Rep. Steve King, a Republican representative from Iowa, has it all figured out – life, that is. It’s simple, he says, according to Lynda Waddington writing on the Iowa Independent. Each one of us has the right to life from the moment of conception and we have that right until natural death. Done and done.
Well, okay. It’s simple if you don’t take into account anything else but King’s unwavering commitment to his own religion, tended to within his cultural and social boundaries.
In this interview with CNS.com (the conservative news site with a decidedly religious extremist perspective), Rep. Steve King expounds on how to “never lose a debate” when it comes to abortion.
1. This is about God and Jesus, women. All women, regardless of religion, creed, culture, ethnicity, economic or personal circumstances or moral beliefs must abide by Rep. King’s personal, religious stance on abortion. Since according to King his religion teaches that, “Jesus got the right to life when God conceived him in the womb of Mary” then all of us ladies should just stand aside and when we’re impregnated by what I can only assume would be “mystical means” we should continue our pregnancy no matter what? Does this pre-suppose that the males in this situation are equivalent to God? Or only that a man can get us pregnant (i.e. “conceive a baby in our womb”) but it’s up to us to carry that pregnancy to term no matter what?
I suppose if a woman is Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Sikh, or Atheist, it’s irrelevant to Rep. King. He, as a Christian man, has the right to determine the legality of abortion access for all. Never mind that there are actually many women within the Catholic Church who do not believe as King does.
2. It’s easy, kids. Repeat after me – There is no woman in this scenario. Abortion is about me and my own personal belief system which we will now repeat. Remember, abortion is not about the lives and health of our daughters, mothers, sisters, and friends. It’s about you and me. Rep. King says he “often goes into a high school auditorium” or into kindergarten through 12th grade levels to talk to the students about abortion. He pointedly asks them, “Where do you stand on the abortion issue?” Bear in mind, he’s not teaching them how to think critically or to ponder important questions but to answer then and there “where they stand” on the abortion issue. He doesn’t provide any authentic context for the discussion or refer, presumably, to the where and with whom this is all taking place – namely, that abortion is a private, personal decision that a woman makes - on her own, with her family, or with a health care provider. The woman does not, in any way, seem to play a role in any of Rep. King’s thinking. Does he expect they know what abortion is? Does he talk about unintended pregnancy? Or does he prefer that, in fact, they have as little information as possible about what abortion is and isn’t? Rep. King doesn’t seem to care much. His goal is to have the young students ask and answer only two questions of themselves right then and there – two questions of his own creation and then – Presto! You’ve got my answer your answer!, says King.
3. Life is sacred – except when it comes to you girls. Rep. King says he asks the young students to ask and answer two questions. Do you believe life is sacred in all of its forms? And then he asks them to turn to their fellow students on the right and left of them and ask if those folks’ lives are sacred. If so, he says, ask yourself - Do you believe your life is sacred? and then: When did your own life begin? King is clear, “If there is a universal agreement that their lives are sacred…then you have to pick an instant – one instant, the moment of conception.” It’s an awe-inspiring moment. Rep. King is clearly clueless as to the absolute callousness in his own reasoning. He is forcing the idea that if we believe the lives of those of us around us are “sacred” then we would not ever, under any circumstances conceive of being able to end a potential life.
But is King really that blind to the fact that some of those young people are young girls who will become pregnant? Are their lives not sacred as well? And will some of those young people – young female students – not experience a pregnancy which may threaten their health or lives? Are their lives not sacred, Rep. King? And is it possible that some of those young women whose lives Rep. King seems to brush off will become pregnant through the horror of rape? Apparently, lives are most sacred to Rep. King only if they are male or if they are still dependent upon a woman’s body to survive.
Are these young women’s lives not sacred, Rep. King? Or are females only sacred until they are able to conceive?
It was only a week or so ago that the Roman Catholic Diocese, in Phoenix. AZ, stripped a hospital of its Catholic affiliation because surgeons saved the (sacred?) life of a mother of four by performing an emergency abortion. Rep. King and the Roman Catholic Bishop, Thomas Olmstead, are in agreement it seems. Her life was not sacred enough.
Watch for yourself…