to her body, and so outweighs it. So the fetus may not be killed; an abortion may not be performed.” (Source) 

     

    Granted, Thomson tries to save the argument by claiming that the woman’s right to control her body does not mean she can kill the fetus, but that the fetus’s right to life does not include the right to use her body and it can be killed by abortion in that way.  But this claim also has problems.


    ProChoiceFerret, doesn’t it seem totally unfair to say that one human being (a woman) can choose to create another human being (the fetus) and then kill said human being because of their state of dependency, which was caused by the woman creating them in the first place? Do breastfeeding infants have a right to their mother’s bodies if no one else will or can take care of them?  Your argument seems to say they don’t, which seems counterintuitive at best.

  • crowepps

    Misogyny is A motivation for SOME ProLife activists and is revealed by their arguments when they state that the LIFE and HEALTH of the woman are not as important as the fetus or when they state that abortion is wrong because the fetus is ‘innocent’ (and the woman obviously then guilty) or when they argue that pregnancy is the appropriate ‘consequence’ for sex (because women who have sex deserve to suffer for it) but that they’ll make an exception in cases of rape because the women didn’t ‘choose to have sex’.

     

    That doesn’t mean that every single ProLife activist is a misogynist or holds those views.

     

    It’s a little difficult to “put down the loaded labels” and argue civilly with people who insist that being ProChoice is equivalent to promoting abortion and that ProChoice adherents promote “free love”, etc.

     

    The root of the discussion isn’t even whether the fetus has ‘rights’ or the woman has ‘rights’, but rather when there is a conflict between the purported rights of those two parties, WHO DECIDES, the woman herself as the person most affected or other people who insist she should stay pregnant/not stay pregnant because it validates their own philosophies.

     

    Just as an example, if the fetus has ‘rights’ as a human being, wouldn’t the fetus have a ‘right’ to prenatal care so that it can develop normally and be born healthy?  Wouldn’t the fetus have ‘rights’ to medical assistance during its birth so it isn’t damaged in the process?  And yet people object to government funding of medical care which primarily assists the fetus on the basis that it ‘rewards women for promiscuity’.  There’s no consistency there.  People don’t seem to have any problem endangering, damaging or even killing the fetus when their motivation is punishing the woman for ‘having sex while poor’.

  • forced-birth-rape

    “NO ONE” has the right to cause some one else genital pain, or emotionally terrorize some one else with thoughts of future genital pain. My right to life, is not ever a right to cause some one else genital pain against their will.

  • squirrely-girl

    which was caused by the woman creating them in the first place?

    Actually, if it had been just the woman, we wouldn’t have a ZBEF to worry about now would we?

    Do breastfeeding infants have a right to their mother’s bodies if no one else will or can take care of them?

    Ummmm… just to be clear, no infant has a RIGHT to be breastfed. And a breastfeeding infant can be transfered to formula if something happens to the mother. They don’t automatically have the right to demand some other woman’s tits just because one woman offered hers up. 

     

  • derekp

    crowepps,

     

    I agree that pro-choice people should not be considered “pro-abortion” (some are, but that is a tiny minority) nor should they be subjected to stereotypes.  In addition, I support treating the fetus like we treat born infants and helping them get access to medical care that is good for their well being, including access to universal health care.  But I’m curious that you are basing your ethic on WHO DECIDES.  Imagine this scenario:

     

    A woman has a very sick two month old born child and she believes that prayer should only be used to treat him (or crystals, or chants, or any religious alternative to mainstream medicine).  If the child doesn’t receive medical care, then he will die. The mother believes that if the child dies then it is “God’s will” (or karma).  But forcing the child to receive medical care seems to violate the woman’s freedom of religion and her right to privately decide how to raise her family.  How do we balance a conflict of rights? Under WHO DECIDES, should we say that the mother gets to decide if the child receives medical care because this decision affects her the most (let’s say that if the child lives medicine will be very expensive and a burden for her to bear).  That seems like a bad idea to “let her decide.”  

     

    Shouldn’t we as a society protect the child’s best interests (which I assume would be to live) and prevent the mother from killing him (through lack of care)?  If we protect a two month old infant from parents who may harm him or her, then if the fetus is equally human (which most people seem to concede) shouldn’t we as a society protect his or her interests as well?

     

  • prochoiceferret

    Right. So calling the fetus a parasite, a mass of protoplasm, a blob of tissuesomething we should get over our love affair with, and shouting let no fetus defeat us! isn’t anti-fetus rhetoric? Got it.

     

    Correct. “Parasite” is a technically correct term for how the fetus sustains itself, “protoplasm” and “tissue” are technically accurate (if simplistic) terms, “love affair” and “let no fetus…” doesn’t say anything about the fetus itself.

     

    Calling women who get abortions “sluts,” on the other hand, is pretty clearly anti-woman.

     

    your argument that a woman’s right to control her body outweighs the fetus’s right to live is implausible on the face of it.

     

    What’s that? We don’t have the right to control our own bodies, even if someone else might die as a result? Great! There’s a patient out there who needs a kidney transplant, and I see you have a surplus kidney. The patient will die if he doesn’t receive a transplant, so you’re going to have to come with us…

     

    ProChoiceFerret, doesn’t it seem totally unfair to say that one human being (a woman) can choose to create another human being (the fetus) and then kill said human being because of their state of dependency, which was caused by the woman creating them in the first place?

     

    Oh, so you would agree that the fetus does not have any such “right to life” if it was conceived by way of rape?

  • crowepps

    Our Constitutionally recognized ‘freedom of religion’ allows the mother to continue to rely on ‘faith-healing’ or alternative medicine and while certainly the law provides that she will be PUNISHED for any negative side effects that result afterwards, most of the time there is no mechanism in place that ‘invades the sanctity of the family’ to prevent the death.  These kinds of deaths happen.  Sometimes they are motivated by the FATHER’S insistence on adherring to bizarre religiosity.  In fact, people with a known history of child abuse/neglect/death and pedophilia and those who willfully refuse to support the children they already have abandoned usually have no restrictions on their ability to continue to create MORE children in the future even though logic indicates that those children are likely to suffer as well.

     

    But the biggest difference, and one not recognized in your hypothetical, is that IF a report were made and Protective Services got involved and whisked the child off to the hospital for treatment, it would NOT be necessary to arrest the woman and take along her uterus and the rest of her body to provide life support during the treatment.

     

    It seems very logical to say the fetus has a ‘right to life’ before it is born no matter how mentally or physically intolerable/dangerous its continued presence is to the ‘container’ who has been coopted to its own purposes, but only if your attitude is that the ‘container’ has no rights but instead is equivalent to breeding livestock.

  • derekp

    It seems very logical to say the fetus has a ‘right to life’ before it is born no matter how mentally or physically intolerable/dangerous its continued presence is to the ‘container’ who has been coopted to its own purposes, but only if your attitude is that the ‘container’ has no rights but instead is equivalent to breeding livestock.

     

    Rhetoric cuts both ways.  Isn’t fair to say that you treat the fetus like livestock? You claim it’s a living creature (a human being no less!) that you believe women and men should have the right to create and then destroy for any or no reason whatsoever.  This is my last post on this story. 

     

    I believe that the pro-life position is the more dignified position for women.  It holds women morally accountable for the human lives they create, in the same way we should expect men to pay child support. (Doesn’t it seem a little odd that the human fetus has no claim to an organ whose only function is to keep them alive?)  

     

    It asserts that women no matter their age (16 weeks post conception, 16 weeks after birth, 16 years old, 116 years old) have equal rights because they are human beings.  It recognizes that we are not islands of existence, but persons who live in community with each other as such we have duties to aid one another.  The most intimate duty, that between mother and child in the womb, involves the greatest duties, btu also the greatest rewards.  Feminists are quick to shout discrimination because men can have sex and not get pregnant and women need abortion to accomplish the same feat.  But I could claim discrimination because I can’t get pregnant because I’m a man and therefore only by helping men become pregnant could the inequality be resolved.  If pregnancy were viewed in a more positive light, than perhaps that is a direction we could go.

     

    I will continue to keep a dialogue open on other posts. Note I haven’t used slurs or ad-hominems against anyone. It’s okay to attack arguments, but not people. I hope the further exchanges between pro-life and pro-choice advocates here can have the same civility (calling someone a “misogynist” or “pro-abort” is simply not helpful for dialogue, can’t we all calm down a bit). Hopefully other people can have genuine dialogue on this issue . . . which won’t go away any time soon.

  • arekushieru

    As many people have already pointed out, if someone’s right to life were stronger than someone’s right to bodily autonomy, then EVeryone would be mandated to donate organs.  But they aren’t.  Hmmm….

     

    I firmly believe that abortion doesn’t kill a fetus.  Yet I believe a fetus is human life.  (Several people have already seen me make this point ad nauseam, but I’ll recount it for you.)  I’ll explain and you’ll see how I reconcile these two positions.  Abortion, itself, is the termination of the implantation of the fetal placenta into the uterus.  Killing means ‘causing death’.  Since this is a medical/legal issue, a relevant analogy to abortion would be the removal of life support from one who is being artificially sustained.  Do doctors say that it is the removal of the als system that is the cause of death for the comatose patient?  No.  They say that the cause of death is lack of brain function.  Very similar to a fetus after abortion since it is its incompatibility with life upon separation from the uterus that causes its death.

     

    Which sounds pretty much like what Thompson was trying to illustrate.  So, she was right in some aspects but very wrong in others.

     

    Why did she cause it to be there, Derek?  Because she exercised her right to sexual freedoms in exactly the same way her male counterparts may do withOUT fear of reprisal, perhaps?  The ONLY thing your latter argument hinges on is the presence of a certain organ within a single body.  An organ whose presence a person has no volitional control over.  And which has no corresponding circumstances anwhere else IN anyone else.  So, punish a woman for being unlucky enough to have a sperm with an x chromosome fertilize their female donor’s egg?    

  • prochoiceferret

    Rhetoric cuts both ways.  Isn’t fair to say that you treat the fetus like livestock? You claim it’s a living creature (a human being no less!) that you believe women and men should have the right to create and then destroy for any or no reason whatsoever.

     

    Kind of like how 2nd-Amendment advocates believe that you should be able to kill someone who has broken into your own home for any or no reason whatsoever.

     

    I believe that the pro-life position is the more dignified position for women.

     

    I’m sure you find it quite dignified to force pregnant women who don’t want to be pregnant to carry their pregnancies to term against their will. Do you find rape particularly dignifying, too?

     

    It holds women morally accountable for the human lives they create, in the same way we should expect men to pay child support.

     

    So we should expect men to pay child support by subjecting their bodies to immense strain, permanent aftereffects, and the risk of complications and possibly even death?

     

    (Doesn’t it seem a little odd that the human fetus has no claim to an organ whose only function is to keep them alive?)

     

    No, because that organ is not its property. You know, rapists often believe that they have a claim to (certain parts of) a woman’s body. Does it seem a little odd to you that they in fact do not?

     

    It recognizes that we are not islands of existence, but persons who live in community with each other as such we have duties to aid one another.

     

    Last I checked, there was no law that stated that I am required to help my neighbor.

     

    The most intimate duty, that between mother and child in the womb, involves the greatest duties, btu also the greatest rewards.

     

    “Rewards” so great that you want pregnant women to have no choice but to accept them!

     

    But I could claim discrimination because I can’t get pregnant because I’m a man and therefore only by helping men become pregnant could the inequality be resolved.

     

    No one’s stopping you from making your Junior fantasy come true.

     

    If pregnancy were viewed in a more positive light, than perhaps that is a direction we could go.

     

    How about you start by not forcing women to stay pregnant if they don’t want to be? That’s a pretty negative light to view pregnancy in, don’t you think?

     

    I will continue to keep a dialogue open on other posts. Note I haven’t used slurs or ad-hominems against anyone. It’s okay to attack arguments, but not people.

     

    Your argument is misogynistic and dumb. I’m sure that it was the butt of jokes from all the larger, stronger arguments in debate school, and probably received more than one swirly at the hands of big, burly pro-choice talking points.

     

    This is my last post on this story.

     

    Now that’s civil of you!

  • arekushieru

    No.  We simply believe that if no indisPUtable human being gets the right to co-opt another’s organs against their wishes (note that I said THEIR wishes in relation to the organs being used, meaning that no man can make the decision because his organs are never involved in pregnancy), not even to save their life, that no fetus should either.  How that is so difficult to understand I have no idea. 

     

    Doesn’t it seem odd that a kidney transplantee has no claim to an organ whose only function is to keep them alive, not even from a family member, who may have been the ones to have caused them to need the kidney in the first place?

     

    And, as I said before, why should women be held morally accountable when they can’t CHOOSE how their body functions, in the FIRST place?  No one else is held similarly accountable for how their body functions.  Seems rather odd for those who claim to be non-misogynistic.  The only way a ProLifer can be non-misogynistic (imho, yes) is if they either promote ‘uterus-sharing’ the exact same way all other organ-sharing is promoted OR they demand that  ALL organ donations be mandatory.  We are NOT talking about comparing women to other women, OBviously. 

     

    I absoLUtely do not ever want to get pregnant or have a child, due mostly to automatic assumptions like those you made above, that all pregnancies are rewarding.  Ugh.  That is a patronizinging, patriARChal assumption, after all.  So, to make people see pregnancy in a positive light, perhaps you should get rid of these types of assumptions that all women want to be mothers, first…?  And, seriously?  By helping men to become pregnant doesn’t serve the inequality in the SHORT term.  Derrrr….  It also doesn’t address the FACT that a man’s rights are NOT being infringed upon in such a visible manner that every last ProLifer I’ve encountered feels they can impose their own version of morality and restrictions on it.  We ARE talking about the restrictions upon one rights, after ALL, NOT pregnancy, itself. 

     

    Edited to note:  Rewards can only be rewards if someone wants them.  Just as gifts can only be gifts if the giver or receiver perceives them as thus.  Thanks.      

  • forced-birth-rape

    We can not calm down! When some one wants to force us to have extreme vaginal pain against our will. Some women do not look forward to giving birth! Some women are extremely scared while pregnant!

    Vaginas can rip open, or get cut open, giving birth something the size of a watermelon comes out of something the size of a quarter. Women have “DIED” giving birth.

    You DerekP are a man, you do not know what you are talking about. I as a women do not like “MEN” offering up my vagina for something extremely painful that I have said “NO” to. As I have had enough of that, like most women I know has had enough of that.

    We can not always get what we want.
    You as a man want very bad to be in the abortion debate, I consider men forcing and inviting them selves to talk about abortion to be sadomasochistic-sexual-harassment. Women did not invite you to talk about our vaginas, and what we should, and should not do with them. I do not like pro-life women, but pro-life women are fifty percent less offensive then pro-life men. Pro-life men are embarrassing, they are ego-centric and sadomasochistic.

    And when men pay child support their genitals are not being used and abused while they are in the nude.