Akin Isn’t the Only Extreme Anti-Choice Politician in Missouri


Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler may not have the sudden high profile of Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, but as a fellow representative from the state, she does share his common belief that abortion should be banned in all circumstances. Now that Akin has been thrust into the spotlight, Hartzler’s views are also being scrutinized and, like Akin, is holding firm in her convictions.

“I believe that all life is precious and deserves to live, no matter how it was conceived,” she told the Columbia Daily Tribune, when asked at her campaign open house about her position on allowing exceptions in the case of rape or incest.

Hartzler was quick to distance herself from Akin’s biologically incorrect statements about pregnancy and rape and putting out a public statement calling on him to leave the senate race.

“Like many Missourians, I found Congressman Akin’s comments baffling, disturbing and misinformed. Over the last few days I have attempted to communicate with him personally; however, my repeated attempts have been unsuccessful. Due to the serious nature of this issue, I hope and pray he will make the right decision for himself, his family and our country and follow the advice of Senators Blunt, Bond, Ashcroft, Talent and Danforth.”

However, much like Akin she has been a solid yes for every anti-choice measure placed before her while in Congress, from re-defining rape to de-funding Planned Parenthood and placing new restrictions on abortion in the nation’s capitol.

After her election, Hartzler immediately focused on ending “taxpayer-funded abortions,” urging a repeal of Obamacare and called de-funding Planned Parenthood would “protect young women,” claiming they lied to pregnant girls to convince them to get abortions.

Hartzler then went on to share that when she was teaching child development as a school teacher, one of her students came to her with the revelation that she was pregnant and had just visited Planned Parenthood to discuss options. When the girl asked the Planned Parenthood counselor what ‘it’ looked like, she was told ‘it’ was ‘just a blob of tissue’ and ‘not to worry.’ The student asked Hartzler for pictures of what ‘it’ looked like. After seeing pictures of the fingers, eyes, and beating heart of a four-week old fetus, the girl exclaimed, ‘That’s not a blob of tissue; it’s a baby!’ She then asked Hartzler a piercing question about Planned Parenthood’s tactics, ‘Why did they tell me that?’ It’s a question that resonates today.

“They didn’t care about the truth,” Hartzler continued. “They didn’t care about the young woman before them. They cared about a profit. This pattern continues with recent revelations that they were willing to cover up child sexual trafficking and child sexual abuse and aid and abet prostitution. Where was Planned Parenthood when they had a chance to protect young women? They turned a blind eye.”

(Of course, there is no such thing as a “four-week old fetus.” A blatocyst at four weeks gestation looks like this since that would be when fertilization occurs, and an embryo at four weeks post-conception or six-weeks gestation looks like this. Neither would be a fetus until at least eight-weeks gestation, all things about which a “child development” teacher should have been aware.)

She was even surprised at the idea that people found “redefining rape” to be “controversial” when a media firestorm erupted over H.R.3, the “No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion” Act, which would have denied rape victims access to abortion unless the rape was “forcible.”

This is not a controversial bill. This is a commonsense bill to rein in our runaway government spending and to quit spending money on things that the American citizens don’t want. Certainly we should not be spending our hard-earned tax dollars on abortion…There are many, many areas of this budget that we need to rein in, but this is noncontroversial. This is something that over 60 percent of the American people say, I don’t want my tax dollars going to pay for abortions, the taking of a human innocent life…[Ce]rtainly it is not an affront to women’s health. Women have the opportunity to get the health care that they need now, but we don’t need to be using it to take innocent human life.

I certainly applaud this bill, which has so many cosponsors. We need to make sure that our tax dollars are not used for abortion.

For Hartzler, “protecting life” from the moment of conception is a mandate from the Creator.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the Protect Life Act, which will ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to pay for abortions through last year’s health care bill. It is right and proper that we should do so.

Every life deserves to be born and is worthy of life. Every life has a purpose and a plan. King David reminds us of the value of life in our Creator’s eyes when he penned the following: “For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the Earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your Book before one of them came to be.”

I’m thankful that our Declaration of Independence recognizes that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights, including the right to life.

Our Founding Fathers laid out the principle of life, and today we have an opportunity to affirm and carry on that mantle by passing the Protect Life Act.

Hartzler’s emphatic belief in protecting “life” over the needs or desires of the woman involved becomes even more apparent during her congressional speech during the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Her detailed descriptions of fetal development (one that unsurprisingly doesn’t quite match with her earlier allegations of a toe-wiggling 4 week “fetus”) underlines her public devotion to outlawing abortion.

It is about a child. This is not about a choice. And I commend all the people who came here today to Washington to speak out on behalf of life. And with them, I celebrate, and look forward to the day when all Americans are granted the right to life, whether they’re born or unborn.

Like Akin, Hartzler also has the enthusiastic endorsement of Missouri Right To Life, who continues to support Akin despite his comments. Ironically, Missouri Right to Life does in fact believe in exceptions on abortion bans, if that is the only way to get a ban to pass.

Missouri congressional representatives more extreme even than the activist groups that endorse them?  Akin and Hartzler do have a lot in common after all.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

To schedule an interview with contact director of communications Rachel Perrone at rachel@rhrealitycheck.org.

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty

  • dawn9476

    Funny how all that stuff goes out the window when the baby is born and becomes an infant, which is why we have the highest infant morality rate in the developed world. And what do you know? That infant mortality rate is the highest in very relgious states like Mississippi.

  • yor-bro-ken

    one reason the assertion COULDbe correct is that so many women from UNDER developed countries choose to risk their lives to come to America to birth their anchor babies.

     

    another reason the assertion may be true is infants who survive the first attempt on their life by an abortionist are unable to resist the second assault and subsequently die, from deliberate neglect/exposure, are included in the infant mortality statistics.

     

    a third party’s intervention on the infant’s behalf would further burden the woman’s ‘choice’ for a dead baby.

  • jennifer-starr

    From the 2011 Mississippi Infant Mortality Report: 

    The primary causes of infant death in Mississippi are low birth weight and premature birth, birth 

    defects, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), accidents and maternal complications of 

    pregnancy. Racial disparities, maternal health, and prenatal care access and utilization also 

    impact infant mortality.  

     

    http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/resources/4619.pdf

     

    It’s generally better to do research instead of just making stuff up. 

  • jruwaldt

    I’m perplexed by “four weeks post-conception or six-weeks gestation.” Does gestation really start two weeks prior to conception? I thought gestation didn’t start until conception, which is medically defined as coinciding with implantation. Does gestation start at ovulation or fertilization? I didn’t think there was more than a few days involved between ovulation and implantation, which is why EC needs to be taken as quickly as possible.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Your statement is complete bullshit! Do you always regurgitate bullshit conservative anti-choice talking points? I know how anti-choicers like to ignore reality and science.

    From NPR “Preterm Births Boost U.S. Infant Mortality Rate”
    Another possible culprit is the type of medical care women are receiving. Many American doctors induce an early labor or schedule a cesarean section before that 37 week mark. In 2006, labor was induced in nearly 16 percent of preterm births and 36 percent were C-section deliveries.
    The study suggests that cutting down on the number of preterm births would reduce the overall infant mortality rate substantially.

    And, yes the U.S. ranks 29th worldwide in infant mortality rates. Funny how we supposedly have the world’s “best healthcare system” – sure only if you are rich.

  • rebellious-grrl

    opps duplicate – mods please delete

  • colleen

    one reason the assertion COULDbe correct is that so many women from UNDER developed countries choose to risk their lives to come to America to birth their anchor babies.

    Republicans never take personal responsibility for anything. They always blame the weakest and most vulnerable for their sadistic and savage treatment of the poor.

  • colleen

    the US ranks 42nd in maternal mortality rates. What a wonderful accomplishment for the ‘pro-life’ movement. I’m absolutely sure that number will be going up now that right wing Christianity has set as a goal legalizing the human sacrifice  of pregnant women whose bodies cannot sustain their pregnancy. How exciting all that extended suffering must be for people like you.

  • crowepps

    “These medications are there to prevent or delay ovulation,” said Dr. Petra M. Casey, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Mayo. “They don’t act after fertilization.”

    The F.D.A. declined to discuss decisions about the effect on implantation or to say whether it would consider revising labels. But Erica Jefferson, an F.D.A. spokeswoman, acknowledged: “The emerging data on Plan B suggest that it does not inhibit implantation. Less is known about Ella. However, some data suggest it also does not inhibit implantation.”

    Scientists say the pills work up to five days after sex, primarily stalling an egg’s release until sperm can no longer fertilize it. Although many people think sperm and egg unite immediately after sex, sperm need time to position themselves. “

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/health/research/morning-after-pills-dont-block-implantation-science-suggests.html?pagewanted=all